Hannah Cruz Starring in the Broadway Production of the Stage Musical “Suffs”

Hannah Cruz is headed back to Broadway

The part-Latina actress/singer gas joined the Broadway production of Suffs, a stage musical based on suffragists and their American women’s suffrage movement with a book, music and lyrics by Shaina Taub,

Hannah CruzSuffs originally premiered Off Broadway at The Public Theater in April 2022.

Most of the Broadway cast is making the move from Off Broadway, though Cruz, who played Ruza Wenclawska at The Public Theater, takes over from Phillipa Soo as Inez Milholland.

Taub will lead the Broadway cast of her musical Suffs, reprising the role she played in the original, sold-out production.

The casting makes Taub only the second woman in Broadway history to write the book, music, lyrics and star in her own musical, following the late Micki Grant, who made Broadway history in 1972 with Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope.

Taub will play Alice Paul, the young suffragist at the forefront in the battle for women’s rights in the early 20th Century.

Joining Taub and Cruz in the Broadway production – which begins previews at the Music Box Theatre on March 26 ahead of an April 18 opening night – will be Nikki M. James as Ida B. Wells; Jenn Colella as Carrie Chapman Catt; Grace McLean as President Woodrow Wilson; Kim Blanck as Ruza Wenclawska; Anastacia McCleskey as Mary Church Terrell; Ally Bonino as Lucy Burns; Tsilala Brock as Dudley Malone; Nadia Dandashi as Doris Stevens; and Emily Skinner, who is taking over for Aisha de Haas in the Alva Belmont/Phoebe Burn roles.

Rounding out the company are Hawley Gould as the alternate for Alice Paul, Jaygee Macapugay as Mollie Hay and Laila Drew making her Broadway debut as Phyllis Terrell/Robin.

The cast and ensemble will also include Dana Costello, Jenna Bainbridge, Monica Tulia Ramirez, Ada Westfall, Christine Heesun Hwang, Kirsten Scott, Housso Semon and D’Kaylah Unique Whitley.

Suffs, directed by Leigh Silverman, features choreography by Mayte Natalio, music supervision and music direction by Andrea Grody, scenic design by Riccardo Hernández, costume design by Paul Tazewell, lighting design by Lap Chi Chu, sound design by Jason Crystal and orchestrations by Michael Starobin.

Jill Furman and Rachel Sussman will serve as lead producers, with Hillary Rodham Clinton and Malala Yousafzai serving as co-producers.

The official synopsis: It’s 1913 and the women’s movement is heating up in America, anchored by the suffragists — “Suffs,” as they call themselves — and their relentless pursuit of the right to vote. Reaching across and against generational, racial, and class divides, these brilliant, flawed women entertain and inspire us with the story of their hard-won victory in an ongoing fight. So much has changed since the passing of the Nineteenth Amendment over a century ago, and yet we’re reminded sometimes we need to look back, in order to march fearlessly into the future.

Cruz’s previous credits include the Off Broadway productions of The Connector and Only Gold and the national tour of Hamilton.

New Musical Adaptation of “The Great Gatsby,” Starring Eva Noblezada, to Open on Broadway This Spring

Eva Noblezada is preparing for a great time on Broadway

A new musical adaptation of The Great Gatsby, starring the 27-year-old half-Mexican American actress/singer and Broadway star and Jeremy Jordan, will open on Broadway this spring, producers have announced.

Eva Noblezada,The musical begins previews on Friday, March 29, at The Broadway Theatre, with an opening night set for Thursday, April 25.

The announcement was made by lead producer Chunsoo Shin.

Direct from a record-breaking, sold-out world premiere at Paper Mill Playhouse last fall, the show features music and lyrics by Tony Award nominees Nathan Tysen & Jason Howland, a book by Kait Kerrigan, and is staged by award-winning director Marc Bruni and choreographer Dominique Kelley.

The Broadway premiere of The Great Gatsby will feature scenic and projection design by Paul Tate de Poo III, costume design by Linda Cho, lighting design by Cory Pattak, sound design by Brian Ronan, hair & wig design by Charles G. LaPointe & Rachael Geier. Arrangements are by Jason Howland, and Orchestrations are by Jason Howland and Kim Scharnberg. The Music Director is Daniel Edmonds and the music producer is Billy Jay Stein for Strike Audio. Mark Shacket of Foresight Theatrical serves as Executive Producer.

The musical’s world premiere engagement was the highest grossing show in Paper Mill Playhouse history.

The production, which ran October 12–November 12, 2023, also broke the theater’s record for ticket sales in a single day, and sold out the entire run before its very first performance.

This production is not to be confused with a Gatsby stage musical announced in 2021 with Florence Welch and Thomas Bartlett attached.

Noblezada made her Broadway debut as Kim in a revival of Miss Saigon, a performance for which she received a nomination for a 2017 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical, becoming one of the youngest nominees in the category, at age 21.

She also originated the lead role of Eurydice in Hadestown on Broadway, a performance for which she received her second nomination for a 2019 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical, as well as winning the 2020 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album. Noblezada also played the title character of Rose in the 2020 film Yellow Rose, starring alongside Lea Salonga, who originated the role of Kim in Miss Saigon.

Krysta Rodriguez & Fellow “Smash” Cast & Crew to Mount Fully Staged & Choreographed Workshop This Month

Krysta Rodriguez is one step closer to smashing it on Broadway again…

Smash, the stage musical adaptation of the NBC musical series of the same name starring the 39-year-old Latina actress/singer and Broadway star, is set to take another major step in its march to Broadway.

Krysta Rodriguez,The cast and crew will gather for six weeks starting this month to mount a fully staged and choreographed workshop, with an orchestra, culminating in five performances for recruited audiences.

The new Susan Stroman-directed musical, inspired by the NBC TV series, is slated for Broadway in the 2024-25 season.

In addition to Rodriguez, who starred on the original television series as Ana Vargas, the workshop cast includes Brooks Ashmanskas, Alex Brightman, Yvette Nicole Brown, Bella Coppola, newcomer Nihar Duvvuri, Casey Garvin, Robyn Hurder, Kristine Nielsen and Jonalyn Saxer.

The full company includes Wendi Bergamini, Giovanni Bonaventura, Jim Borstelmann, Zachary Downer, Tiffany Engen, Ashley Blair Fitzgerald, Megan Kane, Caleb Marshall-Villarreal, Connor McRory, JJ Niemann, Tanairi Sade Vazquez, Brian Shepard, Sarah Sigman, Jake Trammel and Katie Webber.

Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, who wrote songs for the series, also handle the score for the Smash musical, which will feature tunes from the TV show as well as new material. Book writers are Bob Martin and Rick Elice.

The musical is produced by Steven SpielbergRobert Greenblatt and Neil Meron.

“Bob, Steven and I are thrilled to take this next big development step on the road to bringing ‘Smash’ where it was always meant to be: a Broadway theater,” Meron tells me. “Not a week goes by when someone doesn’t tell us how much they loved the original series, and it’s time to pull back the curtain on how we’re transforming this show into a funny, joyous stage musical.”

Greenblatt adds, “This workshop/rehearsal process will give the creative team a chance to get reactions from real theatergoers who will experience it for the first time in a theater setting. We’re so fortunate to be working with this fantastic cast of Tony and Emmy nominees, and it will be exciting to see the show on its feet, fully staged by Susan Stroman and choreographed by Josh Bergasse.”

Rodriguez’s previous theater credits include Cabaret, Into the Woods, West Side Story, Spring Awakening and The Addams Family.

“The Color Purple,” Starring Colman Domingo, Tops Box Office on Christmas Day

It’s a Purple reign for Colman Domingo this Christmas

The Color Purple, a vibrant adaptation of the book-turned-beloved-film-turned-hit-Broadway-musical and starring the 54-year-old Belizean-Guatemalan American actor and social justice activist, dominated at the box office on Christmas Day.

Colman Domingo,The film has outperformed expectations with $18 million from 3,152 North American theaters. It’s the largest Christmas Day opening for a film since 2009, and the second-biggest Christmas Day opening of all time.

Those ticket sales were enough to lead the way on Monday ahead of two other newcomers, Neon’s racing drama Ferrari and director George Clooney’s inspirational sports story The Boys in the Boat.

Boosted by positive reviews and a glowing “A” CinemaScore, The Color Purple marks the first musical in some time that’s resonated at the box office. The film, backed by Warner Bros. and directed by Blitz Bazawule, collected more in a single day than recent stage-to-screen stories — including West Side Story ($10.5 million), In the Heights ($11 million), Dear Evan Hansen ($7.5 million) and Cats ($6.6 million) — earned in their opening weekends.

The Color Purple benefitted by premiering on Christmas Day, one of the most popular days of the year for moviegoing. But this is a promising start for the $100 million-budgeted musical, which should benefit from word of mouth in the coming days.

“The Color Purple” looks to remain the de facto choice for families over the remainder of what has otherwise been a lackluster holiday season. American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino brings to life the trials, tribulations and triumphs of Celie, a Black woman living in Georgia in the early 1900s. Taraji P. Henson, Danielle Brooks, Domingo as  Albert “Mister” Johnson, and Halle Bailey round out the cast.

Daphne Rubin-Vega to Guest Star in Vivienne Medrano’s Adult Animated Musical Comedy Series “Hazbin Hotel”

Daphne Rubin-Vega is checking in to a new project…

The 54-year-old Panamanian-American actress, singer-songwriter, dancer and Broadway star will make a guest appearance in Vivienne Medrano’s adult animated musical comedy series Hazbin Hotel.

Daphne Rubin-VegaRubin-Vega will portray Carmilla Carmine on the series.

Prime Video will premiere Hazbin Hotel on January 19, with episodes dropping exclusively on the streamer in more than 240 countries and territories worldwide.

Created by Medrano, Hazbin Hotel follows Charlie, the princess of Hell, as she pursues her seemingly impossible goal of rehabilitating demons to peacefully reduce overpopulation in her kingdom. After a yearly extermination imposed by angels, she opens a hotel in the hopes that patrons will be “checking out” into Heaven. While most of Hell mocks her goal, her devoted partner Vaggie, and their first test subject, adult-film star Angel Dust, stick by her side. When a powerful entity known as the “Radio Demon” reaches out to assist Charlie in her endeavors, her crazy dream is given a chance to become a reality.

In addition to Rubin-Vega, best known for originating the roles of Mimi Marquez in the 1996 premiere of the Broadway musical Rent and Lucy in the 2007 premiere of the Off-Broadway play Jack Goes Boating, other guest stars include Darren Criss (Saint Peter), Jeremy Jordan (Lucifer Morningstar), Patina Miller (Sera) and Jessica Vosk (Lute).

They join the previously announced main cast including Erika Henningsen, Stephanie Beatriz, Alex Brightman, Keith David, Kimiko Glenn, Blake Roman, Amir Talai, Christian Borle and Joel Perez.

The series will feature original music and lyrics from platinum-certified artist Sam Haft and Emmy-nominated Andrew Underberg.

Medrano serves as executive producer and directed all episodes.

Hazbin Hotel is produced by A24 and Fox Entertainment’s animation studio Bento Box Entertainment.

Lindsay Mendez’s “Merrily We Roll Along” Broadway Cast Recording Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard’s Cast Albums Chart

Lindsay Mendez is back on top of the charts…

The new Broadway cast recording of Merrily We Roll Along, featuring the 40-year-old Mexican American Broadway singer/actress, debuts at No. 1 on Billboard’s Cast Albums chart dated November 25.

Lindsay Mendez, Merrily We Roll AlongIn addition to Mendez, the musical also stars Daniel Radcliffe and Jonathan Groff, who have all been part of at least one top 10-charting Cast Album previously. (Groff, notably, performs on both the Nos. 1 and 2 titles on the latest Cast Albums chart – as Merrily We Roll Along bumps Hamilton: An American Musical from the top slot down to No. 2.) 

Billboard’s Top Cast Albums chart ranks the top-selling musical cast recordings of the week in the U.S., based on traditional album sales, as tracked by Luminate. The new Cast Albums chart dated November 25 reflects the sales week ending November 16.

Merrily We Roll Along has music and lyrics written by Stephen Sondheim, with a book by George Furth, based on the play of the same name by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart. The musical premiered on Broadway in 1981 for a brief run, and the 2023 production is its first revival on Broadway. It’s slated to run through March 24, 2024.

The new iteration began off-Broadway in 2022 at the New York Theatre Workshop, with the same leading cast, and played through January 22, 2023. It then began previews on Broadway at the Hudson Theatre on September 19, and officially opened on October 10.

Mendez has appeared on five top 10-charting sets on Cast Albums: Grease (the new 2007 Broadway cast recording, No. 4), Everyday Rapture (original Broadway cast recording; No. 8, 2010), Dogfight (original cast recording; No. 2, 2013), Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel (2018 Broadway cast recording; No. 2, 2013), Godspell (the new 2012 Broadway cast recording; No. 1) and now Merrily We Roll Along.

Mendez also scored a Grammy nomination for best musical theater album, for Carousel.

Lindsay Mendez Starring in Ryan Murphy’s FX Anthology Series “American Sports Story”

Lindsay Mendez is getting in the game…

The 40-year-old Mexican American Broadway singer/actress has been cast as a series regular alongside Josh Andrés Rivera and Patrick Schwarzeneggein Ryan Murphy’s FX anthology American Sports Story.

American Sports Story, a new extension of Murphy’s “American Story” franchise, is a scripted anthological limited series focusing on a prominent event involving a sports figure and re-examines it through the prism of today’s world, telling that story from multiple perspectives.

The first installment, written by Stu Zicherman, is based on the podcast Gladiator: Aaron Hernandez and Football Inc. from the Boston Globe and Wondery.

It charts the rise and fall of NFL superstar Aaron Hernandez, played by Rivera, and explores the connections of the disparate strands of his identity, his family, his career, his suicide, and their legacy in sports and American culture. Schwarzenegger portrays Hernandez’s friend, former college teammate and fellow former NFL star Tim Tebow.

Mendez plays Tanya Singleton, Aaron’s cousin and favorite relative who becomes his de-facto mother.

Mendez, a Tony Award winner for Carousel, is currently back on Broadway top-lining the praised revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll along opposite Daniel Radcliffe and Jonathan Groff.

She most recently was a series regular on the Warner Bros. series All Rise for CBS and then OWN.

Josh Andrés Rivera to Star as the Late Aaron Hernandez in FX’s “American Sports Story” Anthology Series

Josh Andrés Rivera is hitting the football field…

The 28-year-old Puerto Rican actor will star in the first installment of Ryan Murphy’s American Sports Story anthology series for FX.

Josh Andrés RiveraRivera will portray the late former NFL star Aaron Hernandez in the season that’s based on the podcast Gladiator: Aaron Hernandez and Football Inc. from the Boston Globe and Wondery.

Rivera’s co-star will be Patrick Schwarzenegger as fellow former NFL star Tim Tebow.

The first installment charts the rise and fall of NFL superstar Hernandez and explores the connections of the disparate strands of his identity, his family, his career, his suicide, and their legacy in sports and American culture.

Tebow and Hernandez were longtime friends going back before their time in the National Football League. They were onetime teammates at the University of Florida, where they won the 2008 SEC Championship and went on to beat Oklahoma for the BCS Championship title. Tebow was known for looking out for Hernandez while on the team, including protecting Hernandez from being kicked off over marijuana use and helping to diffuse a situation in a bar when Hernandez got into an altercation with the bar manager. The two first met when Tebow hosted Hernandez on a recruiting trip to UF before he graduated high school.

Both castings were completed in early 2023, prior to the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, but were never confirmed by FX.

“We have a fairly complete set of scripts for American Sports Story by Stu Zicherman,” FX chairman John Landgraf said back on January 12, noting at the time that the series is “heading toward production.”

That was delayed by the WGA strike, which started in May, and the SAG-AFTRA strike, which has been going on since July.

American Sports Story, one of two new offshoots in Murphy’s “American Story” franchise alongside American Love Story, is a scripted anthological limited series focusing on a prominent event involving a sports figure and re-examines it through the prism of today’s world, telling that story from multiple perspectives.

Rivera next stars in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. He recently played Chino in Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of West Side Story. He notably performed in the original company on the first national tour of Hamilton.

Manuel Turizo to Make Performance Debut at This Year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Manuel Turizo is making a special Thanksgiving debut…

The 23-year-old Colombian singer will perform at this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Manuel TurizoTurizo exploded onto the scene in 2018 with his smash single “Culpables.” Numerous hits like “Esperándote” and “Una Lady Como Tú” and high-profile collaborations like “El Merengue” with Marshmello & the reggaeton single “Copa Vacía” with Shakira soon followed. Fast forward to 2022: Turizo’s biggest hit “La Bachata” reached No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot Latin chart and earned Global Song of the Year honors at the Latin Billboard Awards. His recently released “Dem Time Deh” with Sean Paul is bound to keep the accolades coming.

But Turizo isn’t the only Latinx artist expected to take part in the parade.

Kirstin Maldonado and her Pentatonix group mates will be performing as well.

The 31-year-old part-Spanish and half-Mexican American singer and her group mates have redefined a cappella. The three-time Grammy-winning vocal quintet have reached unprecedented heights, selling 10 million albums worldwide.

The group was named “The Most Streamed Holiday Artist of 2022” and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2023. Pentatonix is set to embark on their 2023 North American Christmas tour, The Most Wonderful Tour of the Year, this November in support of their recently released holiday greatest hits album, The Greatest Christmas Hits.

Other artists set to perform include Cher and Jon Batiste, as well as the Broadway casts of & Juliet, Back to the Future, How To Dance In Ohio, Shucked and Spamalot

The parade and the NBC broadcast will kick off at 8:30 am ET on Thursday, November 23, a half-hour earlier than the traditional 9:00 am start.

The 97th Macy’s Parade lineup will include 5,000 volunteers, 16 featured character balloons, 26 floats, 32 heritage and novelty balloons, more than 700 clowns, 12 marching bands and nine performance groups, according to parade officials.

Liza Colón-Zayas Signs with Liebman Entertainment for Management

Liza Colón-Zayas has new management…

The 51-year-old Puerto Rican actress has signed with Liebman Entertainment for management.

Liza Colón-Zayas,  Colón-Zayas can currently be seen as Tina in FX’s critically acclaimed comedy series, The Bear. The show received a 2023 SAG Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series and won a Television Critics Award for Outstanding New Program. The Bear has also received 13 Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Comedy Series.

Colón-Zayas’ additional television credits include HBO’s In Treatment, opposite Uzo Aduba, the Latino comedy series Get Some!along with Law & Order, David Makes Man, Proven Innocent, Titans, Bull and Blue Bloods, among others.

Her film work includes Allswell in New York, Naked Singularity with Olivia Cooke and John BoyegaCat Person alongside Emilia Jones and Nicholas Braun and The Purge 3.

She will next be seen in John Krasinski’s upcoming feature Imaginary Friends, set for release in 2024.

On the stage, Colón-Zayas most recently starred in the Broadway performance of Stephen Adly GuirgisPulitzer Prize-winning dark comedy Between Riverside and Crazy, where she originated the role of Church Lady. Her off-Broadway credits include Between Riverside and Crazy (Lucille Lortel Award winner), Halfway Bitches Go Straight To Heaven (Drama Desk and Obie Award winner, Lucille Lortel Award nominee, Outer Critics Award honoree), Mary Jane (Lucille Lortel Award nominee), and Living Out (Lucille Lortel Award nominee). She is also a member The LAByrinth Theater Company.

Colón-Zayas continues to be repped by Stewart Talent and Schreck Rose Dapello Adams Berlin & Dunham.