Andréa Burns to Star in the Hulu Comedy Series “Up Here”

Andréa Burns is movin’ on Up (Here)…

The 51-year-old half-Venezuelan actress and singer has been cast in the Hulu comedy Up Here, starring Mae Whitman and Carlos Valdes.

Andréa BurnsThe musical romantic comedy from 20th Television and Old 320 Sycamore Prods. is set in New York City in 1999.

It follows an ordinary couple (Whitman as Lindsay and Valdes as Miguel) as they fall in love while discovering the single greatest obstacle to finding happiness together might just be themselves.

Original songs for the series are from Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez.

Burns, best known for her portrayal of the hairdresser Daniela in Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s Tony Award-winning musical In the Heights, will portray Rosie, Miguel’s mother.

Other series regulars include Katie Finneran, John Hodgman, Sophia Hammons and newcomer Emilia Suárez as Renee, the queen bee of Miguel’s high school.

Recurring characters are Ned (George Hampe), Fiona (Julia McDermott), Orson (Scott Porter, Marta (Ayumi Patterson), and Ted aka Mr. McGooch (Brian Stokes Mitchell).

Production on the show, which has an eight-episode straight-to-series order, begins this summer in New York. Writers/executive producers are Steven Levenson (showrunner), Danielle Sanchez-Witzel, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez.

Josh Andrés Rivera to Star in Lionsgate’s “The Hunger Games” Prequel, “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes”

It’s Games on for Josh Andrés Rivera

The 27-year-old Latino actor has joined the growing ensemble cast of Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games prequel, The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

Josh Andrés RiveraRivera will reunite with his West Side Story co-star Rachel Zegler, one of the film’s leads

The prequel centers on 18-year-old Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth), who as we know will become the tyrannical President of Panem. He is the last hope for his fading lineage, a once-proud family that has fallen from grace in a post-war Capitol. With the 10th annual Hunger Games fast approaching, the young Snow is alarmed when he is assigned to mentor Lucy Gray Baird (Zegler), the girl tribute from impoverished District 12. But, after Lucy Gray commands all of Panem’s attention by defiantly singing during the reaping ceremony, Snow thinks he might be able to turn the odds in their favor. Uniting their instincts for showmanship and newfound political savvy, Snow and Lucy’s race against time to survive will ultimately reveal who is a songbird, and who is a snake.

Rivera will play Sejanus Plinth, a close friend of young Coriolanus Snow, and the mentor to a tribute from District 2.

Other castmembers include Jerome Lance who will play Marcus, the tribute from District 2. Ashley Liao will play Clemensia Dovecote, one of Coriolanus’s closest friends and mentor to a tribute from District 11. Knox Gibson will play Bobbin, tribute from District 8; Mackenzie Lansing will play Coral, tribute from District 4; while Aamer Husain will play Felix Ravinstill, the mentor to a tribute from District 11.

Francis Lawrence is returning to the franchise to direct for a theatrical worldwide release on November 17, 2023. Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson are also returning to produce for the franchise with Lawrence. Author Suzanne Collins, Tim Palen, and Jim Miller are executive producers. Michael Lesslie wrote the latest draft off Collins and Michael Arndt’s previous script based on the author’s bestselling novel.

Rivera played Chino in Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning adaption of West Side Story. Rivera will next appear in Susanna Fogel’s adaptation of Cat Person, based on Kristen Roupenian’s buzzy short story published in The New Yorker. He shares the screen with Nicholas Braun, Emilia Jones and Geraldine Viswanathan.

Rivera was a series lead in the HBO Max pilot Vegas High, directed by Gillian Robespierre and produced by Michael Showalter.

He performed in the original company on the first national tour of the Tony Award-winning musical Hamilton.

Carlos Valdes to Star in Hulu’s Musical Romantic Comedy Series “Up Here”

Carlos Valdes is movin’ on up (here)

The 33-year-old Colombian-American actor and singer will star in Hulu’s musical romantic comedy series Up Here alongside Mae Whitman.

Carlos ValdesValdes will portray Miguel, who is described as sensitive and thoughtful, with an artistic sensibility and a romantic streak. Miguel has always struggled with the feeling that he doesn’t quite belong. But after a cataclysmic breakup, Miguel has decided to reinvent himself, burying his feelings and ditching a promising career as a video game concept artist for the lucrative world of investment banking, determined never to get hurt again.

Written by Steven Levenson, Danielle Sanchez-Witzel, Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez and directed by Thomas Kail, Up Here is set in New York City in the waning days of 1999. It follows the extraordinary story of one ordinary couple, Lindsay (Whitman) and Miguel, as they fall in love and discover that the single greatest obstacle to finding happiness together might just be themselves – and the treacherous world of memories, obsessions, fears, and fantasies that lives inside their heads.

Anderson-Lopez and Lopez will pen original songs for the series.

Production on the show, which has an eight-episode straight-to-series order, is set to begin this summer in New York. 20th Television is the studio, producing with Kail’s Old 320 Sycamore Productions.

Valdes most recently appeared in the Starz Watergate drama Gaslit as FBI agent Paul Magallanes. Before that, he had a seven-season run as Cisco Ramon on The Flash and numerous other Arrowverse shows including Arrow, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl.

He made his Broadway debut in 2013 in the Tony Award-winning musical Once.

Anthony Ramos to Compete in MLB’s All-Star Celebrity Softball Game

Anthony Ramos is stepping up to the plate…

The 30-year-old Puerto Rican Grammy-winning singer, songwriter and actor will compete in Major League Baseball’s All-Star Celebrity Softball Game.

Anthony RamosThe game will form part of the star-studded lineup of events for the MLB’s first-ever All-Star Saturday during All-Star Week at Los Angeles’s Dodger Stadium, including the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game and All-Star Saturday Extra Innings concert.

Ramos, who starred in the film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning musical In The Heights, will compete alongside QuavoJoJo SiwaRob Lowe, CC Sabathia, Simu Liu, Chloe KimCoi Leray, Zachary Levi, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jennie Finch, Andre Ethier, Desus Nice, The Kid Mero, The Miz, Lauren Chamberlain, Natasha WatleyLele Pons and Lisa Fernandez.

More celebrities will be announced in early July.

The All-Star Saturday Extra Innings concert, All-Star Futures Game and the All-Star Celebrity Softball Game are all included with the purchase of an All-Star Saturday ticket, which are now available to purchase at AllStarGame.com.

Ticket prices currently range from $25 to $140. Gates at Dodger Stadium open at 2 p.m. on July 16 with the first 10,000 fans to receive a special All-Star souvenir giveaway.

Lin-Manuel Miranda to Serve as a Presenter at This Weekend’s Tony Awards Show

Lin-Manuel Miranda has a date with Tony

This Sunday’s 75th Annual Tony Awards will feature a line-up of all-star presenters from the stage and screen, including the 42-year-old Puerto Rican actor, rapper, composer, playwright and filmmaker.

Lin-Manuel MirandaMiranda, a multiple Tony Award winner, is among a roster of presenters that includes Andrew Garfield, Laurence Fishburne, Nathan Lane, Bowen Yang and both Paris and Prince Jackson, the children of MJ subject Michael Jackson.

The roster of presenters was announced by Tony Awards producers, and also includes Josh Lucas, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Skylar Astin, Zach Braff, Danielle Brooks, Danny Burstein, Len Cariou, RuPaul Charles, Jessica Chastain, Lilli Cooper, Bryan Cranston, Wilson Cruz, Colman Domingo, Anthony Edwards, Cynthia Erivo, Raúl Esparza, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Tony Goldwyn, David Alan Grier, Vanessa Hudgens, Jennifer Hudson, Bebe Neuwirth, Kelli O’Hara, Sarah Paulson, Bernadette Peters, Jeremy Pope, Billy Porter, LaTanya Richardson, Chita Rivera, Tony Shalhoub, Phillipa Soo, Sarah Silverman and George Takei,

The four-hour June 12 Tony evening begins at 7:00 pm ET/4:00 pm PT with The Tony Awards: Act One, a one-hour streaming event of exclusive content live on Paramount+ hosted by Darren Criss and Julianne Hough.

The 75th Tony Awards, hosted by Oscar-winning actress and singer Ariana DeBose, follows at 8:00 pm ET/5:00 pm PT on CBS and Paramount+. The awards will be presented live coast-to-coast from Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

Last night, DeBose confirmed that the Tony Awards also will pay respect to the swings and understudies who made this Covid-plagued Broadway season possible. In response to a tweet from Actors’ Equity president Kate Shindle dismissing social media rumors that swings and understudies would be ignored during the ceremony,

DeBose reiterated Shindle’s assurances, writing, “To all concerned, all I can ask is that you keep the faith & trust. I am working round the clock to bring you all a beautiful celebration of everyone’s hard work…”

Apple Original Films & Skydance Animation Release Teaser Trailer of Eva Noblezada’s Animated Film “Luck”

Eva Noblezada’s luck is changing…

Apple Original Films and Skydance Animation have dropped the first teaser trailer for Luck, featuring the voice of the 26-year-old half-Mexican American Tony Award-nominated actress and singer.

Eva NoblezadaThe animated film reps the first feature film from Skydance Animation.

Luck will debut on Apple TV+ globally on Friday, August 5.

The film, directed by Peggy Holmes, centers around the story of Sam Greenfield (Noblezada), the unluckiest person in the world. When she discovers the never-before-seen Land of Luck, Sam must unite with the magical creatures there to turn her luck around.

The Land of Luck is revealed in the trailer, via a nice tour of the place conducted by Bob (Simon Pegg), a lucky black cat. Flula Borg, Lil Rel Howery, Colin O’Donoghue, John Ratzenberger and Adelynn Spoon also star alongside Jane Fonda and Whoopi Goldberg.

Kiel Murray penned the original screenplay. John Lasseter, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and David Eisenmann are producing for Skydance Animation.

Exclusive first-look footage of Luck will be shared at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival’s Work in Progress sessions in June.

Ariana DeBose to Host This Year’s Tony Awards Show

Ariana DeBose has a date with Tony

The 31-year-old half-Puerto Rican actress, singer and Broadway star, who claimed her first Oscar in March for her performance in West Side Story, will host the 75th annual Tony Awards live from Radio City Music Hall in New York City on Sunday, June 12.

Ariana DeBose,DeBose was nominated for a Tony four years ago for playing “Disco Donna” in the acclaimed musical Summer: The Donna Summer Musical. She received a nod for best featured actress in a musical.

“I’m coming home! I’m so honored to celebrate 75 years of excellence in theater, but more importantly every member of this community who poured themselves into making sure the lights of Broadway have the opportunity to shine brightly once again!” DeBose said in a statement.  “This is a dream come true, and I’m excited to see you all on June 12.”

“We are thrilled to have Ariana DeBose, who has captivated audiences with her inspirational roles on stage and in film and television, host this year’s Tony Awards,” said Jack Sussman, executive vice president, specials, music, live event and alternative programming, CBS. “After the last challenging two years there is no one better to bring the theater community together on this important night honoring the best of Broadway, and share the joys of live performing once again than this extraordinarily talented artist.”

The Tonys will air live coast-to-coast for the first time. The show is set to air on Sunday, June 12, from 8 to 11 p.m. ET, and from 5 to 8 p.m. PT on CBS. It will also stream live and on demand on Paramount+.

The celebration will commence from 7 to 8 p.m. ET/4 to 5 p.m. PT, with exclusive content streaming only on Paramount+. Hosts and further information on the Paramount+ presentation will be announced at a later date.

Tony winner Adrienne Warren and Tony nominee Joshua Henry will host the 75th Annual Tony Awards nominations on Monday, May 9, at 9:00 am ET on the Tony Awards official YouTube page. The Tony Awards eligibility cutoff date has been extended for the 2021-22 season to Wednesday, May 4, for all Broadway productions which meet all other eligibility requirements.

DeBose has worked extensively in the theater. In 2015, she appeared alongside Lin-Manuel Miranda in the Tony-winning musical Hamilton as a member of the original cast in both the Broadway and off-Broadway productions, as well as the Emmy Award winning film version that was later released on Disney+.

After her departure from Hamilton in 2016, DeBose completed a run as Jane in the original Broadway cast of A Bronx Tale.  Other theater credits include: Leading Player in the Tony Award-winning revival of Pippin, Mary Wilson in Motown the Musical, Nautica in Bring It On: The Musical and ensemble in Stephen Sondheim’s Company.

She recently had a breakout role in Schmigadoon!, and received critical acclaim for her performance in Ryan Murphy’s Netflix adaptation of the hit Broadway musical The Prom. 

Next, DeBose will star in Sony Pictures’ Kraven the Hunter, Argylle from Apple, and the space thriller ISS.

A limited number of tickets to the 75th Annual Tony Awards will be made available.  Tickets will be available at www.TonyAwards.com/tickets starting on Monday, May 9, at 9 a.m. ET / 6 a.m. PT.

The Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.

Ruben Santiago Hudson to Star in CBS’ Drama Pilot “East New York”

Ruben Santiago Hudson is heading East

The 65-year-old half-Puerto Rican actor, playwright and director has been cast as a series regular opposite Amanda Warren in the CBS drama pilot East New York.

Ruben Santiago-Hudson

In East New York, co-written by William Finkelstein and Mike Flynn, Regina Haywood (Warren) is the newly promoted deputy inspector of East New York, an impoverished, working-class neighborhood at the eastern edge of Brooklyn. She leads a diverse group of officers and detectives, some of whom are reluctant to deploy her creative methods of serving and protecting during the midst of social upheaval and the early seeds of gentrification.

Hudson will play Marvin Sandeford, who could have become a boss or a detective, but he never wanted to be anything but a street cop. He’s very opinionated and given to quick, intractable judgments, but not without compassion. No one knows as much about East New York as he does.

Finkelstein and Flynn executive produce with Mike Robin of Skyemac Productions, Christine Holder and Mark Holder of Wonder Street. Andrew Maher of Skyemac is co-executive producing. Warner Bros. Television is the studio.

Hudson is a two-time Tony Award winner and star/writer/director of Lackawanna Blues on Broadway. He also write Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

First Look Footage Released for Rita Moreno’s Dark Comedy “The Prank”

Rita Moreno is pulling pranks…

The 90-year-old Puerto Rican Hollywood legend is heading back to high school in The Prank, a dark comedy from director Maureen Bharoocha.

Rita Moreno,In a role unlike anything the EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar & Tony Award) winner has played throughout her lengthy career, she stars as the stern, mean, and cruel physics teacher, Mrs. Wheeler. She has been teaching at the high school for decades and has a reputation for being the hardest, coldest, strictest faculty member.

Mrs. Wheeler crosses paths with the film’s protagonist, Ben (Connor Kalopsis), a typical overachiever who is an organized, careful, goal-oriented, and extremely dedicated student who he ends up assigned to her class.

When Mrs. Wheeler discovers someone in her class is cheating, she threatens to fail Ben and his classmates unless the cheater reveals themselves.

But when no one does, Ben and his best friend Tanner (Ramona Young) hatch a plan to ruin her life and frame her for murder on social media.

Rounding up the cast are Keith David, Kate Flannery, Meredith Salenger, Jonathan Kimmel, Nathan Janak, Betsy Sodaro, and Romel De Silva.

 The Prank was penned by Rebecca Flinn-White and Zak White. Michael Y. Chow and Glenn Rigberg executive produce and Steven J. Wolfe served as producer.

Robin de Jesús to Appear in Hulu’s Chippendales History-Themed Series “Immigrant”

Robin de Jesús is cashing in his chip(pendales)

The 37-year-old Puerto Rican three-time Tony Award-nominated actor has joined the cast of Hulu’s Immigrant in a recurring role.

Robin de Jesusde Jesús will portray Ray Colon, a proud Nuyorican from the Bronx who comes on the Chippendales scene as the resident handyman and self-proclaimed jack of all trades. Affable and eager-to-please, Ray reveres founder Somen “Steve” Banerjee (Kumail Nanjiani) and their growing friendship finds Ray in more than one compromising situation as the season progresses.

Immigrant tells the true story of Banerjee, the Indian-American entrepreneur who started Chippendales. The series will detail the insane, darkly comedic, crime-ridden story behind the unique male revue that became a cultural phenomenon.

The cast includes Dan Stevens, Murray Bartlett, Annaleigh Ashford, Quentin Plair, Andrew Rannells and Nicola Peltz.

Nanjiani will also executive produce alongside series creator Robert Siegel, Dylan Sellers, Jenni Konner, Matt Shakman, Emily V. Gordon, Nora Silver, and Rajiv Joseph, who will write on the series along with Mehar Sethi.

Siegel and Konner serve as co-showrunners and Shakman will direct. Jacqui Rivera is co-executive producer and Annie Wyman is co-producer. 20th Television serves as the studio on the series.

de Jesús most recently starred in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tick, Tick, Boom!, based on the stage musical of the same name by Jonathan Larson, for Netflix.

He previously appeared in the Ryan Murphy-produced Netflix film, The Boys in the Band, reprising his Tony award-nominated role.