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Lin-Manuel Miranda et al Almost Like Praying

Theaterlovers will recognize the sample from the song “Maria,” from West Side Story,” — “Say it soft and it’s almost like praying.” Puerto Ricans will recognize the names of all 78 municipalities on the island of Puerto Rico. On Friday, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Almost Like Praying” paid tribute to the island devastated by Hurricane Maria.

Proceeds go to  Hispanic Federation Unidos Disaster Relief fund.

Vocals performed by Marc Anthony, Ruben Blades, Camila Cabello, Pedro Capo, Dessa, Gloria Estefan, Fat Joe, Luis Fonsi, Juan Luis Guerra, Alex Lacamoire, John Leguizamo, Jennifer Lopez, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Rita Moreno, Ednita Nazario, Joell Ortiz, Anthony Ramos, Gina Rodriguez, Gilberto Santa Rosa, PJ Sin Suela, Tommy Torres, Ana Villafañe

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J.K. Rowling on Harry Potter Play on Broadway

After seven books and eight movies, J.K. Rowling thought she was done with Harry Potter. “I genuinely, I didn’t want Harry to go onstage,” Rowling said in the video below. “I felt that I was done.”

Nevertheless Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” is set to open at Broadway’s Lyric Theater on April 22, 2018.
Watch CBS Sunday Morning segment
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Viva Broadway Concert: Watch Latinx Stars Mandy Gonzalez, Lin-Manuel Miranda, John Leguizamo, Ana Villafane, et al

With Lin-Manuel Miranda (“Hamilton”) and John Leguizamo (“Latin History for Morons”) serving as co-hosts, the Broadway League presented its annual Viva Broadway concert Friday evening, as a kickoff to Hispanic Heritage Month, showcasing Mandy Gonzalez, who portrays Angelica Schuyler on Hamilton, singing a new song by Miranda, “Fearless,” as well as performances by:
Rodney Ingram, who’s playing Raoul in the Phantom of The Opera, and was raised in the tiny fishing village of Sayulita, Mexico;

Emma Pfaeffle, who is in the cast of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” and is a Cuban-American born and raised in Los Angeles;

Ana Villafañe, who is of Cuban and Salvadoran descent, and was the star of “On Your Feet,” portraying Gloria Estefan.

“This is for the Dreamers,” Gonzalez, whose father was born in Mexico, says in the videos below, before belting out the title song of her forthcoming album.

 

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Tickets to “Hamilton

Tickets to “Latin History for Morons”

Tickets to “Phantom Of The Opera” 

Tickets to “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”

 Tickets to “On Your Feet”

Best of Broadway in Bryant Park 2017: Rachelle Ann Go, Andy Karl, Betsy Wolfe

Below are the six most popular videos I shot of the performances during the six weekly concerts this 17th summer of Broadway in Bryant Park.

Watch Spamilton in Bryant Park

The cast of the Hamilton spoof, Spamilton, performed at the Broadway in Bryant Park concert this week a medley including “Lin-Manuel As Hamilton,” “1776,” “What Did You Miss,” and “Rap Battle” — Hamilton tunes by Lin-Manuel Miranda with Spamilton lyrics by Gerard Alessandrini, best-known until now for Forbidden Broadway.

Watch the three videos beginning with the opening number from the show, which spoofs the opening number of Hamilton:

How does a whipper snapper student of rap
and a Latin
trapped in the middle of a manhattan

Flat win
Broadway accolades
while other writers kiss
the corporate dollar
grow up to be a hip-hop op’ra scholar?

 

This blue collar
shining beacon
puerto rican
got a lot farther
by being a lot smarter
by stretching rhymes harder by being a trend-starter.

 

The second song spoofs Thomas Jefferson’s song “What’d I Miss?” (This one is close-captioned.)

So what’d you miss? What’d you miss?

The lyrics go by so fast You are in the abyss

I see you sittin’ there and looking befuddled I guess my diction is sloppy or muddled

We’re telling a complex plot

In the third video, “Rap Battle,” Nicole Vanessa Ortiz sets what must be a world speed record for her rapping.

The lyrics in the video above include “Lin-Manuel” rapping:

I am not throwin’ away my spot
I am not throwin’ away my spot
I compose like Debussy
But it comes out like BIG Juicy
And I love rapping the way he taught

I am not stoppin’ the way I rap
Till I turn showtunes upside down

 

I reviewed Spamilton when it opened at the Triad. Now it’s at the 47th Street Theater — down the block from Hamilton.

The cast members performing in Bryant Park:

Tristan J. Shuler, Chris Anthony Giles, Cameron Amandus, Nicole Vanessa Ortiz, Aaron Michael Ray, and Fred Barton on the piano.

Acting with Animals: Watch Celebrities at Broadway Barks Dish Their Furry Co-Stars

Actors don’t realize how hard it is to work with animals, observes animal trainer William Berloni in the video below, during the 2017 Broadway Barks animal adoption event at Shubert Alley. Backstage at the Booth Theater, actors tell tales, both hilarious and horrid, that prove Berloni’s point.
“Animals don’t enjoy working,” Janeanne Garofalo says. “If you have a soft spot for animals, don’t work with them, because You’re going to feel terrible about watching them work so hard.”
On the other hand, several actors use their own pets to help develop their characters.

The 19th annual Broadway Barks was a tribute to its co-founder Mary Tyler Moore, who died in January of this year at age 80. Her friend and fellow animal lover Bernadette Peters led off this year’s event with the theme song for the “Mary Tyler Moore Show.”

Watch Groundhog Day at Bryant Park, 3 Songs

Andy Karl, Barrett Doss and more than a dozen other cast members of the Broadway musical “Groundhog Day” performed three songs at the Broadway at Bryant Park lunchtime concert today: Nobody Cares, If I Had My Time Again, and Seeing You