Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival to Host Special Screening of Anthony Ramos’ “In The Heights”

Anthony Ramos will be reaching new heights sooner than expected…

The Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival will host a special screening of “In The Heights,” starring the 29-year-old Puerto Rican singer/actor.

Anthony Ramos in In The Heights

The screening will take place on June 4 at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.

It will come ahead of the world premiere of the Jon M. Chu-directed adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning musical five days later to open the Tribeca Film Festival.

It’s a coup for the L.A.-based fest, which is run by the Edward James Olmos-founded Latino Film Institute.

The preview is taking take one week before In the Heights premieres on June 11 in theaters and on HBO Max.

The news comes as LALIFF and Tribeca said they are partnering as a celebration of their 20th anniversaries this year.

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Animated Musical Film “Vivo” Headed to Netflix

Lin-Manuel Miranda is getting animated once again…

Netflix has picked up the streaming rights to Vivo, an animated movie that boasts new music from the 41-year-old Broadway star, actor, lyricist/composer and Hamilton creator.

Lin-Manuel Miranda 

The family friendly film was initially scheduled to be released in theaters on June 4. But Sony Pictures, the studio that originally backed Vivo, has instead offloaded the project to Netflix. It’s unclear when it will debut on the streaming service.

Sony Pictures will retain all rights in China, along with home entertainment and linear television rights everywhere else, following periods of exclusivity on Netflix.

Netflix recently signed a lucrative deal with Sony, which gives the streamer exclusive U.S. rights to the studio’s theatrical releases in the first pay TV window.

In addition, Netflix has a first-look deal with Sony’s offerings. However, the pact doesn’t commence until 2022 so it doesn’t include the sale of Vivo.

Vivo was directed by The Croods filmmaker Kirk DeMicco and co-directed by Brandon Jeffords. Quiara Alegría Hudes, who wrote the book for Miranda’s In The Heights, has co-written the screenplay with DeMicco.

The animated musical adventure follows a unique kinkajou (a.k.a. a rainforest “honey bear,” voiced by Miranda), who spends his days playing music to the crowds in a lively Havana square with his beloved owner Andrés. Though they may not speak the same language, Vivo and Andrés are the perfect duo through their common love of music. But when tragedy strikes shortly after Andrés receives a letter from the famous Marta Sandoval (Gloria Estefan), inviting her old partner to her farewell concert in Miami with the hope of reconnecting, it’s up to Vivo to deliver a message that Andrés never could: A love letter to Marta, written long ago, in the form of a song. Yet in order to get to the distant shores of Miami, Vivo will need to accept the help of Gabi (newcomer Ynairaly Simo) — an energetic teen who bounces to the beat of her own offbeat drum. The voice cast also includes Zoe Saldana, Brian Tyree Henry and Nicole Byer.

“Bringing Vivo to life has been an incredible artistic journey. I couldn’t ask for better creative partners than Kirk, Quiara, Alex and the entire team at Sony Animation,” Miranda said. “I’m so excited Vivo will have a home at Netflix, where kids of all ages will be able to enjoy the film’s songs and adventures again and again.”

Vivo isn’t the first movie musical from Miranda that skipped theaters in favor of streaming. The live-recorded version of Hamilton was supposed to play on the big screen, but instead debuted on Disney+ last July.

Anthony Ramos Releases Steamy Video for New Single “Say Less”

Anthony Ramos is encouraging you to keep the talk to a minimum…

The 29-year-old Puerto Rican singer/actor, who starred on Broadway in the Tony Award-winning Hamilton musical, has released his latest single “Say Less,” along with the track’s steamy music video.

Anthony Ramos

Ramos shows off his seductive, effervescent croon on “Say Less,” an atmospheric R&B late-night jam in the vein of the Weeknd.

“‘Say Less’ is a transition song into this darker world I am exploring in my music,” Ramos said in a statement. “This video is a depiction of two people in a fleeting inferno of a relationship — one that can never be stable — but is too amazing to give up in spite of the inevitable outcome. They’re keeping a flame alive that will eventually burn out or explode. Not sure how it’ll end up, but in the meantime ‘Say Less’.”

Bonus fun: The sensual music video features Ramos’ In the Heights co-star Melissa Barrera.

Warner Bros. to Release Anthony Ramos’ “In The Heights” on June 11

Anthony Ramos’ moment in the heights to happen a week earlier…

Warner Bros.’ has announced plans to release the Jon M. Chu-directed feature musical In The Heights, starring the 29-year-old Puerto Rican actor/singer on June 11, a week earlier than previously scheduled.

Anthony Ramos in In The Heights

The movie, the feature adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegría HudesTony Award-winning musical, recently dropped a new trailer.

In the Heights is set in the titular Latinx community of New York City’s bustling Washington Heights. When the neighborhood’s charismatic local bodega owner, and the film’s humble narrator, finally decides to fulfill his dream of going to the island his parents called home, his departure will change his beloved block forever.

In the Heights stars Ramos, Corey Hawkins, Leslie Grace, Melissa Barrera, Olga Merediz, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Gregory Diaz IV, Stephanie Beatriz, Dascha Polanco and icon Jimmy Smits.

The film was originally scheduled to be released last summer before COVID-19 pushed it to this year.

Daphne Rubin-Vega Signs with Stewart Talent

Daphne Rubin-Vega has new representation…

The 51-year-old Panamanian-American dancer, singer-songwriter nand actress, who most recently starred on the CW’s short-lived series Katy Keene, has signed with Stewart Talent.

Daphne Rubin-Vega

Rubin-Vega can next be seen in the upcoming Warner Bros. feature In the Heights for director Jon Chu, playing ‘Daniela.’ She also just wrapped the Netflix series Social Distance, produced by Jenji Kohan and Tara Herman.

She previously recurred on the Netflix series Tales of the City.

A staple of the New York theatre community, Rubin-Vega earned a Tony Award nomination for her portrayal of ‘Mimi’ in the original cast of Rent, and another for Anna in the Tropics.

Rubin-Vega recently starred in Miss You Like Hell at The Public Theatre, and in the one-woman show Empanada Loca, which was written for her. She went on to help adapt the play into the scripted podcast The Horror of Dolores Roach, and is currently developing it into a series for Blumhouse Television.

Rubin-Vega is managed by Untitled Entertainment.

Dean Scott Vazquez to Star in Gigi Gaston’s Indie Drama “Gypsy Moon”

Dean Scott Vazquez is over the moon

The young Latino actor has been cast in Gypsy Moon, an indie drama from writer and director Gigi Gaston that recently wrapped production in Los Angeles.

Dean Scott Vazquez

Vazquez will star opposite Lena Headey, Sam Worthington and Barbara Hershey in the film.

Headey stars as the title character, a burlesque dancer who, on the eve of her last dance, must go on the run to save a neighbor boy (Vazquez) whose life is threatened by her ex-longtime lover (Worthington). She finds her real second chance at life in the love she feels for the child.

La La Anthony, Cam Gigandet, Martin Sensmeier and Emma Holzer round out the cast.

The film hails from Aquarius Content in association with Pop Films, Screen Media, Foresight Entertainment and 120db.

Vazquez’s previous credits include the upcoming film adaptation of the Broadway musical In The Heights, Mr. Robot and Jack Ryan.

Javier Muñoz to Perform at This Year’s Arthur Miller Foundation Honors Benefit for Public School Arts Education

Javier Muñoz is celebrating the arts in our schools…

The 44-year-old Puerto Rican Broadway star, who performed in the Tony Award-winning musicals In The Heights and Hamilton, has joined the line-up of performers for the annual Arthur Miller Foundation Honors celebrating public school arts education.

Javier Muñoz in Hamilton

Muñoz will perform alongside his friend and castmate Mandy Gonzalez, the 42-year-old half-Mexican American Broadway star who has appeared in In The Heights, Wicked and Hamilton.

The third annual gala celebration is set to stream virtually on November 16, and will also include performances by husband-and-wife duos like Hamilton’s Leslie Odom, Jr. and WaitressNicolette Robinson; and Hamilton‘s Phillipa Soo and Bridges of Madison County‘s Steven Pasquale.

The evening will include a special appearance by Chiké Okonkwo and performances by New York City public school students impacted by the Miller program.

Additional performers and appearances to be announced at a later date.

Sasha HutchingsHamilton original cast member and Foundation Master Artist Council member, will host. She also co-produces along with Arthur Miller Foundation Executive Director Jaime Hastings. Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg are event co-chairs alongside Rebecca Miller, Sandi Farkas, Janine & Michael Smith.

The event is presented by Broadway.com and directed by Paul Wontorek. The Foundation will honor Tony Award nominee Dominique Morisseau (Ain’t Too Proud) with the Arthur Miller Foundation Legacy Award, and will recognize exceptional NYC public school theater teacher Lisanne Shaffer with the Arthur Miller Foundation Excellence in Arts Education Award.

The celebration will raise funds for the Foundation’s theater education programs.

Netflix Releases Trailer for Robin de Jesús’ “The Boys in the Band”

Robin de Jesús is playing with the Band

Netflix has released the official trailer for its upcoming Ryan Murphy-produced The Boys in the Band, featuring the 36-year-old Puerto Rican actor/singer, who is best known for his role as Sonny in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical In the Heights.

Robin de Jesus, The Boys in the Band

The Boys in the Band is Joe Mantello’s film adaptation of his hit Tony Award-winning Broadway staging. de Jesus starred as Emory in that 2018 staging, earning a Tony Award nominations for Best Featured Actor in a Play.

Starring the Broadway cast – including Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, Matt Bomer and Andrew Rannells – this adaptation is both faithful to Mart Crowley’s 1968 play while offering a subtle and fresh perspective.

The logline: A group of gay men gather for a birthday party in 1968 New York City, only to find the drinks and laughs interrupted when a visitor from the host’s past turns the evening upside down.

In addition to Parsons, Quinto, Bomer, Rannells and de Jesús, The Boys in the Band also stars Charlie Carver, Brian Hutchison, Michael Benjamin Washington and Tuc Watkins.

With a co-writing credit given to Ned Martel, The Boys in the Band includes some brief scenes you wouldn’t have seen in the 2018 Broadway production nor William Friedkin’s 1970 film version.

The Boys in the Band premieres on September 30 on Netflix.

de Jesús’ previous credits include the films Gun Hill Road and Camp.

Oscar Nuñez to Star in Netflix’s Quarantine Anthology Series “Social Distance”

Oscar Nuñez is keeping his distance…

The 61-year-old Cuban actor and comedian has been cast in Netflix’s upcoming quarantine anthology series Social Distance.

Oscar Nuñez

Hailing from Orange is the New Black creator Jenji Kohan, the series will also star Scandal’s Guillermo Diaz, Love Victor’s Isabella Ferreira, Katy Keene & In The Heights star Daphne Rubin-Vega, Danielle Brooks, Mike Colter Asante Blackk, Peter Scanavino, Lachlan Watson, Max Jenkins and Marsha Stephanie Blake.

Set in the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Social Distance is an eight-part anthology series that showcases the power of the human spirit in the face of uncertainty and isolation. Each standalone episode is told through a virtual lens and captures the unique emotional experience of being forced apart by circumstance and having no choice but to communicate remotely and rely on technology to maintain any sense of connection. Through these varied and deeply human stories, Social Distance aims to provide some much-needed catharsis during a tumultuous time while also capturing a snapshot of this singular moment in history.

The project was conceived, cast and executed entirely remotely during quarantine. The writers never met during the writing process, Diego Velasco directs talent remotely, Hilary Weisman Graham runs production from her living room and the cast acts and films themselves from home. Some of the actors’ real-life relatives also guest star in the series.

“Many of these stories required casting actors who were quarantined with other actors. That hurdle seriously hindered our options and so casting non-actors was sometimes essential,” said Weisman Graham on the decision to cast actors’ family members. “It was definitely a roll of the dice, but thankfully, we were thrilled to discover that talent really does breed talent. These family members may not have had aspirations to be in front of the camera when we first started, but they should all quit their day jobs immediately.”

Weisman Graham, who also serves as showrunner, executive produces with Tara Herrmann, Blake McCormick and Kohan. Velasco, who directed an episode of Orange Is the New Black and is working with Kohan on her upcoming series Teenage Bounty Hunters is directing and will co-executive produce.

Social Distance cast members include (in no particular episodic order):

Danielle Brooks with real-life mother LaRita Brooks and brother DJ Brooks; Marsha Stephanie Blake with real-life daughter Rocco Luna; Misha Brooks; Isabella Ferreira; Oscar Nunez; Daphne Rubin-Vega with real-life husband Tom Costanzo and son Luca Costanzo; Guillermo Diaz; Miguel Sandoval; Camila Perez; Olli Haaskivi; Giana Aragon; Mike Colter; Okieriete Onaodowan; real-life spouses Heather Burns and Ajay; Shakira Barrera; Steven Weber with real-life son Jack Hohnen-Weber; Helena Howard; Asante Blackk with real-life father Ayize Ma’at; Lovie Simone;

Max Jenkins; Brian Jordan Alvarez; Peter Vack; Rana Roy; Peter Scanavino with real-life son Leo Bai-Scanavino; Ali Ahn; Tami Sagher; Barbara Rosenblat; Michael Mulheren; real-life spouses Becky Ann Baker and Dylan Baker; Sunita Mani; real-life spouses Raymond Anthony Thomas and Marcia Debonis; Kylie Liya Page; Lachlan Watson; David Iacono; Will Meyers; Niles Fitch; and Ava Demary.

Nuñez is best known for starring on NBC’s The Office.

Lin-Manuel Miranda to Star Opposite Blake Lively in the Romantic Comedy “The Making Of”

Lin-Manuel Miranda is making new moves…

The 40-year-old Puerto Rican actor/singer and Broadway star will star in The Making Of, a romantic comedy written and produced by Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz.

Lin-Manuel Miranda

In addition to Miranda, who recently earned a spot of ForbesHigh-Paid Actors list, the film will also star Richard Gere, Diane Keaton and Blake Lively.

The Making Of centers on two couples: long-married filmmakers (Gere and Keaton) have cast overemotional actors (Lively and Miranda) to portray their younger selves in the story of their great love. Unfortunately, by the time shooting begins, their fabled marriage is unraveling. The filmmakers want to make a hit; the actors want to tell the true story. Whose version really is the truth? And how do they distinguish between real love and movie love when their lives and their work become hopelessly intertwined?

The film will be a production of Zwick & Herskovitz’ The Bedford Falls Company. It will shoot next spring.

Miranda can currently be seen on Disney+ in the film version of his Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Hamilton.

Miranda previously starred in Speech & Debate, Mary Poppins Returns and The Odd Life of Timothy Green. He’ll appear in the film adaptation of another of his Tony Award-winning Broadway musicals, In The Heights.