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This Latina Just Scored The Broadway Role Of A Lifetime

CREDIT: ASSOCIATED PRESS / YOUTUBE

Mandy Gonzales knows a thing or two about musicals.

The 37-year-old singer has performed in some of this generation’s most beloved musicals: “In The Heights” and “Wicked.” Now she can add to that list the role of Angelica Schuyler Church from “Hamilton,” the Broadway titan with 11 Tony awards under its belt. “Even though I’ve done ‘Wicked’ and I’ve done these other shows that have been big,” Gonzalez told the Associated Press, “this [Hamilton] is really – it’s really something special.”

Mandy’s connection to the “Hamilton” cast goes all the way back to 2004.

CREDIT: INTHEHEIGHTSLDN / TWITTER

On the set of “In The Heights,” the singer first met Lin Manuel Miranda, the show’s co-writer. Her love interest in the musical was played by Chris Jackson, who plays George Washington in “Hamilton.” When Gonzales first read for the part of Nina Rosario in “In The Heights” back in 2004,  she knew that Miranda was someone she needed to work with. “I had never heard anything like it,” Gonzales told The Herald. “I had never seen anything like him. And I’ve been working with him ever since.” When Renée Elise Goldsberry, the singer who originally portrayed Angelica, left to pursue other opportunities, Mandy was ready to step into the demanding role.

PBS is giving fans of “Hamilton” an extraordinary behind the scenes look.

CREDIT: PBS / YOUTUBE

On October 21, PBS will air “Hamilton’s America,” an experience that puts the viewer into world of Lin Manuel Miranda as he created what would become his masterpiece. We know now that tickets for “Hamilton” are notorious for their scarcity and their price. And we know that people shell out more than $2,000 for a single ticket, and the musical is currently expected to earn over a billion dollars in its lifetime. But what we don’t know is how it all began. “Hamilton’s America” airs on Friday, October 21 at 9/8c on PBS. People who prefer to stream should check out the website here.


READ: Lin Manuel Miranda Just Rap Battled “The Tonight Show” Into Submission

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Olympian Laurie Hernandez Is Back And Just Gave A Powerful “Hamilton” Inspired Performance

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Olympian Laurie Hernandez Is Back And Just Gave A Powerful “Hamilton” Inspired Performance

She’s back! After an almost five-year hiatus, Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez made her big return to competition at Saturday’s 2021 Winter Cup meet with moves to remember — set to some pretty unforgettable music, too.

The 20-year-old gold and silver medalist hit the mat with a “Hamilton”-inspired floor routine.

Laurie Hernandez just gave a stunning floor routine at the 2021 Winter Cup.

Please welcome Laurie Hernandez back to the floor! After a four-and-a-half-year hiatus, the 20-year-old Olympian showed off her strength, proving, like Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote, she is inimitable and an original.

“My first priority [at Winter Cup] is to go in and hit clean routines and show that I can be consistent,” Hernandez told NBC News. “But my next one is to enjoy myself.” It sure looks like she accomplished her goal, with nonstop energy and a smile on her face throughout her entire choreography.

As “The Room Where It Happens” played in the background, Hernandez flipped and danced her way to a 12.05 score in the event, good for an 11th-place finish in the floor exercise.

And after the USA Gymnastics Winter Cup in Indianapolis wrapped up, the noted theater fan shared her routine on Twitter and asked for feedback from “Hamilton” creator Lin Manuel Miranda and actor Leslie Odom Jr. — who sang “The Room Where It Happens” as Aaron Burr in the original cast.

This weekend’s performance was her first since stealing hearts during the 2016 Rio games.

Hernandez was part of the Team USA “Final Five” squad that won gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics. But following those games she took a step back from competition, later revealing that former coach Maggie Haney was emotionally and verbally abusive toward her. The gymnast dealt with depression and eating disorders as a result.

Hernandez said it wasn’t until years later that she realized her love of the sport could be separated from the trauma she experienced. “I thought I hated gymnastics, and it wasn’t until mid-2018 I realized that it was the people that made the experience bad, not the sport itself,” she explained on Instagram.

Though she already has a gold medal from the team all-around and a silver medal from her 2016 individual performance on the beam, Hernandez is now ramping up for more challenging competitions over the next several months with the hopes of qualifying for the Olympics this summer. But with a crowded field vying against her for just four roster spots, securing a bid to Tokyo will undoubtedly be an uphill battle.

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‘Hamilton’ And When We All Vote Get Creative To Engage Voters In The Upcoming Election

Entertainment

‘Hamilton’ And When We All Vote Get Creative To Engage Voters In The Upcoming Election

When Disney+ started streaming “Hamilton,” the wildly popular Broadway musical made it into the homes of millions. The mix of rap lyrics and American history set the musical apart from the beginning. Now, “Hamilton” is teaming up with When We all Vote to get people charged up for the election.

“Hamilton” has never been shy to get involved in politics.

The musical has a diverse cast of Black and Latino actors and singers deliver a tremendous performance with a powerful message. The musical makes the case that every American should have the opportunity for their voice to be heard.

Creator Lin-Manuel Miranda raises the importance of unification no matter race, religion, or socioeconomic status. His work emphasizes the notion that all Americans can make the difference in reframing our nation’s narrative. “Hamilton” is not the only project where he aims for others to feel inspired for change.

Miranda has partnered up with When We All Vote to focus on voter education.

When We All Vote is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization launched by Michelle Obama and Janelle Monae in 2018 aiming to to focus on bridging the gap around race and age within voter culture. The organization hopes to raise awareness on the importance of voting especially in the upcoming election in November. Knowing Miranda’s activistm, he was bound to do so with an exciting spin.

Miranda is taking music from “Hamilton” and changing the lyrics to encourage voters.

Miranda and When We All Vote want all people out there to stand up and make their voices heard. Lyrics like “I’m just an ordinary citizen/ I’m not political, I’ve never been/ And I don’t vote/ I don’t vote” in the tune of “Alexander Hamilton” raises awareness that choosing not to vote weighs equally as heavily in the election and has resulted in the swayed outcome of our past presidential election back in 2016, where the nearly 100 million voters who were claimed as non-participatory contributed in swinging it more in the favor of the current occupant of the white house. 

Miranda is conscious of all sides of why the public may be hesitant to be active such as voter fraud and the lack of education on how to register amidst the current Covid-19 restrictions. The team addresses every concern with ingenious lyrics and tunes that create an exciting atmosphere around election talk. With a creative, exciting, and revolutionary way of getting information so you can vote in the next primary, who wouldn’t want to get involved? So go get your ballot ready and “Let’s get this done!”

For more information on When We All Vote’s initiative, click here. And to register to vote, visit our homepage and click on the Register to Vote icon pop up because “you are not throwing away your shot.”

READ: ‘Hamilton’ Won’t Be Eligible For An Academy Award Next Year

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