Meet the new Usnavi! Now that Tony (and Grammy) Award-winner Lin-Manuel Miranda is officially bowing out of In the Heights, the Broadway show's new starring attraction is Nuyorican native Javier Muñoz, who's been dutifully playing understudy to Miranda (as well as taking on the roles of Usnavi's cousin, Sonny, and bad boy Graffiti Pete) for some time.
Muñoz obviously has huge shoes to fill, but Miranda tells the Daily News that he has full confidence in his successor. "Javi played Usnavi in those crucial moments when I needed to step out and watch the show as composer...I’m proud to be handing the hat over to such a talented man."
For his part, Muñoz knows it will take a lot to win over audiences as Usnavi 2.0. "My greatest fear is not living up to Lin’s expectations and the faith he is putting in me, He is so charming and likable and creates an immediate relationship with the audience every night."
That's right, Javier—you'd better be afraid! In all seriousness, at least he's keenly aware of the challenge ahead. We appreciate a man who keeps it humble.
What's your first impression of Javier Muñoz? Do you think anyone can fully replace Lin-Manuel Miranda as In the Heights' Usnavi?