Lessons of the Week! Idina Menzel, Heather Headley & More

first_imgSide Show Needs Conjoined GeniesAin’t great to know somebody’s got your back? It’s even better to know they’re physically attached to your back. Trevor Dion Nicholas of London’s Aladdin revealed he wants to headline a Side Show revival with fellow genie James Monroe Iglehart. We love this, but there are two small problems: We had a revival recently, and Julia Murney and Wayne Brady are already on board for the next one. Ryan Vona’s Craving the Flavor of LoveCirque du Soleil’s Paramour has attracted an assortment of stars, but Ryan Vona is waiting for one in particular to show up—and the clock is ticking. The fresh face said he’d love for Flavor Flav to catch a performance, purely because of his love for the rapper and TV personality. We’re sure he’d love the Viking scene. Is there a Viking scene in Paramour? Is it too late to add one? Get Out of Our Shot, Jessie MuellerShe may bake pies and break hearts on the Great White Way, but at Broadway.com HQ, Jessie Mueller is the Contour Queen (sorry, Ricky Ubeda). The Waitress star crashed a recent episode of #LiveatFive to adjust our team’s eyeliner. We apologize to our viewers: Our new hair and makeup assistant is still learning the ropes and hasn’t quite learned what “we’re live” means. Yes, even Tony winners make mistakes. Idina Could Win the Gold in FencingShe’s an ice queen, a blazing supernova and…the Queen of Swords? Idina Menzel and her BroaderWay campers shared an inspiring live performance of “Queen of Swords” from her upcoming album. As you know from your fortune teller, the Queen of Swords symbolizes independence in thought and judgement. Sounds like she’s through accepting limits ’cause someone says they’re so. Ahh-ahh-ahh-ahh-ahh! Missed the Q&A Song? You’re In Luck.Oh my God. Ohmah. OHMUHGUH. The Queen is returning! Lesli Margherita will head back to Broadway’s Matilda, and that can only mean one thing (two if you count face kicks). Yes, there are more Looks Not Books in the not-too-distant future, so start freshening up your “Q and A” song covers now. And of course, make it loud. Mrs. Wormwood wouldn’t have it any other way. Heather Headley Has Suspicious NeighborsWe know of Heather Headley’s charm and grace, but that doesn’t mean her neighbors do. The Color Purple standout confessed that her husband’s late-night football buddies caused some raised eyebrows from the house next door, and her modest “Well, I’m a singer…” when explaining who she was didn’t help. We’re sure they wouldn’t have asked any questions had she launched into “Push Da Button” in its entirety (chair included). LMK’s Journey On Involves Hot DogsWhen you’re about to perform Ragtime on Ellis Island, it wouldn’t be out of the question to have pre-show ferry jitters or to use that time to warm up. But not Laura Michelle Kelly. En route to the site-specific concert, the Finding Neverland fave was scarfing down an Ellis Island hotdog. And that’s about as American as you can get, right? It’s Friday, and we know what you’re thinking: Why haven’t any Olympic gymnasts used “Satisifed” for their floor routine? Well, that, and: Are there any wacky and wild stories from the Great White Way this week that I may have missed while I dream cast Simone Biles? Well look no further, because we’re here to give you the training you need to know it all. Study up with the Lessons of the Week! Idina Menzel, Heather Headley, Jessie Mueller, Scott J. Campbell, Lesli Margherita & Ryan Vona(Photos: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images, Caitlin McNaney, Emilio Madrid-Kuser & Joan Marcus) Gloria Estefan YouTube Spirals, TooAna Villafañe is pretty close with Gloria Estefan by now, largely in part because she plays her on stage eight times a week in On Your Feet!. When Ana’s not making it happen at the Marquis, the two bond by sending each other funny videos. Loop us in next time, Ana. We have plenty of gems in our arsenal. Like Cher as everyone in West Side Story. Or Celine as a Jellicle—just like you, Ana! Roz Ryan Is Ready for Her CloseupShe may be the keeper of the keys, the countess of the clink, but Roz Ryan is ready to come (to your) hooooome, at laaaast. The Chicago favorite said if she could pick any live telecast, she’d love to headline Sunset Boulevard Live! as Norma Desmond. We can’t imagine what this pitch would look like, admittedly, but hey. Teach us new ways to dream, Roz. View Comments Scott J. Campbell Loves His Broken RecordsSome people keep hunting trophies. Scott J. Campbell keeps acting trophies. The Beautiful standout lines his dressing room with broken records that he’s smashed on stage during a scene featuring a particularly angry Gerry Goffin. Who knew damaged props were the key to Broadway interior decorating? Hopefully, John Owen-Jones uses a different approach. Because that’s a lot of paper.last_img read more

Mamie Parris Starts Performances in Cats

first_img Cats Related Shows View Comments We’re purring, air-guitaring and shaking our tails! School of Rock’s delightful not-so-sweetheart Mamie Parris is heading to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats to begin performances on October 17. She succeeds pop princess Leona Lewis as Grizabella, the glamour cat; Lewis’ last performance took place on October 9.Prior to originating the role of Patty in School of Rock, Parris appeared on Broadway in On the Twentieth Century, Ragtime, 110 in the Shade and The Drowsy Chaperone. Her other credits include Wicked, 9 to 5 and Legally Blonde on tour.In addition to Parris, the current roster of Jellicles includes Andy Huntington Jones as Munkustrap, Tyler Hanes as Rum Tum Tugger, Kim Fauré as Demeter, Sara Jean Ford as Jellylorum, Christopher Gurr as Bustopher Jones, Jess LeProtto as Mungojerrie, Shonica Gooden as Rumpelteazer and Christine Cornish Smith as Bombalurina.center_img Show Closed This production ended its run on Dec. 30, 2017 Mamie Parrislast_img read more

Odds & Ends: Hamilton’s Taran Killam to Host the Lucille Lortel Awards & More

first_img Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today.King Killam’s First Hosting GigTaran Killam, who is currently making his Broadway debut as King George in Hamilton, will host the 32nd annual Lucille Lortel Awards. The nominees will be announced on April 4. The ceremony, which recognizes the best of off-Broadway, will take place at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts on May 7. Whether Killam will don his King George crown and robes to host remains to be seen.The Tracklist for Billy Porter’s New Album Is PerfectAs reported, Tony winner Billy Porter has a new album on the way, and it’s full of awesome (and intriguing) collaborations. Porter and Cynthia Erivo are set to tackle “My Funny Valentine,” and Leslie Odom Jr. will join him on “My Romance.” We’re not sure why his “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair” cover with fellow Kinky Boots Lola Todrick Hall is marked “Explicit” on Amazon, but we can’t wait to find out. After all, two Lolas are better than one. Billy Porter Presents: The Soul of Richard Rodgers drops on April 14. Fans can pre-order it on March 3.Taye Diggs Preps for DoomsdayThe camera loves Taye Diggs! The Broadway alum, Private Practice hunk and Empire star has lined up his next TV gig. According to Deadline, Diggs has landed the role of Dr. Davis, the youngest head of disaster prevention for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in ABC’s thriller Doomsday. Written by Mark Bianculli & VJ Boyd and directed by Joachim Ronning, the post-9/11 set pilot centers on a top secret government think tank that is tasked with dreaming up man-made disaster scenarios and their possible solutions—that is until one of their plots becomes a reality. We’re confident dreamy Diggs will save the day.Andrea Martin & More Read for New Charles Busch PlayThis is an all-star cast: Andrea Martin, Linda Lavin, Rosie O’Donnell and Carole Shelley recently participated in a reading of Tony-nominated scribe Charles Busch’s Visitors in the Dark. With such great names attached, we’re curious to see what comes of this project. Taran Killam(Photo: Cindy Ord/Getty Images) P.S. The official trailer for Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why is out! Based on the young adult novel by Jay Asher, the story follows Clay, who discovers 13 cassette tapes on which the deceased Hannah Baker reveals why she committed suicide. Tony nominee Brian d’Arcy James, If I Forget star Kate Walsh and Kid Victory fresh face Brandon Flynn will appear in the series, which premieres on March 31. Just saw @Rosie do a reading of #VisitorsInTheDark.She’s a pleasure to watch. pic.twitter.com/6IZYPcX84b— Pamela Milam (@PJMilam1) February 28, 2017 View Commentslast_img read more

Wheat: Not Just For Biscuits.

first_imgAs Georgia’s population continues to grow, construction ison the rise and roads continue to be widened to make room forthe increased traffic. It’s all adding up to increased profitfor wheat farmers.Wheat Straw Protects New GrassIn addition to harvesting wheat, some farmers are now harvestingwheat straw often used as a soil stabilizer in construction. Andthey can’t seem to harvest it fast enough to meet the needs ofthe construction industry, say University of Georgia experts.”When a construction company puts down grass seed, theyuse wheat straw to protect the soil and newly planted grass,”said Dewey Lee, an extension grains agronomist with UGA’s Collegeof Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “You’ll see wheatstraw being used all around newly constructed homes and businesses,and on road banks.”The state’s department of transportation also uses a lot ofwheat straw. “They use both bales and loose straw when theycut road banks,” Lee said.Farmers Need Additional MarketThe demand for wheat straw couldn’t come at a better time forfarmers. “The price of wheat has declined to a terrible low,and the number of farmers growing wheat is also declining,”Lee said. “The price of wheat is the lowest it’s been in20 years.”New domestic uses for wheat straw are helping farmers add valueto their wheat crops. “Farmers are highly dependent on howclose they are to a wheat straw buyer,” Lee said. “Ifthey can find a buyer in or near their county, wheat straw canbring in a pretty good profit.”The profit to the farmer is also directly related to the farmers’labor costs. “The farmer has to concentrate on setting aminimum price for the straw, if he’s not going to handle it himself,”Lee said. “If he does bale it himself, he has to store itand then charge a higher price for it.”Georgia Wheat Also Sold in Tennessee”There are a lot of growers across the state that aretaking advantage of this market,” he said. “North Georgiagrowers can move their straw to the Chattanooga market while growersin the upper coastal plain sell their straw in Macon and Atlanta.”Wheat growers are planting their crops now for harvest in earlyMay through June.Georgia-grown wheat is soft-red winter wheat commonly usedin pies, pastries, cookies, biscuits and donuts.(Photograph by Sharon Omahen, University of Georgia Collegeof Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)last_img read more

Top 10 Perennials.

first_imgWill any perennials actually grow and flower if you can’t water them in summer’s ghastly heat?Yes.But they must be planted in fall, not spring.Spring-planted perennials will need watering. They don’t have enough roots to collect enough water to withstand droughts. The fall-planted perennials on my top-10 list can handle the drought.Top 10 Drought-bustersTo keep this short and sweet, here are the top 10 plants you can buy with complete confidence. You may plant them this spring if and only if you promise to water them the entire summer. Next year they will fend for themselves without much care.1. Salvia guaranitica. Tough and durable, it blooms from May to November and attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. It grows a thick storage root and persists even with tilling. It prefers full sun. Trimming in midsummer, after the first flowers are spent, yields a glorious fall display. It will wilt in summer heat when dry but returns with a vengeance when it rains.2. Sedum spectabile ‘Autumn Joy.’ When most sedums go dormant, this one grows into well-behaved mounds of blue-green foliage and large clusters of pink flowers with zero watering all summer. Few pests and almost no diseases affect it. Plants can be divided every four years or so in early spring.3. Clematis paniculata. Deer hate it. Drought can’t kill it. This aggressive vine spreads 10-12 feet in a season, blooms in late August and is incredibly easy to establish. A pleasant green vine, its late-summer flowers hide the vine. Cut to a foot high, it will spring back each year as if nothing happened.4. Belamcanda chinensis. The blackberry lily does well at the edges of Georgia woods without watering. It prefers highly organic soils and full sun. It’s drought-tolerant, tough and reseeds well. Planted in dense groups, it’s beautiful by midsummer. With care, it has few pests. Deer ignore it, but butterflies love the flowers.5. Kniphofia uvaria (Tritoma). Drought can’t kill this late spring-blooming plant once it’s established. Deer leave it alone, too. Properly named Red Hot Poker, it’s showy and tough as nails, but has to be established in the fall. Buy grown plants in bloom, known divisions or tissue-cultured plants (seedling color and flower shape can vary dramatically).6. Delosperma cooperii. The hardy ice plant is an asset on poor soils, dry sites and slopes, requiring only a few inches of soil. It blooms early in spring and then sporadically all summer. Fertilize in June and August, and don’t worry when frost kills it back. The tiny, gray, stem-end leaves will burst forth in spring.7. Helianthus angustifolius. The swamp sunflower is huge, with flower stalks 8 feet tall. But it will stay small (4 to 5 feet) when neglected, surviving the worst drought and hottest summer you can imagine in Georgia. The flowers are spectacular in August and September, and the plant has few pests or diseases.8. Ruellia brittoniana. The Mexican petunia is atall, late-blooming, long-lived and spreading perennial. Divide it every five years and enjoy the purple or pink flowers in August and September. Almost pest-free, it has few diseases. It will wilt in the worst drought, but comes back every time it rains.9. Narcissus hybrids. Gardeners seem to resist including bulbs in discussions of perennials, but indeed they are fantastically adapted perennials. They disappear when things get hot and then return to bloom in spring. Choose from hundreds of cultivars. No matter how bad the drought, daffodils survive.10. Lantana camara ‘Miss Huff.’ This is the only truly hardy perennial lantana. It tolerates heat, drought and cold, wet soils. Miss Huff grows into a 6- to 8-foot mound in good soil, with thousands of swallowtail-attracting flower clusters all summer. Planting on 36-to 48-inch centers is essential. Salvia guaranitica Photo: CAES Horticulturelast_img read more

Berry sweet

first_imgBy Gerard KrewerUniversity of GeorgiaWith berry and grape farming expanding in Georgia, opportunitiesto harvest fresh strawberries, blueberries, blackberries andmuscadine grapes are getting easier to find.Harvesting your own berries and grapes is one of the realdelights of a day in the Georgia countryside. And picking berriesis an art you improve the more you harvest.Here are some tips to help make your farm forages more fruitfulwith the sweetest Georgia berries and grapes.Pick strawberries that are red ormostly red. A berry with a green tip will ripen, but the sweetestberries are those that are fully red at picking. Push back theleaves of the plant to reveal the succulent berries tucked intothe canopy.The sweetest blueberries are thosethat have been on the bush four or five days after they turnedblue. To identify those, hold your hands with the palms up andtickle the berry clusters containing a mixture of green and blueberries. The ripest fruit will drop into your hands.If you plan to keep the berries for a long time, pick all of theblue ones. Some of the fruit won’t be as sweet but will keeplonger. Hand-picked rabbiteye blueberries, the type most commonlygrown in Georgia, may last for three or four weeks in the fridge.The best blackberries are thosethat have gone from a shiny black to a dull black. You can pickdull black berries like blueberries: hold your hand under thefruit clusters and tickle them with your fingers to make theripest ones fall.The shiny black berries have a longer shelf life. To pick shinyblackberries, gently bend the fruit over until it snaps off.When you pick thorny blackberries, wearing latex gloves may helpreduce the number of thorns sticking in your hands. Look deepinside the canopy to find some of the best berries. You can use asmall stick to lift the thorny canes.Muscadine grape season will startin August. Muscadines are usually picked as individual berries.However, late in the season, clusters can be clipped off of somecultivars.Look for bronze grapes that have a bronze or greenish-bronzecolor. Some cultivars such as “Fry” are good whengreenish-bronze, while others should be fully bronze before youpick them. Black-fruited cultivars should be fully black.The fruit of all muscadines should be slightly soft beforeharvest.You can usually find the farmsselling berries by looking in the local newspaper’s classifiedads, calling your University of Georgia Extension Service countyoffice, reading the Farmers &Consumers Market Bulletin or contacting your local Farm Bureau office.(Gerard Krewer is an Extension Service horticulturist with theUniversity of Georgia College of Agricultural and EnvironmentalSciences.)last_img read more

Eco-friendly Garden

first_imgAn eco-friendly container garden class has been set for Friday, May 15 at the University of Georgia Research and Education Garden, off of Ellis Road in Griffin, Georgia.Experts from the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the University of Florida will teach this hands-on class based on research from both universities. Participants will learn how to create a garden that attracts pollinating insects, like bees and butterflies. These gardens are also designed to attract and sustain beneficial insects, thus reducing the need for pesticides. Attendees will also learn how to build a refuge for pollinating insects to encourage them to return and spend time in the garden.The class will be held from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. and includes a tour of the garden’s own pollinator garden, the UGA Conservation and Demonstration Garden. Workshop attendees can become part of a new, citizen-science project and contribute to ongoing research at UGA Griffin.A 14-inch container garden, refreshments and lunch are included in the $49 registration fee. Space is limited to 40 participants and pre-registration is required by Wednesday, May 6.Contact Beth Horne at (770) 228-7214 or bhorne@uga.edu to register. The workshop is sponsored by the UGA Center for Urban Agriculture.last_img read more

Watermelon Production

first_imgLow commodity prices for cotton, peanuts and corn have forced Colquitt County, Georgia, farmers to seek other crop options for this year’s growing season. Colquitt County is ranked among Georgia’s top 10 counties in watermelon acreage and farm gate value in 2014, according to the University of Georgia Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development. Colquitt County Cooperative Extension Coordinator Jeremy Kichler believes his county’s watermelon acreage will increase this year with farmers looking for that viable alternative.“Watermelons are more popular than row crops right now. Anything looks better than row crop commodities right now, to be honest,” Kichler said. “I believe the acres are up. They’ve got to be up. That’s attributable to low row crop commodity prices. People are trying to cut corners and stay afloat. We’re going back to basic production practices just trying to cut costs where we can.”Both Kichler and UGA Extension vegetable horticulturist Tim Coolong believe watermelon production this year has been good despite prolonged drought in the southern part of Georgia in May and early June, combined with soaring temperatures that are burning the remaining watermelons in the field. Coolong believes watermelon production will end in the next couple of weeks for most farmers.“I would say that overall yields have been pretty good. Prices are average; they aren’t great, but they are OK,” Coolong said. “We’ve had spots of disease, but we haven’t had anything terrible that I’m aware of. I think it’s probably been a decent year.”Coolong was told by farmers that watermelon prices were averaging 15 cents per pound for 45-count melons in late June. Those bins are reserved for fruit averaging between 13.5 and 17.5 pounds, totaling about 700 pounds for the bin.Lack of high disease pressure is attributed to a lack of rainfall in south Georgia. The UGA Tifton Campus received 5.39 inches from May 1 to June 30 this year, down from the 11.29 inches recorded in 2014 and 15.92 inches the year before, according to the Georgia Automated Environmental Monitoring Network.During that same timeframe, at the Sunbelt Ag Expo in Colquitt County, 8.18 inches of rainfall were recorded, compared to 12.31 inches in 2014 and 12.15 inches in 2013.“I would say the decrease in watermelon diseases this year is due to the lack of rain, and growers tend to be on pretty good spray schedules,” Coolong said. “Disease management is key in watermelons, especially with foliar diseases like gummy stem blight, downy mildew and anthracnose. If farmers aren’t diligent with their treatments, they can be a problem. Fortunately, it seems we haven’t had a bad year with these diseases.”The week leading up to July 4 is peak market season for Georgia watermelon producers. This time of year, though, with the sun scorching the melons, most growers are finishing up production. Coolong estimates that 15 percent of Georgia’s watermelon crop was planted late, but the majority of those plantings are not expected to continue past next week.“Most Georgia farmers do not grow late-planted melons with the expectation of just trying to find somebody to sell them to,” Coolong said. “There’s too much input costs in terms of fungicide sprays not to have a guaranteed market. Most growers pretty much know where their fruit is headed when it is planted.”Watermelons are a south Georgia crop and accounted for $134.2 million in farm gate value in 2014.last_img read more

Georgia 4-H Impact

first_imgAs a Georgia 4-H agent, Pamela Bloch knows that 4-H can change the lives of young people. To the uninitiated, however, that impact can be hard to describe.Earlier this year, Bloch finished a paper that describes the impact 4-H can have on students based on a series of focus groups she conducted with Georgia 4-H alumni.For her study, which she completed as part of her master’s degree program in the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences’ Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication, Bloch focused on the impact of Georgia 4-H’s Project Achievement program.Project Achievement allows 4-H’ers to select areas of interest and carry out projects related to those areas. They learn about a topic — whether it be cooking, textiles or animals — and then develop, practice and deliver a presentation on that topic. The goal is to help a child decide whether they are really interested in a certain topic and whether that interest could lead to a career.“Project Achievement is such a strong component of 4-H, so I wanted to see whether there is something that connects project achievement with alumni moving into their adult lives,” she said.Bloch, who works as a Georgia 4-H agent with UGA Cooperative Extension in Gwinnett County, knew that her participation in Illinois 4-H’s Project Achievement as a child laid the groundwork for her career as an Extension agent, preparing her to speak in front of large crowds with confidence. She wanted to know how the program influenced the career paths of other former 4-H’ers.“The data came back really interestingly,” Bloch said. “When I was looking at what I was finding, Georgia 4-H Project Achievement has helped people to build friendships, develop positive habits and strengthen public speaking skills.”Two lawyers from two separate focus groups attributed their time in 4-H with developing the public skills they used on a daily basis.Bloch’s research has helped to confirm that there is a tangible connection between Project Achievement and the success that alumni attain in their careers. She found that arming kids with tools that help them to learn more and speak with confidence has helped shape the careers of 4-H’ers in Georgia.For more about the programs offered by Georgia 4-H, visit georgia4h.org.last_img read more

Winter Storms

first_imgWith snow and ice in the winter, the likelihood of a power outage always lingers. University of Georgia Cooperative Extension encourages Georgians to be prepared before an emergency strikes.Making sure that you and your family have the supplies you need on hand prevents you from having to rush to the store right before a disaster occurs to fight the crowds for milk and bread. Preparation is also key to saving as much food as possible when the power goes off. When there is no power to run appliances, there’s a question of what to do with food in refrigerators and freezers.People are hesitant to throw away food after a power outage because they feel they are throwing away money. However, eating food that has not been kept at the proper temperatures comes with a grave risk of foodborne illness.Time and temperature are important factors in food safety. When the power is on, refrigerators should be set at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit and freezers should be set at or below 0 F. If the power goes out, keep the doors to the refrigerator and freezer closed as much as possible. If the door is left unopened, the refrigerator will keep food safely cold for about four hours. A full freezer will hold the temperature for 48 hours (or 24 hours if it’s half full). Dry (carbonic gas) or block ice can be used to keep your refrigerator or freezer cold.Consider how to store your food safely before an emergency occurs. If you live in flood-prone areas, store food high on shelves above areas that may be exposed to contaminated water. Keep coolers and frozen gel packs on hand for times when the power may be out for more than 4 hours.  If your freezer is not full, keep items close together to help the food stay cold longer. Keep like items together – meats with meats, vegetables with vegetables, and so on.When you know a power failure may occur, run your freezer at colder temperatures; the colder the food, the more slowly it will thaw.Although the temperature outside may be below freezing, never store your food outdoors during a power outage. Frozen food can thaw in the sun’s rays even when the outdoor temperature is below freezing. Food can become too warm and bacteria can grow from the variation in outside temperature from hour to hour. Perishable items can also be exposed to unsanitary conditions or animals. Rather than putting food outside, take advantage of the freezing weather to make ice to use in your refrigerator, freezer or coolers. Once power is restored, evaluate each item to ensure its safety. Never rely on appearance or odor.  Having appliance thermometers in both your refrigerator and freezer, and a meat thermometer for taking the temperature of food items individually, is necessary for evaluation. Have these in place before an emergency.If the appliance thermometer stored in the freezer reads 0 F or below, the food is safe and may be refrozen. Always discard any items in the freezer or refrigerator that have encountered raw meat juices.  Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and leftovers) that have been above 40 F for two hours. Partial thawing and refreezing may reduce the quality and integrity of some food, but it won’t endanger the safety of the food if the temperature is low enough. For more information on food safety, nutrition and healthy living, contact your local UGA Extension office at 1-800-ASK-UGA1.last_img read more