Raúl Esparza Among This Year’s Outer Critics Circle Awards Honorees

Raúl Esparza  is the (outer) critics choice

The 49-year-old Cuban American stage and television actor is among this year’s Outer Critics Circle Awards recipients, a collection of Broadway and Off Broadway ecipients that make up the organization’s first-ever slate of multiple honorees.

Raul Esparza

With the Tony Awards remaining a mere possibility this year, the 70th Annual Outer Critics Circle Awards took a different approach to an unusual, pandemic-shortened theater season: Instead of selecting traditional nominees with one winner from each category, the OCCnamed five honorees in each of its technical categories and up to six honorees in the acting categories. 

Esparza was named one of the honorees in the Outstanding Actor in a Playcategory for his acclaimed performance in Seared.

Esparza’s Searedco-star Krysta Rodriguezwas one of the honorees in the Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play category.

Matthew Lopez’s The Inheritance picked up an honoree designation for Outstanding New Broadway Play.

The Puerto Rican playwright penned the two-part play, which is set in New York three decades after the height of the AIDS epidemic.

John Ortiz was one of the honorees in the Outstanding Director of a Play for helming Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven, while one of the play’s stars, Liza Colón-Zayas, was named an Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play honoree.

Karen Olivo picked up an honoree designation for Outstanding Actress in a Musical for her starring role in Moulin Rouge! 

Recalibrated to celebrate “widespread excellence in New York theater this season,” the OCC Awards – chosen by the official organization of writers on New York theatre for out-of-town newspapers and national publications – were announced by past honorees Kristin ChenowethBryan CranstonPatti LuPoneLin-Manuel Miranda, and Patrick Stewart.

The OCC is making a donation to The Actors’ Fundin support of its emergency relief efforts.

Here’s a look at the 2019-2020 Outer Critics Circle Award honorees:

OUTSTANDING NEW BROADWAY PLAY

Grand Horizons
Written by Bess Wohl

The Height of the Storm
Written by Florian Zeller
Translated by Christopher Hampton

The Inheritance
Written by Matthew Lopez

Linda Vista
Written by Tracy Letts

The Sound Inside
Written by Adam Rapp

OUTSTANDING NEW BROADWAY MUSICAL

Jagged Little Pill
Music by Alanis Morissette and Glen Ballard
Lyrics by Alanis Morissette
Book by Diablo Cody

Moulin Rouge!
Book by John Logan
Based on the 2001 Twentieth Century Fox Motion Picture written by Baz Luhrmann and Craig Pearce

Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
Book by Katori Hall
With Frank Ketelaar and Kees Prins

OUTSTANDING NEW OFF-BROADWAY PLAY

Cambodian Rock Band
Written by Lauren Yee

Greater Clements
Written by Samuel D. Hunter

Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven
Written by Stephen Adly Guirgis

Make Believe
Written by Bess Wohl

Seared
Written by Theresa Rebeck

OUTSTANDING NEW OFF-BROADWAY MUSICAL

Darling Grenadine
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Daniel Zaitchik

Octet
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Dave Malloy

The Secret Life of Bees
Book by Lynn Nottage
Music by Duncan Sheik
Lyrics by Susan Birkenhead
Based on the novel by Sue Monk Kidd

Soft Power
Book and Lyrics by David Henry Hwang
Music and Additional Lyrics by Jeanine Tesori

A Strange Loop
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Michael R. Jackson

OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A PLAY
(Broadway or Off-Broadway)

Betrayal
Written by Harold Pinter

Fires in the Mirror
Written by Anna Deavere Smith

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf
Written by Ntozake Shange

Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune
Written by Terrence McNally

A Soldier’s Play
Written by Charles Fuller

OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL
(Broadway or Off-Broadway)

Little Shop of Horrors
Book and Lyrics by Howard Ashman
Music by Alan Menken

The Unsinkable Molly Brown
Music and Lyrics by Meredith Willson
Book and New Lyrics by Dick Scanlan
Based on the Original Book by Richard Morris
Music Adapted by Michael Rafter

West Side Story
Music by Leonard Bernstein
Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by Arthur Laurents
Based on a Conception by Jerome Robbins

JOHN GASSNER AWARD
(Presented for an American play, preferably by a new playwright)

Georgia Mertching Is Dead by Catya McMullen
Heroes of the Fourth Turning by Will Arbery
Our Dear Dead Drug Lord by Alexis Scheer
Pari sby Eboni Booth

OUTSTANDING BOOK OF A MUSICAL
(Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Diablo Cody, Jagged Little Pill
David Henry Hwang, Soft Power
Michael R. Jackson, A Strange Loop
Lynn Nottage, The Secret Life of Bees
Mark Saltzman, Romeo and Bernadette

OUTSTANDING NEW SCORE
(Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Susan Birkenhead and Duncan Sheik, The Secret Life of Bees
Ross Golan, The Wrong Man
Michael R. Jackson, A Strange Loop
Dave Malloy, Octet
Jeanine Tesori and David Henry Hwang, Soft Power

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A PLAY
David Cromer, The Sound Inside
Stephen Daldry, The Inheritance
Kenny Leon, A Soldier’s Play
Jamie Lloyd, Betrayal
John Ortiz, Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A MUSICAL
Stephen Brackett, A Strange Loop
Michael Mayer, Little Shop of Horrors
Diane Paulus, Jagged Little Pill
Alex Timbers,Moulin Rouge!
Ivo van Hove, West Side Story

OUTSTANDING CHOREOGRAPHER
Sidi Larbi Cherakoui, Jagged Little Pill
Raja Feather Kelly, A Strange Loop
Sonya Tayeh,Moulin Rouge!
Anthony Van Laast, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
Travis Wall, The Wrong Man

OUTSTANDING ORCHESTRATIONS
Tom Kitt, Jagged Little Pill
Alex Lacamoire, The Wrong Man
Justin Levine, with Matt Stine, Katie Kresek, and Charlie Rosen,Moulin Rouge!
Christopher Nightingale, A Christmas Carol
Duncan Sheik and John Clancy, The Secret Life of Bees

OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A PLAY
Ian Barford, Linda Vista
Edmund Donovan, Greater Clements
Raúl Esparza, Seared
Tom Hiddleston, Betrayal
Will Hochman, The Sound Inside
Jonathan Pryce, The Height of the Storm

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A PLAY
Eileen Atkins, The Height of the Storm
Judith Ivey, Greater Clements
Joaquina Kalukango, Slave Play
April Matthis,Toni Stone
Mary-Louise Parker, The Sound Inside
Portia, Stew

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR IN A PLAY
David Alan Grier, A Soldier’s Play
John Benjamin Hickey, The Inheritance
Paul Hilton,The Inheritance
Samuel H. Levine, The Inheritance
John-Andrew Morrison, Blues for an Alabama Sky
Chris Perfetti, Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTRESS IN A PLAY
Liza Colón-Zayas, Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven
Montego Glover, All the Natalie Portmans
Marsha Mason,Little Gem
Krysta Rodriguez, Seared
Lois Smith, The Inheritance
Jennifer Van Dyck, The Confession of Lily Dare

OUTSTANDING SOLO PERFORMANCE
David Cale, We’re Only Alive For a Short Amount of Time
Laura Linney, My Name Is Lucy Barton
Aedin Moloney, Yes! Reflections of Molly Bloom
Deirdre O’Connell, Dana H.
Michael Benjamin Washington, Fires in the Mirror

OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Jonathan Groff,Little Shop of Horrors
Joshua Henry, The Wrong Man
Adam Kantor, Darling Grenadine
Larry Owens, A Strange Loop
Isaac Powell, West Side Story
Aaron Tveit, Moulin Rouge!

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Beth Malone, The Unsinkable Molly Brown
Janelle McDermoth, We’re Gonna Die
Karen Olivo, Moulin Rouge!
Shereen Pimentel, West Side Story
Elizabeth Stanley, Jagged Little Pill
Adrienne Warren, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Christian Borle,Little Shop of Horrors
Danny Burstein, Moulin Rouge!
Gus Halper, Sing Street
Jay Armstrong Johnson, Scotland, PA
Francis Jue, Soft Power
Daniel J. Watts, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Eisa Davis, The Secret Life of Bees
Kathryn Gallagher, Jagged Little Pill
LaChanze, The Secret Life of Bees
Judy McLane, Romeo & Bernadette
Lauren Patten, Jagged Little Pill
Saycon Sengbloh, The Secret Life of Bees

OUTSTANDING SCENIC DESIGN
(Play or Musical)
Rob Howell, A Christmas Carol
Tim Mackabee, Seared
Derek McLane, Moulin Rouge!
Clint Ramos, Grand Horizons
Anthony Ward,The Height of the Storm

OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN
(Play or Musical)
Vanessa Leuck, Emojiland
Jeff Mahshie, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice
Mark Thompson, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
Rachel Townsend & Jessica Jahn, The Confession of Lily Dare
Catherine Zuber, Moulin Rouge!

OUTSTANDING LIGHTING DESIGN
(Play or Musical)
Isabella Byrd, Heroes of the Fourth Turning
Heather Gilbert, The Sound Inside
Justin Townsend, Moulin Rouge!
Hugh Vanstone, A Christmas Carol
Hugh Vanstone, The Height of the Storm

OUTSTANDING PROJECTION DESIGN
(Play or Musical)
Luke Halls, West Side Story
Brad Peterson, Broadway Bounty Hunter
Lisa Renkel and Possible Productions, Emojiland
Aaron Rhyne, The Sound Inside
Hannah Wasileski, Fires in the Mirror

OUTSTANDING SOUND DESIGN
(Play or Musical)
Simon Baker, A Christmas Carol
Mikhail Fiksel, Dana H.
Peter Hylenski, Moulin Rouge!
Lee Kinney and Sanae Yamada, Is This A Room
Daniel Kluger, The Sound Inside

Gomez to Host This Year’s WE Day

It’s all about WE for Selena Gomez

The 24-year-old Mexican American singer is set to host this year’s WE Day, a one-day event aiming to celebrate America’s youth by bringing together 16,000 young people and encouraging them to take action on social issues.

Selena Gomez

“The electricity of an arena full of thousands of young people who are making real change in the world is like nothing I’ve ever experienced,” Gomez, who has attended the event in the past, said in a statement. “I am grateful to be a part of such a supportive community and hope I can inspire the kids at WE Day just as they continue to inspire me.”

The star-studded lineup also includes a musical performance by Alicia Keys and appearances by Demi Lovato, Tyrese Gibson, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Bryan CranstonAlessia CaraDJ KhaledEmeli Sandé, Shay Mitchell and more. Even Miss Piggy and the other Muppets will grace the stage.

WE Day is connected to a yearlong educational program, WE Schools, which provides schools and community groups with curriculum, educational resources and action campaigns.

The event will take place on April 27, at The Forum in Inglewood, California.

Leguizamo to Star in the Thriller “The Infiltrator”

John Leguizamo is infiltrating Londontown..

The 50-year-old Colombian actor has joined the cast of The Infiltrator.

John Leguizamo

The fact-based drama about a fearless undercover agent has just begun principal photography in London.

The thriller from director Brad Furman also stars Bryan Cranston, Diane Kruger and Benjamin Bratt.

The Infiltrator is adapted from Robert Mazur’s autobiography about a customs and excise agent (Cranston) who went undercover as a money launderer and helped orchestrate one of history’s most elaborate stings, getting to the bankers behind the Medellin drug cartel. Ellen Brown Furman wrote the transfer.

Shooting will move to Miami in late April.

Amy Ryan, Olympia Dukakis, Elena Anaya (The Skin I Live In) and Juliet Aubrey have also joined the cast.

Bratt to Star in the Fact-Based Thriller “The Infiltrator”

Benjamin Bratt is ready to thrill audiences…

The 51-year-old half-Peruvian American actor is set to star opposite Bryan Cranston and Diane Kruger in The Infiltrator.

Benjamin Bratt

The fact-based thriller, to be directed by Brad Furman, is based on the Robert Mazur autobiography with a script by Ellen Brown Furman.

The Infiltrator centers on a customs and excise agent (Cranston) who went undercover as a money launderer and infiltrated the bankers behind the Medellin drug cartel.

Bratt will portray Roberto Alcanio, the agent’s contact who dealt directly with cartel board members including Pablo Escobar.

Production is expected to begin shortly.

Bratt most recently appeared on television in Fox’s 24: Live Another Day.

Leto to Serve as a Presenter at This Year’s Screen Actors Guild Awards

It’s another night with The Actor for Jared Leto

The 43-year-old part-Spanish American actor, who picked up a SAG Award, also known as “The Actor,” last year for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club, will serve as a presenter at Sunday’s 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Jared Leto

In addition to Leto, other presenters just added to the roster include Matthew Beard, Colin Farrell, Jeff Goldblum, Allen Leech, Lupita Nyong’o, Emmy Rossum, Andy Samberg, Liev Schreiber and Reese Witherspoon

They join previously announced Patricia Arquette, Adrien Brody, Ellar Coltrane, Kevin Costner, Laverne Cox, Bryan Cranston, Benedict Cumberbatch, Eric Dane, Viola Davis, Carrie Fisher, Ethan Hawke, SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard, Felicity Jones, Rashida Jones, Michael Keaton, Lenny Kravitz, Matthew McConaughey, Edward Norton, Eddie Redmayne, Julia Roberts, J.K. Simmons, and Emma Stone.

The SAG Awards will be simulcast live on TNT and TBS at 8:00 pm ET/ 5:00 pm PT.

Lopez to Serve as a Presenter at the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards

Jennifer Lopez has a golden responsibility this weekend…

The 45-year-old Puerto Rican actress/singer and American Idol judge is among the second batch of presenters announced today by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) for the 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards.

Jennifer Lopez

Lopez, who received a Golden Globe nomination in 1998 for her breakout role in Selena, joins a list of presenters that includes Jennifer Aniston, Kate Beckinsale, Bryan Cranston, Jamie Dornan, Colin Firth, Jane Fonda, Harrison Ford, Bill Hader, Katherine Heigl, Dakota Johnson, Adam Levine, Matthew McConaughey, Seth Meyers, Lupita Nyong’o, Jeremy Renner, Meryl Streep, Lily Tomlin, Vince Vaughn, and Kerry Washington.

They will join previously announced presenters; Amy Adams, Adrien Brody, Robert Downey Jr., Anna Farris, Ricky Gervais, Kevin Hart, Salma Hayek, Kate Hudson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Chris Pratt, Channing Tatum, Kristen Wiig, Owen Wilson and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

The ceremony, hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler for the third year in a row, will air on Sunday, January 11 live coast-to-coast on NBC with the pre-show from 4-5 PM (PST)/7-8 PM (EST), and main telecast from 5-8 PM (PST)/8-11 PM (EST) from the Beverly Hilton.

Vergara to Present at This Year’s Primetime Emmy Awards

She may not be nominated this year, but Sofia Vergara will still be taking the stage at the Primetime Emmy Awards.

The 42-year-old Colombian actress and Modern Family star has been added to the presenters list for the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards.

Sofia Vergara

Along with Vergara, the new additions to the list include Viola Davis, Allison Janney, Keegan-Michael Key, Lucy Liu, Debra Messing, Jordan Peele, Andy Samberg and Octavia Spencer.

They join previously announced Halle Berry, Bryan Cranston, Zooey Deschanel, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Woody Harrelson, Adam Levine, Matthew McConaughey, Julianna Margulies, Jim Parsons, Amy Poehler, Julia Roberts, Gwen Stefani and Kerry Washington.

The Emmys telecast is set to air live on Monday, August 25 at 8:00 pm ET on NBC.

Michael to Display His Work in a Special Exhibit at the Polaroid Museum

Instagram may be all the rage… But Lucas Michael is making sure a pop culture classic isn’t forgotten…

The Argentine photographer is helping Florida-based retailer Polaroid Fotobar celebrate the opening of its flagship store inside Las Vegas’ The LINQ  this spring with four new exhibits at the Polaroid Museum, focused on Hollywood’s most celebrated stars.

Lucas Michael's Polaroids

The exhibits will feature shots by Michael, as well as fellow photographers Maurizio GalimbertiMarc Serota and Maripol.

Michael’s photos from last year’s Golden Globes will be on display, featuring candid shots of Jennifer Lawrence, Adele, Bryan Cranston, Ben Affleck, Daniel Day-Lewis and the cast of Girls.

Galimberti, who has worked with Polaroid cameras since 1983, will showcase his portraits of Kate Winslet, Benicio Del Toro and Javier Bardem.

Serota utilized a multi-step image-transfer process to create his large collection of Polaroid portrait prints (“pictorial biographies”), which include shots of Paul McCartney, Roger Daltrey, Kenny Rogers and Gloria Estefan.

Maripol’s 75-shot exhibit will include images of a young Madonna dancing the night away, Debbie Harry in a red sailor suit, and Andy Warhol walking the streets of New York.

The works of the four artists will also join other exhibits, including Warhol’s “Capturing Celebrity,” Tim Mantoani’s “Behind Photographs,” and the world-famous 20×24 Polaroid camera at the Polaroid Museum. The museum will also feature a history on Polaroid founder Edwin Land, as well as an extensive collection of rare artifacts, art and advertising from the Polaroid Historical Collection at MIT.

The exhibits will debut at the Polaroid Museum on April 17, with Polaroid Fotobar’s flagship store opening March 31.

Vergara to Present at This Year’s Primetime Emmy Awards

Win or lose, Sofia Vergara will be taking the stage at this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards

The 41-year-old Colombian actress and Modern Family scene-stealer, nominated for the fourth straight year in the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series category, has been added to the list of presenters for the awards show.

Sofia Vergara

She’ll join other recently announced presenters, including Will Arnett, Alec Baldwin, Andre Braugher, Bryan Cranston, Claire Danes, Jimmy Kimmel and Margo Martindale.

They join previously announced presenters Diahann Carroll, Matt Damon, Emily Deschanel, Zooey Deschanel, Michael Douglas, Anna Faris, Tina Fey, Allison Janney, Amy Poehler and Kerry Washington.

The 65th Primetime Emmy Awards are set to be broadcast live from the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on Sunday, September 22 at 8:00 pm ET on CBS.

Mars Makes Cameo in Jimmy Kimmel’s “Movie: The Movie” Trailer

Bruno Mars may feel like he’s been “Locked Out of Heaven,” but he hasn’t been excluded from Jimmy Kimmel’s post-Oscars antics.

The 27-year-old part-Puerto Rican singer appears in the trailer for the sequel to the late night talk show host’s mock film, Movie: The Movie, from last year’s post-Oscars show.

Bruno Mars

But Mars isn’t the only Hispanic celebrity to appear in the hilarious seven-minute skit…

Salma Hayek, who wowed on the red carpet at this year’s Academy Awards, makes a cameo appearance.

Other celebrities involved include Oprah Winfrey, who plays the U.S. president, as well as Channing Tatum, Rachel Weisz, Samuel L. Jackson, Bradley Cooper, Bryan Cranston, Gerard Butler, John Krasinski, Kerry Washington and Matt Damon.