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

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.

David Alvarez to Star in Showtime’s Drama Series “Rust”

David Alvarez is ready for showtime

The 25-year-old Cuban-Canadian actor/dancer is set to star in Showtime’s drama series Rust. 

David Alvarez

Alvarez will star oppositeMaura Tierney, Jeff DanielsBill CampAlex Neustaedterand newcomer Julia Mayorga in the series. 

Based on Philipp Meyer’s debut novel American Rust, the Showtime adaptation is described as a compelling family drama that will explore the tattered American dream through the eyes of complicated and compromised chief of police Del Harris (Daniels) in a Rust Belttown in southwest Pennsylvania. When the woman he truly loves (Tierney) sees her son accused of murder, Harris is forced to decide what he’s willing to do to protect him.

Tierney’s Grace Poe is a woman from a devastated Pennsylvania steel town trying to organize a union among co-workers at her dress factory, while her son Billy (Neustaedter) is accused of murder.

Camp will play Henry English, a disabled former steel worker and widower who has placed the entire burden of his care on his son, Isaac (Alvarez). When Isaac runs away, Henry is forced to call his daughter Lee (Mayorga) back from her new life in New York City and finally reckon with the reality of his wife’s death.

Alvarez’s Isaac English is a recent high school graduate who abandons both his ailing father and his troubled friend to hitchhike cross-country. He’ll have to weigh the value of self-discovery against that of personal loyalty.

Neustaedter’s Billy Poe is a former high school football star who turned down a scholarship to stay in town. When he’s accused of the murder of an ex-cop, he must weigh his personal loyalties with the value of his own life.

Mayorga’s Lee English is a young woman, who upon graduating from Columbia Law School, is pulled back to her hometown as her brother runs away, and her father’s condition deteriorates.

Rust is executive produced by Dan Futterman, who is writing multiple scripts, Michael De Luca, Daniels and Elisa Ellisfor Platform One Media.

Alvarez received a Tony Awardfor his performance in Billy Elliot. A military veteran, he most recently wrapped production playing Bernardo in Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story.

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 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 Makes Cameo Appearance in & Composes Song for “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker”

Lin-Manuel Mirandais having an out of this world experience…

The 39-year-old Puerto Rican actor, lyricist, singer, actor and playwright is officially part of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which was officially released on Friday.

Lin-Manuel Miranda 

Miranda makes a small cameo appearance as a Resistance fighter in the popular Lucasfilmfranchise, according to a still from Entertainment Weekly

But that’s not all… The Tony Award-winning composer also composed a secret song in the film with producer J.J. Abrams.

“It’s got a nice beat & you can dance to it,” says Miranda of the track. 

Miranda previously composed “Jabba Flow” for Abrams’ last Star Wars installment, Episode VII – The Force Awakens from 2015.

Robin de Jesus to Star in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Directorial Debut Project “tick, tick…BOOM!”

Robin de Jesus’ career is in full boom

The 35-year-oldPuerto Rican actor and Broadway star has joined the cast of tick, tick…BOOM!, the feature directorial debut project from Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Robin de Jesus

de Jesus will star opposite Andrew GarfieldAlexandra Ship and Vanessa Hudgensin the Netflix adaptation based on the autobiographical Off-Broadwayshow written by the late Jonathan Larson.

The musical, written by Steven Levenson, is set in 1990 and will follow Jon (Garfield), an aspiring theater composer who waits tables in New York City while writing Superbia, which he hopes will be the great American musical that will finally give him his big career break. The young man is feeling pressure from his girlfriend Susan (Shipp), who is tired of continuing to put her life on hold for Jon’s career aspiration. Meanwhile, Jon’s best friend and roommate Michael has given up on his creative dream and has taken a high paying advertising job on Madison Avenue and is preparing to move out. As Jon approaches his 30th birthday, he is overcome with anxiety, wondering if his own impossible dream is worth the cost.

Miranda is producing with Brian GrazerRon Howard, and Julie Ohof Imagine EntertainmentJulie Larson, sister of Rentcreator Jonathan, will serve as an executive producer along with Levenson and Celia Costas.

de Jesusearned a Tony Award nomination for his performance on Miranda’s In the HeightsLa Cage aux Folles, and The Boys in the Band. He’s also starred in stage productions of Rentand Wicked.

Daphne Rubin-Vega to Appear on the CW’s Upcoming “Riverdale” Off-Shoot “Katy Keene”

Daphne Rubin-Vega has landed the mother of a role… 

The 49-year-old Panamanian actress, singer and dancerwill appear in a major recurring role on the CW’s upcoming Riverdale off-shoot Katy Keene.

Daphne Rubin-Vega

Rubin-Vega, the original Mimi in both the Off Broadway and Broadway landmark productions of Rentand coming off the Lin Manuel/Warner Bros. feature In The Heights, will play Luisa, the mother of a central character, Katy’s roomie Jorge/Ginger. She’s described as adoting mother, a former Rockette and now owner, with her husband Luis, of a bodega in Washington Heights. She supports her son Jorge’s ambitions to make it on Broadway, but doesn’t know about his drag alter ego, Ginger.

The Jorge/Ginger character, played by Jonny Beauchamp, is a central figure on the series and one of at least two characters expected to perform musical numbers on every episode.

In the Katy Keeneseries pilot, recently screened at the Tribeca TV Festival, Jorge is a Broadway hopeful by day and, as Ginger, a drag performer by night. When his Broadway dreams begin to fizzle – he is, he says, “too gay for Broadway” – he’s encouraged by Katy to make the audition rounds not as Jorge but as Ginger.

Katy Keeneis expected to debut during the CW’s winter/spring 2020 midseason.

Rubin-Vega was Tony-nominated in 1996 for originating on Broadway the lead female role of Mimi in Jonathan Larson’s Rent, which she’d debuted earlier that year Off Broadway to great acclaim. The actress received another Tony nomination in 2004 as featured actress in a play for Anna In The Tropics.

Her more recent credits include Broadway’s A Streetcar Named Desire opposite Blair UnderwoodNBC’s Smash and Netflix’s Tales Of The City. Ruben-Vega was among the original Rentperformers who made an end-of-show appearance on Fox’s Rent: Live last January.

Colman Domingo to Star in MGM & Jordan Peele’s “Candyman” Reboot

Colman Domingo has landed a sweet (but scary) role…

The 49-year-old Afro-Latino actor has been castin MGMand Jordan Peele’s forthcoming reboot of the classic horror film Candyman, which has begun principal photography in Chicago. 

Colman Domingo

Domingo will star opposite Nathan Stewart-Jarrett,Yahya Abdul-Mateen IIand Teyonah Parrisin the film.

The film will be directed by Nia DaCostaand will be a spiritual sequel to Benard Rose’s 1992 gothic horror movie, which was originally based on Clive Barker’s short story The Forbidden

The film will be shot entirely in Chicago and feature various locations throughout the city, including the neighborhood where the legend began: the now-gentrified North Side where the Cabrini-Green housing projects once stood.

The original movie followed the urban legend of the titular character and starred Tony Toddas Candyman, a former slave turned artist who fell in love and with a white woman and fathered a child during the late 1800s. Because of this forbidden relationship, his lover’s father hired a lynch mob to kill him. He was smeared with honey and bees attacked him. He was burned to death and his ashes were scattered upon what became the present-day the Cabrini-Green housing project. The story of his death became an urban legend and by saying his name five times in the mirror, he comes and murders you. The horror became popular among the masses and spawned two sequels.

Universal Pictureswill distribute Candymanglobally with the U.S. release date set for June 12, 2020.

Tony andLawrence Olivier-nominated actor and playwright, Domingo is known for his role as Victor Strand on Fear the Walking DeadHe also appears on HBO’s EuphoriaHe can next be seen in A24’s ZolaNoah Hawley’s Lucy in the Skyand The God Committeealongside Kelsey Grammarand Julia Stiles. He is currently filming Ma Rainey’s Black Bottomwith Viola Davisand Chadwick Boseman.

Auli’i Cravalho to Star in ABC’s Live “The Little Mermaid” Special

Auli’i Cravalho is heading under the sea

The 18-year-old part-Puerto Rican actress/singer is set to star as Ariel in ABC’s The Little Mermaid live special.

Auli’i Cravalho

In addition to Cravalho, who rose to acclaim as the voice of the title character in Disney’s Moana, the special will also star Queen Latifah as Ursula and Shaggy as Sebastian. 

The Wonderful World of Disney Presents The Little Mermaid Live!, featuring a mix of live action, animation and puppetry, will air on November 5 to mark the classic Disney animated feature’s 30th anniversary.

ABC originally announced in May 2017that it would stage a live production of the beloved underwater tale under the long-dormant Wonderful World of Disneybanner, which was slated for October 3, 2017. In August of that year, the network announced that the live event had been put on hold.

Since joining ABC last December as President of Entertainment, Karey Burke has expressed strong support for live specials. Her commitment was likely reaffirmed in May after the success of Jimmy Kimmel’s live staging of two classic Norman Lear sitcoms on the network, which spawned two more installments.

Burke today said that if The Little Mermaid is a success, it too can lead to do more live musicals based on Disneyfilm titles on ABC. “If it works, I expect we will do more of them and we will work closely with the feature department about timing,” she said.

Billed as a tribute to the original animated classic and its music, The Wonderful World of Disney Presents The Little Mermaid Live! will feature live musical performances by its star-studded cast interwoven into the broadcast of the original feature film. 

The hybrid format will combine intricate sets and costumes created for the special with music from the original animated film and the Tony Award-winningBroadway stage version, composed by eight-time Oscar-winner Alan Menken

Howard Ashman’s film lyrics will also be showcased, with Glenn Slater, lyricist for the Broadway adaptation, as a contributor.

Cravalho is already in the extended Disney Princessesfamily having voiced Moana in the hit animated movie. 

Following her breakout role in Moana, Cravalho performed the film’s anthem, How Far I’ll Go, at the Oscarsand starred in the NBCmusical drama series Rise. It was just announced that she is the lead of the Brett Haley Netflixfilm Sorta Like a Rock Star

The announcement of The Wonderful World of Disney Presents The Little Mermaid Live! going forward comes as Disney is gearing up for production of a live-action feature adaptation of The Little Mermaid for director Rob MarshallHamilton‘s Lin-Manuel Miranda and Menken. Halle Bailey has been set as Ariel in the movie, Awkwafina as Ariel’s seagull friend Scuttle, and Jacob Tremblay as Ariel’s friendly fish pal Flounder, while Melissa McCarthy has been rumored for the role of UIrsula and Harry Stylesfor Prince Eric.

Burke is not worried about ABC’s live Little Mermaid special and the upcoming movie cannibalizing each other. “Ours is distinctly different from the feature film,” she said.