Mj Rodriguez to Co-Host FX’s Pose-A-Thon Virtual Event

Mj Rodriguez is set to strike a Pose

To commemorate Pride MonthDisney Television Studios and FX have announced the launch of Pose-A-Thon, a commercial-free, one-hour virtual event showcasing the 29-year-old half Puerto Rican actress/singer and her fellow Pose cast mates and producers.

MJ Rodriguez

The program aims to raise awareness for three organizations that work to support LGBTQ+education, social change for sexual and gender minority people of color, and transgender equality through legal services and policy efforts.

The special event will encourage viewers to support three of the many charitable LGBTQ+ organizations: GLSENHetrick-Martin Institute, and the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund.

The special, emceed by Rodriguez and Billy Porter, will air Friday, June 26 at 10:00 pm ET/PT on FX and Freeform. Viewers can also tune-in the same day starting at 7 PM PT at www.poseathon.com.

“I’m so proud of our cast and producers for coming together to present an uplifting hour of song and stories,” said Afro-Latino co-creator, executive producer, writer, and director Steven Canals. “In the spirit of Pose, ’our goal is to celebrate joy, love and, of course, pride, from our family to yours.”

Executive producer, writer, and director Janet Mock added, “Since we’ve been unable to shoot the show we love, we jumped at the chance to reunite our Posefamily and partner with the studio and network to raise spirits and awareness about the plight of LGBTQ+ people of color during such a turbulent time. This Pride month special is a commemoration of our forebears’ efforts, a memorial for trans lives lost, and a celebration of the life-saving work of LGBTQ+ organizations.”

Pose-A-Thonunites the voices behind the critically-acclaimed drama series Pose, featuring music and anecdotes from Porter, Rodriguez, Angel Bismark CurielSandra Bernhard, Dyllón BurnsideSteven CanalsDominique JacksonJeremy McClainJanet MockIndya MooreOur Lady JJason Rodriguez, Angelica RossHailie SaharRyan Jamaal SwainCharlayne Woodard and Patti LuPone

Raúl Esparza Among This Year’s Outer Critics Circle Awards Honorees

Raúl Esparza  is the (outer) critics choice

The 49-year-old Cuban American stage and television actor is among this year’s Outer Critics Circle Awards recipients, a collection of Broadway and Off Broadway ecipients that make up the organization’s first-ever slate of multiple honorees.

Raul Esparza

With the Tony Awards remaining a mere possibility this year, the 70th Annual Outer Critics Circle Awards took a different approach to an unusual, pandemic-shortened theater season: Instead of selecting traditional nominees with one winner from each category, the OCCnamed five honorees in each of its technical categories and up to six honorees in the acting categories. 

Esparza was named one of the honorees in the Outstanding Actor in a Playcategory for his acclaimed performance in Seared.

Esparza’s Searedco-star Krysta Rodriguezwas one of the honorees in the Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play category.

Matthew Lopez’s The Inheritance picked up an honoree designation for Outstanding New Broadway Play.

The Puerto Rican playwright penned the two-part play, which is set in New York three decades after the height of the AIDS epidemic.

John Ortiz was one of the honorees in the Outstanding Director of a Play for helming Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven, while one of the play’s stars, Liza Colón-Zayas, was named an Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play honoree.

Karen Olivo picked up an honoree designation for Outstanding Actress in a Musical for her starring role in Moulin Rouge! 

Recalibrated to celebrate “widespread excellence in New York theater this season,” the OCC Awards – chosen by the official organization of writers on New York theatre for out-of-town newspapers and national publications – were announced by past honorees Kristin ChenowethBryan CranstonPatti LuPoneLin-Manuel Miranda, and Patrick Stewart.

The OCC is making a donation to The Actors’ Fundin support of its emergency relief efforts.

Here’s a look at the 2019-2020 Outer Critics Circle Award honorees:

OUTSTANDING NEW BROADWAY PLAY

Grand Horizons
Written by Bess Wohl

The Height of the Storm
Written by Florian Zeller
Translated by Christopher Hampton

The Inheritance
Written by Matthew Lopez

Linda Vista
Written by Tracy Letts

The Sound Inside
Written by Adam Rapp

OUTSTANDING NEW BROADWAY MUSICAL

Jagged Little Pill
Music by Alanis Morissette and Glen Ballard
Lyrics by Alanis Morissette
Book by Diablo Cody

Moulin Rouge!
Book by John Logan
Based on the 2001 Twentieth Century Fox Motion Picture written by Baz Luhrmann and Craig Pearce

Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
Book by Katori Hall
With Frank Ketelaar and Kees Prins

OUTSTANDING NEW OFF-BROADWAY PLAY

Cambodian Rock Band
Written by Lauren Yee

Greater Clements
Written by Samuel D. Hunter

Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven
Written by Stephen Adly Guirgis

Make Believe
Written by Bess Wohl

Seared
Written by Theresa Rebeck

OUTSTANDING NEW OFF-BROADWAY MUSICAL

Darling Grenadine
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Daniel Zaitchik

Octet
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Dave Malloy

The Secret Life of Bees
Book by Lynn Nottage
Music by Duncan Sheik
Lyrics by Susan Birkenhead
Based on the novel by Sue Monk Kidd

Soft Power
Book and Lyrics by David Henry Hwang
Music and Additional Lyrics by Jeanine Tesori

A Strange Loop
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Michael R. Jackson

OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A PLAY
(Broadway or Off-Broadway)

Betrayal
Written by Harold Pinter

Fires in the Mirror
Written by Anna Deavere Smith

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf
Written by Ntozake Shange

Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune
Written by Terrence McNally

A Soldier’s Play
Written by Charles Fuller

OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL
(Broadway or Off-Broadway)

Little Shop of Horrors
Book and Lyrics by Howard Ashman
Music by Alan Menken

The Unsinkable Molly Brown
Music and Lyrics by Meredith Willson
Book and New Lyrics by Dick Scanlan
Based on the Original Book by Richard Morris
Music Adapted by Michael Rafter

West Side Story
Music by Leonard Bernstein
Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by Arthur Laurents
Based on a Conception by Jerome Robbins

JOHN GASSNER AWARD
(Presented for an American play, preferably by a new playwright)

Georgia Mertching Is Dead by Catya McMullen
Heroes of the Fourth Turning by Will Arbery
Our Dear Dead Drug Lord by Alexis Scheer
Pari sby Eboni Booth

OUTSTANDING BOOK OF A MUSICAL
(Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Diablo Cody, Jagged Little Pill
David Henry Hwang, Soft Power
Michael R. Jackson, A Strange Loop
Lynn Nottage, The Secret Life of Bees
Mark Saltzman, Romeo and Bernadette

OUTSTANDING NEW SCORE
(Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Susan Birkenhead and Duncan Sheik, The Secret Life of Bees
Ross Golan, The Wrong Man
Michael R. Jackson, A Strange Loop
Dave Malloy, Octet
Jeanine Tesori and David Henry Hwang, Soft Power

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A PLAY
David Cromer, The Sound Inside
Stephen Daldry, The Inheritance
Kenny Leon, A Soldier’s Play
Jamie Lloyd, Betrayal
John Ortiz, Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A MUSICAL
Stephen Brackett, A Strange Loop
Michael Mayer, Little Shop of Horrors
Diane Paulus, Jagged Little Pill
Alex Timbers,Moulin Rouge!
Ivo van Hove, West Side Story

OUTSTANDING CHOREOGRAPHER
Sidi Larbi Cherakoui, Jagged Little Pill
Raja Feather Kelly, A Strange Loop
Sonya Tayeh,Moulin Rouge!
Anthony Van Laast, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
Travis Wall, The Wrong Man

OUTSTANDING ORCHESTRATIONS
Tom Kitt, Jagged Little Pill
Alex Lacamoire, The Wrong Man
Justin Levine, with Matt Stine, Katie Kresek, and Charlie Rosen,Moulin Rouge!
Christopher Nightingale, A Christmas Carol
Duncan Sheik and John Clancy, The Secret Life of Bees

OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A PLAY
Ian Barford, Linda Vista
Edmund Donovan, Greater Clements
Raúl Esparza, Seared
Tom Hiddleston, Betrayal
Will Hochman, The Sound Inside
Jonathan Pryce, The Height of the Storm

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A PLAY
Eileen Atkins, The Height of the Storm
Judith Ivey, Greater Clements
Joaquina Kalukango, Slave Play
April Matthis,Toni Stone
Mary-Louise Parker, The Sound Inside
Portia, Stew

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR IN A PLAY
David Alan Grier, A Soldier’s Play
John Benjamin Hickey, The Inheritance
Paul Hilton,The Inheritance
Samuel H. Levine, The Inheritance
John-Andrew Morrison, Blues for an Alabama Sky
Chris Perfetti, Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTRESS IN A PLAY
Liza Colón-Zayas, Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven
Montego Glover, All the Natalie Portmans
Marsha Mason,Little Gem
Krysta Rodriguez, Seared
Lois Smith, The Inheritance
Jennifer Van Dyck, The Confession of Lily Dare

OUTSTANDING SOLO PERFORMANCE
David Cale, We’re Only Alive For a Short Amount of Time
Laura Linney, My Name Is Lucy Barton
Aedin Moloney, Yes! Reflections of Molly Bloom
Deirdre O’Connell, Dana H.
Michael Benjamin Washington, Fires in the Mirror

OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Jonathan Groff,Little Shop of Horrors
Joshua Henry, The Wrong Man
Adam Kantor, Darling Grenadine
Larry Owens, A Strange Loop
Isaac Powell, West Side Story
Aaron Tveit, Moulin Rouge!

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Beth Malone, The Unsinkable Molly Brown
Janelle McDermoth, We’re Gonna Die
Karen Olivo, Moulin Rouge!
Shereen Pimentel, West Side Story
Elizabeth Stanley, Jagged Little Pill
Adrienne Warren, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Christian Borle,Little Shop of Horrors
Danny Burstein, Moulin Rouge!
Gus Halper, Sing Street
Jay Armstrong Johnson, Scotland, PA
Francis Jue, Soft Power
Daniel J. Watts, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Eisa Davis, The Secret Life of Bees
Kathryn Gallagher, Jagged Little Pill
LaChanze, The Secret Life of Bees
Judy McLane, Romeo & Bernadette
Lauren Patten, Jagged Little Pill
Saycon Sengbloh, The Secret Life of Bees

OUTSTANDING SCENIC DESIGN
(Play or Musical)
Rob Howell, A Christmas Carol
Tim Mackabee, Seared
Derek McLane, Moulin Rouge!
Clint Ramos, Grand Horizons
Anthony Ward,The Height of the Storm

OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN
(Play or Musical)
Vanessa Leuck, Emojiland
Jeff Mahshie, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice
Mark Thompson, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
Rachel Townsend & Jessica Jahn, The Confession of Lily Dare
Catherine Zuber, Moulin Rouge!

OUTSTANDING LIGHTING DESIGN
(Play or Musical)
Isabella Byrd, Heroes of the Fourth Turning
Heather Gilbert, The Sound Inside
Justin Townsend, Moulin Rouge!
Hugh Vanstone, A Christmas Carol
Hugh Vanstone, The Height of the Storm

OUTSTANDING PROJECTION DESIGN
(Play or Musical)
Luke Halls, West Side Story
Brad Peterson, Broadway Bounty Hunter
Lisa Renkel and Possible Productions, Emojiland
Aaron Rhyne, The Sound Inside
Hannah Wasileski, Fires in the Mirror

OUTSTANDING SOUND DESIGN
(Play or Musical)
Simon Baker, A Christmas Carol
Mikhail Fiksel, Dana H.
Peter Hylenski, Moulin Rouge!
Lee Kinney and Sanae Yamada, Is This A Room
Daniel Kluger, The Sound Inside

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.

John Leguizamo to Present at Sunday’s Tony Awards Ceremony

John Leguizamo is ready to (re)present…

The 53-year-old Colombian actor and stand-up comedian will serve as a presenter at this Sunday’s Tony Awards ceremony.

John Leguizamo

Leguizamo, who previously earned two Tony Award nods, is nominated this year for Best Play for his one-man show Latin History for Morons.

Leguizamo joins a list of presenters that includes Christine Baranski, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Jeff DanielsRobert De Niro, Brandon Victor DixonTina Fey, Billy Joel, Patti LuPone and Kerry Washington.

Tony Award Lifetime Achievement Award recipients Andrew Lloyd Webber and Chita Rivera will also take the stage.

The 72nd Annual Tony Awards, hosted by Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban, will air live from Radio City Music Hall on CBS on Sunday at 8:00-11:00 pm ET/delayed PT.

Cardi B & Bruno Mars to Perform “Finesse (Remix)” at This Year’s Grammy Awards Show

Cardi B is ready to make her Grammys debut…

The 25-year-old part-Dominican rapper will partner with Bruno Mars to bring their “Finesse (Remix)” to the Grammy stage when the 60th Annual awards come back to New York City on Sunday January 28.

Cardi B & Bruno Mars

Along with Mars and Cardi B, the Recording Academy revealed that 2018 Grammy nominees Luis Fonsi & Daddy YankeeKesha, and SZA will also join the roster.

In addition, Alessia Cara, Khalid and Logic will join voices for a performance, taking the stage with a group of suicide attempt and loss survivors in a special performance of “1-800-273-8255.”

Previously announced performers include Childish Gambino, Lady Gaga, Little Big Town, Patti LuPone, P!nk, and Ben Platt.

Mars, who is the third most nominated artist of the night after JAY Z and Kendrick Lamar, has earned six nominations including album of the year and best R&B album for 24K Magic as well as record of the year for “24K Magic” and song of the year for “That’s What I Like.”

Cardi B, who will make her Grammy debut this year, received two nods for “Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)” (best rap performance and best rap song).

Current three-time Grammy nominees Fonsi & Daddy Yankee are up for record of the year, song of the year, and best pop duo/group performance (“Despacito” featuring Justin Bieber) after winning big at the Latin Grammys back in November 2017.

The show will be hosted by award-winning television personality and performer James Corden and will be broadcasted live on CBS at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT.

Sandoval Named Artistic Advisor at the Wallis Annenberg Center

Here’s your chance to learn from living legend Arturo Sandoval

The 65-year-old Cuban jazz trumpeter, pianist and composer is among the masters scheduled to teach at the Wallis Annenberg Center.

Arturo Sandoval

Sandoval, was the subject of the 2000 television film For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story, starring Andy García, will serve as an artistic advisor to the Center, where he’ll teach master classes open to the public and take part in other activities on the campus.

Sandoval, a Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, will be joined by Broadway diva Patti LuPone and Oscar– and Tony-winning actor Denzel Washington, among others.

“We are proud to welcome five extraordinary Artistic Advisors to The Wallis for the upcoming season,” Patricia Wolff, interim artistic director, said in announcing the lineup. “These are artists who define excellence in theater, dance and music. They are not just advisors in name but will participate in the season with a focus on education.”

Sandoval’s master classes, which will be open to the public, will take place on October 27.

All events will take place in the Bram Goldsmith Theater.

Visit www.thewallis.org for information.

First Trailer Released for Lopez’s “Parker”

If you loved Jennifer Lopez in Out of Sight, then you’re in for a treat…

The 43-year-old Puerto Rican actress/singer is starring in the action film Parker with Jason Statham, as previously reported… And by the looks of the film’s just-released first trailer, la Lopez shines bright in the film.

Jennifer Lopez in Parker

Based on the series of best-selling novels by Donald E. Westlake, Parker follows Statham’s titular character, a professional thief who lives by a personal code of ethics: “Don’t steal from people who can’t afford it and don’t hurt people who don’t deserve it.” But, on his latest heist, his crew double crosses him, steals his stash, and leaves him for dead.

Determined to exact revenge, Parker tracks them down to Palm Beach, where the crew is planning their biggest heist ever. Donning the disguise of a rich Texan, Parker takes on an unlikely partner, Leslie (J.Lo), a savvy insider, who’s short on cash, but big on looks, smarts and ambition. Together, they devise a plan to hijack the score, take everyone down and get away clean.

Directed by Taylor Hackford, the cast includes Michael Chiklis, Nick Nolte, Wendell Pierce, Clifton Collins Jr., Patti LuPone and Emma Booth.

The movie is set to open on January 25.