Filming may be in full swing throughout the streets of Washington Heights but the upcoming movie adaptation of In the Heights still has a few casting tricks up its sleeve. Last week, Broadway impresario and In the Heights creator Lin-Manuel Miranda announced singer Marc Anthony would have a small role, continuing Miranda’s trend of releasing casting announcements on social media.
On Twitter, Miranda confirmed he would take on the role of Piragüero, otherwise known as “Piragua Guy,” posting a black-and-white image of himself with the words “just scraping by.” In the original play, Piragüero’s shaved ice stand is threatened by the corporate ice cream chain, Mr. Softee. The character also warrants two songs so looks like we’ll be getting Miranda to both act and perform for us!
Miranda rounds out a cast that includes Anthony Ramos as Usnavi, the lead character who when Abuela Claudio wins the lottery affords him the opportunity to leave his Washington Heights home and move to the DR. Alongside the aforementioned Marc Anthony, the cast also includes Jimmy Smits, Stephanie Beatriz, and Dascha Polanco.
Excitement has been high for Jon M. Chu’s adaptation for a while. The struggle to bring it to the big screen in the wake of the Weinstein scandal threatened to unravel everything before it began, but thankfully filming is ongoing and it’s simply a wait till next year’s release date. Having Miranda appear in some way in the musical he fostered from infancy feels like a closing of the circle. The “Piragua Guy” seems minor in context but he is one of several hearts found throughout In the Heights. The film just wouldn’t be the same without Miranda in some form, so it’s amazing that he’ll be singing and dancing with the rest of the spectacular cast assembled.
A fan account posted pictures taken June 20, 2019, on the set of In The Heights featuring Lin-Manuel in costume as the Piragua Guy.
In the Heights hits theaters June 26, 2020.