AMPARO Experience: Thrilling Must See Immersive Play Chronicling the Story of Cuba’s Revolution and Exile Community

The AMPARO Experience is immersive theater at its absolute finest and one of the most transcendent cultural events to hit Miami all year. The 90-minute interactive production (wear comfy shoes, you’ll be on your feet) leads patrons through a variety of inter-crossing story lines (22 in all).

Set in 1957, on the cusp of the Cuban Revolution, we follow one family’s journey from New Year’s Eve all the way through leaving the island a couple of years later. AMPARO is must-see theater.

Miami & the AMPARO Experience

Miami knows this story better than any other city on the planet. Many know this story too well. Amparo is a Spanish word that translates to refuge or safety. Some of us may not want to relive this story. There are legitimate concerns the play could trigger some PTSD. There is also a lot of dialogue in Spanish. It may turn off those who don’t speak the language and can’t access the emotion embedded in this production, indeed very relative today and no question universal.

With that said, from the sharp, insightful writing of playwright Vanessa Garcia, to the strong and forthright direction by Victoria Collado, you will fall deep into the world they created. In addition, the venue is great (the old Villa 221, if you know Miami). It is curated with world class art and design. The incredibly talented ensemble cast is fit with period perfect costume.

AMPARO & Music

The music. Oh, the music. It’s so nuanced and present it wouldn’t stretch the truth to label this theatrical experience a musical. (The NY based producers of AMPARO created the Tony Award winning Kinky Boots).

With AMPARO, you will laugh. You will sing and dance and cry. And you will drink rum. A lot of rum. From the cocktail reception pre-show, to crafted drinks during the program, to the open bar reception after, you’ll get your money’s worth in rum alone.

Sometimes Miami gets really lucky when New York or Los Angeles production, money and talent use our Magic City to launch. AMPARO is such an example. But then again, Miami is the only apropos city in which this experience could indeed launch its journey.

AMPARO is running through May 31st at 221 NE 17th Street. Check out the preview below and for tickets and more info, click here.

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J.J. Colagrande

Has written about Miami culture for almost twenty years, first with The Miami Herald, then Miami New Times and Huffington Post. He's the publisher of The Jitney and a full-time professor.