The multitalented Lin-Manuel Miranda became a household name thanks to the global sensation that is Hamilton. But Miranda’s first Broadway musical In the Heights was recently adapted for film, directed by Crazy Rich Asians filmmaker Jon M. Chu. One sequence from the song “Blackout” has gone viral thanks to a TikTok challenge, and Miranda recently joined in on the fun with some Broadway talent.
After In the Heights hit theaters and HBO Max, one particular part of the movie started going viral thanks to a new social media challenge. The challenge sees two people reenact Usnavi and Vanessa’s fight during “Blackout”, with Anthony Ramos and Barerra even swapping roles to play along. Now Lin-Manuel Miranda did his own version, joined by original Vanessa actress Karen Olivo. Check it out below.
I mean, how delightful is that? The original Usnavi and Vanessa have reunited, and got to lip sync to one part of the In the Heights that they never got to on Broadway. Namely because the now famous “Blackout” happens to Nina and Benny in the stage version. Let’s break it all down.
The above video comes to us from the personal Twitter of Lin-Manuel Miranda. He’s super active on social media, so it makes total sense that he’d join in on the trend happening over on TikTok. And as the caption reads, it turns out that Nina actress Leslie Grace helped her co-star actually get this clip together. I guess it looks easier than it was.
Since In the Heights was released, more and more versions of the “Blackout” challenge have arrived on social media. Some folks have done the back and forth solo, while others do duets. As a reminder, you can check out Anthony Ramos and Melissa Barerra’s version below
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Lin-Manuel Miranda and his original Vanessa actress Karen Olivo have collaborated a number of times aside from their work on In the Heights. They’d work together when Olivo starred as Anita in West Side Story, and did a production of Tick, Tick… Boom! together. Olivo also went on to play Angelica Schuyler in the Chicago production of Hamilton.
In the Heights had an interesting release, as it hit both theaters and HBO Max simultaneously. The movie adaptation also arrived as moviegoers are just returning to theaters, resulting in a somewhat disappointing box office performance. But there’s also the movie’s streaming numbers to take into account.
For his part, Lin-Manuel Miranda has a number of exciting releases coming down the line. He’s voicing the title character of Sony Animation’s Vivo, while also providing musical numbers. Miranda will also make his directorial debut in the film adaptation of Tick, Tick...Boom! starring Andrew Garfield.
In the Heights is still in theaters now, although it’s no longer streaming. Be sure to check out the 2021 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience.
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 CinemaBend. 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 famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.
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