Kirstin Maldonado & Her Pentatonix Mates to Perform on ABC’s “The Queen Family Singalong”

Kirstin Maldonado is bringing some Love to ABC…

The 29-year-old half-Mexican, part-Spanish American singer and her Pentatonix group mates will take part in the fourth installment of the network’s successful Singalong franchise with The Queen Family Singalong

Kiristin Maldonado, Pentatonix

Hosted by Darren Criss, the special one-hour, one-night-only event will air at 8:00 pm on Thursday, November 4.

The special will feature an hour of killer Queen hits, performed by musical artists including Pentatonix performing “Somebody to Love.”

Other performers include Adam Lambert (“The Show Must Go On”), Derek Hough and Alexander Jean (“Another One Bites the Dust”), Fall Out Boy (“Under Pressure”), Jimmie Allen with Miss Piggy (“Crazy Little Thing Called Love”), JoJo Siwa and Orianthi (“We Will Rock You”) and OneRepublic (“We Are the Champions”).

Additional performances will be announced at a later date.

In a celebration of Broadway’s reopening, Disney Theatrical Production’s Broadway cast members from The Lion King and Aladdin will come together to perform a showstopping version of “Don’t Stop Me Now.” Performers include Milo Alosi, Tia Altinay, Lissa DeGuzman, Bonita Hamilton, Mduduzi Madela, Brandon McCall, Michael James Scott and Adrienne Walker.

The Disney Family Singalong premiered in April 2020 as TV’s highest-rated show among Adults 18-49 on any network on any night since ABC’s 2020 broadcast of The Oscars. The three editions of The Disney Family Singalong drew in a combined 29.9 million Total Viewers after 35 days of delayed viewing on linear and digital platforms.

The Queen Family Singalong
 is produced by Done+Dusted.

Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s “Lackawanna Blues” Extends Its Limited Broadway Run by a Week

There are more Blues in Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s future…

The 64-year-old half-Puerto Rican actor, playwright and director’s critically acclaimed Lackawanna Blues is extending its limited Broadway engagement by a week, making up for the recent performances canceled due to the star’s back injury.

Ruben Santiago-Hudson

The solo show, which began previews on September 14 with a planned opening of September 28 bumped to October 7, will continue playing through Sunday, November 7 at Manhattan Theatre Club’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, a week longer than originally scheduled October 31 closing.

Earlier this month, Santiago-Hudson canceled some performances of the show due to a recurring back injury. He resumed performances Oct. 12.

The play stars Santiago-Hudson as the many characters who lived in and around the boarding houses owned by the kind-hearted woman who raised him.

Ariana DeBose to Star in Apple Original Films’ Actioner “Argylle”

The spies have it for Ariana DeBose

The 30-year-old half-Afro-Puerto Rican actress, singer and dancer has joined the cast of Argylle, an action film from Apple Original Films and Matthew Vaughn’s Marv Studios.

Ariana DeBose

The film is currently in production in Europe.

DeBose, a Tony Award nominee, joins a cast that includes Henry Cavill, Sam Rockwell, Bryce Dallas Howard, Bryan Cranston, Catherine O’Hara, John Cena, Samuel L. Jackson, and Grammy winner Dua Lipa, who is making her big screen debut.

The film—setting up a new franchise for Vaughn—follows the world’s greatest spy, Argylle, as he is caught up in a globetrotting adventure, which takes him from America to London and beyond.

It’s based on Elly Conway’s upcoming spy novel of the same name, which is set for publication via Transworld Publishers Ltd, a division of Penguin Random House, next year.

Vaughn is directing Argylle from a script by Jason Fuchs. Dua Lipa will also pen the film’s original title track and score.

“We have assembled an absolutely stellar cast to inhabit each of the wonderfully original and captivating characters in this thrill ride of a story,” said Vaughn. “We’re so excited that production is now off and running, bringing us closer to sharing this epic action spectacle with audiences around the world.”

DeBose earned her Tony nomination in 2018 for her turn as Donna Summer in Summer: The Donna Summer Musical. She also featured in the original cast of Hamilton, along with other Broadway titles including Bring It On: The Musical and Pippin.

She will next be seen portraying Anita in Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story, and can currently be seen in Apple’s musical comedy series Schmigadoon!.

Matthew López Becomes First Latino to Win Tony Award for Best Play

Matthew López has earned his place in Broadway history…

The 44-year-old Puerto Rican playwright and screenwriter’s The Inheritance was named Best Play at the Tony Awards, earning him his first career Tony.\

Matthew Lopez

Lopez’s acclaimed elegiac two-part drama about the AIDS scourge was inspired by E.M Forster’s Howards End.

López, after thanking and acknowledging three queer artists who inspired him (Forster, Terrence McNally and Miguel Pinero), noted that he was the first Latinx playwright to win a Tony Award for Best Play.

He said that while the Latinx community made up 19% of the U.S. population, the number drops to only 2% on Broadway. “This must change,” he said.

The 74th Annual Tony Awards, hosted by Audra McDonald, were livestreamed exclusively on Paramount+. The presentation honored the outstanding shows, performances and artistry of the 2019-2020 Broadway season, which was brought to a halt in March 2020 by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here’s the complete list of honorees:

74th ANNUAL TONY AWARDS WINNERS LIST

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
David Alan Grier, A Soldier’s Play

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
Danny Burstein, Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Lois Smith, The Inheritance

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
Lauren Patten, Jagged Little Pill

Best Scenic Design of a Play
Rob Howell, A Christmas Carol

Best Costume Design of a Play
Rob Howell, A Christmas Carol

Best Lighting Design of a Play
Hugh Vanstone, A Christmas Carol

Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Derek McLane, Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Best Costume Design of a Musical
Catherine Zuber, Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Justin Townsend, Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Best Sound Design of a Musical
Peter Hylenski, Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Best Sound Design of a Play
Simon Baker, A Christmas Carol

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
A Christmas Carol
Music: Christopher Nightingale

Best Book of a Musical
Jagged Little Pill
Diablo Cody

Best Orchestrations
Katie Kresek, Charlie Rosen, Matt Stine and Justin Levine, Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Best Choreography
Sonya Tayeh, Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Best Direction of a Play
Stephen Daldry, The Inheritance

Best Direction of a Musical
Alex Timbers, Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
Andrew Burnap, The Inheritance

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
Aaron Tveit, Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
Mary-Louise Parker, The Sound Inside

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Adrienne Warren, Tina – The Tina Turner Musical

Best Revival of a Play
A Soldier’s Play Charles Fuller

Best Play
The Inheritance
Author: Matthew López

Best Musical
Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Special Tony Awards were presented to:

  • The Broadway Advocacy Coalition, an arts-based advocacy nonprofit dedicated to building the capacity of individuals, organizations and communities to use storytelling as a way of dismantling the systems that perpetuate racism. The organization was founded in 2016 by several Black members of the Broadway community as a direct response to the nation’s pandemic of rac:ism and police brutality, and has since grown into a multidisciplinary organization which unites artists, legal experts and community advocates to create lasting impact and collaborations on policy issues ranging from criminal justice reform to education equity to immigration.
  • David Byrne’s American Utopia, the Broadway theatrical concert production described by the Tony Awards administration committee as “a jubilant celebration of live music, community, and connection.” The production recently returned to Broadway for a limited engagement.
  • Freestyle Love Supreme, created by Thomas Kail, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Anthony Veneziale, 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.

Tony Honors For Excellence in the Theater were previously announced for:

  • Fred Gallo, President of PRG Scenic Technologies. Gallo, a former stagehand and production carpenter, co-founded Scenic Technologies leading to the formation of his company PRG, one of the world’s leading suppliers of scenery and automation for theatrical productions.
  • Irene Gandy, the first Black female press agent member of the Association of Theatrical Press Agents and Managers, and a Tony Award-winning Broadway producer for The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, and a producer for Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill starring Audra MacDonald.
  • Beverly Jenkins, a professional stage manager for over 30 years, currently the production stage manager for the Tony Award-winning Best Musical Hadestown.
  • Woodie King, Jr., founder of the New Federal Theatre, a groundbreaking company with a mission to integrate artists of color and women into the mainstream of American theater.

The 2020 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award was previously announced for:

  • Actress Julie Halston for her work and advocacy in raising funding and awareness for the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation.

Critics Choice Association to Honor Rita Moreno at Inaugural “Celebration of Latino Cinema”

It’s a special celebration for the legendary Rita Moreno

The 89-year-old Puerto Rican actress, dancer and singer will be honored alongside Lin-Manuel Miranda and Demián Bichir at the Critics Choice Association’s inaugural Celebration of Latino Cinema.

Rita MorenoMoreno, Miranda and Bichor will be honored alog with a group of additional honorees, many associated with upcoming 2021 films, still to be announced.

The Celebration of Latino Cinema, to be presented virtually, will take place on Thursday, December 9, 2021 and aims to put a spotlight on the contributions of great Oscar-winning and -nominated artists like Moreno, Miranda and Bichir, but also Latino filmmaking in general, a facet of the motion picture industry that doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves during awards season.

Among other things, the CCA’s Celebration of Latino Cinema aims to change that.

“We are thrilled to be launching the first annual Celebration of Latino Cinema which recognizes the talented performers and skilled professionals who create the acclaimed films we are so proud to honor,” said Claudia Puig, a CCA member and co-programmer of the event.

“Films by our honorees represent the diverse and multi-faceted Latino community, and reflect our increasingly inclusive industry” said CCA board member and event co-programmer Clayton Davis.

The Celebration of Latino Cinema will be produced by Madelyn Hammond and Javier Infante of Madelyn Hammond & Associates. Stagedge will be responsible for transforming the show into an immersive virtual experience.

A portion of the proceeds from the event will be donated to LA Collab, whose mission is to accelerate Latino access, visibility and representation in the entertainment industry.

Moreno has won all four of the most prestigious awards in show business: an Oscar, a Tony, two Emmys, and a Grammy. She recently co-starred in the Latinx reimagining of Norman Lear’s classic sitcom One Day at a Time, and her documentary Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It had its world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival before being released in theaters; it will be broadcast on PBS’ American Masters in October. Moreno also co-stars in and executive produces Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story.

She is a recipient of the Peabody Career Achievement Award, a Kennedy Center Honor, the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Medal of Arts.

Miranda is a Pulitzer-, Grammy-, Emmy– and Tony Award-winning songwriter, actor and director, and creator and original star of Broadway’s Hamilton and In the HeightsA recipient of the MacArthur Foundation Award, a Kennedy Center Honor and the Portrait of a Nation Prize, he received an Emmy with Tom Kitt for their song “Bigger” from the 67th Tony Awards. Upcoming projects include Disney’s Encanto and his directorial film debut, tick, tick… BOOM!

Bichir received a Best Actor Oscar nomination in 2012 for his role in Chris Weitz’s A Better Life, becoming the first Mexican-born actor to be nominated in that category by the Academy since Anthony Quinn in 1957. He more recently received rave reviews for his performance in the film Land, directed by Robin Wright. His film credits include Steven Soderbergh’s Che, Oliver Stone’s Savages, Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, Robert Rodriguez’s Machete Kills, Paul Feig’s The Heat, Richard Shepard’s Dom Hemingway, Ridley Scott’s Alien, George Clooney’s The Midnight Sky, and Adam Wingard’s Godzilla Vs. Kong.

Lin-Manuel Miranda to Appear on “The Tony Awards Present: Broadway’s Back!” Special

Lin-Manuel Miranda is celebrating Broadway’s reopening…

The 41-year-old Puerto Rican Tony Award-winning actor, singer, songwriter, rapper, producer and playwright will take part in Broadway’s Back!, the live two-hour broadcast special immediately following this Sunday’s streaming-only Tony Awards ceremony.

Lin-Manuel Miranda 

In addition to Miranda, who created the Broadway hits In The Heights and Hamilton, the program will include appearances by Kristin Chenoweth, André De Shields, Jake Gyllenhaal, Audra McDonald, Idina Menzel, Broadway legend Chita Rivera, Daphne Rubin-Vega, who originated the role of Mimi Marquez in the Broadway musical Rent, and more, according to CBS and The American Theatre Wing.

The special, presented live on Sunday, Sept. 26 from Broadway’s Winter Garden Theatre, will be hosted by Leslie Odom, Jr.

Designed as a celebration of Broadway’s return to the stage following the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown, the special (full title: The Tony Awards Present: Broadway’s Back!) airs on CBS from 9:00 – 11:00 pm ET (live) and PT (delayed). The special also will be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+.

The concert special will include Broadway performers and Tony Award winners re-uniting on stage to perform classics, and will feature performances from the three Tony-nominated Best Musical contenders: Jagged Little Pill, Moulin Rouge! The Musical and Tina: The Tina Turner Musical.

The special also will include the live presentation of three Tony Awards: Best Play, Best Revival of a Play and Best Musical.

The 74th Annual Tony Awards, delayed from June 2020 due to COVID-19 and representing a shorter roster of nominees because of the shutdown, will stream exclusively on Paramount+ live beginning at 7:00 pm ET/4:00 pm PT. The ceremony will be hosted by Tony, Grammy and Emmy Award-winning singer and actor Audra McDonald, and will cover productions from the abbreviated 2019-2020 Broadway season.

The line-up of Broadway’s Back! performers and presenters also includes Annaleigh Ashford, Kerry Butler, Christopher Jackson, Ruthie Ann Miles, Bebe Neuwirth, Leslie Odom, Jr., Kelli O’Hara, Ben Platt, Jeremy Pope and BD Wong. Additional performers and presenters will be announced later this week.

The Tony Awards Present: Broadway’s Back! will be produced in collaboration with Tony Award Productions, a joint venture of The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing, and White Cherry Entertainment, the team behind the annual Tony Awards telecast. Ricky Kirshner and Glenn Weiss are executive producers for White Cherry Entertainment. Weiss will serve as director.

Jonathan Del Arco to Star in Joanna Gleason’s Directorial Debut Film “The Grotto”

Jonathan Del Arco is headed to the grotto

The 55-year-old Uruguayan actor and former Major Crimes star has signed on to star in The Grotto, the first feature written and directed by Tony Award-winning actress Joanna Gleason.

Jonathan Del Arco

Del Arco will star opposite Betsy Brandt, Dan BucatinskySteve Kazee and Susan Sullivan in the film.

The film centers on Alice (Brandt), who uncovers her recently deceased fiancé’s secret past when she inherits part ownership of a forgotten nightclub in the Mojave Desert.

Del Arco will play Victor, the owner of the nightclub, with Bucatinsky portraying Alice’s new best friend, Kip. The roles played by Kazee and Sullivan have not yet been disclosed.

Actors set to appear in supporting roles include Miguel Sandoval, Caroline Aaron, Michael Nouri, Amy Aquino, Lindsay Mendez (Broadway’s Carousel) and Kevin Chamberlin.

It will enter production in Los Angeles in a matter of days.

“The cast for ‘The Grotto’ is an embarrassment of riches. I have had these characters in my mind for the past few years and always believed that by some miracle, the right actors were going to show up. And they have — with big thanks to our casting directors,” said Gleason. “The chance to work with these actors led by the incomparable Betsy Brandt is a dream come true.”

Gleason’s first feature comes on the heels of several directorial outings in television. Back in the ’90s, she helmed episodes of the series Love & War (CBS), The Louie Show (CBS) and Oh Baby (Lifetime).

Cassandra Sanchez-Navarro Signs with Buchwald & Anonymous Content for U.S. Representation

Cassandra Sanchez-Navarro is ready to crossover stateside…

The 30-year-old Mexican actress and telenovela star has signed with Buchwald and Anonymous Content for representation in the United States.

Cassandra Sanchez-Navarro

Sanchez-Navarro starred in the romantic comedy Cindy La Regiaa film that went on to become the most successful film in her native Mexico in 2020.

She most recently appeared in the Pantaya release El Peligro En Tu Miranda, currently available for viewing on streaming platforms.

Up next, she will appear in two films: Malcriados and Enfermo Amor opening in Mexico later this year.

Other credits include appearances in Netflix’s Sense 8 and El Dragon: Return of the Warrior for Univision and Televisa.

Sanchez-Navarro was classically trained at LA’s Lee Strasberg Academy and New York American Musical and Dramatic Academy, before going to London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.

She’s a fifth-generation actor and granddaughter of Manolo Fabregas, often referred to as ‘The Man of Theater’, and the first Mexican to perform on Broadway, starring opposite legends including Shirley MacLaine and Clint Eastwood.

She continues to be represented by manager Prensa Danna in Mexico.

Danny Pino to Appear on Soundtrack for Film Adaptation of Broadway Musical “Dear Evan Hansen”

Danny Pino isn’t just starring in Dear Evan Hansen… He’s also appearing on the soundtrack.

Universal has announced the track list for the film adaptation of the award-winning Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen, with the 47-year-old Cuban American actor among the talents appearing on the album.

Danny Pino

Pino appears on the film’s track “Requiem,” alongside Kaitlyn Dever and Amy Adams.

The soundtrack, which will be available on September 9 – the same day as the film’s theatrical release via Interscope Records, will also feature Sam Smith with Summer WalkerSZACarrie Underwood with Dan + Shay, Finneas, and Tori Kelly. They’ll be performing reimagined versions of the musical’s Tony Award-winning songs and as well as original recordings from the film’s score.

Dear Evan Hansen

Songwriting duo Benj Pasek and Justin Paul also wrote original tracks for the movie adaptation of Dear Evan Hansen. The album also features 16 tracks that include recordings by the film’s cast.

“Pasek and Paul’s songs from the Dear Evan Hansen stage play are so amazing and timeless — newly recorded by our film’s cast for the soundtrack (and freshly produced by Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, Alex Lacamoire and Dan Romer, and supervised by Jordan Carroll) — and they’re now also complemented by two new original songs written for the film (with one of them co-written and performed in the film by Amandla Stenberg),” Mike Knobloch, president of global film music and publishing at Universal Pictures, tells Billboard.

Pino portrays Larry Mora in the film.

 

Michaela Jaé (Mj) Rodriguez Signs with United Talent Agency (UTA)

Michaela Jaé (Mj) Rodriguez has new representation…

The 30-year-old half-Afro-Puerto Rican actress has signed with United Talent Agency (UTA).

MJ Rodriguez

Rodriguez, who was with Gersh, recently made history as the first transgender actress to be nominated for an Emmy in any lead acting category for her role as house mother Blanca in the FX drama from Steven Canals and Ryan Murphy.

UTA will represent Rodriguez in all areas as she continues to grow her career in film, television, theater and music, among other mediums.

With Pose having wrapped its run earlier this year after three seasons, Rodriguez will next star opposite Maya Rudolph in Apple‘s comedy series Loot.

Her previous television credits include roles in Showtime‘s Nurse Jackie and Marvel‘s Netflix drama Luke Cage.

On the big screen, Rodriguez will next star in Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s feature adaptation of Jonathan Larson‘s Tick, Tick … Boom! She previously earned praise for her role in Saturday Church, which debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival.

UTA will also help support Rodriguez as she expands her burgeoning music career. Rodriguez recently released a music video to accompany her debut single, “Something to Say,” the equality anthem she wrote with Verdine White of Earth, Wind and Fire, Neal Pogue and John Paris.

On stage, Rodriguez made her off-Broadway debut in the New World Stages production of Larson’s beloved Rent, playing the role of Angel. Her stage credits include the Encores! production of Runaways and portraying the lead role of Audrey in the Pasadena Playhouse’s production of Little Shop of Horrors.