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.

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “We Are Freestyle Love Supreme” Headed to Hulu in June

Lin-Manuel Miranda love supreme is headed to Hulu

The Andrew Fried-directed documentary We Are Freestyle Love Supreme produced by the 40-year-old Hamiltoncreator and Broadway star has found a home at Hulu and will hit the streamer on June 5.

Lin-Manuel Miranda 

The documentary made its premiere at the Sundance Film Festivalearlier this year and highlights the 15-year journey of the hip-hop improvisational group founded by Miranda, Thomas Kail and Anthony Veneziale

The group called Freestyle Love Supreme was formed long before Miranda’s Hamiltonand In The Heightsmusicals hit Broadway

Fried began chronicling the group in the summer of 2005, documenting the early days of Freestyle Love Supreme beatboxing and rapping on the sidewalks. 

Fast forward 14 years later and Fried brings us to a reunion with a series of shows in New York City that led to a triumphant run on Broadway.

In addition to Miranda, Kail and Veneziale, the doc features Arthur LewisChristopher JacksonUtkarsh AmbudkarChris SullivanBill Sherman,James Monroe Iglehartand Andrew Bancroft.

Lin-Manuel Miranda to Take Part in Stephen Sondheim Virtual Birthday Concert

Lin-Manuel Miranda is celebrating a living musical theater legend.

The 40-year-old Puerto Rican composer, lyricist, singer, actor, producer and playwright, widely known for creating and starring in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musicals In the Heights and Hamilton, has signed on to appear on Sunday’s Stephen Sondheim virtual birthday concert.

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Miranda, who starred in Mary Poppins Returns, joins a roster of new additions that includes Jake GyllenhaalLinda LavinLaura BenantiNeil Patrick Harrisand Ben Plattfor the all-star benefit for Artists Striving To End Poverty.

Previously announced stars participating in the concert include Annaleigh AshfordMelissa ErricoBeanie FeldsteinJosh GrobanJudy KuhnRandy Rainbow and Lea Solanga

Special appearances will be made by Victor GarberJoanna GleasonNathan Lane and Steven Spielberg.

They’ll all join the previously announced Meryl StreepBernadette PetersPatti LuPone and Audra McDonald, among many others, in the special virtual concert to celebrate Sondheim’s 90th birthday.

Take Me To The World: A Sondheim 90th Birthday Celebration, hosted by Raúl Esparza, is set for this Sunday, April 26, the 50th anniversary of the opening night of Sondheim’s groundbreaking musical Company.

The concert kicks off at 8:00 pm ET, and will be available for free at Broadway.comand the Broadway.com YouTubechannel.

Other artists performing songs from the Sondheim catalog will include Mandy Patinkin, Christine BaranskiDonna MurphyKristin ChenowethSutton FosterBrian Stokes MitchellKelli O’HaraAaron TveitMaria Friedman, Iain ArmitageKatrina LenkMichael CerverisBrandon UranowitzStephen SchwartzElizabeth StanleyChip Zien, Alexander Gemignani and, from the cast of Pacific Overtures at Classic Stage CompanyAnn HaradaAustin KuKelvin Moon Loh and Thom Sesma.

Esparza starred as Bobby in the 2006 Tony Award-winning revival of Companyand in the Kennedy Center Sondheim Celebration productions of Sunday in the Park with George and Merrily We Roll Along in 2002, as well as the City Center Encores! production of Anyone Can Whistle and in last year’s Road Show.

“The world is in a hard place,” Esparza said in a statement, “and we are all searching for something great. Well, Stephen Sondheim is greatness personified.”

Mary-Mitchell Campbell will be the music director, with Paul Wontorek serving as director.

The online event will act as a fundraiser for ASTEP (Artists Striving to End Poverty), the organization conceived by Campbell and Juilliard students to transform the lives of youth through art.

Lin-Manuel Miranda Makes 10-Year $1 Million Commitment to National Theater Institute for Minority Scholarships

Lin-Manuel Miranda is helping the next generation of theater stars…

The 40-year-old Puerto Rican composer, lyricist, singer, actor, producer and playwright’s Miranda Family Fund has made a 10-year $1 million commitment to provide scholarships for the National Theater Institute, the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s six-semester program designed to prepare students for work in the theater industry.

Lin-Manuel Miranda 

The Miranda Family Fund supports scholarships to further the inclusion of artists of color across all disciplines of theater, and also has been active in post-Hurricane Mariarelief and rebuilding efforts in Puerto Rico.

“We see Lin-Manuel Miranda’s influence, inspiration, and artistry everyday in our classrooms,” said the Institute’s Artistic Director Rachel Jett. “The Miranda family’s decade-long commitment ensures that NTI’s unique multi-disciplinary training is available to everyone. And that our ensembles — and the audiences that support their work — represent the multitude of voices that will keep this ever-evolving art form vibrant, relevant, and revolutionary.”

According to the announcement, the 10-year commitment will ensure that the Institute will be able “to advance access, opportunity, and representation in American culture,” and that the Miranda Family Fund is “helping to actively and permanently transform and diversify the American cultural landscape through investment in young artists and with the shared belief that the stories told and the artists who tell them should represent the diversity of the nation.”

The Miranda Family Fund was established in 2017, and to date has supported the training of 40 students of color at the Institute.

In 2005, Miranda held a workshop of In the Heightsat the O’Neill’s National Music Theater Conference

“My time at the O’Neill was integral to me learning how to tell my story,” the Hamiltoncreator said. “My family and I hope that this financial commitment will help the O’Neill to continue incorporating an increasingly diverse pool of creators and performers to their unique and impactful programming for years to come.“

Said Miranda, “Access is an obstacle for many people looking to pursue a career in the arts, particularly those of color.”

In addition to the playwright, the Miranda Family Fund is operated by his wife Vanessa Nadal, parents Luis A. Miranda, Jr.and Dr. Luz Towns-Miranda, sister Luz Miranda-Crespoand her husband Luis Crespo.

Dascha Polanco to Star in the Superhero Thriller “Samaritan”

Dascha Polanco is a good Samaritan…

The 37-year-old Dominican actress is set to star in MGM’s superhero thriller movie Samaritan

Dascha Polanco

Polanco joins a cast that includes Javon ‘Wanna’ WaltonSylvester StalloneMartin StarrPilou Asbækand Moises Arias.

Walton will play a young boy who’s out to discover if a mythic superhero, who vanished 20 years earlier following a tragic event, is still alive.

Julius Avery is directing from a screenplay by Bragi F. Schut, with additional writing by Mark L. SmithZak Penn, and Chuck MacLean

The story is based on Schut’s original idea. 

The film is scheduled for release on December 11 via United Artists Releasingwith Universal handling foreign. 

Polanco portrayed Dayanara Diaz on Netflix’s Orange is the New Blackfor seven-seasons and starred in Ava DuVernay’s 2019 Netflix limited series When They See Us. She’ll soon be seen in her first lead film role in Adrian Martinez’s indie dark comedy iCreep, and Warner Brothers’ adaption of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In The Heightsthis summer. Her additional credits include the FXanthology series The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Storyand films including JoyThe Perfect MatchThe Cobblerand Gimme Shelter

Arias first made a name for himself as series regular on the Disney Channel hit original series Hannah Montana, and has since gone on to appear in several Sundance films including Kings of Summer, The Land and Stanford Prison Experiment. Last year, he appeared in CBS Films’ Five Feet Apart as well as the Sundance World Dramatic Competition Special Jury Award winner Monos and the SXSW opening weekend film The Wall of Mexico

Lin-Manuel Miranda Among the High-Profile Guests on Apple’s New Biographical Docuseries “Dear….”

Lin-Manuel Mirandais a realDear

The 40-year-old Puerto Rican composer, lyricist, singer, actor, producer, and playwright will appear on Apple’s new biographical docuseries Dear….

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Dear…takes an inventive and cinematic approach to biographies of the most iconic figures in society today by using letters written by those whose lives have been changed through their work. 

In addition to Miranda, widely known for creating and starring in the the Tony Award-winning Broadway musicals In the Heights and Hamilton, the 10-episode series will profile internationally recognized leaders including Oprah WinfreyGloria SteinemSpike LeeYara Shahidi, Stevie WonderAly RaismanMisty Copeland, Big Bird and more.

The docuseries, inspired by Apple’s “Dear Apple” spots hails from Emmy and Peabody Award-winner RJ Cutler and Matador Content. The series will premiere globally this spring on Apple TV+.

The “Dear Apple” spots feature a mix of Apple Watch users who personally write a letter to thank the tech giant for the watch technology that has helped them live healthier lives. In one spot, a man notes how the watch’s SOS feature helped him call for help when he was injured in a car crash.

Lin-Manuel Miranda Encourages People to Take Part in Small Business Saturday

Lin-Manuel Miranda is fighting for the little guy…

With the holiday shopping season upon us, the 39-year-old Puerto Rican actor and In The Heights and Hamilton creator is urging people to take part in Small Business Saturday, an effort to shop at local, independent stores on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Growing up in the neighborhood of Washington Heights, Miranda said small businesses were a staple in the neighborhood.

“I think New York City is better when it’s full of small businesses. I think the world is better. I grew up in a neighborhood that was dotted with small businesses,” Miranda said at a recent pop-up shop put on by American Express, creator of Small Business Saturday.

“That’s a part of what makes New York special and makes the world special, is those places you can’t find anywhere else in the world,” he said.

This year, he also became a small business owner by teaming up with a group that includes theater owner James Nederlander to purchase the Drama Book Shop, a century-old store in the theater district that was in danger of closing due to high rent prices. 

The new location nearby will open in March.