'In the Heights' makes SoCal debut at Pantages

LOS ANGELES "They say to write what you know so I threw everything I knew into the pot," said /*Lin-Manuel Miranda*/.

Ten years ago, Miranda took his first stab at writing a musical. That project evolved to "/*In the Heights*/," a show that went on to win the /*Tony Award*/ in 2008 for best musical.

"'In the Heights' at its heart is a very traditional musical. It's about three days in the life of this block in upper Manhattan in Washington Heights. There is a black out, there is a mysterious lottery ticket, there is romance, there are laughs, there are tears," said Miranda. "We tried to reach for as much of the human experience as possible and fit it into these two and a half hours."

"In the Heights" has just made its Southern California debut at the /*Pantages Theatre*/, and the significance of that is not lost on the show's star and creator.

"I don't care how old you are, when you get to Los Angeles and you see that Hollywood sign on the hills your stomach kind of clutches up in your chest. And it's got such an amazing amount of diversity and there's so many exciting things to do all over that it's kind of overwhelming," said Miranda.

And that diversity that we see here in Los Angeles is reflected in the story of "In the Heights."

"I think the show really has universal appeal because it really is about being from somewhere else and figuring out how to fit in and how do you define home when you bridge all these different cultures," said Miranda.

"In the Heights" -- and the salsa, hip-hop and dreams that are part of it -- will be at the Pantages through July 25.

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