2016. USA. Dir: Ron Clements et al. With Auli’i Cravalho. Animated. 107 min.
Disney’s island-hopping adventure is a serene breath of fresh sea air, ditching much of the studio’s tired princess cliche?s in favor of a bold new vision. The Pacific Island songcraft of Opetaia Foa’i meets the showtune sparkle of that Miranda guy, scoring Moana’s quest across an unparalleled animated oceanscape.
2016. USA. Dir: Alex Horwitz. Documentary. 84 min.
You’ve watched Lin-Manuel Miranda on SNL, sung along to the cast album a little too loudly at parties, and (if you’re lucky) seen the Broadway smash hit Hamilton itself. The alumnus-directed PBS Great Performances doc provides an unprecedented look into the behind-the-scenes creation of a pop culture phenomenon.
We interrupt this festive #weshcfm15 (yes, it sounds more like an accidental butt text than the Wesleyan homecoming weekend hashtag) to remind all of you that no matter how great you think you are, Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02 is better. Yesterday night I ate my weight in gummy bears and watched season 10 of NCIS. Lin-Manuel Miranda was casually fucking slaying late night TV and trending on Facebook.
Above is Miranda’s recent appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and as with everything else he does, all I can say is, “DAMN, I WILL NEVER BE THIS TALENTED AND AMAZING AT ANYTHING EVER IN MY LIFE.”
Our favorite Broadway composer/performer, Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02–who wrote his debut In the Heights during his sophomore year at Wesleyan–has created anotherhit. Hamilton, a musical about the life of Alexander Hamilton, played almost entirely by actors of color and with a score composed not of “typical” show tunes but of rap, hip hop, and pop ballads, opened on Broadway in August. Next Friday, October 2nd, a special Wesleyan-only benefit performance will take place.Those of us who can’t make it to the show are in luck, though; the sung-through musical is fully represented on the cast recording, which comes out Friday, September 25th. If you’re not interested in paying $20 for an album, or if you’re not sold on musicals, or rap musicals, or American history, the entire album is available to stream for free on NPR until Friday. Check it out!
“In the Heights” tells the universal story of a vibrant community in New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood—a place where the coffee from the corner bodega is light and sweet, the windows are always open, and the breeze carries the rhythm of three generations of music. It’s a community on the brink of change, full of hopes, dreams, and pressures, where the biggest struggles can be deciding which traditions you take with you, and which ones you leave behind.
With book by Wesleyan’s Distinguished Shapiro Professor of Writing and Theater Quiara Alegría Hudes, “In the Heights” is the winner of the 2008 Tony Awards for “Best Musical,” “Best Original Score” (Lin-Manuel Miranda, Theater ’02), “Best Choreography” and “Best Orchestrations” (Alex Lacamoire and Bill Sherman, Music ’02). The Wesleyan production is a collaboration between the Music Department and Theater Department, directed by Associate Professor of Theater Cláudia Tatinge Nascimento, with music direction by Adjunct Assistant Professor of Music Nadya Potemkina.
Dates: Wednesday, November 12 through Saturday, November 15, 2014 at 8pm, and Sunday, November 16, 2014 at 2pm and 8pm Place: CFA Theatre Cost: $15 general public; $12 senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff/alumni, Middletown residents, $7 all students
Last night in the CFA Hall, Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02spoke about the origin of his Tony-award-winning 2008 musical In the Heights and other creative endeavors. The talk, entitled “When You’re Home: A Look Back on the Origins of In the Heights” and sponsored by the Theater Department and CFA, spanned everything from a musical performed in the Westco Café, Seven Minutes in Heaven–a 20 minute show about thirteen year olds attending their first unchaperoned party–to writing for the Tony’s to Like Water for Chocolate-inspired creative advice.
Jenna Robbins ’13 wants to make you part of the next generation of Second Stage:
Do you dream of being the next Lin-Manuel Miranda? Second Stage is now accepting applications for our Fall 2013 season! Applications are due May 5th at 11:59 pm – please email Grace Herman Holland ’15 at gholland(at)wesleyan(dot)edu for a link to the application form.
Questions? Contact any staff member; our contact information can be found on our website, 2ndstage.org.
Deadline: Sunday, May 5th, 2013 Cost: Free! Contact: gholland(at)wesleyan(dot)edu Interwebz!
Lin-Manuel Miranda ’02, rapper-slash-playwright-slash-romantic-slash-flash-mob-connoisseur…turned-actor, is debuting tonight in a recurring role on NBC’s Do No Harm, a modern take on Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. No word yet on whether Wishbone will be making a guest appearance in the show. The show will air on NBC at 10pm.
This just in from Wesleying’s faithful Idaho correspondent Keelin Ryan ’14:
Lin-Manual Miranda ’02 [In The Heights creator, all-around badass] is on campus to visit my playwriting class. Also, Emma just ran into him at Neon Deli and he’s going to tweet a picture of the two of them to Susan Blackwell.