Ariana DeBose to Take Part in Virtual Concert to Benefit the Covenant House Charity for Homeless & Trafficked Youth

Ariana DeBose  is helping homeless and trafficked youth…

The 29-year-old half-Afro-Puerto Rican actress, singer and dancer, known for her work in musical theatre and on So You Think You Can Dance, will take part in a virtual concert event to benefit the Covenant House charity for homeless and trafficked youth.

Ariana DeBose

DeBose joins a 50-plus roster of stars who’ll perform or appear for the May 18 fundraiser that includes Meryl StreepDiane Keaton, Jon Bon JoviRachel BrosnahanStephen ColbertMartin ShortDolly PartonDionne WarwickStephanie J. BlockTony ShalhoubCharlie DayChris O’DowdZachary Leviand Zachary Quinto.

A Night of Covenant House Stars, to be held on Monday, May 18 at 8:00 pm ET on the Broadway on Demand streaming platform, will be co-hosted by six-time Tony Award-winner Audra McDonald and 60 Minutes orrespondent John Dickerson, both members of the Covenant House Board of Directors.

The event is designed to support Covenant House, the international, mostly privately funded charity providing housing, food and healthcare to children and youth facing homelessness, and the front-line staff working during the COVID-19crisis.

“This virus does not get the last word,” said Covenant House President & CEO Kevin Ryan. “This amazing group of stars uniting in love to help us care for kids is proof positive of that.”

Other stars slated to appear include Robin Thicke, Deborah CoxQuentin Earl DarringtonDarius de HaasMary Elizabeth EllisEden EspinosaJordan FisherStephanie Hsu,Randy JacksonCapathia JenkinsJeremy JordanRamona KellerAlex NewellKaren OlivoDawn O’Porter, Laura OsnesBenj PasekJodi Picoult, Shereen PimentelAndrew RannellsKeala SettleJake David SmithWill SwensonBobby Conte ThorntonAna VillafaneFrank Wildhorn, and the Broadway Inspirational Voices choir.

Event proceeds will benefit Covenant House’s work across 31 cities, in six countries.

The May 18 fundraiser will mark the launch of the Broadway on Demand platform (the company had previously announced a May 17 program). Viewers can watch the Covenant House event free of charge.

In addition to Broadway on DemandA Night of Covenant House Starscan be streamed on iHeartRadio BroadwayFacebookTwitchYouTube, and Stars in the House.

Sofia Carson to Star in Netflix’s Dance Film “Feel the Beat”

Sofia Carson is feelin’ the beat…

The 26-year-old Colombian American actress and singer  and Descendants star is set to star in Feel the Beat, a Netflix dance film being directed by Elissa Down.

Sofia Carson

The plot follows April (Carson), who, after failing to find success on Broadway, returns to her small hometown and reluctantly is recruited to train a misfit group of young dancers for a big competition.

In addition to Carson, the ensemble family film will also star Wolfgang NovogratzDonna Lynne ChamplinEnrico ColantoniLidya JewettEva Hauge, Johanna ColónSadie LapidusShiloh Nelson, Shaylee MansfieldJustin AllanKai ZenCarina Battrick, Brandon Kyle GoodmanKen PakDennis Andresand Amy Stewart.

Emmy-winning choreographer and former So You Think You Can Dance judge Mia Michaels is choreographing the film, which was written by Michael Armbruster and Shawn Ku

Filming is underway in Toronto. 

Carson soon will be seen reprising her role as Evie, daughter of the Evil Queen from Snow White, in Descendants 3, which will premiere in August.

Her other credits include appearances on Freeform’s Pretty Little Liars spinoff PLL: The PerfectionistsFamous in Love, and Adventures in Babysitting.

Newcomer Rachel Zegler Lands Maria Role in Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story”

Rachel Zegler is headed to the West Side

The 17-year-old Colombian American actress/singer,New Jersey High School studentand Hollywood newcomer has landed the lead role of Maria in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story.

Rachel Zegler

Zegler, who beat out more than 30,000 people from around the world, will make her film debut opposite Ansel Elgortas Tony.

Rounding out the principal Shark roles are Broadway veterans Ariana DeBose as Anita and David Alvarezas Bernardo. Theater performer Josh Andrés Rivera has been cast as Chino.

Spielberg and his team were committed to finding the best actors within the Puerto Rican as well as the broader Latinxcommunity. The team has been conducting research and having conversations with Hispanic heritage and advocacy groups. In December 2018, Spielberg and Tony Kushner, who is adapting West Side Story, sat with professors and students at the University of Puerto Rico(Universidad de Puerto Rico – Río Piedras) to learn more about performing arts on the island.  The production team maintains a dialogue with the University and Puerto Rican filmmakers there.

The new castmembers join Rita Moreno, who won an Oscarfor her portrayal of Anita in the 1961 movie, who will play Valentina, a reconceived and expanded version of the character of Doc, the owner of the corner store in which Tony works. Moreno also serves as executive producer. 

“When we began this process a year ago, we announced that we would cast the roles of Maria, Anita, Bernardo, Chino and the Sharks with Latina and Latino actors. I’m so happy that we’ve assembled a cast that reflects the astonishing depth of talent in America’s multifaceted Hispanic community,” said Spielberg. “I am in awe of the sheer force of the talent of these young performers, and I believe they’ll bring a new and electrifying energy to a magnificent musical that’s more relevant than ever.”

“I simply cannot wait to get on set to work with this group of young actors,” said Moreno. “What an ensemble, and I look forward to passing the baton to this next generation of Sharks!”

Zegler saw the notice on Twitterback in January 2018 for Latinx actors and submitted a video of herself singing “Tonight” and “Me Siento Hermosa” (“I Feel Pretty”).

“I am so thrilled to be playing the iconic role of Maria alongside this amazing cast,” said Zegler. “West Side Story was the first musical I encountered with a Latina lead character. As a Colombian-American, I am humbled by the opportunity to play a role that means so much to the Hispanic community.”

DeBose, who was nominated for a Tony Award in 2018 for her portrayal of Donna Summerin Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, will play Anita, the role made famous on film by Moreno. DeBose’s other Broadway credits include the original cast of HamiltonA Bronx Tale: The MusicalPippinMotown: The Musical and Bring It On: The Musical. Her screen debut came in 2009 as a competitor on So You Think You Can Dance.

“I’m honored to follow in the footsteps of the remarkable women who have played Anita – including Chita Rivera and, of course, the incomparable Rita Moreno,” said DeBose. “I relate so strongly to Anita – a strong Puerto Rican woman who came to New York in search of opportunity – and I feel so fortunate for the chance to work with this amazing cast and creative team.”

Alvarez, who won a Tony in 2009 for originating the title role in Billy Elliot: The Musical, will play Bernardo, Maria’s brother and the leader of the Sharks. Following his appearance in Billy Elliot, Alvarez served in the U.S. Army’s 25th Infantry Division, before returning to Broadway in 2014 to join the company of On the Town.

“My parents emigrated from Cuba with no connections, knowing no English, driven only by the hope of a better life. I know how challenging the decision was for them, and I see a lot of that internal conflict in Bernardo,” said Alvarez. “I have dreamt of playing this part since I first saw the original film, and I am so grateful for the chance to bring my own perspective and journey to this role – as an artist, a Veteran and a Latino – and to work with this incredible cast to breathe new life into these characters’ experiences.”

Rivera – an actor, singer and dancer who most recently appeared in the first national tour of Hamilton – will play the role of Chino.

West Side Story is the dream for any performer, and to tackle it with this creative team is truly a once-in-a-lifetime chance,” said Rivera. “I feel very fortunate to be able to portray the Nuyorican experience alongside these amazingly talented actors. I’m confident Puerto Ricans on and off the island will see ourselves reflected in this project.”

West Side Story will be produced and directed by Spielberg from a script by Oscar-nominated screenwriter and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner. The film will be adapted for the screen from the original 1957 Broadway musical, which was written by Arthur Laurentswith music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and concept, direction and choreography by Jerome Robbins. Also leading the production are Tony Award-winning producer Kevin McCollumand Academy Award-nominated producer Kristie Macosko Krieger.

West Side Story will be released by Twentieth Century Fox. Filming is slated to start in the summer of 2019.

Additional casting announcements will be made in the coming weeks, specifically in regards to The Sharksand The Jets.

The CW to Premiere Jeanine Mason’s “Roswell, New Mexico” in January

Jeanine Mason is headed to the Land of Enchantment in January…

The CW will the premiere its new drama series Roswell, New Mexico, starring the Cuban American actress and dancer, onTuesday, January 15 at 9:00 pm ET behind Flash.

Jeanine Mason

The series, the second television adaptation of the Roswell High book series by Melinda Metz, centers on Liz Ortecho (Mason), a jaded biomedical researcher and the daughter of undocumented immigrants who discovers her teenage crush is an alien who has kept his unearthly abilities hidden his entire life. She protects his secret as the two reconnect, but when a violent attack points to a greater alien presence on Earth, the politics of fear and hatred threaten to expose him.

The series also stars Nathan Parsons, Lily Cowles, Michael Vlamis, Tyler Blackburnand Michael Trevino.

Mason, the first Cuban American to win So You Think You Can Dance, previously appeared on television in Grey’s Anatomy, Bunheads, and Daytime Divas.

Jeanine Mason to Star on ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” This Season

Jeanine Mason is officially on call…

The 26-year-old Cuban American actress/dancer has landed a role on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy.

Jeanine Mason

Mason, the winner of the 5th season of the Fox television show So You Think You Can Dance, will portray Sam, one of the six new interns at Grey Sloan Memorial hospital this season.

Mason previously starred as Merav in ABC’s short-lived biblical drama Of Kings and Prophets last year, and she also starred in Valerie WeissSXSW feature The Archer.

Lopez to Bring “So You Think You Can Dance” Winner to Her Las Vegas Residency

Jennifer Lopez is paying it forward…

The 46-year-old Puerto Rican singer, actress and American Idol judge, who got her first regular high-profile job as a Fly Girl dancer on Fox’s In Living Color in 1991, will give a little love to the winner of this season’s So You Think You Can Dance.

Jennifer Lopez

Lopez has announced the winner will have the chance to dance with her at her Las Vegas residency.

“So excited to be bringing this year’s winner of #SYTYCD with me to #TheAxis @PHVegas!!! #LetsGetIt #JLoVegas,” tweeted Lopez.

“Whether it is a stage or street dancer, I know you are going to choose someone to rip it because all of the dancers this year are sensational,” she told SYTYCD voters in a taped announcement following the group number on the Fox competition.

As previously reported, Lopez is set to premiere her residency starting on January 20 at Axis theater stage in Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino (a part of Caesar’s Entertainment).

“It’s really an exciting prospect for me to create the quintessential Jennifer Lopez experience in Vegas,” she told Billboard. “It’s just an opportunity that is overwhelming and at the same time the most exciting thing that has happened to me in a long time, so I’m giving it all I have.”

The show is getting closer to finding a winner. Last night dancers JJ Rabone and Edson Juarez were sent home.

Mason to Star in ABC’s Midseason Drama “Of Kings and Prophets”

Jeanine Mason is the queen of kings

The 24-year-old Cuban American actress/dancer has been added to the cast of ABC’s midseason drama Of Kings and Prophets.

Jeanine Mason

The series, penned by Adam Cooper and Bill Collage, is described as an epic Biblical saga of faith, ambition and betrayal as told through the eyes of a battle-weary king, a powerful and resentful prophet and a resourceful young shepherd on a collision course with destiny.

Mason will portray Merav, the eldest daughter of King Saul and Queen Ahinoam, and sister of Michal.

Mason, the winner of Season 5 of Fox’s competition series So You Think You Can Dance.

Her television credits include Bunheads, Major Crimes, Big Time Rush, as well as the recent Fox pilots Studio City and Delirium.

Rivera to Appear at The Trevor Project’s TrevorLIVE Gala Event

Naya Rivera will be taking the stage at the Trevor Project’s annual gala fundraiser.

The 26-year-old half-Puerto Rican singer will join her fellow Glee stars Jane Lynch, Darren Criss, Amber Riley and Chris Colfer, as well as American Idol alum Adam Lambert at TrevorLIVE, on December 8 at the Hollywood Palladium.

Naya Rivera

Hosted by comedienne Kathy Griffin, the event raises funds for The Trevor Project, which provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth. Lynch will be honored by the organization.

Lambert, along with Riley, Smash star Megan Hilty and Glee alum Cheyenne Jackson, will take the stage for special performances.

Others scheduled to make an appearance include Dot-Marie Jones and Harry Shum, Jr., of Glee, Sarah Michelle Gellar of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Crazy Ones; Hannah Simone of New Girl; Andrew Rannells of  Girls; Allison Janney of Mom and Masters of Sex; TV host Ricki Lake and Jennifer Coolidge of American Pie.

The show will be produced by So You Think You Can Dance judge Adam Shankman, whose directing and producing credits include Rock of Ages, Hairspray, Glee and the 2010 Academy Awards.

The red carpet and pre-show will be shown via livestream.

ReelzChannel Orders Sanchez’s “The Big Picture” Talk Show

Lauren Sanchez is shining a spotlight on the big picture to television…

ReelzChannel has ordered 26 episodes of the 43-year-old Latina news anchor’s The Big Picture.

Lauren Sanchez

The weekly talk show will cover the world of entertainment. The new late night show aims to cover all aspects of film and television in a chatty and irreverent manner.

Sanchez will co-host The Big Picture, which is set to debut on June 20, with former Telemundo host Alex Cambert.

The former So You Think You Can Dance host will also serve as the executive producer of The Big Picture.

A former Good Day LA back-up anchor and Extra! correspondent, Sanchez also appears later this summer in the Roland Emmerich-directed White House Down.

Sanchez has previously played a TV reporter in other movies like Fight Club, Fantastic Four and 2011’s We Bought A Zoo.

Mason Lands Role in Fox’s “Delirium” Drama Pilot

Following her recurring role on ABC Family’s Bunheads, Jeanine Mason has landed her next television project.

The 22-year-old Cuban American actress/dance, the season five winner of Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance, has landed a role in Fox’s drama pilot Delirium.

Jeanine Mason

Based on Lauren Oliver’s book trilogy, the project is set in a world where love is deemed illegal and can be eradicated with a special procedure. With 95 days to go until her scheduled treatment, Lena Holoway (Emma Roberts) falls in love.

Mason will portray Lena’s best friend Hana, a girl also faces undergoing the procedure. She’s described as “a flirty girl who lives next door to Julian Fineman (Gregg Sulkin) and enjoys messing with his head.” She’s ultimately less rebellious than she looks.

Billy Campbell, Corey Reynolds and Daren Kagasoff co star in the pilot for 20th Century Fox Television and Chernin Entertainment, which was written and will be executive produced by Karyn Usher.

Mason’s other television credits include guest-starring roles in Big Time Rush and The Fresh Beat Band.