By Jack Rico
‘In the Heights’ is no longer just a Broadway show, but a reference to where The Tony Awards will be next year. As a passionate fan and advocate of Broadway and the arts for the Hispanic community, I’m exhilirated and yes, shocked as well, to hear that The Tony Awards, Broadway’s most prestigious and distinguished award show, is leaving Radio City Music Hall and moving to Washington Heights for 2011. Wow! I’m still pinching myself!
According to Michael Reidel of the New York Post, who broke the story, this is absolutely true. If so, this an exciting time for the Broadway community and the Hispanic one. Why? Because both groups need each other especially now when diversity is a key issue for every business, including The Great White Way. I think next year they should do it at The Apollo and expose their great event to the African American residents of Harlem. Soon we might be seeing them change their nickname to The Great Melting Pot of Broadway, who knows.
Reidel’s report says that the Tony’s new home will be The United Palace on 175th street on Broadway (that’s Washington Heights). Even though the area is historically a Caucasian neighborhood, culturally today, it is home to the largest population of Dominicans outside of the Dominican Republic. Funny enough, or just coincidence, Reidel never mentions the obvious relevance of the matter.
Broadway in Latino territory. Even though the visuals of these two are strange, we do live in the Obama world and Broadway seems to be making an effort to reach out and make new friends. I’ll tell you this much, I am going to be one of the first ones on line to this historic event and I am also sure that hundreds of Latino spectators will also be paying to see The Tony’s because it is in their backyard. A win win situation. Viva Broadway! (There’s a slogan they should go with!)