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‘In The Heights’ Includes Valentina Cameo, Will Debut at Tribeca

In the Heights and Valentina

In the Heights is shaping up to be one of the biggest movies of the summer, and we can’t wait

The film, based on Lin Manuel Miranda’s stage musical, is set to come out this summer and should be one of the first big movies in theaters after a year of pandemic. Now, it’s set to make its debut opening up New York’s famous Tribeca Film Festival on June 9 at the United Palace Theater in Washington Heights, the NYC neighborhood where the movie takes place.

Jon Chu (Crazy Rich Asians) directed the film, which stars Anthony Ramos as Usnavi, a bodega owner who dreams of returning to his home country of the Dominican Republic. It also stars Melissa Barrera, Corey Hawkins, Leslie Grace, and Jimmy Smits.

“New York, and specifically Washington Heights, is the lead character in our film — its vibrancy and energy are unmatched,” Chu said in a statement. “How incredible that after a year of isolation, New Yorkers from across all boroughs will have an opportunity to see it first, together, and join us in the celebration of life coming back.”

The film will then debut in theaters and on HBO Max on June 11.

Early reactions are starting to pour in on social media and people are loving what they are seeing. “#InTheHeights is THE crowd pleasing event of the season!” Diego Andaluz wrote. “John M. Chu’s direction shines through vibrantly staged musical sequences & intimate moments, while Anthony Ramos delivers a charismatic breakout performance in a sensational cultural celebration that will bring joy to all!”

Fans are also pointing out some of their favorite moments from the film, including some special cameos. “Yelped at 3 separate cameos during IN THE HEIGHTS: Marc Anthony, Valentina from Drag Race, and the Joker Stairs,” Kyle Buchanan tweeted. Yes, you heard that right, nonbinary RuPaul's Drag Race star Valentina makes an appearance!

One of the changes the movie made from the stage version is to make Daniela (Daphne Rubin-Vega), the owner of the salon, and Carla (Stephanie Beatriz), a hairdresser there, are a lesbian couple. Beatriz said that she’s excited to bring a queer twist to the classic tale.

“What was so gratifying to me as a person who is queer is to see this relationship in the film be part of the fabric of the community,” she said in a press event, “and to be normal, and be happy and functioning, and part of the quilt they’ve all created. So much of this film is about where home is and who home is to you. And for Carla, Daniela is home. Wherever Daniela is, that’s where Carla feels at home.”

RELATED: Valentina Details Her Work With Netflix's 'La Casa de las Flores'

Tags: Film

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