Entertainment

Apparently PBS Is Making A Documentary About Boricua Queen Rita Moreno

Rita Moreno is one of those legendary forces in the Latinx community that we all hold a special place in our hearts for. She’s the first Latina to be nominated for and to win an Academy Award and she has given life to some of the most memorable characters on film, stage and TV screen. 

Now, the talented Boricua will be honored with a documentary all about her fascinating life. 

The new PBS documentary will focus on some of Moreno’s most notable life experiences and will also cover some darker and more private aspects of her 87 years. 

Twitter / @TalkoftheTownPR

Called “Rita Moreno: The Girl Who Decided to Go for It,” the documentary will feature the actress’ career highlights but will also focus on some rarely discussed moments of her life. For example, in the documentary, Moreno opens up about her attempted suicide that occurred just a year before she won an Oscar for her role as Anita in “West Side Story.” 

The Latina shared via a statement just how moved she is to be the focus of this documentary.

“How I wish my Puerto Rican mother were alive to see this: her child’s story being celebrated. It is not something she or I could ever have imagined. I’m astonished. I’m humbled.” 

Moreno’s career has really come full circle. While she will continue her role as Lydia in “One Day At a Time,” she is also playing Valentina in the 2019 remake of “West Side Story.”

The documentary is being produced by “Hamilton” star Lin-Manuel Miranda, the acclaimed television producer Norman Lear and documentary filmmaker Michael Kantor.

Twitter / @Lin_Manuel

 Needless to say, fellow Puerto Rican, Miranda, is thrilled to be part of a project that immortalizes Moreno. 

“Rita is La Reina. Punto. Full stop,” executive producer Miranda expressed in a statement upon the documentary’s announcement. “Her life, talent, and career is a masterclass in the American dream. It is about time that she takes her rightful place amongst her peers on American Masters.”

The Moreno documentary will air in 2020 as part of the PBS American Masters series. According to PBS, it will feature animation, archival recordings, and reenactments from Moreno’s life. Some of the actresses closest friends and co-workers will also provide interviews for the film.

The documentary is being directed by fellow Latina, Mariem Pérez Riera. 

Twitter / @DeepFinds

In order to be true to Moreno’s story, it had to be driven by people who understand what the actress has gone through as a woman and as a member of the Latinidad. To do so, director Mariem Pérez Riera was hired to bring her vision to life. Riera has previous experience with heading up documentaries. In 2016, she directed “De Puerto Rico Para el Mundo” and “Croatto, la Huella de un Emigrante.” Both films focus on the Latinidad — a subject close to her heart. 

“As a filmmaker, woman and Puerto Rican, I am proud to have the opportunity to tell Rita’s story,” Riera shared when the documentary was announced. “Her many victories in the face of prejudice are an inspiration to me. Hopefully, this film will give strength to the women all over the world, who today, face a similar fight towards equality.” 

Of course, Latinx Twitter was quick to celebrate this new documentary and it’s a very deserving subject. 

Twitter / @OhCuevas

That dancing baby in this tweet’s GIF? That’s totally us. We are so excited to learn more about one of our favorite Latina actresses. Seeing her get the respect she deserves makes us want to celebrate. 

This tweet reminded us just how long Moreno’s career spans.

Twitter / @NewportLaura

Some of us grew up with her as Anita. Some of us know her from the “Electric Company.” Still, others will always know her as the voice of the original Carmen Sandiego. No matter where you know her from, it’s easy to see that her career has been long and lucrative.  

Some Twitter users pointed out the importance of illuminating other peoples stories, just as Manuel and other producers are doing with Moreno’s story in this documentary

Twitter / @K_bowes

The only way we will continue to see our stories being told is if we help others in the Latinidad tell theirs. We’re glad to see that Manuel and Riera — fellow Puerto Ricans — have such important roles in making this documentary a reality. 

Other Twitter users shared their joy over the celebration of Moreno’s life and legacy. 

Twitter / @smiletoobig

Moreno is La Reina and we are so ecstatic that she’s getting the love she so obviously has earned. A career as impressive as hers deserves major props and we can’t wait to watch this documentary honoring her remarkable life. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TS3sEaGS8c0

Lin-Manuel Miranda Says Criticisms Of ‘Hamilton’ Are Valid And It’s All ‘Fair Game’

Entertainment

Lin-Manuel Miranda Says Criticisms Of ‘Hamilton’ Are Valid And It’s All ‘Fair Game’

Theo Wargo / Getty Images

Update July 7, 2020, 4:00 p.m. PST: People are going after “Hamilton” because of its depiction of Alexander Hamilton, who was a slave owner. In a time when Confederate monuments are falling, some people want to cancel the show because it does elevate the people of the time. Lin-Manuel Miranda does not disagree with them

Lin-Manuel Miranda validated the criticism lodged against “Hamilton.”

There was a lot of criticism recently lodged at the musical. The renewed attention is partly because Disney+is streaming the very successful play during the 4th of July weekend. While Miranda has said the criticisms are valid, he did express the difficulty of creating a play and capturing every moment of the Founding Fathers in one play. There is no arguing that the Founding Fathers were not indeed problematic and owned slaves.

During this time, it is important to have tough conversations about the legacy of this country and what we can do to acknowledge and rectify the issues.

“Hamilton” is an exquisite work of art. The casting sets it apart from other plays that do not try to be as inclusive. Yet, it is very important to remember our history. Some of the people we are taught to celebrate and hold in high esteem are not worthy of that praise. Some are responsible for killing off large amount of native people. Others were involved with the brutal slave trade that created one of the largest diasporas in human history. You can honor the work of a Latino creator and acknowledge the flaws even he admits to.

Original: Families across the nation celebrated their 4th of July weekend watching “Hamilton.” The musical is one of the most celebrated musicals in recent history. Yet, some people have a problem with the musical and its debut on Disney+ has angered some Twitter users.

“Hamilton” is currently streaming on Disney+ and fans are so excited.

The very popular musical is a Broadway sensation. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s play is one of the most celebrated shows in recent history with sold-out shows across the country. The play tells the story of Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.

The play has been celebrated because the actors cast in the production are all actors of color. It took a white story and was filled with people of color showing a side of Hamilton people don’t often address. Miranda admitted that he didn’t know much about Hamilton until reading a biography about the man while on vacation. He felt the story of Hamilton is inherently an immigrant story and deserved to be told with a twist.

#CancelHamilton started trending over the weekend and a quick search shows that most of the tweets are from conservatives.

There is a movement happening right now in the U.S. with people tearing down statues honoring Confederate soldiers and leaders. The Confederacy is the side of the Civil War fighting to preserve slavery and lost the war. The hashtag is filled with people complaining that other Confederate monuments are being torn down, so why not cancel “Hamilton.”

One argument being made against canceling “Hamilton” is that it is fiction. Those for the cancellation of “Hamilton” claim that is should be torn down like Confederate statues. Yet, those against the cancellation claim that the show is a fictitious account and not the same as monuments and statues built to celebrate a legacy steeped in slave ownership.

Some of the people defending the show are pointing to the cast of filled with people of color.

The show made history with its diverse cast offering a glimpse into history through the voices of people of color. This kind of representation gave young people of color a chance to see themselves represented in history. It might only be a play but it is a play that has captivated an audience of Black and brown people who can see people who look like them representing U.S. history.

It has reignited the debate about cancel culture being weaponized and weakened by bad actors.

The cancel culture has come after several celebrities and businesses calling out bad practices. It seems though that every week there is a new attempt to cancel someone or something. Cancel culture has come under fire for cutting people before giving them a chance to learn from their mistakes.

Some people want to cancel cancel culture instead of “Hamilton” and that thought is spreading.

Cancel culture has claimed a lot of people. It started to grow in prominence as social media became more and more popular and far-reaching. What do you think about Cancel Culture?

READ: ‘Hamilton’: Disney Plus Drops Trailer For Musical Film — Watch Now!

We Finally Have A First Look At The Walter Mercado Documentary ‘Mucho Mucho Amor’ And I Can’t Wait

Entertainment

We Finally Have A First Look At The Walter Mercado Documentary ‘Mucho Mucho Amor’ And I Can’t Wait

Mucho Mucho Amor / Netflix

Walter Mercado was to the Spanish-speaking world, what Miss Cleo was to the English-speaking one. Equal parts Oprah, Liberace, and Mr. Rogers, the legendary Puerto Rican psychic and astrologer captivated the Latin world with his glamorous style, gender-nonconforming persona, and warmhearted cosmic readings. Now, he is poised to reach a new level of fandom with a lovingly crafted documentary about his life and career

Our stars dimmed when we lost the great Walter Mercado last year, but with a new Netflix documentary, we get one more glimpse into the man’s flamboyant life.

It’s finally here: the first trailer for Netflix’s Mucho Mucho Amor.

Each and every day more than 120 million viewers tuned in to watch the extravagant, flamboyant Puerto Rican astrologer, psychic, and gender nonconforming artists charm the world with televised horoscopes. He enthralled his viewers with sequined capes, opulent jewelry, and shared a message of love and hope to his devoted viewers. Then, he mysteriously disappeared.

If you’re like countless tías out there, you’ve been wondering about him ever since. That’s where Mucho, Mucho Amor comes in.

Directors Cristina Costantini and Kareem Tabsch spent the last two years of Mercado’s life documenting this icons legacy – when he grabbed with the struggles of aging.

The film also drops hints about Mercado’s financial issues and his hiatus from public life. But it also features magnificent footage from his unforgettable entrance at the opening party for HistoryMiami’s 2019 exhibit “Mucho, Mucho Amor: 50 Years of Walter Mercado.”

It’s an over-the-top moment that celebrates how many in Miami viewed him as royalty as they eagerly awaited his recommended New Year’s Eve rituals each year (customized for each Zodiac sign). It’s safe to say that Mercado captivated people’s attention, and he’ll do it once again with this documentary.

Mercado is often described as the glue that binds migrant communities from all over Latin America.

Credit: Mucho Mucho Amor / Netflix

At its peak, Mercado’s show was watched by more than 120 million viewers from around Latin America. But he was also an actor, dancer, and writer throughout his career. In fact, he starred in several Puerto Rican telenovelas, including Un adiós en el recuerdo (A Farewell to the Memory) and Larga distancia (Long Distance).

In 1970, he started his regular astrology segment on Puerto Rico’s variety show, El Show de las 12. His star continued to grow, and for decades, his astrology prediction shows aired in Puerto Rico, Latin America and the United States.

“We grew up with him,” Lin-Manuel Miranda says in the trailer for Mucho Mucho Amor. “I can’t think of an English language astrologer that would command the attention of millions of households.” 

Then, Mercado mysteriously vanished from the public eye. “Maybe he didn’t want to grow old in front of the cameras,” Eugenio Derbez speculates. 

He was also an icon for the LGBTQ community, who – especially in the Latino community – needed one so badly.

Credit: Mucho Mucho Amor / Netflix

Although Mercado was unapologetically sexually-ambiguous, many were still preoccupied with the man’s sexuality. He always took the questions and innuendo in stride though, responding with a joke that would get him off the hook with most. But he meant a lot to gay Latinos during an era where they feared coming out much more than today, just merely for existing.

Even though Mercado never publicly addressed his sexuality, he was an inspiration for many LGBTQ kids, including director Kareem Tabsch.

“I’m a queer kid from Miami and the first time I ever saw Walter on television, it was the first time I ever encountered another person who was queer,” Tabsch recalls.

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, he added: “I had a simpatico. Seeing him on TV I remember thinking, ‘Huh, there’s something in you that’s like something in me. I see a reflection of me in you, even if I’d never be nearly as fabulous.’ But there was this otherness that I recognized. I felt, ‘If my family loves you just as you are then maybe they could love me as I am too.”

Although before his death he disappeared from public life somewhat unceremoniously, his legacy lives on for millions of Latinos.

Credit: Mucho Mucho Amor / Netflix

Mucho, Mucho Amor does a great job at showing the human-side of Mercado. Yes, he was a beloved television personality, for whom many, he was a literal superhero. But he was also a human, and Netflix’s new documentary will show an entirely new side of the superstar to the world.

Mucho, Mucho Amor debuts on Netflix on July 8.