Chita Rivera Among the Stars Taking Part in Fundraising Concert for Joe Biden, “In Our America: A Concert for the Soul of the Nation”

Chita Rivera is Biden her time before the upcoming presidential election…

The 87-year-old half-Puerto Rican Broadway star will be among the stars of the Great White Way who’ll stage a fundraising concert for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, with plans to stream the event on October 21.

Chita Rivera

The event, which starts at 8:00 pm ET, is organized by the group Broadway for Biden and is called In Our America: A Concert for the Soul of the Nationwith donations going to the Biden Victory Fund.

In addition to Rivera, the lineup of the concert includes Derrick Baskin, Laura Benanti, Victoria Clark, Glenn Close, Chuck Cooper, Darren Criss, André De Shields, Renée Elise Goldsberry, John Goodman, Jayne Houdyshell, Jennifer Hudson, James Monroe Iglehart, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Samuel L. Jackson, Norman Lear, Norm Lewis, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Rita Moreno, Karen Olivo, Ashley Park, Steven Pasquale, Carrie Preston, Kelani Queypo, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Phillipa Soo, Ephraim Sykes, BD Wong, the Broadway Dreams Foundation Choir, and the casts of Six and KPOP.

Liesl Tommy, director of the upcoming Aretha Franklin biopic Respect (with Hudson in the lead role), will direct the show. Tommy is the executive producer along with Julie Boardman, Nolan Doran, Halle Morse, and Jennifer Mudge.

The concert will stream on YouTube via news publisher NowThis, on Facebook via Broadway for Biden and NowThis, and on Broadway Unlocked.

In a statement, Tommy said, “It is a tremendous honor to direct this incredible collective of performers and artists, who are coming together to amplify the promise of Broadway and a nation that are future-looking, accessible, and deeply inclusive.”

The evening will include original material, stagings of musical numbers that have never been seen, and previews of productions bound for Broadway. Among those contributing are Chad Beguelin, Tony Kushner, Lynn Nottage, Robert O’Hara, Stacey Rose, Aurin Squire, DeLanna Studi, Paula Vogel and John Waters.

Christopher Gattelli, Lorin Latarro, Ray Mercer, and Abbey O’Brien will provide original choreography, with music direction by Jason Michael Webb. Chris Boardman and Charlie Rosen will provide orchestrations. Sean McLaughlin will serve as director of photography and Grady Bowman will be associate choreographer.

The event is in the vein of a fundraiser in 2012 for Barack Obama’s reelection campaign, called Barack on Broadway, that was produced by Margo Lion and others.

Valentina to ‘Drag Out the Vote’ at Variety Show “Divas For Democracy: United We Slay”

Valentina’s prepared to drag out the vote

The 29-year-old Mexican American drag performer and former RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant will team up with some of her fellow queens and Broadway celebrities to get out the vote for November’s presidential election.

Valentina

Valentina and divas from the drag world and icons of the stage will come together for Divas For Democracy: United We Slay, a one-night-only variety show extravaganza promoting voter participation and key issues relating to the LGBTQIA+ community in the upcoming 2020 election.

Presented by the nonprofit voter engagement organization Drag Out the Vote and hosted by RuPaul’s Drag Race star Nina West and Entertainment Tonights Keltie KnightDivas for Democracy: United We Slay features scores of talent who’ll sing and lip-synch through dazzling performances of theater classics and pop songs.

Special segments will highlight LGBTQIA+ activists in a nonpartisan effort to shine a light on community participation in the political process, including celebrity appearances by Tony winner Cyndi LauperDrag Race panelist Michelle VisageHarvey Fierstein, James Monroe IglehartBianca Del RioShangelaCheyenne Jackson, Mila Jam, and Oscar-winning actress Allison Janney.

In addition to Valentina, other drag superstars slated to perform during the broadcast include AlaskaJinkx MonsoonJujubeePeppermintCynthia Lee FontaineShuga CainHoney Davenport, and Drag Out the Vote’s national co-chairs Brita Filter, Marti Gould Cummings, and Pixie Aventura.

Broadway figures set to appear include legendary three-time Tony-winning actress Chita Rivera, as well as Tony winners Stephanie J. Block, Lea Salonga, Nikki M. James, Beth Leavel and Annaleigh Ashford. Also joining the program are stage stars Shoshana Bean, Eden Espinosa, Jenn Collela, Chilina KennedyKeala Settle, Tamika Lawrence, L Morgan Lee, and Our Lady J.

The presentation will be directed by Josh Rhodes and Lee Wilkins, whose joint careers include work choreographing Rodgers and Hammerstein’s CinderellaFirst DateIt Shoulda Been You, and Bright Star on Broadway. Tony winner Stephen Oremus will serve as music supervisor.

“One in five LGBTQIA+ people is not registered to vote, and 100 million people did not vote in the 2016 election. We must fix this,” said Drag Out the Vote founder Jackie Huba in a press statement. “We are excited to bring together the worlds of Broadway and drag to inspire voters to sashay their way to the polls or their mailboxes.”

Divas for Democracy: United We Slay airs October 18 at 8:00 p.m. ET exclusively on StageIt. Tickets — available on a “donate-what-you-can” basis — go on sale Thursday at 10:00 a.m. ET at divasfordemocracy.com.

Trailer Released for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “We Are Freestyle Love Supreme” Documentary

Lin-Manuel Miranda is freestylin’…

The official trailer has been released for We Are Freestyle Love Supreme, the documentary about the 40-year-old’s improv hip-hop project.

Lin-Manuel Miranda 

Before Miranda’s Tony Award-winning musicals Hamilton and In The Heights, the Mary Poppins Returns star, Christopher JacksonThomas Kail and Anthony Veneziale, among others, traded off-the-cuff rhymes the way Second City actors swapped jokes in their improv hip-hop group.

Created by Miranda, Kail and Veneziale in the summer of 2005, its beginnings on sidewalks and a small performing space at New York’s Drama Book Shop, the show would make the rounds Off Broadway, ever-changing, before landing on Broadway for an acclaimed and commercial successful run last year.

The show’s long journey is chronicled in filmmaker Andrew Fried’s documentaryWe Are Freestyle Love Supreme, premiering on Hulu on Friday, June 5. Fried’s camera captures the group reuniting for a series of shows in New York City that led to the Broadway engagement.

Appearing in the doc, which debuted at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, are Miranda, Veneziale, Jackson, Kail, Arthur LewisUtkarsh AmbudkarChris SullivanBill ShermanJames Monroe Iglehart and Andrew Bancroft.

Eden Espinosa to Take Part in Broadway Cares’ “Broadway Does Mother’s Day” Digital Fundraising Special

Eden Espinosais celebrating mothers everywhere…

The 42-year-old Mexican American actress and Broadway star, best known for her performances as Elphaba for the Broadway, Los Angeles, and San Francisco productions of the musical Wickedwill take part in Sunday’s Broadway Does Mother’s Day, a digital variety benefitting Broadway Cares’ COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund.

Eden Espinosa

Cast members from Broadway’s Moulin Rouge! The MusicalJagged Little PillCompany,Tina: The Tina Turner MusicalChicagoDianaMean GirlsGirl from the North CountrySixandMrs. Doubtfirewill take part. 

The show is designed to replace some of the money usually raised by Broadway’s annual Easter Bonnet Competition, an event that was canceled this year due to the coronaviruspandemic.

The digital sketch show will include Broadway stars, their children and their mothers, with musical numbers, comedy and special guests planned. 

In addition to Espinosa, scheduled guests so far includeJill AbramovitzKate BaldwinJenni BarberLaura Benanti,Betty BuckleyCarolee CarmelloVictoria ClarkChuck CooperClaybourne ElderBeanie FeldsteinHarvey FiersteinIn The Heights’ Mandy GonzalezCelia Rose GoodingMolly GriggsJames Monroe IglehartJudy KayeCelia Keenan-BolgerRaymond J. LeeLesli MargheritaEllyn Marie MarshAlexis MichelleVanessa WilliamsBetsy Wolfeand LaChanze.

Sketches from Moulin Rouge! The Musical, Jagged Little Pill, Company, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, Chicago, Diana, Mean Girls, Girl from the North Country, Six, andMrs. Doubtfire will also be included.

“We’re delighted to see the theatercommunity come together for Broadway Does Mother’s Day and honored to be a beneficiary of what promises to be such a special show,” said Tom Viola, executive director of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. “When crises hit, the Broadway community and theatre fans everywhere have always responded with generosity, compassion and action. We launched the COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund on behalf of and for those onstage, backstage and behind the scenes who need a helping hand during this pandemic.”

The broadcast will be streamed on Sunday, May 10 at 3:00 pm ET at BroadwayDoesMothersDay.com.

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “We Are Freestyle Love Supreme” Headed to Hulu in June

Lin-Manuel Miranda love supreme is headed to Hulu

The Andrew Fried-directed documentary We Are Freestyle Love Supreme produced by the 40-year-old Hamiltoncreator and Broadway star has found a home at Hulu and will hit the streamer on June 5.

Lin-Manuel Miranda 

The documentary made its premiere at the Sundance Film Festivalearlier this year and highlights the 15-year journey of the hip-hop improvisational group founded by Miranda, Thomas Kail and Anthony Veneziale

The group called Freestyle Love Supreme was formed long before Miranda’s Hamiltonand In The Heightsmusicals hit Broadway

Fried began chronicling the group in the summer of 2005, documenting the early days of Freestyle Love Supreme beatboxing and rapping on the sidewalks. 

Fast forward 14 years later and Fried brings us to a reunion with a series of shows in New York City that led to a triumphant run on Broadway.

In addition to Miranda, Kail and Veneziale, the doc features Arthur LewisChristopher JacksonUtkarsh AmbudkarChris SullivanBill Sherman,James Monroe Iglehartand Andrew Bancroft.