Lin-Manuel Miranda Among 300 BIPOC Artists to Sign Open Letter Demanding Change from the “White American Theater”

Lin-Manuel Mirandais addressing the “White American Theater.”

As protests and rallies against racial injustice and the killing of black lives continue throughout the world, the 40-year-old Puerto Rican composer, lyricist, singer, rapper, actor, producer, and playwright is bringing the theater world into the spotlight, to address systemic racism against black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC).

Lin-Manuel Miranda 

An open letter addressed to “White American Theater” and demanding change was published earlier this week. 

The letter was filled with ugly truths that those who’ve worked in the theater industry have experienced for decades. 

Among the 300 BIPOCs who signed the letter were Miranda,Viola DavisSandra OhUzo AdubaSterling K. BrownCynthia ErivoYahya Abdul-Mateen IIDanai GuriraAndre HollandConrad RicamoraTanya SarachoAnika Noni RoseJessica HagedornLeslie Odom Jr.,Katori Halland others.

The letter bluntly calls out the industry: “We see you. We have always seen you. We have watched you pretend not to see us.”

“We have watched you exploit us, shame us, diminish us, and exclude us. We see you. We have always seen you. And now you will see us.”

It continues to drag theater’s history of tokenism, white privilege, patriarchy, blatant racism, bias and hypocrisy: “We have watched you amplify our voices when we are heralded by the press, but refuse to defend our aesthetic when we are not, allowing our livelihoods to be destroyed by a monolithic and racist culture.”

“Join us in demanding change for BIPOC theater artists at http://weseeyouWAT.com. #WeSeeYou #TomorrowTherellBeMoreOfUs,” Miranda tweeted, sharing the letter and a petition with everyone.

The open letter comes as the protests following the killing of George Floyd and other black lives continue around the globe. It also comes when there seems to be a reckoning in all industries when it comes to racial inequality. 

Krysta Rodriguez to Take Part in Special “Smash” Virtual Cast Reunion to Benefit Actors Fund

Krysta Rodriguezis ready for a Smashing reunion…

The 35-year-old Latina actress/singer is expected to take part in a virtual Smash cast reunion.

Krysta Rodriguez,

Rodriguez, who portrayed Ana Vargas on NBC’s 2012-2013 musical series, will appear in the one-night-only Actors Fund benefit event alongside her Smashcastmates Jaime CeperoWill ChaseBrian d’Arcy JamesJack DavenportAnn HaradaJeremy JordanAndy MientusLeslie Odom Jr. and Wesley Taylor.

The show’s stars Debra MessingKatharine McPheeChristian BorleMegan Hilty and other cast members will virtually reunite on May 20 for a streaming of the 2015 Bombshell in Concert, with Renée Zellwegerintroducing the event and Julie Klausner hosting a live, virtual cast reunion.

The concert of the show-within-the-show about the life of Marilyn Monroewas taped at Broadway’s Minskoff Theateron June 8, 2015, an event that remains one of the most successful fundraisers ever for The Actors FundBombshell– the creation of which formed the plot of Smash– features a score by Marc Shaimanand Scott Wittman, who also served as executive producers of Smash.

Rodriguez and her cast members will appear in a livestream reunion during the intermission. 

The concert and reunion will stream on Wednesday, May 20, at 8:00 pm ET on people.com, PeopleTV, and People social platforms.

Tony Awardwinner and Actors Fund chairman Brian Stokes Mitchell said, “Bombshell in Concertwill be a wonderful evening to share this benefit night with fans far and wide, and will raise much-needed funds to help The Actors Fund continue to help everyone in need in our entertainment community across the country.”

In the past seven weeks, The Actors Fund has distributed $10.1 million in emergency financial assistance to 8,558 people in need due to the current COVID-19pandemic, or more than five times the funds normally provided in a year.

Smashwas based on an original idea by Steven Spielberg, who was also executive producer of the series, and created by Theresa Rebeck.

Disney Bringing Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hit Broadway Musical “Hamilton” to the Big Screen

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadwayhit is heading to the big screen. 

Disney will release a feature film of the original Tony Award-winning stage musical Hamilton, created by the 40-year-old Puerto Rican composer/lyricist, actor and creator, in the U.S. and Canada on October 15, 2021.

Hamilton

The studio is teaming with Miranda, Jeffrey Sellerand Thomas Kail on the project, which is billed as a “leap forward in the art of ‘live capture.’” It explains the live capture method as “combining the best elements of live theater and film,” resulting in “a cinematic stage performance that is a wholly new way to experience Hamilton.”

Producers for this version of Hamilton include Miranda, Seller and Kail, who also directs. 

The film was shot in June 2016 at the Richard Rodgers Theatreand reports began circulatingin 2018 that bidders were circling the film version of the stage production. Studios had to pledge not to release it until at least 2020.

The original Broadway cast of the record-smashing show will appear in the new film. Cast members include Miranda as Alexander HamiltonDaveed Diggsas Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas JeffersonRenée Elise Goldsberryas Angelica Schuyler; and Leslie Odom, Jr.as Aaron Burr. Also due to star are Christopher Jacksonas George WashingtonJonathan Groffas King GeorgePhillipa Sooas Eliza Hamilton; and Jasmine Cephas Jones as Peggy Schuyler/Maria ReynoldsOkieriete Onaodowanas Hercules Mulligan/James Madison; and Anthony Ramosas John Laurens/Philip Hamilton.

“Lin-Manuel Miranda created an unforgettable theater experience and a true cultural phenomenon, and it was for good reason that Hamiltonwas hailed as an astonishing work of art. All who saw it with the original cast will never forget that singular experience,” Disney CEO Bob Igersaid. “And we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to share this same Broadway experience with millions of people around the world.”

Miranda, who starred in an update of Mary Poppinsin 2018, affirmed his connection with Disney. “I fell in love with musical storytelling growing up with the legendary Howard AshmanAlan MenkenDisney collaborations – The Little MermaidBeauty and The BeastAladdin,” he said. “I’m so proud of what Tommy Kail has been able to capture in this filmed version of Hamilton – a live theatrical experience that feels just as immediate in your local movie theater. We’re excited to partner with Disney to bring the original Broadway company of Hamilton to the largest audience possible.”

Kail added, “We are thrilled for fans of the show, and new audiences across the world, to experience what it was like on stage – and in the audience – when we shot this. … We wanted to give everyone the same seat, which is what this film can provide.”

According to sources, Disney beat out other suitors and paid $75 million for worldwide rights to the show that won 11 Tony Awards in 2016, as well as the Pulitzer Prizefor Drama. Disney won the deal with a commitment for a wide global theatrical release for the 2 hour, 40 minute movie, which was shot two weeks before the original cast left.

Lin-Manuel Miranda to Perform at This Year’s Tony Awards

Lin-Manuel Miranda is making his triumphant return to the Tony Awards

The 37-year-old Puerto Rican composer, playwright, actor and singer will perform on Sunday’s Tonycast, almost one year after his hit Broadway musical Hamilton swept the awards.

Lin-Manuel Miranda

The casts of Bandstand, Come From Away, Dear Evan Hansen, Falsettos, Groundhog Day The Musical, Hello, Dolly!, Miss Saigon, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 and War Paint will perform during 71st Annual Tony Awards, which CBS will broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall from 8:00 to 11:00 PM.

There’s still no word on what Miranda will perform.

There will be additional performances by The Radio City Rockettes and Tony Award winners Cynthia Erivo (The Color Purple) and Leslie Odom Jr. (Hamilton).

There will be additional appearances by Scott Bakula, Sara Bareilles, Orlando Bloom, Rachel Bloom, Glenn Close, Stephen Colbert, Brian d’Arcy James, Cynthia Erivo, Tina Fey, Sutton Foster, Josh Gad, Whoopi Goldberg, Jonathan Groff, Mark Hamill, Taraji P. Henson, Christopher Jackson, Allison Janney, Scarlett Johansson, Anna Kendrick, Keegan-Michael Key, Nick Kroll, John Legend, John Lithgow, Patina Miller, John Mulaney, David Oyelowo, Chazz Palminteri, Sarah Paulson, Lea Salonga, Tom Sturridge, Tommy Tune, Olivia Wilde, and 2017 Tony nominees Sally Field, Josh Groban, Bette Midler and Ben Platt.

Although Midler will appear as a presenter in one of the acting categories, she is not scheduled to participate in the Hello, Dolly! segment, which will be led by co-star Hyde Pierce. The blockbuster production’s offer to present the title song, or another of Dolly’s show-stoppers, live via remote from the Shubert Theatre was declined by the Tony producers.

The ceremony will be hosted by Tony and Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Spacey.

The Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.

Angelique Kidjo to Perform Celia Cruz Tribute at the Hollywood Bowl

Prepare to be bowled over by Celia Cruz’s music…

Singer-songwriter Angelique Kidjo is set to perform a special tribute to the late Cuban singer, who passed away in July 23 at the age of 77, at the Hollywood Bowl.

Celia Cruz

It’s all part of the 2017 Jazz at the Bowl summer series, kicking off July 19, featuring eight Wednesday evening concerts.

Cruz is hailed as the most popular Latin artist of the 20th century, earning 23 gold albums. She was a recipient of the National Medal of Arts. She was renowned internationally as the “Queen of Salsa“, “La Guarachera de Cuba“, as well as The Queen of Latin Music.

Guided by Herbie Hancock, the L.A. Philharmonic’s creative chair for jazz, this year’s series features performances by a diverse lineup of established and emerging artists, including Kidjo’s Cruz tribute on August 9.

The lineup also includes performances by Jill Scott and the Robert Glasper Experiment, Andra Day, Leslie Odom Jr. and more in a salute to Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzy Gillespie, and Steve Winwood with Mavis Staples.

The complete 2017 Jazz at the Bowl schedule, as well as ticket information, is available at www.HollywoodBowl.com.

Garcia-Rulfo to Star in “Murder On The Orient Express” Remake

Manuel Garcia-Rulfo is about to Express himself…

The 35-year-old Mexican actor has been cast in Fox’s Murder On The Orient Express, the remake based on Agatha Christie classic novel to be directed by Kenneth Branagh.

Manuel Garcia-Rulfo

Garcia-Rulfo, who will portray Marquez, joins an all-star cast that includes Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Judi Dench, Penelope Cruz, Michael Peña, Josh Gad and Leslie Odom Jr. as well as Branagh.

Garcia-Rulfo, who made his first major American film with Bless Me, Ultima, last starred in Antoine Fuqua’s The Magnificent Seven. He also recently completed shooting on Soldado.

His other credits include appearance in the film Cake and in the television series From Dusk till Dawn: The Series.

Miranda Takes Final “Hamilton” Bow

It’s the final curtain call for Lin Manuel-Miranda

The 36-year-old Puerto Rican actor, composer, rapper and writer took his final bows last night with the original cast of Hamilton, along with fellow departing stars Leslie Odom Jr. and Phillipa Soo in an emotional night at the Richard Rodgers Theatre.

Lin-Manuel Miranda's final Hamilton curtain call

After a few minutes, with no words spoken, the cast left the stage to the theme from The West Wing television series.

Javier Muñoz, Miranda’s alternate since the beginning of the journey Hamilton has taken from workshop to off-Broadway to its recent 11 Tony Award wins including Best Musical, takes over the title role beginning on Monday.

Among those in attendance for Miranda’s final performance, in which tickets ran upwards of $12,000 a seat, were Aaron Paul, Rosie O’Donnell, Secretary of State John Kerry, Mariska Hargitay, Edward Norton and Jennifer Lopez, who recorded a charity single with Miranda to benefit the victims of the Orlando Shooting.

A video of the final curtain call was posted on the Hamilton: An American Musical Facebook page.