Entertainment

The Key Roles For ‘West Side Story’ Have Been Cast And Maria Is Being Played By A Latina

Broadway and “West Side Story” fans have been waiting for the announcement of who will be playing the key roles in Steven Spielberg’s remake of the classic. The wait is over and we now know who will be on the big screen as Maria, Anita, Bernardo, and Chino. Everyone can rest easy because all of the actors taking up these roles are, in fact, Latino giving the remake a little more authenticity than the original. Ansel Elgort will play Tony. Here’s what we know so far.

High school senior Rachel Zegler landed the lead role of Maria.

CREDIT: rachelzegler / Instagram

Zegler is a high school senior at Immaculate Conception High School in Lodi, New Jersey. The teenager was a viral sensation with her singing videos on social media.

According to Deadline, Spielberg was intentional in making sure the everyone cast in the movie was Latino or Latina to showcase the talent within the Latino community.

Zegler shared her excitement on Twitter because who wouldn’t be excited to be cast as Maria.

“I am so thrilled to be playing the iconic role of Maria alongside this amazing cast,” Zegler told Deadline. “West Side Story was the first musical I encountered with a Latina lead character. As a Colombian-American, I am humbled by the opportunity to play a role that means so much to the Hispanic community.”

Broadway veteran and powerhouse Ariana DeBose will play Anita.

CREDIT: arianadebose / Instagram

The Puerto Rican performer first made a name for herself on “So You Think You Can Dance” when she made it to the Top 20 in 2009. Since then, DeBose has been performing for theaters around the country and even performed in an off-Broadway production of “Hamilton.”

Oh, and Rita Moreno will be there to “pass the baton” to the new Maria.

Can you even believe it? Moreno is going to be in Spielberg’s “West Side Story” in the role of Valentina. Valentina will be a more expanded version of Doc who owns the store that Tony works in.

Tony Award winner David Alvarez has been cast as Bernardo, Maria’s cousin.

CREDIT: davidalvarezofficial / Instagram

The military veteran won his Tony for Best Actor in a Musical for his role in “Billy Elliott: The Musical”. He told Deadline that he sees the same struggle in Bernardo as he does in his family who fled Cuba for the U.S. and has dreamt of filling this role.

Jose Andrés Rivera is going to be playing Chino.

CREDIT: joseandresrivera / Instagram

The Puerto Rican dancer, singer, and actor is most known for his recent participation on the last national Hamilton tour.

There is no release date for the movie yet but it is expected to start filming this summer.


READ: One Rumor On Twitter Has The Internet Debating If Camila Cabello Can Act Well Enough To Be In ‘West Side Story’

Share this story with all of your friends by tapping that little share button below!

J.Lo’s Celebrating Selena Video Is The Heartwarming Content We Need Right Now

Entertainment

J.Lo’s Celebrating Selena Video Is The Heartwarming Content We Need Right Now

jlo / Instagram

Selena will always be a legend for Latino music lovers. The Tejano singer gave us English and Spanish songs that continue to rock our worlds. Her music is still played on the radio, in bars, and she always makes it to a few playlists out there. This weekend, people took some time to celebrate the 23rd anniversary of the release of the biopic honoring the singer.

Jennifer Lopez came through on #CelebratingSelena with her own video honoring the singer and her chance to play the role.

We’ve all seen the movie more times than we care to count. It was probably one of the most impactful movies in our younger years. It was so wonderful to see our culture represented through Selena. It was a rare moment of fully authentic representation and it is not something we will ever forget.

J.Lo’s tweet hit Selena fans in the feels as they all took time to remember the late singer.

Selena was grace and class personified. Her ability to jump into the mainstream as a Latin singer shows the kind of power she had in the music industry. She broke down barriers for Latina artists who have come after her to lead successful careers, like J.Lo and Shakira.

Who could forget the iconic bustier scene?

You know you quote “busti-caca” way more than you want to admit to. It might just be the most quotable line in the whole movie. Now that most of us are working from home until further notice, it would be a great time to watch one of the most iconic Latino films of all time.

It is still inspiring people to pay tribute to La Reina.

Even 25 years after her death, people are loving her sound and keeping her memory alive through tribute videos and just listening to her music. Selena truly is someone people will never forget. She was recently inducted into the Houston Rodeo’s Star Trail of Fame and continues to be a major figure in Latino American pop culture.

Don’t worry. You can spend any day celebrating Selena because she is one person who is always worth celebrating.

READ: Selena Is The First Latin Inducted Into Houston Rodeo’s Star Trail Of Fame

Disney+ Is Bringing Back ‘The Proud Family’ Series, This time They’re Prouder And Louder

Entertainment

Disney+ Is Bringing Back ‘The Proud Family’ Series, This time They’re Prouder And Louder

The…
Proud…
Family…
What?

Get ready Disney + streamers, an old favorite is coming back around.

A recent announcement by Disney + revealed that the online streamers has greenlighted “The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder.”

According to Deadline, Disney + has greenlit the return of the early 2000s Disney Channel series. No airdate has been announced BUT so far we do know that the streamer intends to bring back the original cast and executive producers of the show.

In a statement about the return of the series, original series creator/executive producer Bruce W. Smith and executive producer Ralph Farquhar said that in their “minds, the show never really went away, as we still had tons of stories left to tell. It’s the perfect time to bring back this show, and we can’t wait to take fans, old and new alike, on this journey with us.”

Disney Channel had an iconic moment during the 1990s and early 2000s. The channel gave use Disney Original Movies that we still remember to this day. Not to mention, the network was pumping out some of the best TV shows animated and live-action. One of those shows that will always be in our mind is “The Proud Family.”

Let’s start with singing along to one of the most iconic theme songs of TV history.

Brought to you by none other than Solange and Destiny’s Child, “The Proud Family” theme song is something you will never forget. Be honest. As soon as this song started playing, all of the words have come flooding back to you and you’re singing along.

This show brought Black culture to the Disney audience like never before.

There is a reason that people are so connected to the show. It was fun, authentic, and delivered by the best cast imaginable.

Of course, so many of us clung to the Afro-Latino Boulevardez family.

Credit: The Proud Family / Disney

LaCienega Boulevardez was one of Penny’s closest friends and her neighbor. Her parents, Felix and Sunset Boulevardez, along with her abuelo Papi, were always involved with the shenanigans with the Proud family one way or the other. It was a moment in time when we were able to see an Afro-Latino family represented like every other family but with two cultures instead of one.

And it wasn’t until we were older that we got the joke about their names.

Credit: calvinstowell / Twitter

La Cienega and Sunset boulevards are major roads in Los Angeles and La Cienega deadends into Sunset in West Hollywood. That’s right. The daughter and mother from the Boulevardez family are named after two major LA roads.

Alisa Reyes gave her voice to LaCienega Boulevardez.

Credit: alisareyes / Instagram

The “All That” cast member is the woman behind the iconic Disney cartoon character. Since the show, Reyes has continued acting and has become a musician. If you want to check out her music, you can check out her video for her single “Sexy Hot” here.

Sunset Boulevardez was voiced by Maria Canals-Barrera.

Credit: maria_cb / Instagram

Before “The Wizards of Waverly Place,” Canals-Barrera was Sunset Boulevardez. Honestly, one of the most iconic Disney moms ever.

Who else knew that Carlos Mencia was the voice behind Felix Boulevardez.

Credit: arlosmencia / Instagram

Now that I listen to it, I can definitely hear it. It wasn’t long after the start of “The Proud Family” that Mencia’s career really took off.

LaCienega Boulevardez holds a very important place in television history, even if she had big feet.

It was one of the first times young Afro-Latina viewers could see themselves finally represented on television. The character existing on a children’s cartoon show makes it even more impactful. It is a storyline and identity so rarely seen on television at the time.

The show included Afro-Latino celebrities into the story with well-placed cameos.

Who could possibly forget Mariah Carey playing Mariah Carey? Her pet monkey François was sick and, fortunately, Dr. Trudy Proud was able to help Carey’s pet get better.

In the time of reboots and revivals, it is nice to go back and revisit some of your faves exactly as they were. All these years later, “The Proud Family” continues to be one of those shows we all love and remember.

Who else remembers watching “The Proud Family” when they were younger?