Actors' 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, who 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)