Entertainment

The Book About Young ‘Brown Weirdos’ Is Finally Becoming A Musical And We Can’t Contain Our Excitement

Back in 2017, Celia C. Pérez introduced the world to 12-year-old Malú, a Mexican-American punk teenager, in her book “The First Rule of Punk.” Two years later, the critically acclaimed novel is turning into a musical. This past week, the Children’s Theatre Company, the nation’s largest theater for young people, announced it would be adapting the book into a musical.

“The First Rule of Punk” received critical acclaim when it was released for its representation of a Mexican-American tween.

The book is a coming of age story around the life of Malú, a 12-year-old Latina who has a passion for rock and roll, skateboarding and zines. As Malú enters a new middle school, she breaks the dress code, clashes with the cool girls at school and lets her mother down through it all. Yet through it all, Malú’s dad, who lives thousands of miles away, reminds her to never forget the first rule of punk, be yourself.

In response, Malú stands up to the school’s strict administration by taking the high road. She forms a punk rock band of misfits just like her. This becomes a way of expressing herself and a reflection of self-growth.

Celia C. Pérez says she’s excited for a whole new audience to experience Malú’s journey as many others already have.

Credit:@mrsbnashville/Twitter

Perez published zines (self-published works) for over 20 years because of her own longtime love of punk music. Zines play a big part of the punk culture and were often a form of self-expression.

This passion drove her to create the character of Malú who she says came from her own self-interest in “identity and culture.’ Now a whole new audience will get to experience “The First Rule of Punk” with the new musical production.

“It’s such an honor to have ‘The First Rule of Punk’ adapted into a musical by the nation’s leading multi-generational theatre, Children’s Theatre Company and to have BMG and their catalog of iconic artists involved with the production,” Perez said, according to Broadway World. “I am excited for this story to reach new audiences and look forward to seeing it come to life on a stage.”

“The First Rule of Punk” has already left an impressionable mark on young audiences trying to find themselves.

Credit:@mrsbnashville/Twitter

Books have a great power to teach us about perspectives different from ours and at times teach us about ourselves too. Many have taken to social media to express their gratitude for “The First Rule of Punk” and what the book has meant to them finding themselves.

“I saw so much of myself in Malú and I’m so excited about this!!! It’s honestly one of the only books with a Hispanic character that made me feel seen and represented. I love @CeliaCPerez so much for this story,” one Twitter user said.

It’s no surprise the novel has brought people of all ages together and now it will take it’s next step as a musical. We cannot wait to see even more people get to hear the story of Malú.

“I love this book and its themes of navigating cultural collisions, familial tensions, and the struggle to find one’s own voice,” Peter C. Brosius, CTC’s Artistic Directors, said in a statement. “It is a book that leaps off the page with its energy, wit, and truth. I cannot wait to partner with BMG and bring this book to theatrical life with the drive and power of the punk music world.”

Read: This Bilingual Children’s Book Will Teach Little Ones About The First Latina Who Went To Space

ABC Announced A Musical Version Of The Little Mermaid And A Star From Moana Will Take The Lead Role

Entertainment

ABC Announced A Musical Version Of The Little Mermaid And A Star From Moana Will Take The Lead Role

@daviesallison1A / Twitter

Dueling versions of  The Little Mermaid? These ocean streets are getting spicy out here! After Disney announced Halle Bailey would portray Ariel in the live-action film, folks were excited by the new, multicultural version of the classic fairytale. Now ABC, which is also Disney property, will air a live musical version of the story. They’ve chosen to go the multicultural route again, which is always a great choice. 

Not everyone can make it out to a theater and kids who are stuck at home deserve to see themselves too. The story is a completely fictional fantasy. It makes sense to cast based on talent and who can best encompass the energy of each role, anyway. Never forget the iconic ABC version of Cinderella starring Brandy as the title role and Whitney Houston as her fairy godmother. 

Your fave is back!

Aulí’i Cravalho, star of Moana, will play Ariel. Cravalho is of Native Hawaiin, Puerto Rican, Portuguese, Chinese, and Irish descent. No one plays an internally conflicted young woman about to make some questionable choices that piss off her father only to eventually redeem herself and flex on every hater quite like Cravalho. She’s got that youthful vibrant energy that I lost when I found out adobo was just four different spices mixed together with preservatives. Now I don’t believe in magic and am an internet ghoul. Protect Cravalho at all costs!

The black Ursula lives!

Fans who wanted a black woman to capture the wit and rambunctious persona of Ursula will not be disappointed this time around. While I think Melissa McCarthy will be a great comedic counterpart to Bailey, and after all the OG Disney Ursula is based on a white drag queen, I am excited to see Queen Latifah take on the role for this version. 

“’Fortunately I know a little magic.’ Excited to be part of The Wonderful World of Disney Presents The Little Mermaid Live!” The Queen tweeted.

After seeing her swagger as Matron “Mama” Morton in Chicago, there is no doubt in my mind the Queen will deliver. 

Shaggy — and I can’t emphasize this enough — Shaggy!

Shaggy will play the crab, Sebastian. Shaggy. Yes, that Shaggy. This means the “It Wasn’t Me” dancehall singer will perform “Under the Sea” live in front of literal millions of human beings. By the glory of some unthinkable god, please tell me he has prosthetic crab legs. I can’t think of a more 2019 casting choice than this besides, like, the entire cast of the Cats movie.

While it may seem a little odd, I am glad we won’t have to hear someone doing a clumsy impersonation of a Caribbean accent. And although I have never seen the man act, I say put him in Big Little Lies season three because somehow I know Shaggy only improves screenplays. 

We’re in unchartered territory. 

This will be ABC’s first live musical. NBC paved the way for the contemporary format with 2013’s Sound of Music special. Fox hopped on the bandwagon with Grease and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Now ABC wants in on the television musical big bucks. Let’s hope that ABC has watched the competition closely and tweaked their process accordingly. It is very difficult to translate stage musicals for the screen to no fault of the performers themselves. Seeing Ariel fake swim in a fake ocean, wearing a fake mermaid tail, on stage, on my television, there is not enough $3.00 wine on earth to make that appear seamless to anyone. 

But what about the music? 

Disney currently is home to both the broadway and animated versions of the story. The live musical will combine music from both mediums, which was largely composed by Alan Menken. This is a great idea. In the animated film, Ariel doesn’t get many numbers because she loses her voice so early on. This will hopefully ensure we get more bops from Ariel and don’t miss out on Cravalho’s voice. There’s still no word on who will be playing King Triton, Flounder, or Prince Eric. 

The live musical will air on November 5 at 8 PM EST known officially as The Wonderful World of Disney presents The Little Mermaid Live! It just rolls right off the tongue. 

Best Selling Author Elizabeth Acevedo’s Book ‘With The Fire On High’ Is Going To Be Turned Into a Movie

Fierce

Best Selling Author Elizabeth Acevedo’s Book ‘With The Fire On High’ Is Going To Be Turned Into a Movie

Astrid Stawiarz / Getty Images

Lately, Afro-Dominican author and poet Elizabeth Acevedo has gotten a lot of well-deserved praise for the incredible writings she has contributed to the literary world. Back in June of 2019, Acevedo’s “Poet X” won the prestigious Carnegie Medal — making her the first writer of color to ever receive the honor. The writer also released her second book, “With The Fire On High,” to esteemed reviews back in May of the same year. 

Now, the Latina creator is getting another honor to add to her distinguished resume. 

Her book, “With The Fire On High,” has been picked up by a production company with plans to develop it into a movie. 

Twitter / @AcevedoWrites

It was announced on Monday, August 5th that the production company, Picturestart, acquired the rights to the New York Times bestselling novel and will produce a film that Acevedo will adapt for the big screen. Picturestart was launched earlier this year by Former Lionsgate Motion Picture Group co-president Erik Feig. This adaptation will be one of the production company’s first. Feig and Executive Vice-President of Picturestart, Lucy Kitada, are set to produce the film for the company. As of now, there is no date or time frame for the film in these early stages of its development.  

“With The Fire On High” tells the story of protagonist Emoni Santiago. The 17-year-old Philadelphian works through the challenges of becoming a single mother during her freshman year of high school. Despite many hardships, Santiago finds that the one place she can still feel free is the kitchen. The magic, love, and kindness she puts into her dishes make both her and everyone who tastes them happy. However, as much she likes to cook, Santiago feels its an impossible dream to pursue so she is conflicted about pursuing it. Still, she can’t help the way she feels when she turns up the heat and creates something new. 

On Twitter, fans and colleagues alike celebrated Acevedo’s newest project. 

Twitter / @YesikaStarr

Fellow Latina writer, Yesika Salgado, took to Twitter to congratulate Acevedo. As the Salvadorean says in her tweet, the “With The Fire On High” author really seems to be on a winning streak lately. We’re glad to see her getting all the accolades she deserves. 

As this tweet points out, Acevedo’s news is very needed after this weekend’s tragedies. 

Twitter / @GlamBelle9

After a weekend filled with so much pain, the Latinidad is in desperate need of some happy news so this announcement comes as a beautiful win for all of us. Acevedo was raised by immigrant parents from the Dominican Republic. To see her succeed in the ways that she has is both inspirational and so gratifying for our Latinx and immigrant communities.

Some supporters expressed their excitement to see Acevedo’s characters on the big screen. 

Twitter / @juliaerin80

This new film deal means that we will see Emoni and all of the book’s other characters brought to life. Seeing more films with protagonists of color not only opens more roles up to Black and brown actors, but it also provides an opportunity to see ourselves and our community is reflected by Hollywood. 

Most of all, Acevedo’s fans and supporters were just really excited for the Latina writer. 

Twitter / @IAmKingBey

Acevedo’s announcement was full of reactions from friends, fans, and supporters and they all echoed the same excitement and happiness for the author. GIFs and reaction images expressed just how proud they are to hear the Dominicana’s news. Her mentions were basically a big celebration. 

We’re very happy for Acevedo and can’t wait to see her book come to life. It’s another example of what can be accomplished with Latina excellence. 

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