‘West Side Story’ Remake Finds its Maria

January 18, 2019

High school student Rachel Zegler has been cast in the starring role of Maria in Steven Spielberg’s planned “West Side Story” remake.

Zegler joins Broadway veterans Ariana DeBose, who has been cast as Anita, and David Alvarez as Bernardo and “Hamilton” national touring cast member Josh Andrés Rivera, who will play Chino. Ansel Elgort has already been tapped to play Tony, and Rita Moreno, who earned an Oscar playing Anita in the original 1961 film, will play Valentina, “a reconceived and expanded version of the character of Doc, the owner of the corner store.”

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Music Was the Surprising Star of the American Music Awards

October 10, 2018
Taylor Swift, who just wrapped the North American leg of her “Reputation” tour, kicked off the show with her single “I Did Something Bad.” She also made history by snagging the artist of the year award, making her the most awarded female artist in AMA history.
Legendary singer Aretha Franklin was honored with a gospel tribute that closed out the show. Her friend Gladys Knight began with a stirring rendition of “Amazing Grace.” The tribute then transitioned into more rollicking performances by the other artists, with selections that harkened back to Franklin’s influential gospel roots.

Miss America 2019, Nia Franklin, Advocates for the Arts

September 11, 2018
An opera singer, Franklin is a native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina and earned her master’s degree in music composition from UNC School of the Arts. She moved to New York after being accepted at the Kenan Fellow program at Lincoln Center Education in Manhattan.
“Growing up, I found my love of arts, and through music that helped me to feel positive about myself and about who I was,” said Franklin. She said she plans to advocate for the arts during her tenure as Miss America.

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