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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – “Confessions of a Cocaine Cowboy” now being performed at The Colony Theater on Miami Beach is a new play based on the hit documentary film directed by Miami’s own Billy Corben.

But, Corben says this play is not a rehash of the film.

“Auren Squire, the co-writer of this and the writer of The Good Fight on CBS, I told him and Michel Hausmann, the director of the play, this has to be a purely theatrical experience. If people in Miami are going to leave their homes, brave the traffic, drive to Collins Avenue and pay their hard earned money, I don’t want them to say ‘oh, that it’s something I can see on Netflix’,” Corben said.

The play chronicles Miami’s brutal drug wars of the 1980’s through the life of Jorge Rivi Ayala, the assassin of notorious drug queen Griselda Blanco. Actor Yancey Arias, best known for his role in the dramatic TV series Queen of the South, plays Rivi the assassin.

“Rivi to me is a man who is free for two hours to tell his story in the 1980’s during that time and to express himself about his life and experiences. So, in those two hours he’s forgiven to come out and play and tell his story as crazy as it is,” Arias explained.

“That being said the real Rivi is serving three life sentences in the Department of Corrections currently,” said Corben.

There’s a good cop, a bad cop, the godmother and, of course, the hitman. Although there are violence and mayhem, comedy also plays a role.

“I think that’s the surprising thing. There’s a lot of humor and charm in his character and in Yancy’s performance,” Corben said.

Corben hopes audiences here in South Florida and elsewhere will enjoy this wild ride of a play and learn something from it as well.

“I think this play reminds of us how much Miami has changed and how little it has changed and most importantly if we don’t preserve our history and learned from our history, we are doomed to repeat it,” he said.

“Confessions of a Cocaine Cowboy is on at The Colony Theater on Miami Beach Thursday through Sundays now through April 7.

For ticket info: colonymb.org

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