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Jamaican Musical “Harder They Come” Theatrical Production For South Florida, August 29, 2009, Miami

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The Jamaican hit musical “Harder They Come” will make its premier performance in North America at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, on Saturday, August 29.

The theatrical production based on Jamaica’s first feature-length movie of the same name, will complete 16 performances in Miami, following a recent six-week run in Toronto, Canada, which began on July 18.

The North American debut of the iconic film follows record-breaking performances in London, some two years ago, receiving rave reviews as the best-selling musicals at the Theatre Royal Stratford East, one of the three locations at which the musical was premiered in that City.

The theatrical production with a 22-member cast features all Jamaican born actors resident in the United Kingdom, and is based on the original film in the 1970s. The story has been described as an “irresistible musical celebration” which tells of a young singer, Ivan, played by international reggae star, Jimmy Cliff, O.D., heading to Kingston with dreams of becoming a reggae star. However, he encountered corruption fuelled by drugs in the music industry, and was forced into life as an outlaw. 

Written and produced by the late Perry Henzel, the musical will feature all the songs from the soundtrack of the original film, many of which were written by Jimmy Cliff himself.  The production has been referred to as ‘one filled with a raft of reggae classics which helped turned this genre of music into an international sensation.’ 

The Adrienne Arsht has indicated that this event signals a new inclusionary approach which recognizes the diversity of Florida society and significantly the influence of the Caribbean Diaspora.

Consul General Sandra Grant Griffiths said that the premier of this Jamaican classic in the USA was yet another celebration of Jamaican culture, as the performance at this venue would also add to a larger international community.

The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, located in downtown Miami, was opened in October 2006.  The largest such center in Miami, the theatre is also the third largest in the United States, after the Lincoln Center in New York City, and the Denver Performing Arts Center in Denver, Colorado.

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Written by Staff Writer