Get ready to get your musical fix. “In the Heights” is hitting the big screen in just a couple of weeks, but some of the cast is in SoFlo today. Deco got to catch up with them in person at Mandarin Oriental Hotel, and that’s worth singing about.
Anthony Ramos (As Usnavi de la Vega): “This is a story about a block that was disappearing. Once upon a time, in a far away land called Washington Heights.”
Lights up on Washington Heights! The barrio is buzzing for the movie adaptation of the musical “In the Heights.”
Anthony Ramos (As Usnavi de la Vega): “It’s silly when we get into these crazy hypotheticals. You really want some bread? Then go ahead and create a set of goals.”
The film tells the story of a Hispanic neighborhood in New York and its colorful residents who are all chasing different dreams.
One of them is Nina, a college student trying to live up to everyone’s expectations.
She’s played by South Florida’s own Leslie Grace, who totally relates.
Leslie Grace: “It was the first time that I ever even came across a side that felt like, ‘Wow, I can hear myself in this person.”‘
Jimmy Smits plays Nina’s dad, and he thinks everyone is gonna be able to relate to something in the movie.
Jimmy Smits: “You can see yourself and understand a relationship, or understand the themes of community and home, and what that all means.”
Leslie isn’t the only SoFlo star in the film. Olga Merediz, who was also in the Broadway show, is back as Abuela Claudia.
Olga Merediz: “I made her into this quintessential matriarch, a caretaker like that, a grandmother, or somebody that takes care and is there for advice and help.”
Everyone goes to Abuela Claudia, but what’s the best piece of abuelita advice the cast has gotten from their grandmas?
Olga Merediz: “Persistence. Belief in yourself.”
One of the biggest numbers in the movie is the “96,000,” which is about what everyone would do if they won the lottery.
Casy of “In the Heights”: “We’ll get the dough, ‘n’ once we get goin’, we never gonna stop.”
So what would Leslie do with 96 G right now?
Leslie Grace: “Oh, oh! Oh, man, I think I need 96 Gs to throw a party for my family to see this, all of my family to see the movie. We’re such a big family.”
Anthony Ramos (As Usnavi de la Vega): “Puerto Rico to Santo Domingo, wherever we go, we rep out people, and the beat go!”
“In the Heights” dances its way into theaters and HBO Max on June 11.
Copyright 2021 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.