Corbin Bleu took center stage tonight (January 25) in his stage debut as Usnavi in In The Heights on Broadway.
Before he stepped on stage in character, the 20-year-old actor chatted with MTV about stepping up his game, putting his spin on rapping and how real the storyline is to him. Check it:
On rapping as Usnavi: “[Usnavi] raps. He also is the narrator, and throughout the whole time, he [narrates] through rapping off the top of his head. He’s a total dork. He doesn’t really know how to dance. He’s not very smooth when it comes to the ladies. There’s a certain honesty to him. Honestly, the music itself gives way to the rapping. That was something that came pretty easily, ’cause I’ve always been about rhythm. I grew up salsa dancing. I grew up dancing, period. That part of it came naturally.”
On how he relates to In The Heights: “I grew up in Brooklyn around all Dominicans and Puerto Ricans, so we were the only Italians on the block. I grew up eating [the cuisine]. I grew up with these characters, so it’s a very real thing for me. I don’t think there could be a better show to make a Broadway debut in than In the Heights.”
On his character: “I play a character named Usnavi, who is the local bodega owner. So it’s the hub of the entire community. He is faced with thinking, ‘Is this what I really want â€” the monotony of life?’ But in the end, he realizes he has a wonderful life. The music in it [the play] and the dancing isn’t something you get to see a lot on Broadway.”
You can see Corbin as Usnavi from January 25 to April 25, 2010 and get your tickets at InTheHeightsTheMusical.com.
Posted to: Corbin Bleu