‘In the Heights’: Production Designing the Latin Neighborhood as a Playground for Each Musical Number

When production designer Nelson Coates first saw Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In the Heights” Broadway musical in 2008, he was so “blown away” that he immediately bought tickets to two more performances.

He vowed to be a part of any movie adaption of this Latin celebration of music, dance, and community in Washington Heights.

But he played coy during the making of “Crazy Rich Asians,” when director Jon M.

Chu asked if he’d like to join him on “In the Heights.” “I didn’t tell him how much I really wanted the job until we did the series, ‘Home Before Dark,’ when he said: ‘You dork.’”But their previous collaboration on the Asian-American rom-com hit proved to be a valuable springboard for transforming Washington Heights into a playground for each musical number.

Only the amount of detail was staggering and a lot more complex, as they incorporated influences from the Dominican Republic,

Read full article