Tonight, theatrical stars Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Sergio Trujillo, among others, will be toasting “Viva Broadway!” in New York City – The Broadway League’s new partnership to help bridge the world of Broadway with Latino audiences around the country.
The initiative will include education on all things Broadway such as, how to buy Broadway tickets, how to find out what’s playing, who’s on stage, and more. For career development, Viva Broadway will create Broadway Speakers Bureaus and workshops in order to expand awareness of jobs in the theater to high schools and colleges.
Viva Broadway’s national advisory board includes notables of all areas of the rapidly growing Hispanic demographic, including movie director and writer, Leon Ichaso; actor and comedian, John Leguizamo; actor, Raul Esparza, and political consultant, Luis Miranda; among others.
“It’s an honor,” says Luis Miranda, father of “In the Heights” star Lin-Manuel Miranda, about serving on the board. “I’ve been an admirer of Broadway all of my life.”
He remembers the first play he ever saw was “Irene.” He knew very little English at the time, because he just a little boy visiting New York from Puerto Rico. He says what makes plays special is that you don’t need to know the language to feel them.
“I believe you are a richer person in spirit because you can appreciate music and art in such a form,” says Miranda. “If you take them [the Hispanic community] to Broadway, they will develop the taste and love for Broadway. Like any acquired taste, you need to expose people.”
Miranda says he also really wants to encourage Latino talent to be on stage, to be playing the music in musicals, and to be part of the marketing and publicity to let others know of the magic of live theater.
“To let our children know that this exists, it shows them that Broadway is an avenue to make a living and express themselves through art,” he says.
Since going to Broadway was always a family affair, as a treat once a year, he recalls Lin-Manuel was always impressed with art. He says his son always had an aura which would say, “I want you to come into my head right now.”
“My wife and I never had a doubt that he would succeed,” says Miranda whose mission is now to get the word out to the next wave of Latino youth.