So, every day now, for two and a half hours, you get to play out that stupid version of yourself.
Exactly, exactly. And again in... two hours.
Yeah, I noticed you're doing the same routine as Spring Awakening with the two shows a day on weekends.
I think that's going to become the norm in the Broadway schedule. There's more money to be made on the weekends than on weekdays. So, producers want to change it to make more money. So, it will become the norm as much as actors hate it.
Usually you'd have a Wednesday matinee, does it change it that much?
It does, because in a normal Broadway schedule, you only have one show on Sunday at three o'clock. So then you have all of Sunday night off, all of Monday, and all of Tuesday day. But when you have two shows Saturday, two shows Sunday, it's like a half-day you're losing. But you also normally wouldn't have those two-show days back to back. So, now, when you get to the Sunday night show, it's like 'Whew! I can get there. I can do this...'
When I visit New York now, I always end up doing the days where I can see two shows in one day, just to cut down on the amount of times I have to drive in. So, I was wondering, when I'm reviewing a Sunday night show, how beat are the performers at this point...
For some people, it is. But ultimately, we have to realize this is what we do, and that's the beauty of it, and you just have to deal. And that's also part of musical theater, because unlike opera, we don't have the luxury of only doing three shows a week. In the performing arts, this is probably the most hectic schedule, I think. Eight shows a week is a lot. I remember when I first joined Rent... I'd done plays, but never a musical eight times a week. I remember feeling like, 'Wow, my muscle is not used to this.' And I'd get sick more often, my voice would get tired faster, but then after three months or so I finally got in the rhythm and I was like 'I can do this. This is good, I can do this.' Thank God I finally got there, because I was busted in the beginning.
And what about the music in In The Heights because, from what I've read, it's a Latin, Salsa, Hip-Hop, of-the-moment kind-of...
Yeah. The great thing about the guy who wrote the music, Lin-Manuel Miranda, he said when he wrote the music, 'I want the music to sound like what it would sound like if I was walking down the street in Washington Heights.' Now, there's many different sounds. There's the old school boleros, which our parents used to listen to, there's the salsa, the meringue, the hip-hop, the reggae... he wanted to fuse that with theater music. And it's this fusion and you do have that, like, that mambo-y, that salsa kind-of grind, but then you also have that hip-hop bounce and flair.
It's a total fusion and it's also interesting to see that each character gets their own sound. The older Cuban grandmother has that traditional salsa number, the Dominicans have that more merengue, and the younger people have the hip-hop and the rap. It's the first rap show, I find, that successfully tells a story. It's not distracting. You don't realize you're listening to rap, because you're just watching a show. It's just the groove that you're feeling is different. But what you're hearing is just storytelling.