Jennifer Lopez Looking to Develop Original Projects Based on Concord’s Catalog of Musicals, Including Works by Rodgers & Hammerstein

Jennifer Lopez could be singing and dancing on the big screen in the near future…

The 51-year-old Puerto Rican superstar and her Nuyorican Productions are collaborating with Skydance and Concord to develop a slate of original projects based on Concord’s catalog of musicals, which includes the works of Broadway icons Rodgers & Hammerstein.

Jennifer Lopez

Lopez, along with partners Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas and Benny Medina, will executive produce for Nuyorican Productions with an option to star in at least one of the projects.

“Musicals were a part of the tapestry of my childhood. We’re so excited to begin our association with Skydance and Concord in reinterpreting some of the most classic musicals and bringing them to life in new ways for a new generation,” said J.Lo.

“Jennifer Lopez is an international icon in every sense of the word, and we are thrilled to expand our relationship with Concord to partner with such a creative powerhouse,” said Bill Bost, President, Skydance Television. “Skydance aims to create stories that appeal to audiences around the globe, and Jennifer is the perfect partner to reimagine these beloved, classic musicals for a twenty-first century audience.”

“It is an honor to join forces with Jennifer Lopez and Nuyorican, while broadening our partnership with Skydance,” said Sophia Dilley, SVP, Film & TV Development and Production, Concord. “We are excited to collaborate with this impressive team as we continue to champion creative opportunities for the authors and works we represent, together with the copyrights we own.”

This deal expands Skydance Television’s previously announced partnership with Concord, which includes co-developing the first-ever television series based on one of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s hit musicals, a modern-day adaptation of Oklahoma! from John Lee Hancock and Bekah Brunstetter.

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Freestyle Love Supreme” to Receive Special Tony Award

Lin-Manuel Miranda is receiving some extra Love

A special Tony Award will be presented in September to Freestyle Love Supreme, the Broadway show about the hip-hop improv troupe founded by the 41-year-old Puerto Rican actor, singer, songwriter, rapper, producer, and playwright, Thomas Kail and Anthony Veneziale,

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Special Tony Awards are presented to outstanding productions, artists and organizations who do not fall into any of the competitive categories.

In a joint statement, Heather Hitchens, CEO and President of the American Theatre Wing and Charlotte St. Martin, President of The Broadway League, said that the Freestyle Love Supreme “take(s) theatre to the next level, delivering outside-of-the-box presentations that have gone beyond the stage and brought theatre into the homes of millions of people around the world.”

Lin-Manuel Miranda, Freestyle Love Supreme

Freestyle Love Supreme was developed in the basement of The Drama Bookshop in 2004 and slowly worked its way to Broadway’s Booth Theatre in 2019.

Directed by Kail, the acclaimed show features a comedic improvisational musical structure, and a rotating cast.

Freestyle Love Supreme will return to Broadway for a strictly limited engagement at the Booth on Thursday, October 7 through Sunday, January 2, 2022.

The 74th Annual Tony Awards, presented by the Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing, will be a two-hour, streaming-only ceremony on Sunday, September 26, available on ViacomCBSParamount+ platform and followed immediately by a special two-hour CBS broadcast special called The Tony Awards Present: Broadway’s Back!

Anthony Ramos Teams Up with “In The Heights” Co-Stars Leslie Grace & Marc Anthony for New Single “Home All Summer”

Anthony Ramos has found his summer home

The 29-year-old Puerto Rican actor/singer and current In The Heights star has joined voices with his co-stars Leslie Grace and Marc Anthony have joined voices to release the new singleHome All Summer.”

Anthony Ramos

Ramos and Grace’s voices blend beautifully on the upbeat “Home All Summer,” Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s new song for the big screen adaptation of his Broadway hit In the Heights.

Just like the movie it hails from, it’s comforting, effortlessly charming, flawlessly executed and boasts a memorable Marc Anthony cameo. 

Netflix Releases Trailer for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Feature Directorial Debut “tick, tick…BOOM!”

Lin-Manuel Miranda is tickin’ ahead…

The first trailer has been released for tick, tick…BOOM!, directed by the 41-year-old Puerto Rican actor, singer, songwriter, rapper, director, producer, and playwright.

Lin-Manuel Miranda 

It’s a film adaptation of Jonathan Larson’s autobiographical pre-Rent musical.

Starring Andrew Garfield in the Larson-inspired lead role, Netflix’s tick, tick…BOOM! will hit the streaming service and theaters this fall.

Garfield plays Jon, a young theater composer who’s waiting tables at a New York City diner in 1990 while writing what he hopes will be the next great American musical. As described by Netflix: Days before he’s due to showcase his work in a make-or-break performance, Jon is feeling the pressure from everywhere: from his girlfriend Susan (Alexandra Shipp), who dreams of an artistic life beyond New York City; from his friend Michael (Robin de Jesús), who has moved on from his dream to a life of financial security. Amidst an artistic community being ravaged by the AIDS epidemic, Jon feels the clock ticking and faces the question everyone must reckon with: What are we meant to do with the time we have?

Larson would not live to see the success of his “next great American musical,” dying at age 35 on January 25, 1996, the morning of Rent’s first Off Broadway preview. The cause of death was an aortic aneurysm caused by undiagnosed Marfan’s Syndrome.

The trailer begins with Garfield singing “Boho Days,” a song from the earliest incarnations of tick, tick…BOOM! It was the title song when Larson first performed the musical as a one-man show in 1990.

The film, which also stars Joshua Henry, MJ Rodriguez, Bradley Whitford, Tariq Trotter, Judith Light and Vanessa Hudgens, will mark Miranda’s feature directorial debut.

In 2001, Miranda, then 21, was writing In The Heights when he attended an Off Broadway revival of tick, tick…BOOM! In 2014, Miranda, who would later say that Rent inspired him to begin writing musicals, portrayed Jon in a two-week Encores! production of tick, tick…BOOM!

The film adaptation of Miranda’s In The Heights, directed by Jon M. Chu, hit theaters and HBO Max today.

Ana Villafañe to Star in NBC’s Comedy Pilot “Night Court,” a Follow-Up to the Classic Legal Series

Ana Villafañe is holding court

The 32-year-old Cuban and Salvadoran American actress/singer has landed a series regular in NBC’s half-hour pilot Night Court.

Ana Villafañe

The project is a follow-up to the classic legal comedy series headlined and executive produced by The Big Bang TheoryMelissa Rauch, with the original series’ John Larroquette reprising his Emmy-winning role.

Written/executive produced by Dan Rubin based on the original series created by Reinhold Weege, the multi-camera Night Court centers on unapologetic optimist judge Abby Stone (Rauch), the daughter of the late Harry Stone, who follows in her father’s footsteps as she presides over the night shift of a Manhattan arraignment court and tries to bring order to its crew of oddballs and cynics, most notably former night court prosecutor Dan Fielding (Larroquette).

Villafañe will play Monica, the court’s assistant district attorney. Type A, superficial and tightly wound. Monica sees the night court as a stepping stone to bigger and better things. She’s above this place and all the people in it, but it’s a good way to get some courtroom experience under her belt. It’s all part of her plan to land a job at one of the big firms. Thirty will be here before she knows it and if she’s not wildly successful by then…well it’s best not to think about it.

Villafañe is recurring on the final season of Younger, which streams on Paramount+.

She has also recurred on two NBC/Universal Television series, drama New Amsterdam and comedy Sunnyside.

On stage, Villafañe originated the role of Gloria Estefan in the Broadway production of On Your Feet and starred throughout the musical’s entire 2014-2017 run, winning the 2015 Theatre World Award for Best Actress.

She later starred as Nina Rosario in the Kennedy Center’s 2018 production of In the Heights and made her off-Broadway debut in MCC’s Collective Rage: A Play in Five Betties in 2018. She is a two-time Drama League Award nominee for On Your Feet and Collective Rage.

Justina Machado to Star in Amazon Studios’ Pilot “The Horror of Dolores Roach”

It’s a scary time for Justina Machado

Amazon Studios has given a formal pilot order to The Horror of Dolores Roach, starring the 48-year-0ld Puerto Rican actress.

Justina Machado

Based on the hit Gimlet podcast and written and directed by podcast creator Aaron Mark, The Horror of Dolores Roach originally was developed by Mark as a one-woman play starring Daphne Rubin-Vega.

It’s a grotesque Sweeney Todd-inspired tale of eat or be eaten — a macabre urban legend of love, betrayal, weed, gentrification, cannibalism and survival of the fittest.

“Magic Hands” Dolores Roach (Machado) is released from prison after 16 years and returns to a severely gentrified Washington Heights with $200 and the clothes on her back. With her boyfriend missing, her family long gone and her apartment now occupied by strangers, Dolores finds respite in the dilapidated storefront Empanada Loca around the corner — the only remnant of her former life.

Roxann Dawson is attached to direct and executive produce the pilot, which has been casting for the past four months. The project, in development at Amazon since 2020, hails from Blumhouse Television, which won the rights to adapt the podcast in 2019 in a competitive situation, and Spotify.

Mark penned the pilot script and will executive produce alongside Home Before Dark co-creator Dara Resnik and Rubin-Vega. Jason Blum, Chris McCumber and Jeremy Gold of Blumhouse Television and Chris Giliberti and Justin McGoldrick of Spotify also will executive produce.

Machado most recently starred in the One Day at a Time reimagining, garnering multiple award nominations and winning two Imagen Awards for her role.

She previously shared in a SAG Award for her role in the Emmy-winning HBO series Six Feet Under.

Her other television credits include Jane the Virgin and Queen of the South.

Her work in film includes Blumhouse Productions’ The Purge: Anarchy, Netflix’s All Together Now and the indie Pedro.

On stage, Machado made her Broadway debut in the Tony-winning musical In the Heights, created by and starring Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Krysta Rodriguez to Star in TBS’ Rom-Com Pilot “Space”

Krysta Rodriguez is getting some much-needed space

The 36-year-old Latina actress and Broadway star will star in TBS’ scripted romantic-comedy pilot, Spacewritten and executive produced by Hilary Winston and executive produced by Nick Stoller of Stoller Global Solutions.

Krysta Rodriguez,

Rodriguez, currently earning raves for her role as Liza Minelli on Netflix’s Halston, will star opposite Jake Lacy in the pilot.

Ally MakiCaleb Hearon and Rachel Pegram have also been cast as series regulars in the pilot, which Andrew Mogel and Jarrad Paul have been tapped to direct and executive produce.

Produced by Sony Pictures Television for TBS, Space begins shooting in Portland in June.

Space, described as a hilarious, romantic Quantum Leapfollows Rob (Lacy) and Marin (Rodriguez), a long-term couple on the verge of a break-up who are granted the ultimate space to figure out their future when they suddenly begin jumping into the bodies of other couples.

Lacy’s Rob is a nice guy everyone loves to get a beer with but who has no idea what he wants. Rodriguez is Marin, his lovably eager girlfriend who hasn’t yet accepted she’s an adult. Their relationship’s reckoning happens during their friend Priscilla’s (Maki) wedding, after Priscilla fights off intense cold feet to dive into commitment, causing their other friends Jesse (Hearon) and Hannah (Pegram) to question Rob and Marin’s chronic avoidance of marriage.

Rodriguez’s previous credits include NBC’s Smash, ABC’s Quantico and Netflix’s Daybreak.

Santino Fontana to Perform During Broadway “Show of Titles” Musical Event to Benefit The Actors Fund

Santino Fontana is a title(s) act…

The 39-year-old part-Spanish America actor will perform at Show of Titles, a special livestreamed musical event next month benefiting The Actors Fund.

Santino Fontana

Fontana joins a lineup of nearly 30 stars – from Glenn ClosePatti LuPone, Darren Criss, Kelsey Grammar and David Alan Grier to Jake Gyllenhaal, Joshua Henry and Phillipa Soo – who will perform title songs from more than 20 musicals.

The event will feature title songs of Broadway musicals spanning nine decades, from “Lady Be Good” to “The Light in the Piazza.”

The line-up also includes Annaleigh Ashford, Len Cariou, Isabelle Huppert, Norm Lewis, Rob McClure, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Melba Moore, Jessie Mueller, Eva Noblezada, Kelli O’Hara, Laura Osnes, Steven Pasquale, Michael Rupert, Ernie Sabella, Lea Salonga, Will Swenson, Aaron Tveit, Leslie Uggams, Vanessa Williams and Patrick Wilson.

Making special appearances will be Broadway Inspirational Voices, Candice Bergen, Danny Burstein, Bryan Cranston, Sheldon Harnick, John Kander, Angela Lansbury, John Lithgow, Lindsay Mendez, Phylicia Rashad, Ben Vereen, BD Wong and Florian Zeller.

Conceived by Broadway’s Best Shows producer Jeffrey RichardsShow of Titles will be directed by Lonny Price, with music direction by Jason Howland, and livestreamed on June 8, 8:00 pm ET on Stellar for a limited time only.

Tickets went on sale May 17 for $29 ($39 starting May 21), with all sales donated to The Actor’s Fund.

Composers represented include Lee Adams, Maxwell Anderson, Burt Bacharach, Irving Berlin, Jerry Bock, Bertolt Brecht, Cy Coleman, Betty Comden, Joe Darion, Hal David, Fred Ebb, Gary Geld, George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, Adolph Green, Adam Guettel, Oscar Hammerstein, Sheldon Harnick, Jerry Herman, John Kander, Burton Lane, Mitch Leigh, Alan Jay Lerner, Frank Loesser, Frederick Loewe, Galt MacDermot, Cole Porter, James Rado, Gerome Ragni, Richard Rodgers, Charles Strouse, Jule Styne, Peter Udell and Kurt Weill.

Universal Releases First Trailer for Danny Pino’s Film Adaptation of the Broadway Musical “Dear Evan Hansen”

It’s a Dear moment for Danny Pino

Universal Pictures has released the first trailer for the much-anticipated film adaptation of Broadway’s award-winning musical Dear Evan Hansen, starring the 47-year-old Cuban American actor.

Danny Pino

Stephen Chbosky directs, with Ben Platt reprising the lead role that made him a Broadway star.

Over Platt’s rendition of the musical’s breakout song “You Will Be Found,” the trailer includes clips from the film featuring Platt, Kaitlyn Dever, Amy Adams, Julianne Moore, Amandla Stenberg, Nik Dodani, DeMarius Copes, Pino and Colton Ryan.

The musical follows Evan Hansen, an anxious and isolated high school student whose letter to himself is found in the pocket of a classmate (Ryan) who died by suicide, with the note misinterpreted by the classmate’s parents as a suicide letter.

The film is written for the screen by the musical’s Steven Levenson with music and lyrics by Benj Pasek & Justin Paul.

Dear Evan Hansen is produced by Marc Platt and Adam Siegel, and is executive produced by Michael Bederman, Steven Levenson, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. Universal Pictures will distribute the film in all territories.

The movie opens in theaters on September 24.

Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s “Lackawanna Blues” to Open on Broadway in September

Ruben Santiago-Hudson is bringing the Blues to The Great White Way this fall…

The 64-year-old half-Puerto Rican actor, playwright and director’s Lackawanna Blues will begin performances at Manhattan Theatre Club on September 14, the first day of Broadway’s post-shutdown reopening.

Ruben Santiago-Hudson

It’s the fifth show set to begin performances post-COVID-19 pandemic.

The play – written, performed and directed by Santiago-Hudson (Netflix’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) – will be the season’s first Broadway production by a nonprofit theater company.

Lackawanna Blues will begin performances Tuesday, September 14, and open Tuesday, September 28, at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. The play will feature original music by Bill Sims, Jr. performed on stage by blues guitarist Junior Mack.

MTC will follow health and safety guidance of New York City, New York State, and the CDC, with flexible ticket refund and exchange policies in place.

Tickets for Lackawanna Blues go on sale to the general public beginning Tuesday, August 10.

As described by MTC, Lackawanna Blues features a solo performance by Santiago-Hudson in a play “celebrating the strong, big-hearted woman who raised him: Miss Rachel. In a 1950s boarding house outside Buffalo, Nanny, as she was affectionately called, opened her doors to anyone and everyone in need of kindness, hope, compassion, and care.” Santiago-Hudson plays more than 20 characters.