Chita Rivera Among the Stars Taking Part in Fundraising Concert for Joe Biden, “In Our America: A Concert for the Soul of the Nation”

Chita Rivera is Biden her time before the upcoming presidential election…

The 87-year-old half-Puerto Rican Broadway star will be among the stars of the Great White Way who’ll stage a fundraising concert for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, with plans to stream the event on October 21.

Chita Rivera

The event, which starts at 8:00 pm ET, is organized by the group Broadway for Biden and is called In Our America: A Concert for the Soul of the Nationwith donations going to the Biden Victory Fund.

In addition to Rivera, the lineup of the concert includes Derrick Baskin, Laura Benanti, Victoria Clark, Glenn Close, Chuck Cooper, Darren Criss, André De Shields, Renée Elise Goldsberry, John Goodman, Jayne Houdyshell, Jennifer Hudson, James Monroe Iglehart, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Samuel L. Jackson, Norman Lear, Norm Lewis, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Rita Moreno, Karen Olivo, Ashley Park, Steven Pasquale, Carrie Preston, Kelani Queypo, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Phillipa Soo, Ephraim Sykes, BD Wong, the Broadway Dreams Foundation Choir, and the casts of Six and KPOP.

Liesl Tommy, director of the upcoming Aretha Franklin biopic Respect (with Hudson in the lead role), will direct the show. Tommy is the executive producer along with Julie Boardman, Nolan Doran, Halle Morse, and Jennifer Mudge.

The concert will stream on YouTube via news publisher NowThis, on Facebook via Broadway for Biden and NowThis, and on Broadway Unlocked.

In a statement, Tommy said, “It is a tremendous honor to direct this incredible collective of performers and artists, who are coming together to amplify the promise of Broadway and a nation that are future-looking, accessible, and deeply inclusive.”

The evening will include original material, stagings of musical numbers that have never been seen, and previews of productions bound for Broadway. Among those contributing are Chad Beguelin, Tony Kushner, Lynn Nottage, Robert O’Hara, Stacey Rose, Aurin Squire, DeLanna Studi, Paula Vogel and John Waters.

Christopher Gattelli, Lorin Latarro, Ray Mercer, and Abbey O’Brien will provide original choreography, with music direction by Jason Michael Webb. Chris Boardman and Charlie Rosen will provide orchestrations. Sean McLaughlin will serve as director of photography and Grady Bowman will be associate choreographer.

The event is in the vein of a fundraiser in 2012 for Barack Obama’s reelection campaign, called Barack on Broadway, that was produced by Margo Lion and others.

AFI to Honor Rita Moreno During This Year’s Virtual AFI Fest

Rita Moreno is ready to talk shop as part of a special night…

The 88-year-old Puerto Rican Oscar, Golden Globe, Emmy and Tony Award-winning actress will be honored during this year’s virtual AFI Fest, which will take place from October 15-22.

Rita Moreno

Moreno, who currently stars on PopTV’s One Day at a Time, will be honored alongside Sofia CoppolaKirby Dick and Mira Nair, with each taking par t in an evening of conversation celebrating their careers.

“Artists of this caliber are essential players in our global culture,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI President & CEO. “To honor each of them – and all of them – at AFI FEST will prove a symphony of talent at a time the world needs it most.”

Moreno’s career began with a Broadway debut at 13 years old. Since then she has won all four of the most prestigious awards in show business – an Oscar, a Tony, two Emmys, and a Grammy – as well as a Peabody Award and a Kennedy Center Honor. Moreno has also been recognized with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush and the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama.

Moreno received an Honorary Degree from the AFI Conservatory in 2016.

Moreno is starring in Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story, which will debut in theaters in December of 2021. She currently stars on the remake of Norman Lear’s classic sitcom, One Day at a Time. 

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Speak at Next Week’s Virtual Democratic National Convention

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is set to make a major splash…

The 30-year-old Puerto Rican politician and current the U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district will have a speaking slot at next week’s virtual Democratic National Convention, which, because of the coronavirus pandemic, will be almost entirely virtual from locations across the country.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Ocasio-Cortez, the star of the progressive left, had yet to enter elective politics in the last cycle.

The first-time congresswoman will speak on Tuesday, August 18, on the same nice a virtual roll call of delegates will take place to formally nominate Joe Biden as the Democratic presidential nominee.

Catherine Cortez Masto will also take the national stage.

The 56-year-old half-Mexican American lawyer and politician, who has served as a United States senator from Nevada since 2017, will appear on Monday, August 17.

And, Michelle Lujan Grisham will speak at the convention.

The 60-year-old Mexican American politician, the current governor of New Mexico, will speak on Wednesday, August 19.

In 2018, Lujan Grisham became the first Democratic woman elected governor of New Mexico, as well as the first Democratic Hispanic elected state governor in U.S. history.

Other speakers include Barack and Michelle Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders.

Some of the speakers are pre-recording their speeches. The New York Times reported that Michelle Obama was pre-taping her appearance, while a source said the Bill Clinton was doing the same.

The proceedings will take place from 9:00 -11:00 pm ET each evening, starting on Monday.

The lineup:

Monday

Bernie Sanders, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI), John Kasich, Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and former first lady Michelle Obama.

Tuesday

Former acting attorney general Sally Yates, Senator Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, former Secretary of State John Kerry, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DL), Bill Clinton, and Jill Biden. Also planned that evening are keynote address, with the speaker yet to be identified, and a virtual roll call of delegates to formally nominate Joe Biden.

Wednesday

Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris and Barack Obama.

Thursday

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Newsom, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, former South Bend, IN mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Sen. Chris Coons (D-DL), Harris, the Biden family and Biden.

Democrats also announced nine speakers “from all walks of life,” designed to showcase everyday Americans at the convention.

Selena Gomez Encourages People to Register to Vote on ‘Register a Friend Day’

Selena Gomez is encouraging people to register to vote…

The 28-year-old Mexican American singer/actress took to social media over the weekend to remind Americans to make sure they’re registered to vote for the November 3 election, which is less than 100 days away.

Selena Gomez

Gomez shared information about how to register to vote as part of Register a Friend Day. Other celebrities who took part in the initiative included Ariana Grande, Lin-Manuel Miranda, former President Barack Obamaand former First Lady Michelle Obama,LL Cool Jand Cher.

President Donald Trump has continued to spread false theories about voting by mail – even though he’s done so himself – leading election experts to worry that a nation gripped by the coronavirus pandemic could face a chaotic election that may put even more Americans’ health at risk with a push for in-person voting in the midst of both a health and financial crisis.

Currently, presumptive Democratic candidate Joe Biden has a commanding 50-36 lead over Trump, whose mishandled response to COVID-19 has put the U.S. atop the list of countries with the most cases and deaths.

Click here for more information on how to register to vote.

CNCO Celebrates Class of 2020 with Virtual YouTube Performance of Hits

CNCO is celebrating the Class of 2020 in a special way…

The Latino boy band got graduates dancing at home with their party-ready medley of hits on Sunday night (June 7).

CNCO

CNCO — Christopher, Erick, Zabiel, Richard and Joel — synchronized their own moves, in separate video frames, as they performed “Honey Boo,” “Hey DJ” and “Reggaetón Lento” remotely during the after party following the “Dear Class of 2020” YouTube Originals graduation ceremony.

Earlier in the evening, in the midst of the actual ceremony, they also popped in to teach this year’s grads how to say “Congratulations to the class of 2020” in Spanish.

The virtual graduation ceremony, which started with Lizzo‘s powerhouse flute performance and was chock-full of all-star commencement speeches from the likes of Barack and Michelle ObamaBeyoncéBTSLady Gaga and more, was capped off with a class of 2020 after party with CNCO, Megan Thee Stallion and BTS.

Julián Castro Launches “People First Future” Political Action Committee

Julián Castro is helping the progressives…

The 45-year-old Mexican American politician and former member of President Barack Obama‘s cabinet, has launched a new political action committee aimed at supporting progressive down-ballot candidates who he believes are “prioritizing people, rather than special interests.”

Julian Castro

Castro, the former secretary of Housing and Urban Development and presidential candidate in 2020, plans to use the group — called “People First Future” — to “identify and support candidates up and down the ballot,” according to a press release from the newly formed organization.

The group also made their first endorsement on Thursday, backing 12 candidates running for U.S. Congress, including seven running in Castro’s native Texas and others in races Democrats hope to be competitive in come November.

“It’s never been more important to elect leaders in our statehouses, governor’s offices, school boards, and halls of Congress who will stand up for the most vulnerable Americans,” said Castro said in a statement. “While hardworking families struggle to pay rent, get good health care, or send their kids to decent schools, well-connected and deep-pocketed special interests get their way.”

The group plans to not only provide financial support to candidates to help beef up the bench of progressive Democrats, but also mobilize progressives across the country to support those candidates.

Castro’s list of endorsements includes his brother, Joaquin Castro, who is running for reelection in Texas’s 20th Congressional District, and Gina Ortiz Jones, who is running for the second straight cycle in Texas’s 23rd Congressional District. 

Castro’s Texas endorsements also include Wendy Davis in Texas’s 21st Congressional District; Candace Valenzuela in Texas’s 24th Congressional District; Julie Oliver in Texas’s 25th Congressional District; Sima Ladjevardian in Texas’s 2nd Congressional District; and Sri Preston Kulkarni in Texas’s 22nd Congressional District.

The former presidential candidate has also endorsed Lucy McBath, a congresswoman who first won Georgia’s 6th Congressional District in 2018; J.D. Scholten, an Iowa Democrat challenging controversial Rep. Steve King in the state’s 4th Congressional District for the second straight cycle and Mondaire Jones, a Democrat running in New York’s 17th Congressional District. Castro has also endorsed Marie Newman, the Illinois Democrat who unseated an incumbent in the state’s congressional district earlier this year, and Lauren Underwood, another Illinois Democrat who won her suburban Chicago seat for the first time in 2018.

The former cabinet secretary has begun to layout his post-campaign plans in recent weeks and just announced he was joining Voto Latino, a large political organization focused on registering and mobilizing Latino voters, as an adviser with the goal of registering one million Latino voters before November’s general election.

Castro ran for president for nearly a year, announcing his bid in January 2019 and dropping out in January 2020 after failing to garner needed support in either early states or nationally. The former cabinet secretary, though, did win goodwill from progressive operatives and voters during the campaign.

The new political organization will be run by many of the same people who staffed his presidential campaign. Natalie Montelongo, Castro’s campaign political director, will work as the group’s executive director, and Sawyer Hackett, Castro’s campaign spokesman, will work as a senior adviser to the organization.

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera to Run Against Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera is making a run for the U.S. House of Representatives… and she’s taking on a popular freshman Congresswoman.

The 53-year-old half-Cuban American journalist, business news reporter and CNBCcontributor has launched a campaign for the New York City Congressional seat currently held by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera

Caruso-Cabrera, an outspoken critic of government excess, will be running as a Democrat in the district, which stretches across the Bronx and Queens, though her political views position her significantly to the right of Ocasio-Cortez. 

CNBC says she will go on leave from the network, where she has been a reporter and anchor for 20 years.

“I am the daughter and granddaughter of working-class Italian and Cuban immigrants,” Caruso-Cabrera said in a statement. “I am so lucky to have had such a wonderful career and I want everybody to have the opportunity that I’ve had. That’s why I’m running.”

Known by her initials, AOC, the 30-year-old political newcomer’s victory in 2018 was one of the high-profile wins as Democrats took control of the House of RepresentativesNetflix captured the win in the documentary Bringing Down the House. Ocasio-Cortez has since racked up more than 6 million Twitter followers. Along with other progressives new to the U.S.Congress, she has become a frequent target of conservatives’ attacks on Democratic leadership.

In her 2010 book, You Know I’m Right: More Prosperity, Less Government, Caruso-Cabrera emphasizes themes like personal responsibility, fiscal conservatism and limited government.

Prior to joining CNBC, Caruso-Cabrera worked at Univision. She has appeared multiple times as a guest on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher. In a 2011 episode’s “Overtime” segment onYouTube, she promoted her book and defended CNBC against charges that it took a political stance similar to that of Fox News’ opinion hosts. She also described President Barack Obama as “extremely liberal” and misguided because he “believes that government can solve so many problems that it can’t,” such as health care.

Ciro Guerra & Cristina Gallego’s “Birds of Passage” Makes Barack Obama’s Year-End List

Ciro Guerra Cristina Gallego have made an extra special list..

Ciro Guerra & Cristina Gallego

Barack Obama has added the 38-year-old Colombian filmmaker and 42-year-old Colombian filmmaker’s latest project, Birds of Passage, to the former American president’s list of Favorite Movies of 2019.

Birds of Passage is the only Spanish language film on Obama’s list this year.

The film explores the rise of a Wayuu man and his family as they enter the drug trade, prosper, and slowly lose their traditions and former way of life. 

It was selected to open the 50th edition of the Directors’ Fortnight section at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. It was selected as the Colombian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards, making the December shortlist.

Paola Ramos Joins Vice News as Correspondent

Paola Ramos is joining the Vicesquad…

The Latina journalist is joining Vice News as a correspondent, starting this week, in the first notable new hire by Jesse Angelo since he joined the company as head of news and entertainment in June.

Ramos has previously written for Vice.com and hosted Latin-X, a Vice series focused on under-reported stories about the Latinx community. 

In her new role, Ramos will work across platforms. Two key venues for her work will be Vice and Vice News Tonight, which are both set to relaunch on new networks after a multi-year deal with HBO wound down a few months ago. Vice, a documentary series, will debut on Showtime next spring, and Vice News Tonight will start airing on the Viceland cable network in early 2020.

“Paola is an extraordinary talent and has done some incredible reporting in her career. The depth of her coverage on the Latinx community goes beyond the typical stories of immigration and the crisis at the border, and taps into underrepresented issues that matter to Millennial and Gen Z viewers,” Angelo said. “She connects with audiences in ways that make her exactly the type of person we want to tell Vice News stories.”

A regular contributor to Telemundo and MSNBC, Ramos is the former Deputy Director of Hispanic Media for Hillary Clinton and a former political appointee in the Obama White House. She holds degrees from Barnard Collegeand Harvard’sKennedy School.

Next year “will go down in history as one of the most consequential years of our lifetime and I cannot think of a better platform to inspire and mobilize young people across the country,” Ramos said. “I look forward to telling stories that impact our generation, to uncovering untold truths and to shedding light on the voices that are on the front lines of change.”

Julian Castro to Take Part in 2020 Presidential Candidate Forum on LGBTQ Issues

Julian Castro will be discussing LGBTQ Issues later this week…

The 45-year-old Mexican American politician and Democratic US presidential candidate will take part in the national 2020 Presidential Candidate Forum on LGBTQ Issues.

Julian Castro

Hosted by Pose actress Angelica Ross, the forum is presented by GLAADOne IowaThe Gazette and The Advocate and will be livestreamed from Coe College’s Sinclair Auditorium in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on September 20 at 7:00 pm CT.

In addition to Castro, whowas the youngest member of President Barack Obama‘s Cabinet, serving as the 16th United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 2014 to 2017, participants include Joe BidenCory BookerPete Buttigieg, Tulsi GabbardKamala HarrisAmy Klobuchar, Joe SestakElizabeth Warren and Marianne Williamson. Country artist and contestant on season 11 of The Voice Billy Gilman is set to perform the National Anthem at the event.

A transgender activist, Ross will join GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellison stage tol bring LGBTQ specific-issues to the forefront of discussion in the 2020 presidential election. 

During the Forum, each candidate will discuss their plan and vision for improving LGBTQ acceptance in a divisive time for marginalized communities.

“This LGBTQ Presidential Forum is a pivotal moment in the 2020 election cycle,” said Ellis. “It’s the first time that LGBTQ issues will be exclusively discussed by 2020 presidential candidates on a national stage.”

She adds, “We look forward to hearing how the 2020 candidates plan to reverse the attacks and rollbacks of the Trump Administration and put LGBTQ Americans on a course to 100% acceptance.”

This comes at a time when members of the American LGBTQ community have faced more than 124 anti-LGBTQ attacks in policy and rhetoric from the Trump Administration. This includes the ban on transgender Americans from serving in the military and the administration’s opposition to the Equality Act.