What does a 55-year-old Tony Award-winner do when not entertaining Miami audiences? What else? Fight crime — and still win awards.
Actor Ben Vereen, who is currently co-starring with Judd Hirsch in the Daniel Sullivan directed revival of Herb Gardner's Tony Award-winning I'm Not Rappaport at the Coconut Grove Playhouse in Miami, Florida, was awarded a Helping Enforcement Reach Our Streets (HEROS) award by the City of Miami.
The heroism award was presented to the actor for his efforts attempting to apprehend a suspect after witnessing a robbery Dec. 27. Vereen put in an emergency call to the police from his cell phone after seeing a man take a woman's purse after knocking her down and pushing a baby stroller. He then proceeded to pursue the man in his pickup truck. Unfortunately, the man eluded capture, but according to a released statement from Miami Police Chief Raul Martinez, "even though the offender in this case got away, Mr. Vereen put himself in harm's way in an attempt to stop him.''
Martinez was on hand to present Vereen with the HEROS plaque following the curtain at Jan. 15 matinee performance in front of the Miami audience according to a Coconut Grove representative.
I'm Not Rappaport plays Coconut Grove through Jan. 20, Ford's Theatre in Washington, DC, Jan. 23-Feb. 17 and Paper Mill in Millburn, NJ Feb. 20-March 24. — by Ernio Hernandez