Trailer: Broadway Musical ‘In The Heights’ Heads To The Silver Screen

Broadway hit musical In The Heights comes to the silver screen in Summer 2020

Broadway hit musical In The Heights comes to the silver screen in Summer 2020

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony and Grammy Award-winning musical In The Heights has made it to Hollywood and we finally get the official trailer.

Set in New York City’s Washington Heights neighborhood, the musical chronicles the lives of immigrants and the generations that follow them, including Usnavi played by Anthony Ramos.

Usnavi owns the local bodega and dreams of winning big in the lottery and making it out of the barrio.

The quintessential steamy New York summer brings complications for characters from all parts of the neighborhood, including a love interest for Usnavi in the form of Vanessa (Melissa Barrera).

In The Heights dances into theaters Summer 2020.

SNL Cold Open Tweaks LGBTQ Town Hall

Billy Porter on SNL (screen captures)

Saturday Night Live’s cold open could not resist putting its twist on this week’s LGBTQ Town Hall.

Alex Moffat’s Anderson Cooper opened the sketch informing the audience that the town hall would address those issues important to “LGBTQ people and straight girls who make Pride about them.”

Newly-minted Emmy Award-winner Billy Porter comes out (playing himself) to introduce the ‘presidential candidates.’

Beginning with Chris Redd’s Cory Booker, Porter said, “He may live in the projects, but ladies, he ain’t no project.”

Chris Redd as Sen. Cory Booker

When Booker is asked about some questionable writing he did about gays in the early 90s: “I don’t want you to think I’m dodging the question, so I’m going to go now.”

Porter intros Colin Jost’s Mayor Pete Buttigieg: “Representing House of Booty Gig, it’s Mayor Pete.”

Colin Jost as Mayor Pete Buttigieg

Asked how he’d respond to folks who say he’s not gay in the right way: “There’s no wrong way to be gay – unless you’re Ellen (DeGeneres) this week.”

Buttigieg also wondered aloud why he’s not doing better in the polls: “Why am I not winning this? I’m a veteran, I’m under the legal retirement age, and when I talk, it makes sense. Is something wrong with me?”

Says Cooper: “You’re a great guy, just, as a friend. Not for president.”

Next up, Porter brings the audience to attention saying, “Warning. Warning. The sentencer is here. She’s got a plan for the future. It’s Elizabeth Warren.”

Kate McKinnon as Sen. Elizabeth Warren

Kate McKinnon delivers a spot on Warren on her entrance: “I am so excited to be here. I had some apple slices backstage and they are hitting me like cocaine. You all know I’m not a lesbian but all the ingredients are there.”

Obviously, SNL had to touch on the big viral moment of the Town Hall when Warren was asked how she would respond to a ‘traditional marriage’ supporter on the campaign trail who may underscore that they believe marriage is between one man and one woman?

McKinnon’s Warren riffs: “I would say, ‘Sir, tell me your bus stop because I want to know where you get off.’ What else, what else? If someone doesn’t want to serve gay people at their small business? I bet that’s not the only thing that’s small. And when people say gay and trans shouldn’t be included in civil rights protections, well…I wish their parents had used protection.”

Lin-Manuel Miranda as Secretary Julian Castro

Lin-Manuel Miranda takes a turn as “the House of Urban Deliciousness,” Julian Castro: “As a Democrat. I want to apologize for not being gay. But I promise to do better in the future.”

He adds, “However, I am Latino, which we can all agree is something. I’m young, I’m diverse, I’m LatinObama. So let’s get that hashtag going.”

Woody Harrelson as Vice President Joe Biden

Special guest Woody Harrelson offers his take on former Vice President Joe Biden, as Porter intros, “the Delaware daddy whose only vice is the Choo Choo train.”

Biden drops bon mots along the likes of “The vast majority of people in America are not homophobic – they’re just scared of gay people. You know me – I went to bat for marriage equality and I believe we’re all equal whether you’re gay, lesbie, transgenital or queer.”

Check out the full segment below.

Director Rob Marshall Breaks Down How Live Action & Animation Came Together in ‘Mary Poppins Returns’

Lin-Manuel Miranda and Emily Blunt in ‘Mary Poppins Returns’

Director Rob Marshall discusses how a scene, which combines live action and hand-drawn animation in the new Mary Poppins Returns, came to be.

Fascinating all the thinking that went into layering the 2-D animation, even down to how the clothing was painted to be a part of the scene.

From The New York Times‘ Anatomy of a Scene series:

The Banks children go on adventure that takes them inside of a ceramic bowl and into an animated countryside, in this fanciful scene from the new Disney sequel “Mary Poppins Returns.” The film’s director Rob Marshall narrates a closer look at the sequence, which features Emily Blunt as the titular nanny and Lin-Manuel Miranda as the lamplighter friend of the family, Jack. Here, Marshall discusses how animators were brought out of retirement to work on the 2-D animation.

Ben Platt & Lin-Manuel Miranda Perform “Found/Tonight” At #MarchForOurLives

Tony Award winners Lin-Manuel Miranda and Ben Platt performed their collaboration “Found Tonight” during the March for Our Lives in Washington, DC today.

The track combines songs of empowerment from each of their blockbuster Broadway musicals, Dear Evan Hansen and Hamilton.

Last week, the duo announced the proceeds from the song would go to ending gun violence.

As they left the stage, they encouraged the young protesters, “We love you. Don’t give up.”

Watch the performance below.

Lin-Manuel Miranda & Ben Platt Team Up For Hamilton-Dear Evan Hansen Mashup: “Found / Tonight”

Two Tony Award winners singing a mashup of two songs from back-to-back Tony Award winning scores and a portion of the proceeds go to help the March for Our Lives initiative.

Nope – can’t find a thing wrong with that.

Lin-Manuel Miranda and Ben Platt finally team up for a mash-up of Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen.

The new single “Found/Tonight,” arranged by Alex Lacamoire, brings together Hamilton’s “The Story of Tonight” with Dear Evan Hansen‘s “You Will Be Found,” adding up to a truly anthemic theme song for the upcoming nationwide protest against gun violence, March for Our Lives.

USA Today sets up the two songs that become musical magic:

“The Story of Tonight,” from Hamilton, is sung by a young Alexander Hamilton, Marquis de Lafayette, John Laurens and Hercules Mulligan, who share a round of drinks and camaraderie before joining the American Revolution.

“You Will Be Found,” from the 2017 Tony winner for best musical Dear Evan Hansen, is a speech about loneliness and friendship intended to keep alive the memory of a high school pal who committed suicide.

And here’s how it comes together:

Even when the dark comes crashing through, when you need a friend to carry you,
When you’re broken on the ground, you will be found
So let the sun come streaming in cause you’ll reach up and you’ll rise again,
If you only look around, you will be found

And when our children tell their story, they’ll tell the story of tonight
No matter what they tell you tomorrow there’ll be more of us
Telling the story of tonight 

Bonus points for Platt getting to sing the word “tonight” as he’s publicly campaigning to play “Tony” in the upcoming movie remake of West Side Story.

Watch below. Click here to listen on Spotify or download from iTunes.

One of the students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where last month’s devastating gun massacre left 17 dead, clearly got the feels intended as he promoted the song on Twitter:

First Look At Upcoming “Mary Poppins Returns”

Emily Blunt as “Mary Poppins”

What a great way to start the week as we get our first look at the upcoming Mary Poppins sequel, Mary Poppins Returns.

Starring Emily Blunt and Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, this new chapter in the Poppins saga will see the indomitable nanny return to find her former charges Michael and Jane Banks all grown up.

But there’s always a need for Poppins.

Also appearing in the cast are Angela Lansbury, Meryl Streep and Dick Van Dyke.

I have to admit I got a chill watching this. The film hits theaters this Christmas because, you know, “it’s a jolly holiday with Mary…”

Lin-Manuel Miranda To Return To HAMILTON For Puerto Rico Engagement In 2019

Pulitzer Prize/Tony Award-winning Lin-Manuel Miranda is taking his Broadway mega-hit musical, Hamilton: An American Musical, to Puerto Rico for a three week run in January 2019.

And Miranda says he plans to reprise his performance as the title role for the limited engagement.

From The Hollywood Reporter:

Hamilton will play a three-week run, Jan. 8-27, 2019, at Teatro UPR, the theater at the University of Puerto Rico’s main campus in the Rio Piedras section of San Juan. Built in 1939, Teatro UPR is considered Puerto Rico’s most iconic stage, and recently hosted Spanish language productions of Evita, Into the Woods, Master Class, The Sound of Music and Once on This Island.

Miranda’s first musical, In the Heights, also played in Puerto Rico in 2010, with the actor-composer also reprising his role. Though a Puerto Rico run has been in the works, its announcement comes with an urgency following the devastation of Hurricane Maria. Since then, Miranda has been working solely and tirelessly on relief efforts, including releasing the all-star charity single “Almost Like Praying.”

“Bringing Hamilton: An American Musical to Puerto Rico is a dream that I’ve had since we first opened at The Public Theater in 2015,” stated Miranda. “When I last visited the island, a few weeks before Hurricane Maria, I had made a commitment to not only bring the show to Puerto Rico, but also return again to the title role. In the aftermath of Maria we decided to expedite the announcement of the project to send a bold message that Puerto Rico will recover and be back in business, stronger than ever.”

The Broadway company of Hamilton has grossed $275 million at the Richard Rodgers Theatre thus far.

The show also has companies in Chicago and Los Angeles (through December 2017), a second national tour to launch in February in Seattle, and a London company will debut next month.

New Music For Puerto Rico: Lin-Manuel Miranda “Almost Like Praying”

Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda has written an all-star charity recording, “Almost Like Praying,” to benefit those suffering in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

(Get it? “Maria,” from West Side Story, Hurricane Maria… Clever one, that Miranda).

Via press release:

Atlantic Records has announced this week’s release of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Almost Like Praying” (Feat. Marc Anthony, Ruben Blades, Camila Cabello, Pedro Capo, Dessa, Gloria Estefan, Fat Joe, Luis Fonsi, Juan Luis Guerra, Alex Lacamoire, John Leguizamo, Jennifer Lopez, Rita Moreno, Ednita Nazario, Joell Ortiz, Anthony Ramos, Gina Rodriguez, Gilberto Santa Rosa, PJ Sin Suela, Tommy Torres, and Ana Villafañe).”

The extraordinary all-star single will be available at all digital music retailers and streaming services beginning today, October 6th.

With music and lyrics by the Pulitzer Prize, Tony, GRAMMY, Emmy Award-winning creator of HAMILTON Lin-Manuel Miranda, and produced by Jeffrey “Trooko” Penalva, “Almost Like Praying” was written and recorded last weekend at studios in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, The Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Miranda traveled to each location to work closely with the contributing performers. Penned by Miranda only last week, the original song borrows its title and instantly indelible hook from Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim’s classic, “Maria,” from the original Broadway musical, WEST SIDE STORY.

The exuberance throughout the song and video is palpable. True American spirit on display.

Watch below and then head over to iTunes to contribute by purchasing the track.

Lin-Manuel Miranda & The West Wing Weekly Podcast Ask “What’s Next?”

The West Wing Weekly podcast presents an ode to the hit TV show, The West Wing, with some help from Tony Award, Pulitzer Prize winner and birthday boy, Lin-Manuel Miranda.

The weekly podcast examines individual episodes of the Emmy Award winning series by Aaron Sorkin, with guests from the show and real life politics to help put the issues at hand into perspective.

Clip description:

Hrishi made a beat, an extended remix of our podcast’s intro theme, for the biggest West Wing fan we know: Lin-Manuel Miranda. Then Lin wrote lyrics and recorded his vocals for this song.

Download the track at

As we observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and consider the next four years ahead of us, what could be more apropos than to ask, “What’s next?”