Emilio Sosa Named Chair of American Theatre Wing

Emilio Sosa is taking the chair

The Dominican Tony Award-nominated costume and fashion designer has been elected the Chair of the American Theatre Wing. Sosa succeeds current co-chairs David Henry Hwang and Ted Chapin.

Emilio Sosa

Sosa, who joined the Wing’s board in 2015, said in a statement, “I could not be more honored to step into this role at this crucial time, or more humbled to be succeeding two such accomplished leaders. I look forward to continue building the Wing’s ongoing, long-term equity work, expanding and deepening our education work, building bridges between all parts of the theatre ecology, and cultivating conversation and action across every region of the country to ensure all voices and occupations in our industry are heard.”

Sosa will be joined by newly named Vice-Chairs Dale Cendali, Patricia Crown, James Higgins, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Lee Perlman, and Nadine Wong.

Trustees Pam Zilly and Natasha Katz will also join Board leadership as treasurer and secretary, respectively.

Both Hwang and Chapin will maintain active roles for the Wing as they take on responsibilities as its Immediate Past Chairs.

“We all owe a giant debt of gratitude to our two exemplary co-chairs, David Henry Hwang and Ted Chapin, who have helped navigate the organization during our industry’s most trying time,” said American Theatre Wing President & CEO Heather Hitchens, adding, “Now, as we enter the post-pandemic era, our extensive agenda and growing portfolio has created a need for our most robust leadership team ever, including an unprecedented six vice chairs. I can’t think of anyone better suited to lead that team than Emilio as we continue to elevate and advance the Wing’s work and its programs to ensure that this artform and our industry come back better than ever before.”

Sosa’s Broadway credits include Topdog/Underdog, On Your Feet, Motown: The Musical, Porgy and Bess and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill.

Sosa rose to acclaim after taking second place on the seventh season of Project Runway. He later appeared on Season 2 of Project Runway: All Stars.

Christina Ochoa Teaming Up with Inner Child Production Banner for “Around The World In 80 Dates”

It’s a world of excitement for Christina Ochoa.

The 36-year-old Spanish actress and Animal Kingdom star is partnering with Emmy-winning production designer David Korins and his Inner Child production banner for Around The World In 80 Dates.

Christina Ochoa

Inner Child has acquired the romance experiment show to co-develop and executive produce alongside Ochoa. Around The World in 80 Dates is a cross-cultural exploration of international romance, courtship rituals and love.

Ochoa appears in TNT’s Animal Kingdom as Renn Randall. She has landed a spot in ABC’s Matt Lopez drama Promised Land. Her additional credits include ABC’s A Million Little Things, CW’s Valor and NBC’s Blood Drive.

Korins is both an Emmy winner and Tony Award nominee. He earned his Emmy for Outstanding Production Design for a Variety Special in 2019 for that year’s Oscars ceremony. In 2016 he nabbed his first scenic design Tony nom for Hamilton. On year later he received a nomination for his work on War Paint and in 2019 earned a Best Scenic Design of a Musical nomination for Beetlejuice.

Lin-Manuel Miranda Among Artists Offering Civic Lessons in Netflix’s Animated Series “We the People”

Lin-Manuel Miranda is giving a civics lesson…

The 41-year-old Puerto Rican actor, singer, songwriter, rapper, producer and playwright, the mastermind behind the Tony Award-winning musical Hamilton, lends his voice to the new animated Netflix series We the People.

Lin-Manuel Miranda 

Created by Chris Nee and produced by Barack and Michelle Obama, the 10-part series provides a range of civics lessons through three-minute music videos on topics that include the Bill of Rights, immigration and the courts.

In addition to Miranda, the series also features award-winning artists H.E.R., Brandi CarlisleBebe Rexha and others.

Miranda took on the topic of “The Three Branches of Government” episode, writing and performing the song “Checks and Balances,” alongside Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Daveed Diggs, Brittany Howard and Robert Lopez.

With its light hip-hop bear, the catchy number explains the checks and balances of the United States government.

Meanwhile, Jorge R. Gutierrez directs the immigration-themed episode, which features the track “American Citizen,” performed by Bebe Rexha.

The 46-year-old Mexican animator, painter, writer, voice actor, and production designer helms Rexha’s pop message that lets everyone know from the second they are born, they are an “American Citizen.”

The episode is full of visual treats showing how the country is one built from a nation of immigrants, as animated versions of Sofia Vergara, Steven Chen, Anousheh Ansari and Padma Lakshmi are all featured to illustrate the point.

We the People premiered on Sunday, July 4 on Netflix.

Roberta Colindrez to Star in Amazon’s Film “Cassandro,” About The Liberace of Lucha Libre

Roberta Colindrez is preparing for the Lucha of her life…

The 35-year-old Mexican actress will star opposite Gael Garcia Bernal in his Amazon film about “The Liberace of Lucha Libre”, Cassandro.

Roberta Colindrez

Colindrez will play best friends with Bernal’s Saúl Armendáriz as she finds community in the Lucha Libre world training young fighters.

The film, produced by Ted Hope and Todd Black, is shooting in Mexico City.

Cassandro, directed by Oscar and Emmy-winning filmmaker Roger Ross Williams, tells the true story of Armendáriz, a gay amateur wrestler from El Paso who rises to international stardom after he creates the “exotico” character Cassandro, the “Liberace of Lucha Libre,” and in the process upends not just the macho wrestling world but also his own life.

Armendáriz at the age of 15 quit school and began training for Lucha Libre, beginning his professional wrestling career in 1988 under the mask as Mister Romano. Ultimately he would abandon the character and take on the exotico character of Baby Sharon. Exoticos are male wrestlers who dress in drag.

Colindrez is best known for her work in the Tony award winning musical Fun Home as well as her stand-out roles in Amazon’s I Love Dick, FX’s Mrs. America, Starz’s Vida, and HBO’s The Deuce.

Colindrez will next star in the Amazon series, A League of Their Own

Anthony Ramos Releases Sophomore Album “Love and Lies”

Anthony Ramos is spreading love and lies

The 29-year-old Puerto Rican actor/singer, currently starring in the film adaptation of Tony Award-winning musical In The Heights, has released his sophomore album Love and Lies via Republic Records.

Anthony Ramos

Home to 12 tracks, including his previously released “Blessings,” “Say Less” and “Échale,” the set spotlights Ramos’ ability to fuse genres from retro electro-pop and soulful R&B to Latin urban.

“I want to listen to music that makes you want to stay up late, music that makes you want to love, and music that ultimately makes you feel connected,” he expresses.

Love and Lies was helmed by Ramos’ longtime friend and executive producer Will Wells and co-writer Castle, who’s also his childhood friend.

On this set, Ramos also joined forces with select new producers, including Latin hitmakers Andres Torres and Mauricio Rengifo, who brought to life his single “Right Now.”

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!

Rachel Zegler to Star as Snow White in Disney’s Live-Action Adaptation of the Classic Animated Film

Rachel Zegler’s royal coronation is around the corner…

The 20-year-old half-Colombian American actress and singer will star as Snow White in Disney’s live-action adaptation of the classic film that started it all for the studio’s legendary slate of animated features.

Rachel Zegler,

Marc Webb will direct the film, with Marc Platt producing. Production is expected to begin in 2022.

“Rachel’s extraordinary vocal abilities are just the beginning of her gifts,” said Webb of the actress who will star as Maria in Steven Spielberg’s new retelling of West Side Story. “Her strength, intelligence and optimism will become an integral part of rediscovering the joy in this classic Disney fairytale.”

The original Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs cartoon, based on the Brothers Grimm fairytale, was released in 1938.

It was Disney’s inaugural animated feature and became a massive success for the studio.

Insiders say the live-action film will expand upon the story and music from the original. Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the Oscar– and Tony Award-winning duo behind La La LandThe Greatest Showman and Dear Evan Hansen, will write new songs for the film.

The studio had been taking its time on the live-action adaptation because they wanted to get the music right, and insiders says higher-ups are excited with what Pasek and Paul have come up with so far.

As for the casting process, Webb and studio execs had been meeting with talent for several months for the role of Snow White. Zegler’s auditions impressed everyone, insiders say, but another factor was footage from West Side Story that blew away the Disney studio brass who’ve seen it, and helped push the decision across the finish line.

The casting also marks a step in the right direction of Disney diversifying its Disney Princess characters, after tapping Halle Bailey to play Ariel in the upcoming live-action The Little Mermaid film.

Zegler was just 17 when she beat out more than 30,000 actresses for the lead role of Maria in West Side Story. The new adaptation will debut on December 10 and also stars Ansel Elgort and Rita Moreno.

She’ll also star in her first big comic-book film, joining Zachary Levi in D.C.’s Shazam! Fury of the Gods.

Sara Ramírez to Star in HBO Max’s “Sex and the City” Sequel Series, “And Just Like That …”

Sara Ramírez is heading to the City

The 45-year-old Mexican actor and Grey’s Anatomy alum will appear alongside Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis in And Just Like That …, HBO Max’s upcoming Sex and the City sequel series, from executive producer Michael Patrick King.

Sara Ramirez

And Just Like That…
 follows Carrie (Parker), Miranda (Nixon) and Charlotte (Davis) navigating the journey from the complicated reality of life and friendship in their 30s to the even more complicated reality of life and friendship in their 50s.

The 10-episode, half-hour series is scheduled to begin production this summer in New York.

Ramírez will play new character Che Diaz (they/them), a non-binary, queer stand-up comedian who hosts a podcast on which Carrie Bradshaw is regularly featured. Che is a big presence with a big heart whose outrageous sense of humor and progressive, human overview of gender roles has made them and their podcast very popular.

“Everyone at And Just Like That … is beyond thrilled that a dynamically talented actor such as Sara Ramírez has joined the Sex and the City family,” said King. “Sara is a one-of-a-kind talent, equally at home with comedy and drama – and we feel excited and inspired to create this new character for the show.”

The HBO series Sex and the City was created by Darren Star based on Candace Bushnell’s book. Parker, Davis and Nixon executive produce with Julie Rottenberg, Elisa Zuritsky, John Melfi and King. Writers include King, Samantha Irby, Rachna Fruchbom, Keli Goff, Rottenberg and Zuritsky.

Tony Award winner and Emmy nominee Ramírez made history playing the longest-running LGBTQ+ character on TV, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Callie Torres, for over a decade on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy. Ramírez also played the series regular role of Kat Sandoval on CBS’ Madam Secretary.

Ramírez was the voice of Queen Miranda on Disney’s animated series Sofia the First and Mamá Calaca in Vampirina. They also have executive produced three films, Loserville, Out of Exile: Daniel’s Story and Netflix’s The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson.

Ramírez was awarded the Ally For Equality Award by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation in 2015, and the Trailblazers Award by the New York LGBT Center in 2017. They have also been acknowledged by the City of Los Angeles as a queer bisexual Mexican-American activist and artist working across intersections to advance liberation.

In June of 2019, Ramírez performed “Over the Rainbow” at the NYC opening ceremony of World Pride.

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 Urges New Yorkers to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine

Lin-Manuel Miranda is encouraging people in New York City to get the COVID-19 vaccine…

The 41-year-old New York-born Puerto Rican actor, singer, composer and Broadway star joined New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio earlier this week at the grand opening of a Times Square COVID-19 vaccination site intended to jump-start the city’s entertainment industry.

Lin-Manuel Miranda

“We want to gather again, and we want to tell stories in the dark,” said Miranda, the author and star of Hamilton, the Tony Award-winning musical about Alexander Hamilton. “We cannot do that if we don’t feel safe and if you don’t feel safe. So the first step in that process is getting our vaccination shots, and the next steps will follow.”

Broadway theaters have been shuttered since the coronavirus pandemic struck in March of last year. De Blasio has said he hopes dedicated vaccination sites will help the industry reopen by September.

The new Times Square vaccine site will be open to workers in theater, film and TV, said the mayor, who stressed the importance of the entertainment industry to the life of the city.

“Yes, it’s part of our economy. Much more importantly it’s part of our identity,” de Blasio said. “It’s part of who we are, it’s part of our hearts. What it means in this city, the theater, the music, the dance, the film and TV, it is our expression of everything that is New York City. It’s our creativity, it’s our heart and soul. We do something here that does not exist anywhere in the world quite like this.”

The new vaccination site, housed in a former NFL Experience store, will be managed by Susan Sampliner, the longtime company manager for the musical Wicked. Miranda said that “if anyone knows how to make a show run on time it’s Broadway stage managers. So you’ll be in good hands.”