NEWS: Lindsay Mendez is Wicked’s newest Elphaba

Photo Credit: Stage Door Dish

Photo Credit: Stage Door Dish

Lindsay Mendez joined the cast of Wicked (Broadway’s #1 show for an unprecedented nine consecutive years)!

Growing up in southern California Lindsay trained at an Arts High School specifically for musical theatre. Soon after, she moved to New York City with Broadway on her mind and has lived there ever since.

Mendez made her Broadway debut playing Jan in Grease. The big-belting singer went on to The Marvelous Wonderettes before landing a role in Sherie Rene Scott’s Everyday Rapture, which she performed both off and on Broadway. After a featured part in the 2011 revival of Godspell, Mendez made her leading lady debut in off-Broadway’s Dogfight.

Lindsay can be heard in New York City singing jazz and contemporary music with her collaborator, pianist Marco Paguia. On March 29th, 2013, they made their Lincoln Center debut with the American Songbook series in the Kaplan Penthouse. Their debut album, This Time, will be available digitally and at the Gershwin Theatre on May 28; wider distribution will be available starting July 21st.

Keep reading for video of Lindsay singing The Wizard and I!

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SPOTLIGHT: Gala Hispanic Theatre

gala1

Photo Credit: galatheatre.org

The National Center for Latino Performing Arts in the heart of Washington D.C. is dedicated to promoting and sharing Latino arts and culture with the world. GALA (Grupo de Artistas Latinoamericanos), having staged over 165 productions, ranging from classical Spanish theatre to contemporary Latin American plays, proves to be both influential and monumental, in its efforts to educate and entertain.

The world has been set ablaze, and overwhelmingly receptive to “42,” the biographical film about the life of baseball player Jackie Robinson, a game changer for African-Americans in baseball. In good timing, GALA HISPANIC THEATRE is now performing DC-7 The Roberto Clemente Story. This show explores the journey of Roberto Clemente and his rise from the barrios of Puerto Rico to successful seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Continue reading

SPOTLIGHT: Quiara Alegría Hudes

Earlier this year, Quiara Alegría Hudes took home the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her play Water by the Spoonful. This play, the second of the Elliot Trilogy, examines the intersections of addiction, family drama, and social networking. It most recently played at Second Stage Theatre.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/The Hartman Group, Joshua Lehrer

Photo Credit: AP Photo/The Hartman Group, Joshua Lehrer

Quiara Alegría Hudes is most famous for having written the book for In the Heights, for which she was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Narrating the everyday struggles of her characters,  Hudes gives voice to the Latin community through her eccentric characters and captivating stories.

This month, The Happiest Song Plays Last, the final play in the trilogy will premiere at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. If you’re in the Chicago area, check it out!

 

 

TONY TUESDAY: Rita Moreno

Source: Penguin Books

Last week’s featured star was well-known for her portrayal of Anita in West Side Story on Broadway. This week’s star was lucky enough to play the same role in the feature film!

‘Born Rosa Dolores Alverio on December 11, 1931, in Humacao, Puerto Rico, Rita Moreno is best known as Anita in West Side Story in 1961, a role that earned her an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, making her the first Latina actress to win the honor. Moreno also appeared in the children’s shows Sesame Street and The Electric Company and won an Emmy, a Grammy, and a Tony award.’

Photo Credit: Patrick Riviere/Getty Images

These video interviews by Makers are beyond great. They’re short but still give you a really great snapshot of Rita as a person and performer from a historical perspective. She speaks about emigrating to this country, winning an Oscar, having a child, and aging in Hollywood (amongst a million other things). Just keep scrolling through them-I couldn’t stop watching!

Fun Fact: Rita portrayed the role of Tuptim (a Burmese slave girl) in the film King and I which was originally offered to Dorothy Dandridge…who knew?! Side note-I love that the role of the Asian slave girl was offered to both a Black and Latina actress…::sigh::

One of the main reasons I’m featuring Rita today is ::drumroll:: she will be at Barnes and Noble this evening with Lin-Manuel Miranda!! This event coincides with the release of Rita’s new memoir which is being released today! More info on the event can be found on the Barnes and Nobles site here.

Looking to order the book?? Check out Penguin’s site here. There is an audio version (read by her of course) as well.

Credits: Biography.com

TAKE A LOOK BACK: Diosa Costello

Diosa Costello is a Latina actor, producer, recording artist and entrepreneur.  Ms. Costello is credited as the first Latina on Broadway.

Photo Credit: American History Museum

Photo Credit: American History Museum

She started her career in Spanish Harlem, and first her big break came when she starred in the George Abbott-directed musical Too Many Girls in 1939.  Later in her career she went on to perform in the Broadway musical South Pacific  and in the film They Met in Argentina.

Interesting fact: She thinks JLo would be the best actress to portray her in a movie.

Check out these fun extras– Q and A With Diosa Costello

Source: Smithsonian Newsdesk