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2 posts from March 26, 2013

March 26, 2013

Lin-Manuel Miranda to check out 'Heights' at Actors' Playhouse

Creator00 heights wknd JMActors' Playhouse in Coral Gables has scored a major hit with its production of the Tony Award-winning In the Heights.  There has been offstage drama too, with an ailing Sarah Amengual replaced for several performances byJanet Dacal, the actress who created the role of beautician Carla in the Off-Broadway and Broadway productions of the show.  Dacal gives her final performance as Stanford dropout Nina (a role she also played on Broadway) at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

Now comes more big news:  In the audience for the final performance of In the Heights at 2 p.m. April 7 will be the guy who dreamed up the show when he was still a college student.  Lin-Manuel Miranda, Tony Predictions NYET173who originated the role of the show's lovelorn hip-hop narrator Usnavi, is coming to Miami to watch the Actors' cast (including Nick Duckart as Usnavi) close out their successful run of a joyous show that has been compared to a Latino Fiddler on the Roof.  The actor-playwright will also be the guest of honor that evening at the theater's 25th Anniversary Gala Bash, which kicks off at 6:30 p.m. at the InterContinental Miami, 100 Chopin Plaza.  Entertainment, silent and live auctions (with celebrity auctioneer Roxanne Vargas of WTVJ-NBC6), drinks, dinner and dancing are all part of the Heights-themed evening, with tickets starting at $500 and going way, way up for tables.

There's still time, though, to catch the last few performances of In the Heights at the Miracle Theatre, 280 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables.  Performances are at 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday.  Tickets are $50 Friday-Saturday, $42 for other shows (seniors get a 10 percent discount, students can get $15 rush tickets, Saturday-Sunday excluded).  Call 305-444-9293 or visit the Actors' web site for more info.

(Photos of Lin-Manuel Miranda in the Broadway production of In the Heights by Joan Marcus)

 

South Florida Theatre League has a racy proposition

Bed_Concept2 copyThe South Florida Theatre League wants you...to get in bed with the arts.

The umbrella organization for theaters from Miami to Jupiter has come up with a novel campaign to ratchet up awareness of the region's theatrical riches.  Bombshell Productions is building a bed on wheels that will travel from theater to theater during the annual WLRN Summer Theatre Fest June 1-Aug. 31, stopping at different theaters before Thursday performances.  Its final destination: the Coconut Grove Bed Race on Labor Day Weekend.

The League intends to do interviews with curious theater fans, asking them about what theater and the arts mean to them.  The fans can pose for photos beside the bed or, if they're adventurous, on it.  Interviews and photos will be posted on the League's web site.

CarbonellThe bed will make an early debut on Monday before the 37th annual Carbonell Awards -- or "Theater Prom," as the glammed-up theater folks call it -- outside the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.  The ceremony-show starts at 7:30 p.m., and afterwards, the bed will lead the way to the League-sponsored after party.

The full schedule of when and where the bed will appear will be released soon.  But expect it to turn up outside theaters with family-friendly fare (Slava's Snowshow at Miami's Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts July 31-Aug. 25, Wind in the Willows at Sol Children's Theatre Aug. 9-25) as well as theaters with plays whose titles invite an adults-only audience (Cock at GableStage May 18-June 16, and a Mad Cat world premiere of a play about Isabella Blow Aug. 15-Sept. 1).

 

(Rendering of bed by Bombshell Productions; Carbonell Award statue designed by Manuel Carbonell)