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.

Oscar Nuñez to Star in Netflix’s Quarantine Anthology Series “Social Distance”

Oscar Nuñez is keeping his distance…

The 61-year-old Cuban actor and comedian has been cast in Netflix’s upcoming quarantine anthology series Social Distance.

Oscar Nuñez

Hailing from Orange is the New Black creator Jenji Kohan, the series will also star Scandal’s Guillermo Diaz, Love Victor’s Isabella Ferreira, Katy Keene & In The Heights star Daphne Rubin-Vega, Danielle Brooks, Mike Colter Asante Blackk, Peter Scanavino, Lachlan Watson, Max Jenkins and Marsha Stephanie Blake.

Set in the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Social Distance is an eight-part anthology series that showcases the power of the human spirit in the face of uncertainty and isolation. Each standalone episode is told through a virtual lens and captures the unique emotional experience of being forced apart by circumstance and having no choice but to communicate remotely and rely on technology to maintain any sense of connection. Through these varied and deeply human stories, Social Distance aims to provide some much-needed catharsis during a tumultuous time while also capturing a snapshot of this singular moment in history.

The project was conceived, cast and executed entirely remotely during quarantine. The writers never met during the writing process, Diego Velasco directs talent remotely, Hilary Weisman Graham runs production from her living room and the cast acts and films themselves from home. Some of the actors’ real-life relatives also guest star in the series.

“Many of these stories required casting actors who were quarantined with other actors. That hurdle seriously hindered our options and so casting non-actors was sometimes essential,” said Weisman Graham on the decision to cast actors’ family members. “It was definitely a roll of the dice, but thankfully, we were thrilled to discover that talent really does breed talent. These family members may not have had aspirations to be in front of the camera when we first started, but they should all quit their day jobs immediately.”

Weisman Graham, who also serves as showrunner, executive produces with Tara Herrmann, Blake McCormick and Kohan. Velasco, who directed an episode of Orange Is the New Black and is working with Kohan on her upcoming series Teenage Bounty Hunters is directing and will co-executive produce.

Social Distance cast members include (in no particular episodic order):

Danielle Brooks with real-life mother LaRita Brooks and brother DJ Brooks; Marsha Stephanie Blake with real-life daughter Rocco Luna; Misha Brooks; Isabella Ferreira; Oscar Nunez; Daphne Rubin-Vega with real-life husband Tom Costanzo and son Luca Costanzo; Guillermo Diaz; Miguel Sandoval; Camila Perez; Olli Haaskivi; Giana Aragon; Mike Colter; Okieriete Onaodowan; real-life spouses Heather Burns and Ajay; Shakira Barrera; Steven Weber with real-life son Jack Hohnen-Weber; Helena Howard; Asante Blackk with real-life father Ayize Ma’at; Lovie Simone;

Max Jenkins; Brian Jordan Alvarez; Peter Vack; Rana Roy; Peter Scanavino with real-life son Leo Bai-Scanavino; Ali Ahn; Tami Sagher; Barbara Rosenblat; Michael Mulheren; real-life spouses Becky Ann Baker and Dylan Baker; Sunita Mani; real-life spouses Raymond Anthony Thomas and Marcia Debonis; Kylie Liya Page; Lachlan Watson; David Iacono; Will Meyers; Niles Fitch; and Ava Demary.

Nuñez is best known for starring on NBC’s The Office.

Daphne Rubin-Vega to Appear on the CW’s Upcoming “Riverdale” Off-Shoot “Katy Keene”

Daphne Rubin-Vega has landed the mother of a role… 

The 49-year-old Panamanian actress, singer and dancerwill appear in a major recurring role on the CW’s upcoming Riverdale off-shoot Katy Keene.

Daphne Rubin-Vega

Rubin-Vega, the original Mimi in both the Off Broadway and Broadway landmark productions of Rentand coming off the Lin Manuel/Warner Bros. feature In The Heights, will play Luisa, the mother of a central character, Katy’s roomie Jorge/Ginger. She’s described as adoting mother, a former Rockette and now owner, with her husband Luis, of a bodega in Washington Heights. She supports her son Jorge’s ambitions to make it on Broadway, but doesn’t know about his drag alter ego, Ginger.

The Jorge/Ginger character, played by Jonny Beauchamp, is a central figure on the series and one of at least two characters expected to perform musical numbers on every episode.

In the Katy Keeneseries pilot, recently screened at the Tribeca TV Festival, Jorge is a Broadway hopeful by day and, as Ginger, a drag performer by night. When his Broadway dreams begin to fizzle – he is, he says, “too gay for Broadway” – he’s encouraged by Katy to make the audition rounds not as Jorge but as Ginger.

Katy Keeneis expected to debut during the CW’s winter/spring 2020 midseason.

Rubin-Vega was Tony-nominated in 1996 for originating on Broadway the lead female role of Mimi in Jonathan Larson’s Rent, which she’d debuted earlier that year Off Broadway to great acclaim. The actress received another Tony nomination in 2004 as featured actress in a play for Anna In The Tropics.

Her more recent credits include Broadway’s A Streetcar Named Desire opposite Blair UnderwoodNBC’s Smash and Netflix’s Tales Of The City. Ruben-Vega was among the original Rentperformers who made an end-of-show appearance on Fox’s Rent: Live last January.

Guerrero’s “Emoticon ;)” Opening in Limited Release This Weekend

Diane Guerrero’s latest project is making its way to the big screen this weekend…

Co-writer-director-actress Livia De Paolis’ female-charged film Emoticon 😉, which stars the Latina actress, opens this weekend in limited release.

Diane Guerrero

The film centers on a female student (De Paolis) a student struggling with her thesis on ‘Modern means of communication’ until she meets her new boyfriend’s (Michael Cristofer) teenage kids who are dealing with their own identity issues and together they form and unlikely bond and embark on a journey of self discovery to better understand love and intimacy in a digital age.

Guerrero, who has appeared on the television series’ Orange is the New Black and Are We There Yet?, portrays Amanda Nevins in the film. The Latina actress, who has appeared on the television series’ Orange is the New Black and Are We There Yet?, knew she was meant to play her character the moment she read the script.

“What made me connect with Amanda in Emoticon 😉 was her desire to fit in and find her place in the world,” Guerrero tells LatinoBuzz. “The fact that she is a Latina longing for an understanding of herself in a ‘white world’. Growing up I often wondered what it would be like to be adopted and grow up in a white family and how that would affect me. I felt a connection. It was also interesting to play someone so young. At first I felt insecure about being too old for the part but I soon learned that what acting is all about baby!?”

Carol Kane, Sonia Braga and Daphne Rubin-Vega also star in the film which is being called a modern day New York story of people connecting the dots.

Emoticon 😉 premiered in competition at last year’s Dances With Films Film Festival in Los Angeles in June, and it won a cast collaboration award at the Gen Art Film Festival.

It opens this weekend at Cinema Village in New York and the Laemmle Music Hall in Beverly Hills.

Rubin-Vega Lands Recurring Role on ABC’s Richard LaGravenese Drama Pilot

Daphne Rubin-Vega could be returning to television in the near future

The 42-year-old Panamanian actress, who appeared on the second season of NBC’s Broadway-based musical series Smash, has signed on for a recurring role on ABC’s Richard LaGravenese drama pilot.

Daphne Rubin-Vega

Similar to Dangerous Liaisons, the untitled project is set in New York and revolves around the love and rivalry between two equally matched, powerful socialites — Philip Fitzgerald Julien and Margot Worth Cole — who play out their obsessive attraction and seduction of each other through their manipulation of others.

Rubin-Vega, a two-time Tony Award-nominated actress/singer, will portray Philip’s housekeeper.

Rubin-Vega to Appear on NBC’s “Smash”

Daphne Rubin-Vega will be having a smashing year on television in 2013…

The 42-year-old Panamanian actress and two-time Tony Award-nominated actress/singer will be appearing on the second season of NBC’s musical drama Smash, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Daphne Rubin-Vega

Rubin-Vega—who played a heroin-addicted 19-year-old with HIV who works as an exotic dancer in the original Broadway production of Rent—will play a Broadway publicist on the series.

Rubin-Vega began her musical career as the lead singer of Pajama Party, a Latin freestyle group that placed three songs on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1989 and 1990.

She most recently appeared on Broadway in a new revival of Tennessee Williams A Streetcar Named Desire, in which she played the role of Stella Kowalski opposite Blair Underwood as Stanley.

The second season of Smash returns in early 2013.