Belfast Blues Begins Previews Off-Broadway

first_img Related Shows Belfast Blues The production is directed by Emmy winner Carol Kane. View Comments Set in Belfast in the 1970s and 1980s, Belfast Blues is one wee girl’s story of family, war, Jesus and Hollywood. In the show, Hughes portrays 24 different characters, ranging from her parents and neighbors to most importantly her younger self. The off-Broadway return engagement of Belfast Blues begins performances on September 20. Written and performed by Great White Way alum Geraldine Hughes, the limited engagement will play through October 5 at the Barrow Street Theater. Show Closed This production ended its run on Oct. 5, 2014last_img read more

Follies on the Big Screen? Rob Marshall Looks to Next Sondheim Movie

first_img Proving to be adept with big showbiz numbers (Chicago), dreamy flashbacks (Nine) and Sondheim smarts (Into the Woods), this seems like a winning idea for Marshall. Cross your fingers and start dream-casting, Broadway fans! A true Broadway baby who got his start as a performer, choreographer and director on the Great White Way, Marshall has become Hollywood’s top director for modern movie musicals. Acclaimed past projects include the Oscar-winning Chicago (which earned him a Best Director Academy Award nomination), the 1999 TV redo of Annie and Nine, which received four 2010 Oscar nominations. While Broadway fans eagerly await the chance to go Into the Woods on Christmas Day with Disney’s all-star film version of the Stephen Sondheim/James Lapine musical, director Rob Marshall might be looking ahead at another show that begs for a big screen adaptation. ‘I’d love to take a look at Follies,” Marshall told Broadway.com, when asked which other Sondheim musical he’d like to bring to the screen. Follies premiered on Broadway at the Winter Garden Theatre on April 4, 1971 under the direction of Hal Prince and Michael Bennett, running just over a year with 522 performances. A cult favorite, the show has enjoyed many notable rebirths including a starry 1985 concert at Avery Fisher Hall, a 1987 London premiere, a 2001 Roundabout Theater Company revival on Broadway, a 2007 concert staging at City Center Encores! and a 2011 Broadway revival that premiered at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. With a score by Sondheim and book by James Goldman, Follies follows a group of former performers who are reunited on the stage of a soon-to-be-demolished Broadway theater where they once starred in a lavish musical revue. Many Sondheim standards are featured in the Tony Award-winning score, including “Broadway Baby,” “I’m Still Here,” “Could I Leave You?,” “In Buddy’s Eyes” and “Losing My Mind.” View Commentslast_img read more

It’s Only a Play’s Nathan Lane Talks Contractual Fun, Flops & Jello Shots

first_img Show Closed This production ended its run on June 7, 2015 View Comments Nathan Lane Nathan Lane has returned to Broadway’s It’s Only a Play and he stopped by Late Night on March 30 to chat about his star turn as James Wicker in the Terrence McNally comedy. Host Seth Meyers asked: “Is it fun to be back?” Without missing a beat the two-time Tony winner replied: “it’s more than fun, it’s contractual.” It’s Only a Play is about a show opening to horrible reviews, which led to a discussion about Lane’s flops, or “missed opportunities,” as he labeled them (and his love of jello shots). Check out the interview below and then Lane in person at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre through June 7. It’s Only a Play Star Files Related Showslast_img read more

Danny Horn & More Tapped for Olivier-Winning Sunny Afternoon

first_img View Comments Doctor Who’s Danny Horn and more will join the cast of the Olivier Award-winning West End hit Sunny Afternoon from October 5. Directed by Edward Hall, the tuner tells the story of the rise to fame of The Kinks and is playing at the Harold Pinter Theatre.Joining Horn as Ray Davies will be Oliver Hoare (Antony and Cleopatra) as Dave Davies, Tom Whitelock (Times Square Angel) as bassist Pete Quaife and Damien Walsh (Dreamboats and Petticoats) as drummer Mick Avory. At certain performances, the role of Ray Davies will be played by Ryan O’Donnell (Romeo and Juliet).The show is set against the back-drop of a Britain caught mid-swing between the conservative 50s and riotous 60s and features a book by Joe Penhall, along with music and lyrics and original story by Ray Davies. Sunny Afternoon explores the euphoric highs and agonizing lows of The Kinks and features some of the band’s classic songs, including “You Really Got Me,” “Waterloo Sunset” and “Lola.”The cast will also include Niamh Bracken, Christopher Brandon, Jason Baughan, Harriet Bunton, Alice Cardy, Gillian Kirkpatrick, Jay Marsh, Megan Leigh Mason, Stephen Pallister, Charlie Tighe and Gabriel Vick.last_img read more

Sutton Foster Tapped for Netflix’s Gilmore Girls Revival

first_imgSutton Foster(Photo: Bruce Glikas) Tony winner Sutton Foster has booked a trip to Stars Hollow. The Younger star will appear in the upcoming Netflix revival of Gilmore Girls, according to TVLine. Foster has a history with the series’ creator, Amy Sherman-Palladino: she starred in her short-lived ABC Family (now Freeform) comedy Bunheads.No official word yet on exactly who Foster will play, but it’s not impossible for the Broadway favorite to reprise her Bunheads performance as Michelle Simms. When she stopped by Broadway.com for Role Call, Foster revealed that was the role she would most love to do again. Stars Hollow, the fictional Connecticut hamlet where much of Gilmore Girls takes place, even has its own dance studio, run by fan favorite Miss Patty LaCosta (played by Liz Torres).A handful of original Gilmore Girls actors are lined up for the series’ next chapter, including Lauren Graham, Tony winner Kelly Bishop (who also starred in Bunheads), Alexis Bledel, Scott Patterson, Yanic Truesdale, Sean Gunn, Keiko Agena, Milo Ventimiglia and Matt Czuchry. Foster is the first addition to the cast who did not appear in the original WB (and later CW) incarnation.A Tony winner for Anything Goes and Thoroughly Modern Millie, Foster’s additional stage credits include Violet, Shrek, Young Frankenstein and The Drowsy Chaperone. Fans can currently catch her as 40-year-old-but-pretending-to-be-26 Liza Miller on TV Land’s Younger (and in GIF form in Broadway.com’s recaps). View Commentslast_img read more

Sondra Radvanovsky, Queen of the Met, on Why Opera Is for Broadway Lovers

first_imgThree-for-OneThough the three operas make up what is now frequently referred to as Donizetti’s “Tudor Trilogy,” the composer did not intend for them to be performed as a collective unit. This is in large part due to the range of vocal technique required; Radvanovsky juggles both a lilting lyric soprano and fiery dramatic coloratura throughout the pieces.While Radvanovsky winkingly doesn’t recommend anyone perform all three concurrently, she observes a connective thread throughout that informs her perspective on the operas as a series: Elizabeth.A child actress plays a young Elizabeth in Anna Bolena, and in Maria Stuarda, she’s Mary Stuart’s fierce rival. “Now I understand why she was such a militant, strong lady—because of all the adversity she went through. I got to see that from the outside, and now, finally playing Elizabeth, I have that vocabulary.” Marathon Training“It’s like her coat of armor,” Radvanovsky says, describing Elizabeth’s (“Elisabetta” in Donizetti’s world) ornate appearance. “She puts it on, and it’s her queen persona.” The role presents a tremendous physical challenge, as the crippling effects of age and resentment threaten her regality.“Temperament and tightness often go together,” Radvanovsky explains. “But if you’re tight, you can’t sing. So I have to have that tension in my body, but not in my voice.” The singer, who’s over two decades younger than Elizabeth at the time of her death, observed her elders’ movement on the street and on film to find that balance. “I have to be aware of how my body works and how Elizabeth’s body worked at that time, and integrate the two.”From the sound of her exercise regime, you’d expect her to be an Olympian, not an opera singer. But they’re not that unlike: “You go to the gym to make sure you have the stamina to breathe in the corsets.” Radvanovsky often memorizes music while on a machine. Metropolitan Opera: Roberto Devereux The radiant Sondra Radvanovsky enters her dressing room at the Metropolitan Opera. Some two hours later, and with the help of a 35-pound gown, liquid latex and—who’d have thought—tissue paper, the soprano, barely recognizable, emerges as Elizabeth I in her final days.The metamorphosis, for the Met’s new production of Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux, marks the third and final queen Radvanovsky has taken on this season. She previously portrayed Anne Boleyn and Mary Stuart in director David McVicar’s stagings of Anna Bolena and Maria Stuarda, respectively. She’s the second singer to perform all three in one season and the first to do so at the Met.Before Roberto Devereux opens on March 24, Broadway.com visited Radvanovsky’s dressing room to witness the transformation and discuss the operatic feat. Show Closed This production ended its run on April 19, 2016 Related Shows Roberto Devereux begins performances at the Metropolitan Opera on March 24. Performances will run through April 19.(Dressing room photos: Caitlin McNaney) View Comments Ugly Is BeautifulRadvanovsky brings a distinct theatricality that may raise the eyebrows of opera’s more devoted patrons. The most jarring examples are her visceral—at times guttural—outbursts of emotion that punch through Donizetti’s bel canto score. Bel canto means “beautiful singing,” but the soprano constantly toys with the balance between beautiful and frightful.“It can be shocking when people hear it,” Radvanovsky says, “but that’s supposed to be the point. There are moments where ugly singing and screaming are required.” With a smirk, she adds, “Not everyone will love it. It’ll be criticized, I’m sure.”Radvanovsky, who studied acting as well as singing, stresses that it’s not entirely about the vocals. “Look past [the singing] and see that these were human beings at the heart,” she advises. “Remember that Elizabeth lived; she breathed. We know a lot about her.” Broadway at the MetThe leap from the Great White Way to the Met is closer than ever as theater directors—including Tony winners Susan Stroman, Bartlett Sher and Michael Mayer—offer a contemporary Broadway sensibility to opera. While these stagings often polarize traditionalists and newer audiences, Radvanovsky encourages the interplay between the two.“[Opera] is a lot like Broadway,” she says, before confessing to previously turning down a Main Stem offer and wanting to try her hand at The King and I or Carousel. “The plot is there, and it’s enthralling. I know I’m an opera singer, but we’re actors, too.”Radvanovsky says there is a stigma surrounding opera, citing the “fat soprano” and “park and bark” tropes. But while those stereotypes fade with new and inventive stagings, opera has to evolve to survive. The first step is exposure: “Getting people to come for the first time is difficult,” she says, “but if people give it one try, they’re really drawn into it.”And for those who are still skeptical? “You went to your first Broadway play or musical at some point, right? Come to opera.” Sondra Radvanovsky in ‘Anna Bolena,’ ‘Maria Stuarda’ & ‘Roberto Devereux'(Photos: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera)last_img read more

Odds & Ends: This Is Us Star Chrissy Metz Set for Fat Pig Reading & More

first_imgChrissy Metz(Photo: Charley Gallay/Getty Images) View Comments Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today.Chrissy Metz Tapped for Fat Pig Benefit ReadingChrissy Metz, who received a Golden Globe nomination for her breakout performance in This Is Us, will headline a benefit reading of Neil LaBute’s Fat Pig for MCC Theater. The one-night-only event, which will feature a new ending from the playwright, is set for March 5 at the Lucille Lortel Theatre. Additional casting will be announced at a later date. MCC presented the world premiere of the play, about a young professional and a plus-sized librarian navigating their relationship amidst ostracization from their friends, in 2004.More Details for Supergirl / The Flash Musical EpisodesMark your calendars for singing superheroes. The previously announced two-part musical crossover between Supergirl and The Flash will premiere on March 20 and 21, respectively. The two series from The CW feature several musical theater and screen favorites who have been confirmed to lend their pipes, including its stars Melissa Benoist and Grant Gustin (both Glee alums), Jeremy Jordan, Jesse L. Martin, Victor Garber, Carlos Valdes and John Barrowman.Idina Menzel Still Wants to Be GreenBlazing supernova Idina Menzel and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend star Rachel Bloom stopped by the Watch What Happens Live Clubhouse on January 19 to chat with Andy Cohen. Conversation topics included the upcoming Beaches remake, stalking exes online and in coffee shops, and who Idina Menzel would cast as Elphaba in the Wicked movie. When Kristin Chenoweth stopped by in October, she said she’d love to see Beth Behrs take on the role of Glinda. But Menzel’s not ready to give up the green yet, (probably) joking that despite being told she’s too old, she’s still actively campaigning to defy gravity on the big screen. Watch her throw her own name in below.center_img Pinocchio Musical Set for U.K. PremiereHe’s got no strings holding him down. A stage adaptation of Pinocchio, featuring songs from the Disney animated film, is slated to hit the National Theatre stage this holiday season. The show, to be helmed by Harry Potter and the Cursed Child director John Tiffany, was first announced in 2015; at the time, the Disney Theatrical and National Theatre collaboration was eyeing a premiere around Christmas 2016. The Daily Mail now reports that Dennis Kelly, who won a Tony for writing the book of Matilda, has been brought on to pen the script, taking over for Once scribe Enda Walsh. An official announcement regarding the National Theatre’s 2017 programming is set for January 27.Complete Cast Set for London’s The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?In more London news, the cast is now complete for the West End revival of Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?. Joining the previously announced Damian Lewis and Sophie Okonedo will be Jason Hughes (BBC’s This Life) as Ross and newcomer Archie Madekwe as Billy. The Ian Rickson-helmed production will run from March 24 through June 24 at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. Opening night is set for April 5.last_img read more

Veggie Farm Shareholders

first_img“The buyers’ club is made up of about 30 people from around the area who want fresh,high-quality, organic produce,” Putnam said. The original cash outlay is also an obstacle for some potential customers. CSAs usually charge$500 to $1,000 for memberships. On a damp fall morning, Margaret Putnam and Cynthia Hizer hurry to gather greens from thegarden before the rain comes. The produce offered, and the opportunities for on-farm activities, may differ from farm tofarm. But all CSAs depend on a committed group of shareholders, Lohr said. Lovel said his best customers are those who like to cook and eat most meals at home. The shareholders at Hazelbrand Farms are called “the buyers’ club.” “The consumers benefit because they know where their food comes from,” she said. Each week during the growing and harvesting season, shareholders get their share of freshvegetables from the farmer. “We get money in the spring and pay it back in produce throughout the summer,” Lovel said.”One of the chief obstacles for farmers is the original cash outlay.” CSAs are as much about building community as about farming, Putnam said. “They help smallfarmers like us find people in the community who believe in what we’re doing and are willingto support us,” she said. Community Supported Agriculture allows farmers to share the business risk with theircommunity. Individuals contract with the farmer to grow vegetables for them, which thecustomers pay for in advance. They become “shareholders” in the business. “I have more turnover than I’d like on the CSA,” Lovel said. “One in eight really turns out tobe a customer that orders regularly. The others fizzle out.” “People have had CSAs for years, but they’re really growing now,” Putnam said. Shareholders expected the produce to be their main supply for the season, but ended upsupplementing the new foods with their old favorites from the grocery store. Atlanta is a prime market for CSAs because of its demographics. CSAs allow farmers to devote most of their time to producing food, rather than marketingtheir products. “CSA shareholders in the Southeast are a fairly high-income group,” Lohr said. “The CSAstructure works best in large urban areas. However, they can be structured for otherpurposes.” They own Hazelbrand Farms, an organic farm in Newton County. They, like organic farmersacross the country, are moving to a new system of doing business called CommunitySupported Agriculture. “It sounds like a lot, but it’s $22 per week for the season,” Putnam said. “Most people spendmore than that for produce at the grocery store if they have a family.” “Turnover rates from 30 percent to 50 percent aren’t uncommon for CSAs in the UnitedStates,” Lohr said. “When turnover is high, demands on farmers’ time can be overwhelming.” “Farmers benefit because they receive an immediate source of capital and are able to share therisk with a community of supporters,” said Luanne Lohr, an economist with the University ofGeorgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. They found that while many shareholders thought they wanted to try new varieties ofvegetables, the exotic vegetables didn’t appeal to their families, and many went unused. Hugh Lovel, who operates the Union Agricultural Institute in Blairsville, Ga., has had a CSAfor 10 years. It gives him the cash flow for his farm. He charges a membership fee and adeposit, which members get back in produce. UGA researchers joined seven Southeastern CSAs to find out what influenced that turnover. Recent research by Lohr and research partner Deborah Kane showed that CSAs’ biggestproblem is keeping shareholders.last_img read more

Heating Up.

first_imgAnother week with little rain and temperatures in the 90s and low 100s has causedsevere drought conditions to expand into southwest and central Georgia. Only in southcentral Georgia did drought conditions improve last week.Timely rains in the next few weeks will be critical for many in Georgia agriculture.Even among some producers who have been irrigating, concern is growing over the level ofwater remaining in some irrigation ponds. Lack of Topsoil Moisture CriticalThe Georgia Agricultural Statistics Servicereports that moisture is short to very short in 81 percent of the state’s soils. Last yearat this time, soil moisture was short to very short in 46 percent of the soils. Theaverage over the past five years is 33 percent.GASS rated more than 50 percent of soybeans and pastures in poor to very poorcondition. A third of the state’s cotton is rated poor to very poor.The lack of topsoil moisture is most critical in southwest Georgia, according to theAug. 14 Crop Moisture Indexvalues. The CMI is a measure of soil moisture in the root zone of crops.Crops DamagedThe CMI value for southwest Georgia shows a potential for dryland crops to be ruinedbecause of dryness. Actual crop losses will depend on the growth stage of a crop and itsability to withstand drought conditions. Timely rains will save some crops.The CMI indicates that dryness may severely cut crop yields in west central and centralGeorgia.Soils in northeast and east central Georgia are excessively dry, with crop yieldprospects reduced.Abnormally dry soils are found in northwest and north central Georgia, and crop yieldprospects are deteriorating.The topsoil moisture in south central and southeast Georgia is rated as short.Through mid-August, all major cities in Georgia were below normal for monthly rainfall.Rainfall totals (and monthly deficits) through Aug. 17 were: Athens, 0.55 inches (-1.61inches); Atlanta, 0.10 (-2.02); Augusta, 0.49 (-2.06); Columbus, 0.80 (-1.39); Macon, 0.22(-1.88); and Savannah, 1.61 (-2.59).4 Regions in Severe DroughtLong-term conditions according to the Palmer Drought Severity Indexindicate that northeast, west central, central and southwest Georgia are in severedrought. North central, east central and southeast Georgia are in moderate drought.Mild drought conditions are found in the northwest and south central regions of thestate.The PSDI is most useful in hydrological aspects of drought.Stream flows across the state are generally running in the 10th percentile range. Manywater systems have begun either partial or total outdoor watering bans.Above-normal Rainfall NeededSoil moisture loss from evapotranspiration ranged from 1.25 to 1.5 inches across thestate last week. Above-normal rainfall will be needed just to keep up with soil moistureloss through evapotranspiration.To end the long-term drought, more than half a foot of rain is needed across most ofthe state. The best hope for long-term drought relief is a tropical weather system.You can get updates on drought conditions in Georgia and across the Southeast at the University of Georgia drought Website. Or call your county ExtensionService agent.Get updated weather conditions at the GeorgiaAutomated Environmental Monitoring Web site.last_img read more

Savory Scents.

first_img We can look at fresh produce and just taste how good it is by the fragrance it gives off. It’s basic biology that through taste receptors, a person can taste four flavors:sweet, sour, salty and bitter. However, the average person can distinguish up to 10,000smells. We’re not quite as good as the bloodhound, which can detect more than 400,000smells. But we do all right.Just out of my office last spring was a bank of native azaleas — yellows and oranges,pinks and whites. Every time I went out I just had to go by and enjoy the fragrance. Justdown the way are several giant magnolias. Since I was a kid, magnolias have drawn me. Ijust can’t pass them up without getting my nose yellowed.In horticulture, we try to enhance the quality of life by giving people fruits, flowersand vegetables for consumption and beauty. Fragrance is often a part of that pleasure.Horticultural fragrance enters the picture in many ways. Fragrance’s interaction withtaste is one of the most delightful. Smell How Good It Will TasteWe look at a fresh, ripe peach and can just taste how good it is by the fragrance itgives off. We brush by a rosemary bush, and it reminds our taste buds of savory lamb orpork, just out of the pan and juicy. I ask kids if they like basil, if they like thesmell, if they’d eat it. Usually the answer is no. But their response changes when I tellthem they often eat it on pizza.We say the first tomato of the season tastes great, though many people put on salt orother seasonings, which become the dominant taste.Exploding FragranceAs we taste that first tomato, we’re tasting the sweetness of the sugars (yes, it doeshave sugars) and the sour part from the acidity. But most of what we “taste” isthe fragrance that explodes inside the mouth when we bite into the fruit. Taste andfragrance or smell combine to give us the entire experience of eating that first greattomato.Now, if you add basil leaves under that tomato with mozzarella cheese on top and placeit all on wonderful Italian bread that has been rubbed with olive oil and garlic and thentoasted — that gives you all the taste and fragrances you can stand or will need for awhile.center_img Photo: Peggy Greb, USDA-ARSlast_img read more