The NY Times theater section has a review of "In The Heights," a new Broadway show that takes place in Wash Heights. Aside from the relative positive and negative points of bringing the Hts. to Times Square (see below), the best part of the review is the old (white?), if to his credit, enthusiastic, fuddy-duddy who wrote it - lines like "the rhymed verse currently known as rap" (um, yeah, since about 1975), and "zesty choreography."
The fact of Dominican visibility on Broadway is definitely a good thing (the only other pop culture representation of a Dominican I can think of is Tracy Morgan's Dominican Lou character), as is the fact that writer/actor Lin-Manuel Miranda could get it out there. But the thing fairly reeks of cutesiness. Remember the movie version of Mambo Kings, with the irrepressibly plucky pair of brothers running around being plucky, gazing deep into chicks' eyes, dancing around with trombones or whatever, and crossing themselves every five minutes? Shit like that starts to grate real fast, and we all know there's going to be plenty of zest, vivaciousness and pluckiness in "In the Heights." Well, that's what they want from us so that's what we (or at least "In the Heights," Mambo Kings, and that ilk) are gonna give 'em. (Talk about Latinos, Inc.) That all of this goes hand-in-hand with the gentrification of El Barrio just speaks to the deep links between multiculturalism and neoliberalism. So it goes. Like Audre Lorde said, the way they get you is that you've got to tear the master's house down with his own tools.