Rita Moreno Dons ‘Vote’ Mask as Part of When We All Vote’s New ‘Get Out The Vote’ Campaign

Rita Moreno isn’t masking her feelings about the importance of voting this year…

With the November election right around the corner, the 88-year-old Puerto Rican Oscar-winning actress and Latina icon is encouraging people to do their civic duty without uttering a single word.

Rita Moreno

Moreno is taking part in When We All Vote’s new campaign.

Director and producer Allen Hughes has brought together a wide range of artists, athletes, industry leaders, and notable community members wearing a “VOTE” face covering to inspire maximum voter participation.

When We All Vote

Those taking part in this year’s mask campaign include Tony Bennett, Dr. Dre, Robert De Niro, Larry David, Megan Rapinoe, Sean Penn, David Crosby, Snoop Dogg, Diane von Furstenberg, Padma Lakshmi, Sterling K Brown, Tyler Oakley, Kevin Love, Ron Howard, Judd Apatow, Lindsey Vonn, Michael Keaton, Bryan Cranston, Sandra Oh, Steve Buscemi, Pamela Adlon, Christopher Poindexter, Rita Moreno, Iliza Shlesinger, and Deepak Chopra, along with healthcare worker Cady Chaplin.

“This is clearly an existential election year, and it’s critical that every eligible voter in every community engage in this election,” Hughes says. “The very soul of our nation is on the ballot November 3rd, 2020.”

Launched in 2018 by co-chairs Michelle Obama, Tom Hanks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Janelle Monae, Chris Paul, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, When We All Vote uses a data-driven approach to increase participation in elections. The group focuseson increasing participation in every election while closing the race and age voting gap. The goal is to change the culture around voting, harnessing grassroots energy, and through strategic partnerships to reach every American.

In addition, Michelle Obama has added Selena Gomez, Liza Koshy, Megan Rapinoe, Shonda Rhimes, Tracee Ellis Ross, Kerry Washington, and Rita Wilson to this year’s co-chair list.

For more information on the organization and its new campaign, visit whenweallvote.org.

Ricky Velez to Record First Comedy Special at HBO

Ricky Velez is bringing the laughs…

The half-Puerto Rican Stand-up comedian/actor will team up with Judd Apatow for his first comedy special at HBO

Ricky Velez

Velez’s untitled special is set to tape later this year.

Velez will be reteaming with Apatow following their work together on feature The King of Staten Island, which Apatow, co-wrote, directed and produced, and Velez appeared in and co-produced.

Apatow will executive produce the special with Velez, along with Jon KamenMeredith BennettNeal Marshall and Dave Sirulnick

Mike Bonfiglio will direct the special and produce with Josh Church.

George Lopez to Take Part in Comedy Fundraiser for Feeding America

George Lopez is helping to feed America

The 59-year-old Mexican American comedian and actor will take part in the Byron Allen-driven comedy fundraiser for Feeding America.

George Lopez

The fundraiser will be held on Sunday, May 10 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm ET, with NBCbroadcasting the show. 

In addition to Lopez, the program will include participation from Sebastian Maniscalco, JB SmooveJim GaffiganJudd Apatow, Jack BlackCedric the EntertainerWhitney CummingsJim GaffiganBrad GarrettWhoopi GoldbergKevin James, Sarah Silverman and Kenan Thompson.

Others taking part include Kevin HartChris RockAdam SandlerEddie MurphyBilly Crystal, Marlon WayansHowie MandelTiffany HaddishBrad GarrettTaraji P. HensonLouie AndersonMargaret Cho, Kenan ThompsonMarc MaronJon LovitzCaroline RheaByron AllenBilly Gardell, Tim MeadowsJamie KennedyBill Engvalland Sheryl Underwood.

Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group television production division Entertainment Studios and Funny or Die will be producing the live-streaming comedy event.

The fundraiser will support the hunger-relief organization Feeding America

Additionally, the event will livestream on the Allen Media Group TV networks Comedy.TV and The Weather Channel, as well as on the free streaming service app Local Now.

Pre-recorded comedy segments will be featured during the three-hour event. Committed to appearing are Hart, Sandler, Murphy, Rock, etc.

Allen, founder/chair/CEO of Entertainment Studios/Allen Media Group, said the benefit will help hungry people who are straining the resources of the nation’s food banks during the pandemic shutdown. 

“Laughter is often the best medicine, and we are extremely motivated to bring attention to issues of food insecurity, and to assist in providing meals to families across the country who are financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said Wednesday.

“The coronavirus pandemic and the economic downturn it has created is shining a light on the fragile nature of people’s household budgets,” said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America, a nationwide network of 200 food banks. “Millions more of our neighbors are turning to food banks for help and we cannot thank Byron Allen and Allen Media Group enough for their support to raise funds and awareness of our work.”

Josh Segarra to Star in Netflix’s Comedy Series “AJ and the Queen” with RuPaul

Josh Segarra has landed a royalproject…

The 32-year-old Puerto Rican actor has joined the cast of AJ and the Queen, Netflix’s upcoming comedy series starring RuPaul Charles.

Josh Segarra

Written by Sex and the City creator Michael Patrick King and RuPaul, the series stars RuPaul as Ruby Red, a bigger-than-life but down-on-her-luck drag queen who travels across America from club to club in a rundown 1990s R/V with her unlikely sidekick AJ, a recently orphaned, tough-talking, scrappy 11-year-old stowaway. As these two misfits, one tall, one small, travel from city to city, Ruby’s message of love and acceptance winds up touching people and changing their lives for the better. And RuPaul performs a killer musical number in every drag club.

Segarra will play Hector in the series.

He can be seen as Jason in the feature remake of Overboard for MGM, as Adrian Chase/Prometheus on the CW’s Arrow and ‘C.O’ Stefanovic on Netflix’s Orange is the New Black.

His other recent credits include Judd Apatow’s feature film Trainwreck and USA comedy series Sirens.

Gina Rodriguez Receives Bill of Rights Award from the ACLU of Southern California 

Gina Rodriguez fits the bill

The 33-year-old Puerto Rican actress and Jane the Virgin star was honored Sunday by the ACLU of Southern California at the group’s annual Bill of Rights dinner.

Gina Rodriguez

Rodriguez received the Bill of Rights award for her the tireless efforts she puts toward women’s rights and support for immigration as part of her work.

Throughout her career, Rodriguez has been backed up her beliefs in her professional work, with socially-conscious projects like Jane the Virgin, which earned her a Golden Globe, and upcoming shows like Femme, dealing with millennial feminists; and Illegal, dealing with the current climate surrounding immigrant families.

Last month, she fired both her agency and management company, APA and Primary Wave Entertainment, with both linked in the wave of sexual harassment and abuse scandals plaguing Hollywood, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Rodriguez was tearful in detailing what the ACLU recognition meant to her as a Latino representative.

“For those of us who make our living in Hollywood, the images that affect our fellow humans are our responsibility. So I accept this award and in doing so accept my responsibility to present a positive image to all those who look to me for inspiration. I will never stop trying to make this country a place where people of all races and ethnicities can feel accepted,”  she said.

Others on hand lauded for their outspoken social advocacy included Oscar-winning actresses Viola Davis and Jane Fonda; producers Judd Apatow and Reginald Hudlin; and famed labor leader Dolores Huerta, who was given the Lifetime Advocate for Justice Award.

Vlad Caamaño to Appear at This Year’s Just For Laughs Festival

Vlad Caamaño is hitting the Great White North this summer…

The Dominican American comedian is set to appear at this year’s Just For Laughs Festival, which runs July 12-31 in Montreal, Canada featuring a plethora of stand-up performances by Judd ApatowTrevor Noah, Ali Wong, John Mulaney, Chris D’Elia, and Tom Segura.

Vlad Caamaño

The signature marquee highlight this year to celebrate the fest’s milestone: Jerry Seinfeld will share the stage with France’s biggest comedic star Gad Elmaleh for a one night performance on July 26.

Caamaño will appear as part of The Ethnic Show, hosted by Iranian-American stand-up Maz Jobrani. Joining Maz and Caamaño, are Jessica KirsonSteve Byrne, The Doo Wops (John Catucci and David Mesiano) and Mike Rita.

Villafañe to Portray Gloria Estefan in the Broadway Musical “On Your Feet!”

It’s a Miami Sound Machine moment for Ana Villafañe

The Cuban-American singer, dancer and actress has been cast as Gloria Estefan in On Your Feet!, the highly anticipated Broadway musical about the Latin music superstar and her equally talented husband, producer Emilio Estefan.

Emilio Estefan, Gloria Estefan, Ana Villafañe and Josh Segarra

Villafañe, who attended the same Miami high school as la Estefan, wasn’t able to make the open casting call last fall but sent a video audition, according to an announcement Monday from the production team. She got the call to audition for director Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots, Hairspray) and the Estefans, and was cast in the show.

She’ll star opposite Josh Segarra, who will portray Emilio.

The musical — a rare Latino-themed Broadway offering that will surely benefit from Estefan’s global status — is based on the life story of the seven-time Grammy-winning singer and her husband, who owns 19 of his own Grammys. It’s slated to open at Broadway’s Nederlander-operated Marquis Theatre on November 5, following previews beginning October 5. I

n addition to staging by Mitchell, the show will have choreography by Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys, Memphis), with a book by Oscar winner Alexander Dinelaris (Birdman). Prior to Broadway, the show will try out at Chicago’s Oriental Theatre from June 2-July 5.

“She walked into the room, and I immediately thought to myself – ‘this is it’,” Mitchell said of Villafañe in a prepared announcement. “Not only was she beautifully reminiscent of a young Gloria, but she embodied her energy and spirit in such a captivating way. And then she fully rose to the occasion by giving a sensational audition.”

Villafañe’s film and television credits include Magic City Memoirs (executive producer Andy Garcia), Los Americans and the upcoming Hulu original series South Beach: Fever as well as the female lead in Max Steel (Mattel), set for global release this summer.

Segarra has appeared in New York in Second Stage Theater’s Dogfight and Lysistrata Jones. On television, he stars in USA’s comedy series Sirens and has a recurring part on NBC’s Chicago PD as well as PBS’ The Electric Company, and guest appearances on Showtime’s Homeland and FX’s The Following. This summer, he’ll appear in the Judd Apatow feature film Trainwreck.

The company will also feature Andréa Burns (In The Heights) as Gloria Fajardo (Gloria’s mother); Alma Cuervo (Beauty And The Beast) as Consuelo (Gloria’s grandmother); Alexandria Suarez as Little Gloria; and Noah Johnston as little Emilio.

David Rockwell (Kinky Boots, On The Twentieth Century) has designed the sets, with costumes by Emilio Sosa (Porgy & Bess), lighting by Kenneth Posner (Wicked, Hairspray), sound by Steve Kennedy and projections by Darrel Maloney. The show is produced by James L. Nederlander and Estefan Enterprises Inc., in partnership with Bernie Yuman.

In anticipation of a wide-ranging social media campaign to publicize the show, the production also released three videos about the Estefan’s and the making of the musical.

Segarra Lands Role in Judd Apatow’s Comedy “Trainwreck”

 

Josh Segarra is a trainwreck

 

The 28-year-old Puerto Rican actor has landed a role in Judd Apatow’s latest comedy Trainwreck.

Josh Segarra

 

Segarra, who was recently upped to series regular for the second season of USA Network’s comedy series Sirens, will portray the role of Oli, a Staten Island smooth talking guy.

 

The ensemble cast includes Amy Schumer, Daniel Radcliffe, Tilda Swinton, Marisa Tomei, Bill Hader, Brie Larson, Colin Quinn, Barkhad Abdi, Mike Birbiglia, Jon Glaser, Vanessa Bayer, John Cena, Ezra Miller, LeBron James and Method Man.

 

Trainwreck is scheduled to hit theaters on July 24, 2015.