By now you’ve probably heard of “Hamilton,” the incredibly successful broadway musical created by Puerto Rican-American Lin-Manuel Miranda. The hip-hop-infused play has caught a lot of buzz, but the musical’s success has taken a whole new level. It’s now become the ninth musical to win a Pulitzer Prize.
Although it’s not common for a play to win in the drama category, but it was the play’s unique spin on American history that made it a top contender.
Miranda created the play after reading Alexander Hamilton’s biography during a break from his other broadway hit “In The Heights.” The play debuted in February 2015 and has already won 31 awards, including a Grammy. Word on the street is it will also sweep at the Tony Awards this year.
Colombian dancer and choreographer Sergio Trujillo has lived a life, and it’s getting more colorful. The artist won his first Tony award last weekend and took his stage moment to thank his cast, his husband, and to come out as a formerly undocumented immigrant.
This isn’t just a story about an immigrant who has made spectacular contributions to American culture and art. Trujillo wants other dreamers to know that, despite the political climate, they should keep fighting for their dreams. Anything’s possible.
Trujillo first dedicated his award “to my Colombian family who had taught me to love music and dance since I was a little boy.”
As Trujillo stepped up to the mic to make his acceptance speech, he literally jumped up and down on the stage. “I’m so lucky,” he began. “There are so many people I love in my life.” He specifically thanked his mother and siblings in Spanish and continued his speech in English.
“I arrived in New York City over 30 years ago as an illegal immigrant.”
“I didn’t just show up yesterday,” he announced. “I arrived in NYC over 30 years ago as an illegal immigrant.” Trujillo later told AP News that his announcement felt like he was coming out as a gay man all over again.
Only his husband, family, and close friends knew about his immigration story.
He opened up about the internalized shame he still carries from living in the U.S. without papers. “One keeps it so deep inside, it’s like a secret that one must maintain. So when I talk about it I still feel guilty, like I’m doing something wrong,” he told AP.
Trujillo felt called to use his platform to send a message of hope to the millions of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S.
“I stand here as proof,” he said to an audience giving him a standing ovation. “For all those dreamers, I want you to hear this. The American dream is still alive. You just have to keep on fighting because change will come.”
Trujillo quickly code-switched and concluded with a rallying call in Spanish.
“For all those who are listening, I want you to know that if I, Sergio Trujillo, born in Cali, Colombia, can win this moment, so can you. You can do it.”
Trujillo’s family moved from Cali, Colombia to Canada when he was 12 years old.
They lived there illegally for a few years until they were granted amnesty. He then crossed the Canadian border with his Colombian passport and stayed illegally for ten more years until he was granted citizenship.
He studied biochemistry at the University of Toronto until he quit to try his luck on Broadway.
He lived at friends’ houses, took dance classes and auditioned. Once he started being hired to perform in Broadway shows, he was able to get temporary visas.
Trujillo’s hard work has certainly paid off.
While he hasn’t publicly spoken about this very long chapter of his life–one which necessitated his success–he told AP that “now, more than ever, is the perfect time to talk about that.” Trujillo doesn’t anticipate dancing at the White House anytime soon.
In 2014, four Broadway shows, all choreographed by him, were playing at the same time.
Trujillo first started out as a dancer on Broadway and worked up to become a choreographer. He’s also won a Laurence Olivier Award for Best Theatre Choreographer for Memphis in 2015.
His first Tony is for Best Choreography for Ain’t Too Proud.
The Broadway musical is based on the lives of The Temptations. As the Chicago White Sox owner is seeking to commemorate the organized burning of disco and soul music created by Black and Latinx artists, this commemoration of The Temptations is more important than ever.
His first Tony nomination was for his work on On Your Feet!–the Broadway depiction of the lives of the Estefans.
In an Instagram post, the infamous Gloria Estefan congratulated Trujillo, “CONGRATULATIONS to the wonderful @sergiotrujillo1 who was nominated previously for our musical, @onyourfeetbway and last night won the 2019 Tony Award for Best Choreography for @AintTooProud. #TonyAwards This is SO well deserved and it’s about time, baby!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️”
His name has also graced the Broadway production of Summer: The Donna Summer Musical.
His work on that production earned him a 2018 Chita Rivera Awards for Dance and Choreography. The entire cast was all-female.
Trujillo has been with his husband, Jack Noseworthy, for 30 years.
The two met in 1990 and married in 2011. Just last year, they welcomed a beautiful baby boy into their family.
We stan this family photo.
“My world all in one beautiful picture!!!!,” Trujillo’s caption reads. We assume that the woman is his beautiful mother. We’re mami’s boys and girls all our lives.
Apparently, if Trujillo was trapped on a desert island forever, he’d want to be with Jeremy Pope.
He played Eddie Kendricks in Ain’t Too Proud, so the two have worked together. Don’t worry. We have footage of Trujillo’s husband’s reaction.
Noseworthy’s face when hearing Turjillo’s answer:
Trujillo digs the hole deeper when he says that Pope is just so talented that he’d be able to do anything. He’s also a good cook.
Honey, you in trouble.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has named him one of the Top 100 Colombians in the world.
His work cannot be denied, and, truthfully, neither can his love for marido, Jack. Happy Pride.
Congrats on your Tony and a much-appreciated coming out, Trujillo!
This time, for coming out as a once undocumented immigrant. Your story is an inspiration.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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?
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.