Colorful costumes hang on a rack in the women’s dressing room as the volunteer cast members get ready for their first technical rehearsal before opening night on Friday at HCC Performing Arts Ybor.
Wearing a fresh red manicure to match the colors of the Puerto Rican flag designed on her nails, Daniela the salon owner in Spanish Lyric Theatre’s production of “In the Heights” adjusts the mic tape on her back where her ponytail falls near a tattoo of music notes — an ode to her daughter and her love of the arts.
HGTV viewers may recognize the actress from her show “100 Day Dream Home” while she’s on stage stirring up bochinche in the barrio. Yes, bochinche means gossip in Spanish, but it also means party.
Go for the electric block party in act two, and stay for the insight this musical offers about the love of family, friends, culture and community.
JL Rey, the new artistic director of Spanish Lyric Theatre, said the production is about what it means to be home.
And Tampa, being home to one of the oldest Hispanic community theatre companies in the country, has long waited to perform Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first Tony award-winning musical.
“If you’re inspired, bring with you a flag,” Rey said. “There is a particular number in the show in which you will be inspired to pull out your flag and wave it. That’s an invitation.”