Excitement filled the air as season subscribers and other VIP guests milled around the lobby and then took their seats for the recent ArtsLaunch event at the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.
The VIP event was a first look at the upcoming 2017-18 Broadway in Miami series, the 12th presented at the Arsht, as hints were dropped about a few special guests of the evening.
Master of Ceremonies Bob Bucci from Broadway Across America wasted no time in engaging the crowd with an entertaining opening monologue, even taking a selfie with the audience from the stage. He took the opportunity to announce impressive numbers for the Arsht throughout its history, including hosting more than 300,000 kids and coming up on welcoming their 4 millionth guest in the coming season.
Wanting to keep the audience in a bit of suspense, Bucci announced the six upcoming shows, one by one, taking time to give a bit of synopsis and introduce the evening’s performers.
“Chicago” was announced first and featured a video compilation of the show’s most memorable numbers. It’s coming to the Arsht May 8-13, 2018. “Finding Neverland,” the season’s second show Dec. 26-31, 2017 was announced next and featured a performance by one of the show’s stars. “The Bodyguard” based on the hit film starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner was presented by star Deborah Cox via videotape and will play April 3-8, 2018. A powerful performance by a star from “The Color Purple” was next, which plays February 27 through March 4, 2018. And “Book of Mormon” returns by popular demand Nov. 28 through Dec. 3, 2017.
Bucci saved the best for last, bringing out Gloria and Emilio Estefan to announce the Broadway in Miami season opener, their play “On Your Feet! The Emilio & Gloria Estefan Musical” Oct. 5-15, 2017.
Ektor Rivera in suspenders at front continues his role of Emilio in "On Your Feet"
at the Arstht Center Oct. 5-15. Photo by Matthew Murphy.
Ektor Rivera, who plays the lead of Emilio on Broadway, and Miamian Christie Prades playing Gloria, led a rousing few dance numbers from the play that wowed the audience and got them on their feet. At the number’s conclusion, Gloria Estefan offered Prades the lead in the Miami production, which she proudly accepted.
The event concluded with an intimate conversation onstage between Bucci and the Estefans, who were delighted to share stories about the evolution of their play. They also shared a few insights into particular scenes during the play that drew chuckles from the audience.
“Finding Neverland” and “On Your Feet” are both South Florida premieres, and for the latter it is the National Tour Grand Opening.
See all details on the Broadway in Miami 2017-2018 season and purchase tickets on the Arsht Center website. http://www.arshtcenter.org/