Netflix just dished out a major casting update to its upcoming reboot of Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City, set to premiere in 2019.
Back in April, the streaming giant confirmed that Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis would reprise their roles as Mary Ann Singleton and Anna Madrigal in the San Francisco-based production, to be joined by Ellen Page and Barbara Garrick.
Netflix announced 15 new cast members, including RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 8 winner Caldwell Tidicue (Bob the Drag Queen) as “Ida Best”, the manager of a burlesque club, Looking stars Murray Bartlett as “Michael ‘Mouse’ Tolliver” and Matthew Risch as Mouse’s ex-boyfriend “Harrison”, and comedian Michelle Buteau.
Josiah Victoria Garcia will play a new trans resident of 28 Barbary Lane, “Jake Rodriguez”, who is a caregiver to “Anna”. His girlfriend, “Margot Park”, will be played by May Hong of High Maintenance.
Paul Gross will reprise his role as “Brian Hawkins”, “Mary Ann’s” ex-husband.
Recurring cast members include Jen Richards (Her Story, Mrs. Fletcher) playing a young Anna Madrigal, Daniela Vega (A Fantastic Woman) as Ysela, a trans woman who plays a pivotal role in Anna’s life; Michelle Buteau (First Wives Club) as Wren, Brian’s no-nonsense best friend; Ashley Park (Broadway’s Mean Girls) and Christopher Larkin (The 100) as twins Ani and Raven who are newer residents of Barbary Lane; Michael Park (Dear Evan Hansen) as Mary Ann’s husband Robert; Dickie Hearts (Grace & Frankie) as Mateo, DeDe’s housekeeper; Benjamin Thys (The Meyerowitz Stories) and Samantha Soule (Godless) as a queer polyamorous married couple Eli and Inka; and Juan Castano (The OA, What/If) as Ben’s co-worker Flaco Ramirez.
Per the official synopsis: “This next chapter follows Mary Ann (Linney), who returns home to San Francisco and is reunited with her daughter (Page) and ex-husband Brian, twenty years after leaving them behind to pursue her career. Fleeing the midlife crisis that her picture perfect Connecticut life created, Mary Ann returns home to her chosen family and will quickly be drawn back into the orbit of Anna Madrigal (Dukakis) and the residents of 28 Barbary Lane.”
The series spotlights LGBTQ people both in front of and behind the camera. Showrunner / Executive Producer and writer Lauren Morelli (Co-Executive Producer and writer Orange Is the New Black) and Producing Director and Executive Producer Alan Poul (Tales of the City, Six Feet Under, The Newsroom), who are both part of the LGBTQ community, assembled an entirely queer writing team comprised of Andy Parker, Patricia Resnick, Marcus Gardley, Jen Silverman, Hansol Jung and Thomas Page McBee to create the authentic and multigenerational LGBTQ characters and stories.