Years before Jonathan Larson’s hit rock musical, Rent, exploded in the theatre world, he was a struggling, up-and-coming composer, making ends meet by working at a local diner in New York, while the AIDS epidemic was raging on and taking lives of people he knew. All this and more was documented in an autobiographical musical he wrote called tick, tick… BOOM!, which originally premiered Off-Broadway in 2001, five years following his untimely death.Continue reading “Official Trailer for Netflix’s ‘tick, tick… BOOM!’ Has Arrived”
Iman Zahawry provides a refreshing and heartwarming romantic comedy centered in a community that is so often ignored in media. What might feel like a run of the mill indie film straight from the early 2010s, the films sets itself apart and elevates itself with its likable characters and message of trying to find one’s independence and what it means to be Americanish.Continue reading “‘Americanish’ Shines a Heartwarming Light on its Community”
Hoyyy! It’s Kuya P back again with an interview covering one of the great films coming out of the Tribeca Film Festival! I recently sat down for a conversation with Director, Dan Chen to discuss his documentary film, Accepted that will make its world premiere at the Festival! Check out our conversation and then head over to the Tribeca Film Festival website to find out how you can view the film from wherever you may be!Continue reading “Tribeca Film Festival: ‘Accepted’ Filmmaker, Dan Chen”
Now that In the Heights is officially in theaters and streaming on HBO Max, what better time than now to re-up my convo with Lin-Manuel Miranda, originally recorded for the Hard NOC Life podcast.Continue reading “NOC Interview: Lin-Manuel Miranda on the Making of ‘In The Heights’”
Warner Bros. has moved up the opening of Jon M. Chu’s big screen adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegría Hudes’s Tony Award-winning musical, In the Heights, a day early. So it won’t be long now!
To hold you over until Thursday night, Chu and Miranda went to social media to announce they’re releasing the first eight minutes of the movie — essentially, the entire opening number — even earlier.Continue reading “Light’s Up on the Opening Number from ‘In the Heights’”
The new HBO Original drama series The Time Traveler’s Wife is officially in production, which is taking place in New York. David Nutter will direct the six-episode first season and serve as an executive producer. The cast includes Rose Leslie, Theo James, Desmin Borges, and Natasha Lopez.Continue reading “Production for HBO’s ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’ Begins in New York”
It seems like only yesterday when national treasure and lyricist genius Lin-Manuel Miranda graced the Richard Rodgers Theatre as Usnavi in the Broadway production of In the Heights. Now, 13 years later, the Tony Award-winning musical is finally premiering on the big screen next month.Continue reading “‘In the Heights’ Captures the Beauty of Washington Heights and the Community Behind It”
Vanessa Ray portrays Eddie Janko on the CBS hit series, Blue Bloods. The show premiered back in 2010 and Ray joined back in season 4. Blue Bloods is now finishing up its 11th season with a two-hour season finale on Friday at 10PM ET/PT. You might also recognize the actress from her time as CeCe Drake on Pretty Little Liars.Continue reading “NOC Interview: Vanessa Ray on All Things ‘Blue Bloods’”
With the upcoming Mother’s Day episode of Saturday Night Live hosted by SpaceX billionaire, Elon Musk, fans of the variety show and some of the cast members have been up in arms regarding why the viral dogecoin guy is even performing. Musk isn’t an actor, and his IMDB is only filled with parody versions of himself. It’s a little suspicious why the space tycoon is even performing at all.Continue reading “Let’s Just Focus on Keegan-Michael Key and Anya Taylor-Joy’s ‘SNL’ Episodes”
In the first of two episodes of Hard NOC Life releasing this week, Keith sits down with Broadway superstar and now, children’s book author, Mandy Gonzalez to talk about her new middle grade novel, Fearless. They also talk about her career — from originating the role of Nina for In the Heights to replacing Renee Elise Goldsberry as Angelica in Hamilton — and why being fearless has helped her cope while Broadway is shut down.
On a new episode of Southern Fried Asian, Keith is joined by one of the stars of the HBO Max series Warrior, Perry Yung.
To celebrate the release of the trailer tomorrow, WB has released teaser posters for the anticipated musical film, In The Heights.
Based on the Award-winning Broadway musical of the same name, In the Heights fuses Lin-Manuel Miranda’s kinetic music and lyrics with director Jon M. Chu’s lively and authentic eye for storytelling to capture a world very much of its place, but universal in its experience.Continue reading “Atención: New ‘In The Heights’ Teaser Posters!”
From acclaimed writer, producer, and restaurateur Eddie Huang comes his directorial debut Boogie, the coming-of-age story of Alfred “Boogie” Chin, a basketball phenom living in Queens, New York, who dreams of one day playing in the NBA. While his parents pressure him to focus on earning a scholarship to an elite college, Boogie must find a way to navigate a new girlfriend, high school, on-court rivals and the burden of expectations.Continue reading “Official Trailer for ‘Boogie’ by Eddie Huang”
For an animated slice-of-Black-New-York-life, Disney’s new Pixar film Soul joins Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse in showing new parts of New York not typically glamorized by Hollywood. Despite being one of the most famous cities in the world, there are dozens of neighborhoods and experiences viewers never see on the silver screen. New York City isn’t just the glitz and glamor of midtown, the brunch bunch of Brooklyn, or the gentrified hives in Harlem.
The new movie takes us to an ordinary Queens middle school, where Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx) is a down-on-his-luck band teacher. On his way to a gig in the Village that could finally make his music career, he falls down a manhole and dies. After he escapes the Great Beyond, he hides out in the Great Before, where pre-souls find their “spark” before being sent to Earth to be born. His mission? Help the dispassionate, uninterested-in-humanity pre-soul Number 22 find her spark, then use it to get back to Earth in time for his gig.Continue reading “Disney’s Latest Film Shows the ‘Soul’ of New York”
Hard NOC Life will go on a brief hiatus as we prepare for our landmark 200th episode.
In just over a month, Spike Lee’s masterful Do the Right Thing will be 31 years old. Me and a group of friends skipped out of our summer work program to see the film. We were budding Black and Brown cineastes who marveled at Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It and begged our caretakers and school counselors to help us apply to HBCUs after viewing School Daze (and A Different World) — well, those of us who could activate our dream machinery enough to believe we could escape the projects and could make it in university. It was the summer before our senior year and we all knew that in a year’s time, things would be different. Some of us would be off to the military. Some of us would go to either a four-year college or a junior college. Some of us would go directly into the workforce. And there was me. I had no idea what was waiting for me after high school. All I knew was that as soon as I graduated (if I graduated) I was running as far away and as fast as I could from my abusive mother. I didn’t care where. I just needed to get the hell out of that house. All this was bouncing around in my head as the lights dimmed. Continue reading “They Are Still Killing Radio Raheem”
Ever since The Child made its debut on Disney+ in November, fans have been clamoring for ways to get their hands on some Baby Yoda merch. Well, the wait is finally over. Disney will be unveiling its 2020 roster of Star Wars-branded action figures, plush toys, board games, and more at Toy Fair in New York this weekend. And even though the Skywalker Saga is no more, the Force will be strong with merch based on shows like The Mandalorian and Clone Wars.
Lights up on Washington Heights. No matter how many times you’ve listened to the In the Heights Original Broadway Cast Recording, whether once or 96,000 times, it gets stuck in your head. And after you watch the trailer for the big-screen adaptation, you’ll be singing it from now ’til its release next summer and beyond.
Back in April 2016, I helped launch the #whitewashedOUT hashtag alongside YA author Ellen Oh and a whole team of Asian American activists and authors. If you recall, the spring of 2016 was a rough time to be an Asian American consumer of pop culture.
The world premiere of Detective Pikachu in New York City is just around the corner. Though the film doesn’t come out until May 10, here are our first impressions:
UPDATED OCTOBER 13, 2019 for Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s birthday. See #12-14 below!
For those visiting our blog for the first time, ‘round these parts “N.O.C.” stands for Nerds Of Color (or Non-Official-Cover if you’ve just rewatched the first Mission: Impossible film).
It’s a term of inclusivity that we wear with pride. And because part of our nerdy duties include ingesting a lot of TV, movies, and Twitter, we feel obligated to note that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is, by her choice of pop-culture references on Twitter and other forums, also a Nerd Of Color. (We’ll update this listicle periodically as Rep. AOC continues to use Twitter to do spectacularly nerdy things.)Continue reading “AOC is NOC AF! (Updated)”
Here’s roughly 0.008% of the neat stuff I saw at Toy Fair New York 2019, which wrapped up yesterday in Manhattan. Note, some pictured items are still in prototype stage or are works-in-progress… usually indicated by a “PENDING APPROVAL” sign. Much love and appreciation to all the toymakers, their booth representatives, and the Javits Center staff who all contributed to making the convention a huge success.