Moreno Honored by the Los Angeles Music Center

Rita Moreno is the epitome of excellence, and now she’s being acknowledged for her performing arts background…

The 84-year-old Puerto Rican actress, the only Latina to secure an EGOT (winner of an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award), was feted for her performing arts legacy Thursday night at the Los Angeles Music Center’s inaugural summer soiree.

Rita Moreno

Moreno was presented with the center’s excellence in the performing arts award by The Nanny star Fran Drescher.

“She uses her celebrity and her fame for the greater good,” Drescher said of Moreno before welcoming her to the stage. “She leverages it for the advancement of women, for the advancement of the Latin community and anyone that happens to be marginalized in society.”

Moreno earned an Oscar for her portrayal of Anita in 1961’s West Side Story and landed Emmy wins for her guest appearances in The Rockford Files and The Muppet Show.  She’s currently in production on the Netflix reboot of Norman Lear’s 1970’s-80’s family sitcom One Day at a Time.

Gracing the Music Center stage with humor and humility, Moreno devoted her acceptance speech to the loved ones who contributed to her multi-faceted career success, including her immigrant mother who “did all that she could to underwrite [her] dreams.”

“That sweet elixir that I call the arts requires more than the creativity and passion of the arts,” said Moreno. “There would be no Misty Copeland, no Rita Moreno, no Lin-Manuel Miranda, no Justina Machado apart from those of you who encourage, support and applaud.”

The award presentation was followed by an American Ballet Theatre production of Firebird, starring Misty Copeland, and an outdoor after-party in Downtown Los Angeles’ Grand Park.

Perez & Fellow Stars Sing Broadway for Orlando Charity Single on “Maya & Marty”

Rosie Perez is spreading the love for a good cause…

The 51-year-old Puerto Rican actress, community activist, talk show host, author, dancer and choreographer joined fellow Broadway stars on Tuesday night’s episode of Maya and Marty to show solidarity with Orlandos LGBT community.

Rosie Perez & Broadway Stars on Maya & Marty

Hosts Maya Rudolph and Martin Short joined Perez and the group in the first live performance of the single, “What the World Needs Now Is Love,” which was recently recorded by dozens of Broadway stars to benefit the LGBT community in Orlando after the mass shooting that left 49 dead and 53 injured.

Perez, Megan Hilty, Sean Hayes, BD Wong, Jessie Mueller, Billy Porter, Fran Drescher and more stars performed the new version of the Burt BacharachHal David song while images of Orlando and New York’s historic Stonewall Inn were shown.

The mass shooting at Orlando nightclub Pulse happened just hours before the Tony Awards on June 12. The ceremony itself was dedicated to its victims and just days later, the charity single was announced.

All proceeds from the sale of the song will benefit the LGBT Center of Central Florida. It can be downloaded at BroadwayRecords.com.

 

First Trailer Released for Gomez’s “Hotel Transylvania 2”

Selena Gomez is sinking her teeth into motherhood…

Sony Pictures Animation has released the first trailer for the 22-year-old half-Mexican American actress/singer’s Hotel Transylvania 2, the ghoulish sequel to the 2012 animated film.

Selena Gomez

Much has changed since the first film. Hotel Transylvania now allows human guests as well as beasties, and there’s a new little monster toddling around — but is he really a vampire?

Drac (Adam Sandler) is the proud new grandpa of the surprisingly redheaded boy of Mavis and Johnny (Gomez, Andy Samberg). When they threaten to move from Transylvania to California, the fang gang goes to work on stopping such nonsense.

Mel Brooks joins the cast as Vlad, Drac’s old-school father who is none too pleased about the goings-on. Also back for another killing are voice stars including Steve Buscemi, David Spade, Kevin James, Fran Drescher and Molly Shannon.

Hotel Transylvania 2 opens in theaters on September 25.

Gloria & Emilio Estefan to Appear at This Year’s Tony Awards

Emilio and Gloria Estefan may be bringing their life story to The Great White Way in the near future… But first they’ll be appearing as part of Broadway’s biggest night.

The Estefans will be appearing at this year’s Tony Awards.

Gloria Estefan Emilio Estefan

In addition to the multi-Grammy winning musicians and producers, the upcoming ceremony, honoring the best of Broadway will also feature appearances by Bradley Cooper, Kevin Bacon, Carole King, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Will Ferrell, Liev Schreiber, Emmy Rossum, Kate Mara, Zachary Quinto, Zachary Levi, Lucy Liu, Clint Eastwood, Patricia Clarkson, Leighton Meester, Ethan Hawke, Zach Braff, Matt Bomer, Anna Gunn, Tony nominee Audra McDonald, Fran Drescher, Wayne Brady, Kenneth Branagh, Tony Goldwyn, Vera Farmiga and Alessandro Nivola, it was announced Tuesday.

Hugh Jackman will hosted this year’s show.

The 68th annual Tony Awards, presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing, will broadcast live from New York City’s Radio City Music Hall on June 8 on CBS.

Moreno Receives Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2014 SAG Awards

Life’s a SAG for living legend Rita Moreno

The 82-year-old Puerto Rican actress/singer/dancer, a Grammy, Oscar, Golden Globe and Tony Award winner, was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Saturday night.

Rita Moreno

Moreno accepted the special prize from Morgan Freeman, who called the West Side Story star his “dear old friend,” as well as a “world-class actress, singer, dancer and fighter who battled to break through the racial and sexual barriers that plagued Hollywood‘s Golden Age.”

Moreno did a victory lap onstage after receiving a standing ovation before saying that she was “f—ing thrilled,” but the audio had been was cut during the live broadcast when she dropped the F-bomb.

She later apologized for “that word” before saying, “Actually, I’m not.”

Alluding to her surprised acceptance speech for her Oscar, she said she still honestly can’t believe she’s received SAG’s honor.

Moreno, who briefly flirted with Jeremy Renner and Brad Pitt, also said she hoped she was receiving the Life Achievement Award “early in the third act of my life.” She finished by singing several lines from “This is All I Ask.”

A showbiz veteran and a SAG member for more than six decades, Moreno is one of only 11 people to have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony — a feat known as the EGOT.

She first appeared on the big screen in the reform-school drama So Young, So Bad in 1950, and afterward was put under contract as an ingenue at MGM, where a casting director changed her first name to Rita.

Moreno’s first film for the studio was the Mario Lanza musical The Toast of New Orleans, and she had a small role as the flapper actress Zelda Zanders in Singin’ in the Rain two years later.

She would go on to star in such films as The King and I, West Side Story — for which she won her Oscar in 1962 — and Carnal Knowledge.

Moreno won her Grammy for The Electric Company Album in 1972, her Tony for The Ritz in 1975, and her two Emmys for appearances on The Muppet Show and The Rockford Files in 1977 and 1978.

She continues to stay busy, having just finished a run as Fran Drescher’s mother in the TV Land comedy Happily Divorced.

She will appear next in the upcoming indie drama Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks with Gena Rowlands.

Moreno to Receive SAG Lifetime Achievement Award

She’s already the only Hispanic performer to win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony (EGOT)… And, now Rita Moreno is getting another acting prize.

The 81-year-old Puerto Rican actress/singer/dancer has been named the 50th recipient of SAG-AFTRA’s highest honor – the SAG Lifetime Achievement Award.

Rita Moreno

The SAG Awards are bestowing the award on Moreno for her career achievements and humanitarian accomplishments.

Given annually to an actor who fosters the “finest ideals of the acting profession,” the union’s top accolade will be doled out at the 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, which will be simulcast live on TNT and TBS on January 18, 2014.

In addition to being one of a rare class of performers to win the career EGOT, Moreno has also been the recipient of the Library of Congress Living Legends Award, the National Medal of Arts and the HOLA Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actresses.

Moreno, who recently released her best-selling memoir Rita Moreno: A Memoir, has had a nearly 70-year career in the industry.

She currently portrays Fran Drescher’s mother in TV Land’s sitcom Happily Divorced.

First Look: Gomez’s Fangtastic Character in “Hotel Transylvania”

Selena Gomez is preparing to take a bit out of the box office…

Columbia Pictures has released a new trailer for Hotel Transylvania, the 3D computer-animated comedy featuring the voice of the 20-year-old Mexican American actress/singer.

Selena Gomez

Shining a bright spotlight on Gomez’s and Adam Sandler’s characters, the clip shows the former Wizards of Waverly Place star’s character celebrating her 118th birthday in her locked-up room.

For a birthday present, she begs her dad Dracula (Sandler) to allow her explore the world outside their hidden castle. Mavis whines and moans to her overprotective dad until she doesn’t realize that her fangtastic dad actually says yes. Finally realizing she’s been granted permission, she spontaneously jumps into the air and hugs her dad.

Hotel Transylvania

Hotel Transylvania is Dracula’s lavish five-stake resort, where monsters and their families can live without having to deal with the human world. Overprotective of his daughter, the Prince of Darkness fabricates tales of elaborate dangers to discourage her adventurous spirit. As a haven for Mavis, he opens the hotel, where his daughter and some of the world’s most famous monsters can kick back in safety and peace. For Dracula, catering to his ghoulish guests isn’t a problem – but his world could implode when an ordinary guy stumbles on the hotel and takes a shine to Mavis.

Along with Gomez and Sandler, the voice cast includes Andy Samberg, Kevin James, Fran Drescher and Cee-Lo Green.

Hotel Transylvania will open in theaters across the U.S. on September 28.

Vergara Shines in First SNL Hosting Gig…

Talk about Lucky No. 7… This Saturday, Sofia Vergara became only the seventh Latina to host NBC’s Saturday Night Live in the sketch comedy show’s 37 seasons.

And the 39-year-old Colombian actress—who gave one of the night’s most memorable acceptance speeches at this year’s Golden Globes—didn’t disappoint in her first at-bat as guest host.

Sofia Vergara Saturday Night Live

Looking absolutely stunning in a sleek black bustier-dress, the “world’s most desirable woman” kicked off the show with a hilarious monologue that included welcoming viewers to “La noche de sabado en vivo” and poking fun at her sex appeal and unmistakable accent.

“I always heard that immigrants had a really hard life when they came to America,” joked Vergara. “But when I showed up here everyone was so nice. The men bought me drinks and offered me a place to sleep. This country welcomed me with open arms… and pulled-down pants.”

Later Vergara—a two-time Emmy nominee—appeared in several memorable skits. She played an anchorwoman shooting a promo with a complicated coworker, a sex education teacher in another of Kristen Wiig’s hilarious Gilly sketches and a woman trying to find her birth mother on Fred Armisen’s always funny The Manuel Ortiz Show skit—which included an appearance by musical guest One Direction’s members as her five sons.

One of the brightest moments of the night came when Vergara impersonated another actress with a distinctive voice: The Nanny’s Fran Drescher. The Colombian bombshell mastered Drescher’s high-pitched voice and quirky laugh during the Bein’ Quirky with Zooey Deschanel skit.

In another highlight, Vergara played the newest member of the team reporting on the 74th Annual Hunger Games, a parody of the recent blockbuster smash The Hunger Games . The skit featured Vergara’s character Maria Gutierrez reporting live from the arena on the action of the 24 tributes battling to the death. “They should call it the FUNger Games,” said Vergara. “‘cause everyone is having so much fun.”

But the biggest laughs of the night came when Vergara played herself while shooting a Pantene commercial with a Penelope Cruz, who also has a discernible accent. While Vergara was given easy words to say in the commercial, Cruz had to say difficult words like “follicular development” and “ammonium laureth sulfate.”