Lin Manuel

Lin Manuel Miranda. (Josian E. Bruno Gomez )

Lin-Manuel Miranda will return to the Luis A. Ferré Performing Arts Center (CBA) in Puerto Rico with his award-winning musical “In The Heights” on May 2020.

The play, which premiered on Broadway in 2008, has won four Tony Awards, a Grammy and was a finalist in the drama category of the Pulitzer Prize.

“Lin-Manuel loves his people very much and wants to resume his presentations here, where he was in 2010, at the Festival Hall. There are other reasons as to why, what with Hamilton working out very well. It was an event of great worldwide exposure for the performing arts center and Puerto Rico,” Jetppeht Pérez, general manager of the CBA in Santurce told the THE WEEKLY JOURNAL.

Miranda requested the dates for the performances back in April, just two months after personifying Alexander Hamilton on that same stage.

“It’s going to be on stage for five weekends, with a minimum of 15 functions but we can go up to twenty-one. These are very large projects and we have demonstrated our ability to work them. With that, the CBA fulfills its mandate to conserve and enrich our culture in the broadest way, “ added Pérez, prior to stating that Miranda will take part in the spectacle.

2020 will also see the release of the movie version of the play, with Miranda as one of the producers and under the direction of Jon M. Chu, of “Crazy Rich Asians”. Anthony Ramos, Olga Merediz, Jimmy Smith, Gregory Díaz, Dascha Polanco, Melissa Barrera, Marc Anthony, Corey Hawkins and Leslie Grace will also star in the performance which will also feature Lin-Manuel as “Piragua Guy”.

Interest of Chinese Investors

After Hamilton’s successful run at the Luis A. Ferré Performing Arts Center, other productions have approached the center to use its stages for large scale shows. In addition, local producers have now seen that their request for licenses is more streamlined than before.

“Chinese investors met with me to learn about the facilities and determine if its possible to bring large circus and acrobatic events. They would be hosting musicals with martial arts, dance and music; I have not seen anything like that. The Festival Hall has the needed space for the event.. they will now study the market to to see if its plausible to have three or four week runs,” he explained.

The CBA of Santurce closed the fiscal year on June 30 with 519 functions. “The average number of events ranges from 280 to 289 and 380 to 390 annually. Despite the uncertainty it was possible to close with 519 functions, because of new types of events. 58 student functions were performed, with an attendance of 65,570 students, and the average used to be 17 to 25 functions,” he said.

“Despite the crisis, this has been the year with the highest income in the history of the CBA, this includes leasing of rooms, box office, parking, services to the producer, food and drinks. The total was $ 3,375,696, the closest we ever got was in 2006 with $ 2,600,000. This is due in part to a more agile process of granting rooms and dates. We have also diversified the offerings: corporate, popular, on the platform, stand-up, press conferences and children’s theater. With this we have captured a new audience,” he said.

The CBA’s budget is $ 3,064,000, two and a half million less than usual, of which $1,120,000 is used annually in the payment of electricity. They have just installed new carpeting in the René Marqués Room, restored the ornamental fountain, painted the interior and remodeled the freight elevator, which has not been done in 25 years.

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