She’s officially the pip with pizzazz! Dates are now set for the Menier Chocolate Factory revival of Funny Girl, starring two-time Olivier winner Sheridan Smith. The musical, which catapulted Barbra Streisand to stardom on stage and screen, returns to London beginning November 20. The production, directed by Tony winner Michael Mayer, will open on December 2 and run through March 5, 2016.No word yet whether the production has any intention of crossing the pond to play New York following the London run. A Bartlett Sher-helmed revival of the musical—headlined by Lauren Ambrose—was set to play Los Angeles and Broadway in 2012 before being postponed indefinitely. And then there was Lea Michele…Smith won consecutive Olivier Awards for her performances in Legally Blonde and Flare Path. She returns to the Chocolate Factory after starring in Little Shop of Horrors in 2006. Her additional U.K. stage credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hedda Gabler and Into the Woods. She’s appeared on screen in Blackwork, The C Word, Cilla, Mrs. Biggs and Hysteria.The tuner, which first played London in 1966, tracks the rise of Fanny Brice’s career as one of Broadway’s biggest stars by way of the Ziegfeld Follies, as well as her doomed romance with Nicky Arnstein. The score by Jule Styne and Bob Merrill features such iconic show tunes as “People,” “Don’t Rain on My Parade” and “I’m the Greatest Star” and a book by Isobel Lennart.The production will feature choreography by Lynne Page, set design by Michael Pavelka, lighting design by Mark Henderson and sound design by Richard Brooker. View Comments
All best times must end at some point. Neil Patrick Harris’ Best Time Ever will not return for a second season, reports The Wrap. The NBC variety show ended its eight-episode run on October 20.Based on the U.K. series Saturday Night Takeaway, the show featured the Tony winner and special guests in sketches, musical numbers, hidden camera pranks and more. Fellow Broadway alums to join him included Jane Karakowski, Zachary Levi, David Alan Grier and Jesse Tyler Ferguson.The show had a number of time shakeups in its short-lived run; after premiering on September 15 at 10 PM, the show held the post-America’s Got Talent slot instead of moving to 8 PM as originally intended. It eventually made the switch beginning October 13. View Comments
The cast is now set for the previously announced New York premiere of Pulitzer winner Paula Vogel’s Indecent. The off-Broadway production will feature Katrina Lenk, Mimi Lieber, Max Gordon Moore, Tom Nelis, Steven Rattazzi, Richard Topol and Adina Verson. The Rebecca Taichman-helmed production will begin performances on April 27 at the Vineyard Theatre.Kenk last appeared on Broadway in Once; her additional credits include Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark and The Miracle Worker. Mimi Lieber has appeared on Broadway in Act One, The Snow Geese, The Merchant of Venice and I’m Not Rappaport. Moore made his Broadway debut in Relatively Speaking. Nelis appeared on Broadway recently in The Visit. Rattazzi returns to the Vineyard after appearing in The Fourth Sister. Topol’s Broadway credits include Fish in the Dark, The Normal Heart and Awake and Sing!. This marks the off-Broadway debut for Verson.The play, created by Vogel and Rebecca Taichman, features music by Lisa Gutkin and Aaron Halva and follows the events surrounding the premiere of the controversial 1923 play God of Vengeance, considered an important work of Jewish culture by some and libel by others.Indecent will open officially on May 17. The production features choreography by David Dorfman. View Comments Paula Vogel (Photo: Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images) Related Shows Indecent Show Closed This production ended its run on Aug. 6, 2017
View Comments Santino Fontana in ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ Ever wondered what it’d be like if you revisited your angsty days from the late ‘90s and early 2000s with the help of a Tony nominee and Broadway.com Audience Choice Award winner? If so, you’re in luck! Santino Fontana showed off his grunge side in the March 29 episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. No one makes ambivalence and indifference seem so—dare we say it—dreamy. Think Nirvana meets jazz hands. Take a look below at his character Greg’s ode to apathy, “I Could If I Wanted To,” below. All together now: whoopty freakin’ doo.
from $149.00 View Comments Related Shows Mandy Gonzalez will get her shot from September 6 when she returns to Broadway and begins performances in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony-winning Hamilton. She succeeds in demand Tony winner Renée Elise Goldsberry as Angelica Schuyler, who departed the production on September 3.Gonzalez created the role of Nina Rosario in Miranda’s In the Heights; she can currently be seen on screen in Madam Secretary and Quantico.Directed by Thomas Kail and featuring a book, music and lyrics by Miranda, Hamilton is inspired by the book Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow and is running on the Main Stem at the Richard Rodgers Theatre.The current Broadway cast also includes Javier Muñoz as Alexander Hamilton, Brandon Victor Dixon as Aaron Burr, Lexi Lawson as Eliza Hamilton, Christopher Jackson as George Washington, Rory O’Malley as King George and Anthony Ramos as John Laurens/Phillip Hamilton. Michael Luwoye takes on the titular role once a week. Hamilton Mandy Gonzalez
By Sharon OmahenUniversity of GeorgiaIf your home lawn is planted in centipede turfgrass, you may have noticed it changing colors lately. University of Georgia experts say this is a natural occurrence that has resulted from Georgia’s unusual springtime weather.”I’ve received numerous calls and e-mails lately on centipede grass green-up problems,” said Clint Waltz, a turfgrass specialist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “It’s common for centipede grass to change color during the spring transition from dormancy to active growth.”Soil, air temps change colorAs the root system develops, the color of the grass will fluctuate with soil and air temperatures, he said. Georgia’s recent cooler temperatures are another reason for the color change.Waltz says the best plan of action is to take no action at all.”Neither nitrogen fertilization nor iron applications will encourage green-up or growth,” he said. “Waiting on conducive environmental conditions is the best practice. In most cases, this problem will solve itself by the end of May.”If you’ve neglected or mismanaged your lawn, you may have more problems.”Lawns that have been mismanaged for several years may experience turfgrass loss,” Waltz said. “This is typically evident by gray stolons with no green buds.”If this is the case, you may have to re-establish your lawn either by sodding large areas or seeding smaller areas. Waltz says this is best done when the soil temperatures 4 inches deep are consistently 65 degrees Fahrenheit. This commonly happens after mid-May.What to do in the futureSo how do you properly care for a centipede lawn?Waltz recommends applying 1 to 2 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet per year.”One nitrogen application per growing season typically doesn’t satisfy the growth requirements of centipede grass,” he said. “Several reduced-rate applications are needed.”Apply fertilizer two to four times at a rate of 0.5 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet.Mowing and watering properly are essential, too.The recommended mowing height for centipede is 1.5 inches in full sun and 2 inches in shaded areas. “If you’re mowing the lawn higher, you should gradually lower the mowing height,” Waltz said.Do this in steps, he said, by dropping the mower one notch and mowing at that height for several weeks. Then drop the height again.”Continue this stairstep process until the proper height is reached,” he said. “You may have some scalping and unattractive areas. It may look bad, but it will look better in the long run.”Centipede grass will decline if watered too much. Waltz suggests applying 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week during the growing season.”This can vary depending on your soil type,” he said. “Sandy soils may need to be irrigated toward the upper end of the range.”
By April SorrowUniversity of GeorgiaWhether their motivation is feeding their families or beefing up their wallets, more than ever Atlantans are coming together to plant community gardens, says a University of Georgia garden expert.“There has been a significant increase in interest in community gardening this year alone,” said Bobby Wilson, who coordinates the Atlanta Urban Gardening Program. “There is always an increase in the spring, usually only 60 to 75 percent of the new gardens survive. We think this year many more will survive because of food prices and because people are concerned about what is going on their food in terms of chemicals.” The program currently includes more than 225 gardens in Dekalb and Fulton counties, said Wilson, who is the UGA Cooperative Extension agent in Fulton County. But interest is growing. Attendance at a recent garden leadership meeting was double what it typically is.“We try to provide assistance,” he said. “What we are finding is a lot of people don’t know anything about what they are doing. All they know is they want to grow their own fresh vegetables.”Many gardeners in Wilson’s service area want to become certified to sell their extra produce to participants in the federal Woman, Infant and Child (WIC) Nutrition Program. Some gardening groups set up stands at local family and children services buildings to provide WIC recipients with fresh produce. They also go to farmers markets to sell their wares. Community gardening not only nourishes the body, he said, it nourishes the mind and soul, too. It gives a sense of belonging, is a source of exercise and provides a venue for social networking.“Gardening is more than growing fresh vegetables, it’s therapeutic,” he said. “We have found that a lot of people have participated not for what they do in the garden, but because they wanted to be a part of the internal structure. It makes them feel like they are a part of something important.”Food from gardens in the program helps feed 300 homeless people at the Peachtree and Pine Shelter every month. Many gardeners also donate food to the Atlanta Community Food Bank through the Plant a Row for the Hungry program. This year’s goal is 30,000 pounds.For more information, call your local UGA Extension agent at 1-800-ASK-UGA1. (April Sorrow is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)
Due in large part to NeSmith’s efforts, the blueberry has become Georgia’s No. 1 fruit crop, surpassing the state’s namesake, the peach. Just 10 years ago, there were only about 5,000 acres of blueberry fields in the state, and the crop was only worth about $22 million. Today, Georgia farmers are using about 21,749 acres for blueberry production, and the farm gate value was more than $254 million in 2011, according to the Georgia Farm Gate Value Report. Their popularity with casual gardeners and health-conscious consumers has grown in part from research proving the berry is an antioxidant-rich super food.For more on UGA CAES blueberry research, visit the website at extension.uga.edu/agriculture/ag-fruits-vegetables/blueberries/. University of Georgia blueberry breeder Scott NeSmith has been awarded the university’s prestigious Inventor’s Award for 2013.NeSmith is a horticulture professor with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. CAES faculty have earned the award eight of the 13 years it has been presented by the UGA Research Foundation. The annual award is based on an invention’s “originality, innovation and impact outside the university setting.” Plants for GeorgiaNeSmith breeds new blueberry varieties that are specialized for Georgia’s climate and soils. He conducts most of his research on plots at the UGA campus in Griffin, Ga., and the UGA Tifton Campus Blueberry Research Farm near Alapaha, Ga.Since becoming head of the UGA blueberry-breeding program in 1998, he has released and patented 10 new commercial blueberry varieties and two ornamental blueberry varieties. These include several southern highbush varieties such as Rebel, Southern Splendor and Suziblue, as well as Ochlockonee and Alapaha, rabbiteye blueberry varieties named after South Georgia Rivers.For farmers’ fields and gardeners’ backyardsAbout 60 percent of blueberries grown in Georgia are the rabbiteye variety. The remaining 40 percent are the Southern highbush variety.These varieties all have different traits ranging from when they produce fruit (early or late), the size and color of their berries and the environments in which they grow best. NeSmith once bred blueberry varieties specifically for commercial growers, but now splits the program between varieties that perform best for the commercial market and those that are best suited for backyard gardens.In addition to the breeding program, NeSmith researches ways to protect the plants’ blooms from Georgia’s unpredictable late winter weather and early spring frosts. He also works with UGA plant pathologists and entomologists to address disease and insect problems Georgia blueberry growers face.Research helps industry grow“Professor NeSmith is one of the college’s most creative scientists,” said J. Scott Angle, CAES dean and director. “His deep understanding of quantitative genetics combined with his experience in practical cultivation make him one of the top fruit breeders in the world.”
University of Georgia researchers have used electrolyzed oxidizing water to sanitize poultry, kill funguses on nursery-grown plants and remove pathogens from produce. Now they’re using it to reduce shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) on beef.For more than 10 years, UGA food scientist Yen-Con Hung has researched the use of electrolyzed oxidizing, or EO, water to make food safer and surfaces cleaner. EO water is created when a saltwater solution goes through an electrolysis process that separates the water’s positive and negative ions. This makes two forms of water: one very acidic and one very alkaline. The acidic EO water is used to sanitize surfaces and kill bacteria, and the alkaline EO water is used as a detergent. Hung’s latest project uses EO water to inactivate levels of seven strains of STEC pathogens in beef processing. This year alone more than 55,000 pounds of beef products have been recalled due to the presence of STEC, he said.To inactivate the pathogens, Hung and his colleagues applied both streams of EO water to beef hides during processing. “If we can prevent the STEC from getting on the carcass, we can prevent it from getting in the ground beef,” said Hung, a professor in the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “This uses both EO water forms; alkaline to clean the hide and acidic to kill the STEC on the surface.”This project is part of a five-year, $4.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to study ways to kill foodborne pathogens on beef before it arrives on supermarket shelves and in restaurant kitchens. The overall project focuses on six different processing technologies for the entire beef-value chain, from meat processing facilities to super markets. The goal is to determine which technology or combination of technologies is effective and feasible to adopt across the industry, he said.The food industry currently uses a chlorine solution to kill bacteria. Acidic EO water can be up to 10 times more effective at killing harmful bacteria than traditional methods, Hung said. Hung’s EO water research results were published this year in Food Control and LWT Food Science and Technology Journal.In 2009 the USDA Economic Research Service estimated the annual economic cost of illness caused by STEC O157 was $478 million. This estimate includes medical costs due to illness, kidney dialysis and transplant costs, the value of time lost from work due to nonfatal illness and the value of premature death, Hung said.In a separate study, Hung is working with a major restaurant chain to test the use of EO water in individual restaurants. “We are testing the units and the water under a simulated food service condition to sanitize the fruits and vegetables the restaurant serves,” he said.UGA food scientists and University of Tennessee researchers will soon begin a study on the use of EO as a possible bacteria-killing mouthwash. “We want to see if it can deactivate oral bacteria, and if it’s effective at cleaning the water lines at dental chairs,” Hung said. EO water is far from new. It’s been used for more than 200 years to produce chlorine. For the past 20 years, small-scale EO water producing units have been available for commercial and home use.“In the U.S. at least 10 carbonated-beverage bottling plants are using EO water to clean inside mixing tanks, pipes and tubing, so they don’t have to take equipment apart to clean it,” Hung said. Some grocery store chains use EO water to keep fresh produce clean. “They use EO water to mist the produce and sanitize the areas used to cut fresh fruits and vegetables,” he said.Currently, Hung holds a patent on a method that makes EO water more stable. In addition, he is working on alkaline EO water as a drinking water for health promotion. Alkaline EO water typically loses its antioxidant capacity within an hour. Hung has developed a process that allows alkaline EO water to be bottled with its high antioxidant benefits remaining stable for more than six months.“Alkaline EO water isn’t new,” Hung said. “Consumers in Japan, Asia, Europe and the U.S. have been drinking it for years. The ability to make it shelf stable is new.” The cost of an in-home EO unit is becoming more affordable. Hung has seen home units for sale online for less than $300. There is no taste difference between alkaline EO water and traditional bottled waters, he said. “That’s the beauty. It’s just like drinking water you are used to, but you get many additional benefits,” Hung said.For more on the UGA beef safety project, see the website www.caes.uga.edu/research/beefsafety.
A University of Georgia Extension plant pathologist is urging Georgia peanut farmers to plant a month later next year to keep the threat of tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) at bay.In 1997, TSWV caused widespread damage to Georgia’s peanut crops. Peanut yields suffered, and the value of the state’s crop was reduced by more than 10 percent. The virus’ impact continues to be felt in 2014, according to UGA researcher Bob Kemerait, who’s based on the UGA Tifton Campus.He worries that growers have become “complacent” in the fight against the disease.“The fact that we’re seeing an increase in spotted wilt does not suggest to me in any way we’re going to go back to that period of time (in the late 1990s). What it does do is point out two factors: the first thing is that the disease, which has been quiet for a number of years, has not gone away. It’s still there. Second, and more importantly, as growers plant more resistant varieties, they’ve become complacent in the production practices important to minimizing the risk, and they could get bit by this in the future,” Kemerait said.TSWV dates back almost 40 years, when it was discovered in peanuts in Texas. It was later found in Louisiana and Alabama. In the 1990s, the virus was detected as a major problem in Georgia-grown peanuts, vegetables and tobacco.Through resistant cultivars developed at UGA by peanut breeder Bill Branch, the virus’ impact on peanuts was minimal over the next decade. For the last couple of years, though, TSWV appears to have been more severe in peanut fields, and Kemerait is unsure why.“In the past couple of years, we’ve seen an increase, certainly not to the level it was in 1995 or 1997, but I’m seeing more and getting more reports from growers of tomato spotted wilt virus. We’re not exactly sure why,” Kemerait said. “It’s something we’re aware of. It’s something we’re cautious about.”Managing TSWV is not as simple as controlling thrips, the tiny insects that transmit the disease. “Managing the thrips through the use of insecticides is not going to reduce severity of tomato spotted wilt,” Kemerait said.To reduce the virus’ impact, UGA Extension recommends peanut farmers plant in May next year rather than in mid-April, as earlier planted peanuts are more likely to be infested by thrips. Also, planting peanuts at greater plant densities reduces the incidence of the virus, so increased seeding rates are encouraged.“As an Extension specialist with the University of Georgia, my message and the message of the county agents is: Don’t forget that spotted wilt is out there. Don’t forget that it can affect your crop, and make sure you continue to take steps to reduce the risk,” Kemerait said.For more information about TSWV in peanuts, see www.caes.uga.edu/topics/diseases/tswv/.