Miss Saigon, the smash 1989 musical that introduced Lea Salonga to the world is returning to Broadway. A new star may be in the making when the New York critics discover 30-year old newcomer , playing the role that Salonga made famous. The production is moving from a successful run in London where Filipina American Noblezada took over the role when she was only 17. From Charlotte, North Carolina, she will be joined by her London castmate, Filipino American Jon Jon Briones. Born and raised in the Philippines, Briones has won accolades for his portrayal of the Engineer. Miss Saigon, which takes place in Saigon during the Vietnam War. It will have a heavily Asian American cast and should help continue efforts to diversify Broadway’s stages. The show’s producer, Cameron Mackintosh, announced that the revival will be housed in the Broadway Theater, where the show began its original Broadway run in 1991. Mackintosh also noted that the limited production will only be running until January 2018, and will then tour throughout North America. Previews will begin on March 1, with opening night scheduled for March 23.
Vanessa Hudgens will star in super hero comedy series
Vanessa Hudgens is staging a return to series television. The High School Musical star has signed on to star in an NBC comedy pilot titled Powerless – about regular people living in a world of annoyingly powerful superheroes. The show is set at “one of the worst insurance companies in America — with the twist being that it also takes place in the universe of DC Comics. The show is about the reality of working life for a normal, powerless person in a world of superheroes and villains.” Hudgens will star as the ordinary human Emily Locke, an “insurance claims adjuster who loves her job because she gets to help people. Emily likes to fly under the radar and just get her work done. She finds herself increasingly exasperated by the disruptive antics of the various superheroes that proliferate in her city.” The stills from the show are confusing showing “ordinary” Emily and another version in which she wears a superhero-looking costume. Is that latter shot a spoiler of what’s to come?
Mindy Kaling and Awkwafina join ‘Ocean’s Eight’ cast
Ocean’s Eight, the upcoming all-female spinoff of Ocean’s 11 will have loads of star power and one of the most racially diverse casts gathered for a single movie. Mindy Kaling and Nora Lum — aka rapper/comedian Awkwafina — joins a heavyweight cast including Academy Award-winning actresses Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway and Sandra Bullock, Helena Boham Carter,who was nominated for Oscars twice, and super pop star Rihanna.
Casting is still going on, and there’s no hint who the the eighth member will be. Ealing, we know is the creator and star of Hulu’s The Mindy Project, but Awkwafina is not as well known outside of the Asian American community. She is not your Asian woman fetish or Dragon Lady, far from it. A Chinese-Korean-American rapper, comedian and TV personality, she is one of those Asian artists who has gained a following in the digital world. Her debut comedy rap track “My Vag” when viral in 2012.