Entertainment

We Finally Got A Peek At Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Casting Picks For ‘In The Heights’ The Play That Made Him Famous

The film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway hit “In the Heights” is scheduled to hit movie theaters in 2020. As expected, many are excited to see Miranda’s acclaimed play come to the big screen after many years of waiting. The musical is based on the lives of young Latino immigrants living in the Washington Heights neighborhood in New York City. The musical left its mark in 2008 by bringing a Tony award-winning play featuring hip-hop to Broadway.

The film has been in production for a few years and we are finally getting a look at who will be starring in the movie. Here’s who we know that will part of the highly anticipated production.

Anthony Ramos will be playing Usnavi de la Vega.

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Many might be familiar with Anthony Ramos for his role in Miranda’s other hit musical “Hamilton” and in last years “A Star Is Born.” So it’s no surprise that Ramos will be starring in another musical but this time as the lead role. He’ll be playing Usnavi de la Vega, the owner of a small bodega in Washington Heights. Ramos is of Puerto Rican descent and is engaged to Jasmine Cepha Jones, another “Hamilton” cast member.

Corey Hawkins is bringing Benny to life on the big screen.

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Corey Hawkins will be playing the role of Benny, Nina’s Father. Hawkin’s character is notable since it’s the only role that doesn’t speak Spanish in the production. Hawkins made his film debut portraying Dr. Dre in 2015’s “Straight Outta Compton” and will be returning to the big screen once again.

Sonny de la Vega will be played by Gregory Diaz.

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He might be just 14-year-old but Gregory Diaz but he’s already well-known on the musical stage. He made his Broadway debut in 2016 on “Matilda” to critical acclaim. He will now tackle the role of Sonny De La Vega, Usnavi’s witty younger cousin. We can expect great things from Diaz as we have already seen.

Melissa Barrera is giving us the Vanessa fans deserve.

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Melissa Barrera got her breakout role last year in the hit Starz show “Vida,” that is entering its second season. The Latina actress has also starred in various Mexican novellas but she might have landed her biggest role as Vanessa, Usnavi’s love interest. There’s no doubt Barrera was born to play this role and has the chops to do it justice.

Leslie Grace will be playing Nina Rosario.

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Leslie Grace, known for her singing career, is going to be transitioning to the big screen. She’ll be playing Nina Rosario, the first person in her family to go to college and returns home for the summer to let her family know she’s dropped out. Born to Dominican parents and raised in Bronx, New York, Grace was born to play this role and will surely a strong Hollywood debut.

Who else can play Kevin Rosario than Jimmy Smits.

Jimmy Smits will be playing the character of Kevin Rosario, Nina’s overprotective father. He most famously appeared in the “Star Wars” series in the 2000s and has a slew of TV roles. He’s the perfect role for this character and with a strong acting resume like Smits, he’s sure to nail it.

Daphne Rubin-Vega (Daniela)

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A veteran of the Broadway stage, Daphne Rubin-Vega will be playing Daniela, the energetic owner of a salon where the girls come to talk. Vega, who is of Panamanian descent, starred in the critically acclaimed musical “RENT’ and also the TV show “Smash.”

Stephanie Beatriz is giving us an energetic and exciting Carla.

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Stephanie Beatriz, currently starring in the hit show “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” will be playing the role of Carla, who works at Daniela’s salon. The character works alongside Vanessa and is of Chilean, Cuban, Dominican, and Puerto Rican descent. Beatriz, born in Argentina, has made a name for herself on the TV circuit with a role as Gloria in “Modern Family” as well.

Dascha Polanco is giving Cuca her own twist.

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Dascha Polanco starred in the Netflix series “Orange is the New Black” as Dayanara “Daya” Diaz. The role got her a lot of notoriety and now she’ll be making her big screen debut as Cuca. The Dominican-American actress is sure to light up the screen as she did on the Netflix series.

Who else could capture the essence of Abuela Claudia than Olga Merediz?

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Olga Merediz will be reprising the role of Abuela Claudia as she did on the Broadway stage. Born in Guantánamo, Cuba, Merediz has received a Tony award for her work on “In The Heights” and has a lengthy career in the entertainment industry. This includes roles in “Les Misérables” and in “Mamma Mia!”. We can’t wait for her to reprise this role and bring that character to the big screen next year.

READ: Watching Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Genius Bring ‘In The Heights’ To Broadway Is So Inspiring

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Music Videos You Need To Watch This Week: RBD, Chesca, Anthony Ramos and More

Latidomusic

Music Videos You Need To Watch This Week: RBD, Chesca, Anthony Ramos and More

Welcome to The Watch List, where we round up the best Latin music videos released in the past week that you need in your life. Check out the list below.

RBD, Christian Chavez – “Tu Amor”

For many years, Christian Chavez has been outspoken about LGBTQ rights, and this time around he took the stage to deliver a speech about love being a universal right: “Faced with a world that is crumbling, how is it possible that there are still people who dare to question the right to love, the right to be yourself.”

Let Christian take you back to a crisp afternoon in 2006 with this beautiful live rendition of “Tu Amor.”

Chesca, Offset, De La Ghetto – “COMO TU (DIRTY)”

Chesca, Offset, and De La Ghetto take you to a futuristic Shibuya for the dirty version of “COMO TU“. The music video is packed with neon lights, dancers, and all three singers performing from rooftops.

Anthony Ramos – “Say Less

Let’s just say the music video speaks for itself. Hamilton actor Anthony Ramos recruited In The Heights co-star Melissa Barrera for this sultry music video. PS: Anthony’s sophomore album is on the way!

AISSA – “GUERRA”

In the words of Aissa: “HAGO MÚSICA AFRICANA EN ESPAÑOL,” and he’s doing a pretty great job at it. The influencer-turned singer/rapper released his new afrobeat single “GUERRA,” which comes accompanied by a music video filmed at the Reina Victoria Theater in Madrid.

Onell Diaz, Farruko – “Incompleto”

Just in time for Semana Santa, Onell Diaz and Farruko open up the music video for “Incompleto” with interview footage of your favorite Reggaeton artists: Anuel AA, Daddy Yankee, Nicky Jam and Arcangel, where all of them talk about how money and fame isn’t enough to fill the void. Farruko sings about feeling incomplete without God in his life.

Bad Milk, Beéle, Ovy On The Drums – “Angelito”

Ovy On The Drums’ protégé Bad Milk is ready to take the music scene with this collab with Beelé. The three Colombian artists make the music video feel like an acoustic session.

Sech – “911 (Acústico)”

Since we’re talking acoustic! As we prepare for the release of his new album ’42’, Sech shows off his vocal ability delivering a beautiful arrangement of his latest reggaeton hit “911.”

Jordy Jill & Mike Bahía – “Darte Amor”

Jordy Jill and Mike Bahía joined forces on their new song “Darte Amor,” which samples Proyecto Uno’s “25 Horas.” The music video takes place in beautiful Cartagena, Colombia and it’s packed with vibrant colors and dance moves.

Lola Indigo, Guaynaa, Cauty – “CALLE”

Spanish singer Lola Indigo recruits Boricua singers Cauty and Guaynaa for “CALLE.” Even though right now we can’t really be en la calle, Lola sets the mood with her dancers as they go on a heist for the music video.

READ: Ozuna Goes Corridos Tumbados With Ovi in “Envidioso” Music Video

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A New Film Called ‘Trans Los Angeles’ Is Coming Out and It Features Mostly Queer, Latinx Talent

Entertainment

A New Film Called ‘Trans Los Angeles’ Is Coming Out and It Features Mostly Queer, Latinx Talent

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If you’re afraid there is going to be a big “Pose”-shaped hole in your heart after the upcoming final season, then we might have some good news for you. A new movie called “Trans Los Angeles” might be just what the doctor ordered.

On Wednesday, Deadline announced that a new movie called “Trans Los Angeles” is officially in the works.

And if that wasn’t exciting enough, the cast of “Trans Los Angeles” will feature a range of LGBTQ Latinx talent, including Stephanie Beatriz, Carmen Carrera, and YaYa Gosselin. The movie is the vision of up-and-coming transgender writer/director Kase Peña.

According to Deadline, “Trans Los Angeles” will be an anthology film, made up of four four stand-alone shorts. Each segment will focus on a different character in a different part of Los Angeles and spotlight the different and varying lives of trans people.

One of the stand-alone shorts has buzz around it already. The anthology installment “Period” will star the aforementioned Latinx superstars Stephanie Beatriz, Carmen Carrera, and YaYa Gosselin.

Per Deadline, “Period” will center on a Latinx transgender woman named Vergara (Carmen Carrera) who has recently been released from LA County jail. Vergara “gets a part-time job taking care of a shy 12-year-old girl (YaYa Gosselin), while doing sex work on the side, to make ends meet.” However, things become complicated for Vergara because “sex work is what got her locked up in the first place.”

“Trans Los Angeles” will be, without a doubt, trailblazing. It is rare that Hollywood makes movies with transgender people as main characters and transgender artists inhabiting the roles. So far, Panavision, Light Iron Post, WarnerMedia, and Latino Lens are backing “Trans Los Angeles”. The WeHo Transgender Arts Initiative grant is also partially-funding the film.

Excited for the news, fans and fellow celebrities alike flooded the social media accounts of all of those involved, offering their endless support and congratulations.

“So happy for you!!!! 👏👏👏” wrote Eva Longoria. Another fan added “Can’t wait to see this, Carmen!! YOU GO GIRL!!!”. Writer/director Kase Peña commented: “It’s only the beginning. That’s all. ❤️🔥”

Last year, Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival selected Peña to participate in a Netflix’s Latinx Inclusion Fellowship Series. The fact that Peña was able to get such an ambitious project off the ground shows that it just takes a bit of effort on Hollywood’s part for more diverse stories to get made.

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