The new Fox musical/comedy series Glee by Nip/Tuck creator Ryan Murphy is inspiring, uplifting, heartfelt, moving, and brilliantly choreographed. But it’s missing one important ingredient to win me over: Latinos! The show’s large ensemble cast already features tons of whites, an African-American character, an two Asian-Americans, but surprisingly, no Latino characters. Could it be that Ryan Murphy doesn’t think Latinos can sing? Maybe he’s never heard of a certain blond Pop and R&B soul singer by the name of Christina Aguilera, who possesses a four-octave range? Or perhaps he didn’t read Latina’s sensational April cover story about Kat DeLuna—a bubbly Dominican Soprano with a unique FIVE-octave range? Maybe he and Mariah don’t go back like babies with pacifiers? All of these things are possible, I suppose. Nevertheless, last week, I learned that Glee will be hiring some talented singers to guest star on the show in the fall, and they’ve already tapped Broadway alums Kristin Chenoweth (Wicked, Pushing Daisies) and Victor Garber (Sweeny Todd, Eli Stone) as guest stars. So I got to thinking about the Latinos and Latinas that I would love to see guest star on Glee—singers who would put our best voice forward. Here’s what I came up with:
Lin Manuel Miranda: Sure, the show's fictional William McKinley High School has Lea Michelle, and Matthew Morrison (and they can both really sing), but they’re missing someone with some flow, someone who can rap! Wouldn’t it be cool to see Lin Manuel Miranda (the creator, composer, and former star of Broadway’s In the Heights) guest star as a choir teacher from a rival urban school whose choir (and himself) raps rather than sings?
Karen Olivo: Miranda’s former In the Heights co-star, Karen Olivo (who won a Tony Sunday night for her role as Anita in the Broadway revival of West Side Story) would also be great for spreading a little glee across America. I’d love to see Karen come in as a diva-ish Latina with major ‘tude who threatens to replace Glee’s prissy Rachel Berry (Lea Michelle) as the choir’s lead singer, while belting it out like Jennifer Hudson.
Rita Moreno: While we’re on the subject of West Side Story, Glee should also consider hiring the original Anita, Rita Moreno as a guest star this fall. At 77, Rita is getting old, but talent is forever, and I’m betting that the first (and only Latina) to have won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony) can out-sing, out-dance, and out-charisma everyone in the choir! I know what you’re asking: how would they work Rita into the plot considering her age? Well, how about the choir visits an elderly home where some of the old folks, Rita included, have got some musical talent, or if that’s too far-fetched and corny (not that anything is for this quirky show), Rita could play someone’s talented grandmother who joins the choir out of sheer boredom. It’s because of talent like Rita’s that I like to be in America!
Jason Castro: A choir looks a thousand times cooler when one of the members has insane dreadlocks, right? Enter Colombian American Idol contestant Jason Castro! At 22, and with a boyish face and charm, Jason could easily play the role of a stoner student who’s allergic to after-school activities until the idealistic choir teacher (Matthew Morrison) discovers him singing while inhaling some ganja. Then he can sing “Hallelujah” and give me chills all over again!
Allison Iraheta: Another former AI contestant who could easily pass for a student on the show is 17-year-old Allison Iraheta, the red-haired rockera from season 8 who rocked out to jams like No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak” and Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing.” Of everyone on my list, Allison fits in most with the other Glee characters, all of whom are misfits, outcasts and underdogs. I’d love to see the rebel Iraheta take on the Twisted Sister anthem, “I Wanna Rock,” while jamming on her guitar!
Kat DeLuna: Can you imagine Soprano Kat DeLuna adding an urban, hip-hop element to a performance of Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up?” I can! This girl’s voice is like Luciano Pavarotti meets Jennifer Hudson. Plus, she’s got energy for days, she’s bubbly, and would bring some much needed Latin flavor to el programa. Whine Up Fox, Whine Up!
Sara Ramirez: Before Sara Ramirez, 33, started working in the ER at Seattle Grace Hospital, she was a Broadway star and won the Tony Award for Best Actress for her role as the Lady of the Lake in Monty Python’s Spamalot. In the show, Ramirez was the audience favorite due to her wonderful comedic talents and wonderfully tender voice. If she can’t fill the hearts of Americans with glee, I don’t know who can.
Cote de Pablo: On NCIS’ 6th season, Chilean actress, Cote de Pablo (who has a background in musical theater) did a sexy song and dance number to the song “Temptation,” wearing a sexy blue evening gown, when her character Ziva went undercover at a Moroccan bar. If anyone associated with Glee saw that, Cote’s phone is probably ringing. Right. Now.
What say you Vivo Por TVians? Did I leave someone out? Do you agree with any of my choices? Dish in the comments section.