Lin-Manuel Miranda to Leave In the Heights in February

News   Lin-Manuel Miranda to Leave In the Heights in February
 
Tony Award-winning composer-lyricist Lin-Manuel Miranda, who was nominated as Best Actor in a Musical as the lead of his Tony Award-winning hit musical In the Heights, will play his final performance Feb. 15.
Lin-Manuel Miranda
Lin-Manuel Miranda Photo by Josh Lehrer

A spokesman for the show confirmed the exit date, the news of which Miranda has been telling friends and colleagues in recent days. Miranda also conceived the musical tale of friends, lovers and neighbors of the tight-knit Manhattan neighborhood of Washington Heights, where the George Washington Bridge gleams in the background as a central metaphor for migration, change, escape and promise.

No casting has been announced for Miranda's replacement. Among the writer-actor's many recent, current or planned projects are contributions to a new version of the musical Working, Spanish lyrics to the new Broadway revival of West Side Story and a film version of In the Heights.

Observers in the Broadway theatre community were not surprised that Miranda, a virtual unknown in the legit world, was nominated as Best Actor in a Musical in 2008. His role of Usnavi, a Dominican bodega owner, is the musical's narrator and conscience, and Miranda's rapid-fire rap delivery, puppy-dog charm and kinetic energy made his work stand out in the 2007-08 season.

The Latino-flavored musical had been his brainchild since college, and he often refers to the work as a literal dream come true.

* Kevin McCollum, Jeffrey Seller and Jill Furman, the lead producers of the 2008 Tony Award-winning Best Musical In the Heights, announced on Jan. 8 that they recouped the show's $10 million investment after only 10 months and 337 performances. The pop tale of the changing face of a Manhattan Latino community, Washington Heights, opened on Broadway March 9, 2008, after a 2007 developmental production Off-Broadway. Performances continue at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on West 46th Street.

In the Heights has a book by Quiara Alegría Hudes. It won four 2008 Tony Awards (Best Musical, Best Score, Best Choreography, Best Orchestrations), and snagged a 2008 Grammy Award nomination for the original cast album.

In November 2008, Universal Pictures acquired the rights to produce a feature film based on In the Heights.

In the Heights has choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler and direction by Thomas Kail. Alex Lacamoire is music director and music arrangements are by Alex Lacamoire and Bill Sherman.

Producer Jill Furman previously told Playbill.com that a national tour is likely for the show.

In the Heights is produced by Kevin McCollum, Jeffrey Seller, Jill Furman, Sander Jacobs, Robyn Goodman/Walt Grossman, Peter Fine and Sonny Everett/Mike Skipper with associate producers Ruth Hendel and Harold Newman.

In the Heights stars Andréa Burns, Janet Dacal, Robin De Jesús, Mandy Gonzalez, Marcy Harriell, Christopher Jackson, Priscilla Lopez, Olga Merediz, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Rick Négron, and Seth Stewart leading a cast of 28 that features Tony Chiroldes, Rosie Lani Fiedelman, Afra Hines, Marcus Paul James, Nina Lafarga, Doreen Montalvo, Javier Muñoz, Krysta Rodriguez, Eliseo Román, Luis Salgado, Shaun Taylor-Corbett, Rickey Tripp, Michael Balderrama, Joshua Henry, Stephanie Klemons, Jon Rua and Elisa Santora.

For tickets and more information visit www.ticketmaster.com or intheheightsthemusical.com.

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