‘Is this what it takes just to make it to Broadway?!’: Marketing In the Heights in the twenty-first century | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1750-3159
  • E-ISSN: 1750-3167


Tony winning musical In the Heights defied box office odds when it recouped its $10 million investment only ten months after opening on 9 March 2008 on Broadway. The marketing campaign of this unlikely ‘hit’, which blends musical theatre, Latin and hip hop styles to portray a group historically underrepresented onstage – namely, the Hispanic community of Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighbourhood – was as innovative as its subject and style. Close examination of the musical’s savvy marketing campaign reveals how it carefully negotiates the show’s hip hop and Latino identities and uses a range of media to attract new audiences while also cultivating the traditional Broadway fan base. Drawing upon ethnography and multimedia analysis, this case study provides a glimpse into the rapidly changing theatrical marketplace of the early twenty-first century.


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