MIAMI, JULY 30, 2009 – The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County in association with Jan Ryan, Robert Fox and Michael White are proud to present, for the first time in the United States, the Theatre Royal Stratford East and UK Arts production of the internationally acclaimed hit musical THE HARDER THEY COME, opening August 29 in the Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House. Direct from London`s West End, THE HARDER THEY COME will offer audiences a peek into the journey of an aspiring reggae star as depicted in the 1972 international breakthrough film that caused a reggae music explosion heard around the world.
Hailed by Time Out as `a real thrill…the band is tight, the clothes are right – it`s a sure-fire smash hit,` THE HARDER THEY COME features a cast of 16 Jamaican-born performers and tells the story of young singer Ivanhoe Martin (played by Rolan Bell) as he arrives in Kingston, Jamaica with dreams of becoming a reggae star. A corrupt and drug-fueled music industry drives him into a fast and furious life as Jamaica`s most-wanted outlaw and most-celebrated underground star.
Reggae music star and pioneer Jimmy Cliff starred in the `70s film of the same title, which catapulted the island`s signature sound into a globally recognized and respected genre, turning Jimmy Cliff and reggae music in general, into an international sensation. `With top-class acting, singing and dancing, [this] superb production faithfully distils not just the movie`s music and characters, but also, somehow its soul` (The Standard).
`The Harder They Come made music history, introducing the world, and the United States in particular, to reggae music. Miami, in the summer of 2009, will be long remembered as the epicenter of cultural history as we host the U.S. premiere of this hit musical at the Adrienne Arsht Center,` said Adrienne Arsht Center President and CEO, M. John Richard. `With three international stage productions to enjoy this summer, including the return of last summer`s smash-hit Celia: The Life and Music of Celia Cruz and the visual spectacular Fuerza Bruta, South Florida has a world of entertainment options that reflect the diversity of our resident community.`
Accompanied by a killer band of outstanding reggae musicians, the cast performs all the classic songs from the film soundtrack, including `By the Rivers of Babylon,` the title song, and the unforgettable global phenomenon, `You Can Get It If You Really Want.`
The film of THE HARDER THEY COME was written, produced and directed by the late Perry Henzell. Perry also wrote the book for the musical, which was originally produced by Theatre Royal Stratford East and UK Arts. The West End production, which comes to Miami is directed by Kerry Michael and Dawn Reid and produced by Jan Ryan and Robert Fox.
THE HARDER THEY COME is sponsored in part by Heineken USA Incorporated.
The Miami Herald has generously agreed to be a media sponsor of THE HARDER THEY COME.
Tickets for THE HARDER THEY COME are on sale now. Single ticket prices range from $50 and $95 and can be purchased through the Adrienne Arsht Center box office at 305.949.6722 or online at www.arshtcenter.org. For information on group sales, please call 786.468.2326.
Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County is made possible by the public support of the Miami-Dade County Mayor and the Board of County Commissioners, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, and the Miami-Dade County Tourist Development Council. Education & Outreach is funded in part by The Children`s Trust. The Adrienne Arsht Center also receives generous support from private and corporate contributions to the Performing Arts Center Foundation of Greater Miami Inc. through its Visionary Society Membership Program and Major Gifts Program; City of Miami Omni Community Redevelopment Agency; American Express Company; Arison Arts Foundation; Dade Community Foundation; ExxonMobil Inter-America Inc.; Funding Arts Network; Southern Arts Federation; The MAP-Fund, a program of Creative Capital, supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation; The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Arts Council; the National Endowment for the Arts; and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
About the Adrienne Arsht Center for Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County
The Adrienne Arsht Center for Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County is Miami-Dade County`s largest ever public/private-sector partnership, comprised of an $150 million private capital campaign conducted by the Performing Arts Center Foundation and public funding drawn primarily from the County`s Convention Development Tax revenues, as well as the City of Miami Omni Redevelopment District Community Redevelopment Agency. Greatly enhancing the artistic and educational opportunities in South Florida, the Adrienne Arsht Center will have significant and long-term economic benefits for the city and the region.
The Adrienne Arsht Center, designed by world-renowned architect Cesar Pelli of Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, includes the 2,400-seat Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House, the 2,200-seat John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall, a 200-seat black box Carnival Studio Theater, the Peacock Education Center, a restored Carnival Arts Deco Tower, and the Parker and Vann Thomson Plaza for the Arts, which unites the Center buildings across Biscayne Boulevard, providing a magnificent setting for outdoor entertainment and informal gatherings. The key members of the design team include theater planning and design consultant Joshua Dachs of Fisher Dachs Associates, Inc. and acoustician Russell Johnson of ARTEC, Inc., both of whom worked on the project since its inception.
The Adrienne Arsht Center is a Miami venue not only for its resident companies (Florida Grand Opera, Miami City Ballet, and New World Symphony), but also for many smaller South Florida arts organizations that will perform in its theaters on a regular basis, as well as for the finest popular and classical performances from around the world. With state-of-the-art performance facilities in Miami for the first time, the Adrienne Arsht Center offers South Florida audiences the best and most diverse theater, music, and dance—with a dedication to entertain, challenge, and educate all segments of the community. For more information, visit www.arshtcenter.org.