Javier Muñoz to Perform at This Year’s Arthur Miller Foundation Honors Benefit for Public School Arts Education

Javier Muñoz is celebrating the arts in our schools…

The 44-year-old Puerto Rican Broadway star, who performed in the Tony Award-winning musicals In The Heights and Hamilton, has joined the line-up of performers for the annual Arthur Miller Foundation Honors celebrating public school arts education.

Javier Muñoz in Hamilton

Muñoz will perform alongside his friend and castmate Mandy Gonzalez, the 42-year-old half-Mexican American Broadway star who has appeared in In The Heights, Wicked and Hamilton.

The third annual gala celebration is set to stream virtually on November 16, and will also include performances by husband-and-wife duos like Hamilton’s Leslie Odom, Jr. and WaitressNicolette Robinson; and Hamilton‘s Phillipa Soo and Bridges of Madison County‘s Steven Pasquale.

The evening will include a special appearance by Chiké Okonkwo and performances by New York City public school students impacted by the Miller program.

Additional performers and appearances to be announced at a later date.

Sasha HutchingsHamilton original cast member and Foundation Master Artist Council member, will host. She also co-produces along with Arthur Miller Foundation Executive Director Jaime Hastings. Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg are event co-chairs alongside Rebecca Miller, Sandi Farkas, Janine & Michael Smith.

The event is presented by Broadway.com and directed by Paul Wontorek. The Foundation will honor Tony Award nominee Dominique Morisseau (Ain’t Too Proud) with the Arthur Miller Foundation Legacy Award, and will recognize exceptional NYC public school theater teacher Lisanne Shaffer with the Arthur Miller Foundation Excellence in Arts Education Award.

The celebration will raise funds for the Foundation’s theater education programs.

Netflix Releases Trailer for Robin de Jesús’ “The Boys in the Band”

Robin de Jesús is playing with the Band

Netflix has released the official trailer for its upcoming Ryan Murphy-produced The Boys in the Band, featuring the 36-year-old Puerto Rican actor/singer, who is best known for his role as Sonny in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical In the Heights.

Robin de Jesus, The Boys in the Band

The Boys in the Band is Joe Mantello’s film adaptation of his hit Tony Award-winning Broadway staging. de Jesus starred as Emory in that 2018 staging, earning a Tony Award nominations for Best Featured Actor in a Play.

Starring the Broadway cast – including Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, Matt Bomer and Andrew Rannells – this adaptation is both faithful to Mart Crowley’s 1968 play while offering a subtle and fresh perspective.

The logline: A group of gay men gather for a birthday party in 1968 New York City, only to find the drinks and laughs interrupted when a visitor from the host’s past turns the evening upside down.

In addition to Parsons, Quinto, Bomer, Rannells and de Jesús, The Boys in the Band also stars Charlie Carver, Brian Hutchison, Michael Benjamin Washington and Tuc Watkins.

With a co-writing credit given to Ned Martel, The Boys in the Band includes some brief scenes you wouldn’t have seen in the 2018 Broadway production nor William Friedkin’s 1970 film version.

The Boys in the Band premieres on September 30 on Netflix.

de Jesús’ previous credits include the films Gun Hill Road and Camp.

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.

Lin-Manuel Miranda to Star Opposite Blake Lively in the Romantic Comedy “The Making Of”

Lin-Manuel Miranda is making new moves…

The 40-year-old Puerto Rican actor/singer and Broadway star will star in The Making Of, a romantic comedy written and produced by Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz.

Lin-Manuel Miranda

In addition to Miranda, who recently earned a spot of ForbesHigh-Paid Actors list, the film will also star Richard Gere, Diane Keaton and Blake Lively.

The Making Of centers on two couples: long-married filmmakers (Gere and Keaton) have cast overemotional actors (Lively and Miranda) to portray their younger selves in the story of their great love. Unfortunately, by the time shooting begins, their fabled marriage is unraveling. The filmmakers want to make a hit; the actors want to tell the true story. Whose version really is the truth? And how do they distinguish between real love and movie love when their lives and their work become hopelessly intertwined?

The film will be a production of Zwick & Herskovitz’ The Bedford Falls Company. It will shoot next spring.

Miranda can currently be seen on Disney+ in the film version of his Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Hamilton.

Miranda previously starred in Speech & Debate, Mary Poppins Returns and The Odd Life of Timothy Green. He’ll appear in the film adaptation of another of his Tony Award-winning Broadway musicals, In The Heights.

Anthony Ramos Releases Powerful New Single “Stop”

There’s no Stop-ping Anthony Ramos’ trajectory…

The 28-year-old Puerto Rican singer/actor, currently appearing in the film version of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Hamilton, has released the new single “Stop,” as well as the official music video for the powerful track.

Anthony Ramos

Featuring church bells, handclaps, shimmering keys and Ramos’ impressive vocal runs, the song serves as a reminder to carpe diem

“Stop came from my inability to do just that. It’s a song about stopping, breathing, being present in whatever moment you’re in and finding the beauty in it,” says Ramos.

Directed by Blythe Thomas, the music video seamlessly reflects the spirit of the song.

It follows Brooklyn artist and stylist Anthony Payne. After losing his job at a hair salon in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, he grabbed his scissors and comb and decided to bring a little light into the world following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

The video finds Payne cutting hair outdoors in Brooklyn while supporting the Black Lives Matter movement by donating the proceeds.

The video also shows Ramos canvasing the streets, linking up with Payne, and delivering a subtle and well-placed message, “Vote.

Ramos, a multi-talented force, recently joined forces with Storybooth to produce an animated tribute to Black Lives Matter. The collaboration showcases 12-year-old Keedron Bryant’s unofficial Black Lives Matter anthem “I Just Wanna Live.”

Ramos first made his mark originating the dual roles of John Laurens and Philip Hamilton in the Hamilton musical. He’s also appeared opposite Lady Gaga in A Star Is Born, and Spike Lee’s acclaimed Netflix series She’s Gotta Have It

Signed to Republic Records, Ramos released his debut album last fall. The album, The Good & The Bad, debuted in the Top 10 on iTunes Pop Albums chart.

He’s currently featured as the voice of King Trollex in the recently released film Trolls World Tour. And he’ll next star as the lead role in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s highly anticipated film adaptation of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical In The Heights.

Lin-Manuel Miranda Makes Career Debut on Forbes’ Highest-Paid Actors List

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s makin’ bank…

Forbes has released its ranking of the world’s highest-paid actors, with the 40-year-old Puerto Rican actor, singer, rapper and playwright making the list for the first time in his career.

Lin-Manuel Miranda 

Miranda, who has starred in Speech & Debate, Mary Poppins Returns and The Odd Life of Timothy Green, comes in at No. 7 with earnings of $45.5 million.

Helping Miranda land on the list? Disney’s acquisition of the worldwide film rights to Miranda’s Tony Award-winning original Broadway production of Hamilton for $75 million this year.

Even with Broadway closed for the remainder of 2020, Miranda can expect another big payday next year when the film version of his other Tony Award-winning musical In the Heights comes out.

This year’s highest paid actor is Dwayne Johnson, for the second year in a row, with earning of $87.5 million.

Methodology: Earnings estimates are based on data from Nielsen, ComScore, Box Office Mojo and IMDB, as well as interviews with industry insiders. All figures are pretax and reflect earnings between June 1, 2019, and June 1, 2020; fees for agents, managers and lawyers (generally 10%, 15% and 5%, respectively) are not deducted. The list of highest-paid female actors will be out next month.

Click here to see the full list.

Anthony Ramos Now Starring Opposite Naomi Scott in Amblin Partners’ Sci-Fi Comedy “Distant”

Anthony Ramos is going the distant-ce with a new co-star…

The 28-year-old Puerto Rican actor, singer and Hamilton star will now star opposite Naomi Scott in Amblin Partners’ upcoming comedic sci-fi film Distant.

Anthony Ramos

Scott joins the film after Rachel Brosnahan had to withdraw due to scheduling conflicts with production on the next season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The film tells the story of an asteroid miner who, after crash-landing on an alien planet, must contend with the challenges of his new surroundings, while making his way across the harsh terrain to the only other survivor – a woman trapped in her escape pod.

Will Speck and Josh Gordon will direct. Spenser Cohen penned the spec script.

Ramos, who appears in the Hamilton musical film currently streaming on Disney+, originated the dual roles of John Laurens and Philip Hamilton in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical.

His other credits include Monsters and Men, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Patti Cake$ and A Star is Born. And, he’ll next star in the film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning musical In The Heights.

Gregory Diaz IV Signs with United Talent Agency (UTA)

Gregory Diaz IV has new representation…

The 15-year-old Puerto Rican actor, who stars in Jon Chu’s upcoming Warner Bros. feature musical In The Heights, has signed with United Talent Agency (UTA).

Gregory Diaz IV

Diaz previously appeared on Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and NBC’s New Amsterdam.

Diaz made his name on Broadway with his performance as Bruce in Matilda the Musical in 2016 and also performed Off-Broadway in Pedro PanZurich and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

He plays Sonny de la Vega in In the Heights, which is based on the musical by Quiara Alegria Hudes and Lin-Manuel Miranda. The film is scheduled for release in June 2021.

Diaz can also be seen in upcoming comedy film Vampires vs. the Bronx, written and directed by Oz Rodriguez and produced by Lorne Michaels.

Dascha Polanco to Star in Fox’s Forensic Genealogy-Themed Crime Drama Pilot “Blood Relative”

It’s all relative for Dascha Polanco

The 37-year-old Dominican actress will star opposite Tate Donovan and Melissa Leo in the Fox pilot Blood Relative.

Dascha Polanco

The forensic genealogy-themed crime drama hails from writer-producer Chris Levinson and producer Liza Chasin

Blood Relative is based on James Renner’s 2018 article “Beyond the Jungle of Bad: The True Story of Two Women from California Who Are Solving All the Mysteries,” about Dr. Colleen Fitzpatrick and Dr. Margaret Press, who combined their genealogy expertise to push the boundaries of forensic science and helped law enforcement identify Joe and Jane Does and track down serial killers.

Written by Levinson and Renner and to be directed by Phillip NoyceBlood Relativecenters on genetic genealogy, the best new tool in crime scene forensics, and nobody knows it like Louise Kelly (Leo). Too bad she’s impossible to deal with.

Polanco will play Maria Alvarez, a woman making lemonade out of lemons. She and her hearing-impaired 8-year-old son Sam live with her home psychic mother while Maria goes to night school to get her Ph.D. in psychology (she will eventually go to work at the same Parish Precinct as John (Donovan). Maria’s reason for wanting to work with cops? She’s spent her entire life in their world. Twenty years ago, her father Diego was convicted of murder. Maria is stunned to learn that the police have discovered the body of Gary Northrup – the very man her father is accused of killing. Lou’s DNA genius might prove her father’s innocence. Maria’s life will be changed by this new science and this oh so unique woman. She’ll also prove to be one of the only people alive who speaks “Lou,” making her an invaluable asset. 

Paramount Television Studios and Anonymous Content co-produce with Fox Entertainment.

Polanco rose to acclaim as Dayanara Diaz on all seven seasons of Netflix’s Orange is the New BlackShe’ll next co-star in Lin Manuel-Miranda’s In the Heights and as the female lead alongside Sylvester Stallone in Samaritan.

Polanco’s other credits include Netflix’s When They See UsThe Irishman and FX’s The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.

Polanco was high on Fox’s wish list of talent for pilots this season. Her deal for Blood Relativewas in negotiations when pilot season ground to a halt in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Trailer Released for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “We Are Freestyle Love Supreme” Documentary

Lin-Manuel Miranda is freestylin’…

The official trailer has been released for We Are Freestyle Love Supreme, the documentary about the 40-year-old’s improv hip-hop project.

Lin-Manuel Miranda 

Before Miranda’s Tony Award-winning musicals Hamilton and In The Heights, the Mary Poppins Returns star, Christopher JacksonThomas Kail and Anthony Veneziale, among others, traded off-the-cuff rhymes the way Second City actors swapped jokes in their improv hip-hop group.

Created by Miranda, Kail and Veneziale in the summer of 2005, its beginnings on sidewalks and a small performing space at New York’s Drama Book Shop, the show would make the rounds Off Broadway, ever-changing, before landing on Broadway for an acclaimed and commercial successful run last year.

The show’s long journey is chronicled in filmmaker Andrew Fried’s documentaryWe Are Freestyle Love Supreme, premiering on Hulu on Friday, June 5. Fried’s camera captures the group reuniting for a series of shows in New York City that led to the Broadway engagement.

Appearing in the doc, which debuted at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, are Miranda, Veneziale, Jackson, Kail, Arthur LewisUtkarsh AmbudkarChris SullivanBill ShermanJames Monroe Iglehart and Andrew Bancroft.