What some of you may not know is that while I'm obviously hip hop as heck, I was actually a choir girl growing up at school. So I'd receive classic training at school then bump a big ol' boombox with the "homies" outside of school. Because of choir, though, I've always had this fascination with live performances, particularly broadway. My mom would always take me to the biggest shows from Disney to Andrew Lloyd Webber shows to Repertory [Philippines] over here and the like. For this, she is probably one of the persons I must definitely credit for first introducing me to the idea that music is beyond sound in motion; but that it is art, expression, feelings.
So recently, she mentioned to me that this Tony Award-winning show that she had seen in LA a few years back that she knew that I would love, would be coming to Manila. On September 2-18 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium (RCBC), Atlantis Productions will stage In The Heights. Based on what my mom told me and what I later supplemented with research is that this is not your typical broadway mainly because its musical score by Lin Manuel Miranda includes the atypical genres: hip hop, soul, merengue, and salsa. In other words, those born from the streets and that depict stories of their neighborhoods and surroundings - in this case being New York City's Washington Heights. Being told that this show would combine the 2 musical worlds that I had matured in, I was sold (or at least a couple tickets in my name were).
Directed by Bobby Garcia, the Manila production of In The Heights marks the first internationally licensed production of the show (www.philstar.com). Yes, we are very fortunate to be given the opportunity to catch the universal story of such a vibrant community, especially since I think that so many of our own communities here can relate to the truths of these stories. I also feel that many will be able to grasp and absorb much of which us urban music lovers have known for awhile - that there is such a rich culture beyond the stereotypical views.
To give you an idea of what to expect, here is a promotional video from the original production in the US:
The funny thing is that back in high school, I had thought of creating my own hiphopera (and at times still think about it today), so I can't wait to see something like this really pushing the envelope, and perhaps this will open doors for a wider acceptance of this sort of show. Bottomline, I'm thrilled, will be watching for sure this September, and would like to leave with some final props to Atlantis for taking us Manila music lovers to new heights.
If you're down like I am, then you can already get your tickets through Atlantis Productions at 892-7072 or through Ticketworld 891-9999.