The Grammy Awards got a little taste of Broadway this year AND they LOVED it.
Boricua playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda and crew appeared via satellite to show exactly why “Hamilton” is the hottest ticket on Broadway. The cast performed “Alexander Hamilton,” the lead number from the musical, which sets up the immigrant story of Hamilton – the guy on the $10 bill. Despite being in New York City, the energy from the performance was palpable all the way to Los Angeles, where the Staples Center audience watched in awe.
To cap things off, “Hamilton” won a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album. Miranda, along with the rest of the cast, reappeared to accept the award, rapping his way through his speech.
Julio Torres may have just achieved next level respect and stardom because all he had to do to get thee Lin-Manuel Miranda to play the voice of a tiny cactus in his upcoming HBO special was DM him. During an interview on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show, Torres hinted at the presence of some big-name cameos in his HBO comedy special, My Favorite Shapes.
The most obvious cameo that Torres could think of would be the infamous Pulitzer Prize-winning screenwriter, composer and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda playing a “self-conscious cactus.” Of course. Torres has had a successful career behind the screen thus far. Born in El Salvador, Torres began writing for Saturday Night Live, where he initially met Lin-Manuel Miranda. His most recent claim to fame was his starring role alongside Fred Armisen in the HBO series Los Espookys.
“We were lucky that some really great actors are voicing the inner spirits of some of those objects because we just needed that,” he told Fallon.
“The role of the cactus went to Lin-Manuel Miranda. I DM’ed him, being like, ‘Can you just be this cactus? This feels like it should be you.’” Wow. That’s all it takes, huh? We love Miranda for just saying ‘yes.’
“’Cause it’s like, can you think of anyone else who would play a little cactus trapped in a little glass container?” Pues, can you?
In the teaser trailer for the comedy special, we get a glimpse of the very cactus that Miranda is set to play. “This next shape that I need to show you,” Torres tells the audience through a microphone at his seat, “This is me coming in late for a meeting and immediately chiming in.”
We can’t wait to hear what the cactus iteration of Lin-Manuel Miranda is going to say.
The Puerto Rican Hamilton creator and star is on vacation in Europe right now, so we haven’t heard his comment on the new break of his latest role. Miranda and Torres have worked together in the past. Torres’ rise to fame began as a writer for Saturday Night Live. Torres wrote the sketch “Diego Calls His Mom” for Miranda’s episode as a host.
“Lin-Manuel is the lil cactus…. awwww,” tweets one fan. Why is the prickliest side of Lin-Manuel Miranda the cutest side we might ever see? Call it an obsession with succulents or just an obsession with literally anything Miranda chooses to do. Take your pick, no me importa.
Right now, fans are just tickled that Lin-Manuel Miranda appears to have no ego whatsoever.
Miranda has won a Pulitzer Prize, three Tony Awards, three Grammys, an Emmy, and two Olivier Awards. He’s also been been nominated for an Academy Award. He’s a GOAT, and yet, he’s also down to be the tiniest of cacti “trapped in a little glass container.”
“He solved the problem,” Torres said of Miranda’s willingness to play the tiny cactus.
Torres asked Fallon if he could really think of anyone else that could play the role of the cactus, to which Fallon replied, “I mean, don’t even make me thing of that. Of course not, no. Lin-Manuel Miranda!” Torres agreed–“He solved the problem.
Torres is the Salvadoran precioso you *would* want to spend time with meeting all his favorite shapes.
HBO describes the Los Espookys comedian’s new special as a worthwhile peek into his “fantastical stories and humorous anecdotes.” We can expect to meet “a plexiglass square, an oval that wishes he were a circle, a self-conscious cactus, and a Ferrero Rocher chocolate.”
We’re curious to see how Lin-Manuel Miranda could ever lead us to believe he could be “self-conscious.” This will be the truest test of his acting abilities. Just kidding, just kidding.
Tune into HBO August 10 at 10:30 p.m. for what’s looking to be an interesting night with Julio Torres.
Expect Julio Torres to be dressed in a glitter suit on stage with a glass conveyer belt shepherding strange objects his way. The teaser trailer gave us a taste of what we were expecting to be Torres dryly musing on his “favorite shapes.” Now, we know that there’s going to be some serious stardom in the shape of a cactus, and many more cameos to look forward to.
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.