Lin-Manuel Miranda is ready to improvise

Lin-Manuel Miranda will do improv rap and comedy by using words the audience pick.
Lin-Manuel Miranda will do improv rap and comedy by using words the audience pick.

He knows his way around words, that’s for sure. Lin-Manuel Miranda can list composer, rapper, lyricist and creator of the popular Broadway musical “In the Heights” to his resume. On Saturday, you can catch him doing improv hip-hop as a part of “Freestyle Love Supreme” – a group of funny people, beatboxers and instrumentalists.

“It’s really a weird mix of comedy, music and hip-hop,” says Miranda. “How the show is going to be really depends on the audience’s suggestions.”

To a lot of people it sounds terrifying to be on stage and making things up as you go, but not for Miranda and the rest of the group.

“I’ve never had a lack of something to say,” Miranda says. “I picture free-styling like putting a filter on to my brain, so everything that comes out of my mouth is going to rhyme. It’s getting strained through the filter until the rhyming version of whatever I’m thinking comes out. Sometimes I’m finding it out as I go, and sometimes I’m a little ahead of it. And sometimes we have these amazingly happy accidents. It’s not about thinking — it’s just about talking, and then you’ll figure it out as it is happening. I know it sounds crazy!”

Miranda describes the process as jumping out a plane and then opening his parachute on the way down. “Sometimes it doesn’t always fully deploy, but that’s also a part of the fun,” he says.

Watch the show Saturday at 10 p.m. on Pivot.

Is it movie time?

Rumors are flying around that an “In the Heights” movie may not be too far away. “I know there are people working hard to make that happen,” Miranda says. “It’s in development, but it’s not happening next month. I assume I’ll be involved if it’s going to happen, on some level. If it takes a few more years I’ll probably be too old to play Usnavi, but I’m fine with that. I love the idea of another young actor getting a chance to play this role. I had a wonderful time doing it, so I’m happy to pass it on.”


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