Gloria and Emilio Estefan’s new play on Broadway, On Your Feet!, is bringing more Latino actors into the theater. This is a BIG deal — huge even — because for the better part of Broadway’s history, Latino actors were almost non existent.
“In the past, shows were written about Hispanics (West Side Story), but not by Hispanics,” as Raul Reyes writes for NBC News. “Nor was it unusual for a show with Latino characters not to hire any actual Latino actors.”
¿Qué, qué? That’s correct. And since ticket have generally been on the pricey side for these Latino plays sans Latinos, Latino audiences weren’t exactly rushing to grab a seat.
Luckily, with On Your Feet! and other plays featuring Latinos, like Hamilton, this is only the beginning for because we now see Broadway “can’t control itself any longer.”
It’s no secret that drag and, in particular, drag queens have made their way into the mainstream. Much of their success is easily attributed to the hit show RuPaul’s Drag Race, which has helped catapult hundreds of queens into the spotlight.
The show, which is now in it’s 12 regular season (plus countless spinoffs), has one eight Emmy Awards – but above all else, it’s helped create a community for LGBTQ persons who hadn’t grown up seeing people like them on TV. So many people say that the show has helped them accept their identities. It’s also helped launch the careers of dozens of drag queens.
It’s no surprise then, that the show has also attracted some of the biggest names in entertainment – from Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga to Ricky Martin and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, several high-profile judges have helped judge the completion for their charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent.
Mike Ruiz was a tasty addition to the regular lineup of ‘Drag Race’ judges – having made several appearances over the course of the show. Although he hasn’t returned since season 6. He often launched the season with a photoshoot in which he had to find the perfect shot of each queen.
Maria Conchita Alonso
The Cuban-born telenovela star made her debut on Drag Race in the very first season of the show – where she helped judge the first ever ball. She made her way back to Drag Race during season 5, where she came back to coach the queens on their telenovela acting skills alongside Wilmer Valderrama. It’s obvious this two-time guest judge has a special place in her heart for drag!
The Acadamy Award-nominated actress also made her Drag Race debut on the show’s very first season, where she helped judge the first ever girl group competition. She judged alongside Mary Wilson and the duo were definitely one of the season’s highlights.
Jessica Alba was one of the biggest-named actresses to appear as a judge – especially in the earlier seasons. She made her debut on Drag Race in season 7, which was jam packed full of big name guest judges – Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato and Mel B – just to name a few.
Jessica Alba didn’t disappoint fans on her visit to the show either having fun with the queens as they shot their parody music video. The winner of the episode – Kennedy Davenport – also scored a three year supply of products from Alba’s The Honest Company.
Another season 7 judge, Demi Lovato’s appearance on the show left the queens gagged. She appeared in the season just two episodes after Ariana Grande had been on so the queens were being treated to some of the biggest names in pop.
Demi Lovato was joined by guest judge John Waters – who’s iconic films inspired the episodes maxi-challenge, of which Ginger Minj won. For the lip synch – between Miss Fame and Pearl – the queens got to perform Demi Lovato’s “Really Don’t Care.”
Getting none other than Christina Aguilera (a.k.a. Xtina) to appear in the premiere episode of season 10 (a.k.a. season X) was definitely a very clever idea. Besides, Christina Aguilera has been considered an important LGBTQ+ ally since her music video for “Beautiful,” which featured same-sex relationships during a time when this was not necessarily trendy for popstars to do.
On Drag Race, Christina Aguilera was more than willing to have fun. She even did a bit in which she pretended to be season 9 contestant Farrah Moan (who many believe looks like the singer). Overall, Xtina did not disappoint Drag Race fans!
Cuban-American actor Guillermo Díaz made his Drag Race debut in season 11 on the third episode, alongside pop star Troye Sivan. The two were there to help judge one of my favorite maxi-challenges to date – the teams had to select a pop diva to worship in their TV evangelist show.
In the lip synch challenge, the bottom six queens lip synced to Jennifer Lopez’s “Waiting for Tonight” and it was everything.
Drag Race was one of the most revolutionary shows when it first started. Here were drag artists going on national TV and performing their art form, when it was still considered extremely taboo. Times have changed, thankfully, and so much so that one of the nation’s leading politicians made a guest judge appearance on the show. Enter: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who made her debut on the show during season 12, episode 7.
This episode featured by far the very best ‘rusical’ every performed on the show – honoring pop queen Madonna. AOC was very visibly into the performance and gave plenty of constructive criticism and praise to the queens. She even snuck backstage during the taping of Untucked to have more one-on-one time with the queens, and reminding them of the power of their art form and their voice.
RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars’ Season 5 is already a hit with fans and maybe Ricky Martin had something to do with it. Fans are loving him on the judges’ panel and didn’t hold back from expressing their love for him. The Puerto Rican singer-actor watched every performance with equal enthusiasm and awe — especially the last one where queen India Ferrah and lip-sync assassin Yvie Oddly battled it out in the elimination.
And pretty much all of Twitter agreed that Ricky Martin has only gotten better with age – calling him the ultimate trade of ‘All Stars’ Season 5.
Did we miss any of your favorite judges? Or who would you like to see make a guest appearance on Drag Race?
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Everyone has been waiting for the animated “One Day At A Time” episode and we finally have our first look. Safe to say that we all really like what we see.
The show is staying true to their political form.
The coronavirus has changed everything, even Hollywood. Production was suspended when the rest of California went into lockdown. This means that shows cant record new episodes and movies are being delayed.
It is, however, a good time for animation. Since people have to be physically distanced to stop the spread of the deadly virus, some shows are eyeing animation. “One Day At A Time” embraced the idea early on and announced an animated episode to keep fans happy.
The sneak peek of the show is about talking to family about politics.
Latinos, like all other ethnicities, are not a monolith. Different experiences have shaped each person to believe what they believe and vote the way they vote. Latino families often include people across the political spectrum and it is always hard to get on the same page.
ODAAT fans are here for this kind of authentic visibility into a Latino family. We all have lived with the family divided between Republicans and Democrats. A lot of it has to do with where people live and who they are around. However, Cubans and Cuban-Americans are by and large Republicans. However, younger Cuban-Americans are more like to be a Democrat than older Cubans and Cuban-Americans, they are still predominately Republican.
Whatever the subject matter is, we are just so excited to continue to enjoy more ODAAT.
We are just days away from finally seeing the latest Alvarez adventure and we can’t wait. This is one show that does it right.