Lin-Manuel Miranda to Appear on Disney+’s Series “Percy Jackson and the Olympians”

Lin-Manuel Miranda is playing messenger

The 42-year-old Puerto Rican actor, filmmaker, composer and lyricist has landed a key guest-starring role on Disney+’s upcoming series Percy Jackson and the Olympians.

Lin-Manuel Miranda Based on Rick Riordan’s bestselling book series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians tells the fantastical story of a 12-year-old modern demigod, Percy Jackson (Walter Scobell), who’s just coming to terms with his newfound divine powers when the sky god Zeus accuses him of stealing his master lightning bolt. With help from his friends Grover (Aryan Simhadri) and Annabeth (Leah Sava Jeffries), Percy must embark on an adventure of a lifetime to find it and restore order to Olympus.

Miranda, who is a fan of the Percy Jackson books along with his son, will play Hermes, the messenger god who looks out for travelers and thieves, and is a bit of a trickster himself. He is charismatic & boisterous, the life of the party. Unfortunately, his charm does not do much to heal his strained relationship with his son, Luke (Charlie Bushnell). He’s hesitant to help Percy and his friends on their quest as sometimes getting involved is more trouble than it’s worth.

In addition to series regulars Scobell, Simhadri, Jeffries and Bushnell, Miranda joins previously announced guest stars Megan Mullally, Virginia Kull, Glynn Turman, Jason Mantzoukas, Timm Sharp, Dior Goodjohn, Olivea Morton, Adam Copeland, Suzanne Cryer and Jessica Parker Kennedy.

The series is currently in production in Vancouver and is expected to premiere exclusively on Disney+ in 2024.

Riordan and Jon Steinberg wrote the pilot, and James Bobin directs.

Miranda is a Grammy, Emmy, Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning songwriter, actor, director and producer. Creator and original star of Broadway’s Tony-winning Hamilton and In the Heights, his additional Broadway credits include Freestyle Love SupremeBring It On: The Musical and the 2009 revival of West Side Story. His TV and film credits include tick, tick… BOOM!, Vivo, the feature adaptation of In the HeightsEmmy-winning Hamilton, His Dark Materials, Fosse/Verdon, We The People and Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Miranda earned guest actor Emmy nominations for Curb Your Enthusiasm and as host of Saturday Night Live, and Oscar nominations for Best Original Song for Moana, Mary Poppins Returns and most recently Encanto.

Irad Ortiz Jr. Rides Mo Donegal to Victory at the Belmont Stakes

Irad Ortiz Jr. is celebrating a winning ride…

The 29-year-old Puerto Rican jockey led Mo Donegal to victory on Saturday for the second Belmont Stakes victory of his career.

Irad Ortiz Jr., Mo Donegal, Belmont Stakes,“Be patient,” Triple Crown veteran Todd Pletcher told Ortiz prior to the race. “I think you have the best last quarter of any horse in the race.”

Pletcher was correct… Mo Donegal pulled away down the home stretch and held off filly Nest to win the Belmont Stakes, giving Pletcher a 1-2 finish and his sixth Triple Crown victory, including four at this track on the outskirts of New York City.

“To be honest with you, we were a little confident going into the race today,” Donegal Racing CEO and co-owner Jerry Crawford said. “When he turned for home, I was like, forget about it. I know Todd thought he could get a strong last quarter mile, and he surely did.”

Irad Ortiz Jr., Mo Donegal, Belmont Stakes,Rich Strike, a stunning Kentucky Derby winner at 80-to-1 odds, was sixth.

Mo Donegal rounded the 1½-mile distance in 2 minutes, 28.28 seconds, three lengths ahead of Nest — ridden by Ortiz’s brother, Jose.

Pletcher, who lives on Long Island, adds another Belmont title following wins with Rags to Riches in 2007, Palace Malice in 2013 and Tapwrit in 2017.

Mo Donegal beat an eight-horse field without a clear favorite. We the People, an outstanding runner in the mud, opened at 2 to 1 amid a rainy forecast but reached 7 to 2 by race time as showers held off.

Mo Donegal entered the gate the betting favorite at 5 to 2. We the People led for much of the race, but Mo Donegal and Ortiz took charge coming out of the final turn.

The 3-year-old colt paid $7.20, $3.80 and $3. Nest — who nearly became Pletcher’s second filly to win Belmont after Rags to Riches — paid $5.30 and $4.10. Skippylongstocking was third and returned $5.60 to show. We the People finished fourth.

Rich Strike owner Rick Dawson and trainer Eric Reed held the Kentucky Derby winner out of the Preakness with an eye on Belmont, the first healthy horse to skip Pimlico after winning the Triple Crown’s first race since 1985.

Reed said the team encouraged jockey Sonny Leon to try pushing Rich Strike from the outside, but the horse kept trying to get back inside — where he made a late charge past 19 horses to win at Churchill Downs. Rich Strike spent much of Saturday’s race in last place and couldn’t recover.

“I think we just made a tactical error,” Reed said.

Just like Rich Strike, Mo Donegal was at the back of the pack at the Derby, but the colt didn’t have enough kick at Churchill Downs. He found it Saturday, winning the 154th running of the $1.5 million race.

Mo Donegal made a winner out of co-owner Mike Repole, a local entrepreneur known around the track as “Mike from Queens.” Repole also co-owns Nest.

“This is New York’s biggest race and to win it here, with my family and friends and 70 people here, this will be a big winner’s circle,” he said.

It’s the fourth straight year the Triple Crown contests were won by three different horses, a first for the sport since 1926 to 1929.

The race marked a return to form for Belmont itself after the 2020 Stakes was closed to the public due to the pandemic and the 2021 event was limited to 11,238 spectators by virus restrictions.

Capacity was capped again, this time at 50,000, because of congestion concerns stemming from the newly built arena next door for the NHL‘s New York Islanders. Still, fans crammed into cars on the Long Island Rail Road and breathed life into the 117-year-old track with floral headwear, pastel suits and the unmistakable musk of booze and cigars.

The reported attendance of 46,103 fell far short of the grounds record 120,139 set in 2004. Not much of a surprise, given the shaky weather forecast and the lack of a Triple Crown contender.

The field was sparse, too. No horse ran all three Triple Crown legs this year, heightening concern that three races in five weeks may be too tight a schedule to keep the horses healthy.

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.

Johnson Headlining NBC Comedy Project “We The People”

Anjelah Johnson could be headed back to television in the near future…

NBC has put in development We The People, a comedy project starring the 34-year-old half-Mexican American comedian, actress and former MadTV star.

Anjelah Johnson

From Universal Television and Ed Helms’ Pacific Electric Picture Company, the project was written by former Key and Peele writer-producer Charlie Sanders.

Set in the Los Angeles office of a federal agency, We The People centers on case officer Malory Ruiz (Johnson), who alongside a diverse group of co-workers, helps people gain their citizenship, while just trying to make it to five o’clock.

Johnson’s previous television credits include appearances on Ugly Betty, while her film credits include Moms’ Night Out, Enough Said and Our Family Wedding.