Lin-Manuel Miranda Pays Tribute To Late In The Heights Collaborator With Sweet Throwback Video

Lin-Manuel Miranda during Piragua Reprise

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Lin-Manuel Miranda has gone from actor-writer to one of the hardest working people in the entertainment industry. But Miranda went back to basics with the In the Heights movie, adapting his first Broadway musical into a movie alongside filmmaker Jon M. Chu. Now that it’s released, Miranda paid tribute to late collaborator with a sweet throwback video.

The In the Heights movie features some fresh faces, but Lin-Manuel Miranda kept the original cast busy by having them record the various ensemble vocals in the film. This includes the late actress Doreen Montalvo, who was in the original cast and gets a few vocal solos throughout the film version. Miranda recently shared a video from last year before Montalvo’s death, where she got to see her big screen moment during Nina’s song “Breathe.” You can check out the sweet video below, including a caption where Miranda honored her legacy. You can check it out below.

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Well, that’ll certainly get you misty-eyed. Because while Doreen Montalvo might not be a household name to moviegoing audiences seeing In the Heights, this clip shows what a true family the original cast was. And luckily Montalvo was able to see herself in the film version prior to her passing in October of 2020.

The above video comes to us from Lin-Manuel Miranda’s personal Twitter account. In it we see Doreen Montalvo see herself in the film version of In the Heights, surrounded by her fellow original cast members. Those seen celebrating the actress’ big screen moment include company members like Janet Dacal, Andrea Burns, Krysta Rodriguez, and Mandy Gonzalez.

In the Heights is currently available to watch in theaters, and for a limited time on HBO Max. You can use this link to sign up for the streaming service.

For those casual fans of In the Heights, Doreen Montalvo is seen on screen during “Breathe”, and her vocals can be heard on a number of tracks including the “Siempre” song that’s used in both Abuela Claudia’s home and in the grand finale.

Doreen in Breathe

I had the chance to speak with Lin-Manuel Miranda ahead of In the Heights’ release, where he spoke about Doreen Montalvo’s role in the movie, and how glad he was that her performance was immortalized before her death last year. In his words,

And then of course the late, great Doreen Montalvo, who was in every version of In the Heights from 2002 to this movie sings her part in ‘Breathe.’ The part where she sings ‘Mira, Nina.’ That’s Doreen, and she passed away last year. And I’m so glad that we were able to immortalize her performance in the movie.

While Doreen Montalvo passed before In the Heights was finally released to the masses, it’s great knowing she saw her big scene while surrounded by folks that love her. And as the movie is released all over the world, more and more people will become acquainted with her talents. Especially those who started streaming the Broadway cast recording, which Montalvo is featured in.

In the Heights is currently in theaters. Be sure to check out the 2021 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.