You keep telling yourself you’re going to get to see the hip musical Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812, well the fates have given you one last shot to down some pierogies and party with the love torn cast! The off-Broadway show, which re-opened on September 27 for a 14-week limited run and was then extended through January 19, is going to pour the vodka even longer! The interactive experience will now continue to play pop-up venue Kazino through March 2, so you still have another month or so to party with the cast! The Great Comet’s downtown company reprise their roles in the new mounting of Dave Malloy’s innovative show, which is directed by Rachel Chavkin. The cast features David Abeles as Pierre, Brittain Ashford as Sonya, Blake DeLong as Bolkonsky/Andrey, Amber Gray as Helene, Nick Choksi as Dolokhov, Grace McLean as Marya D, Ashkon Davaran as Balaga, Phillipa Soo as Natasha, Lucas Steele as Anatole and Shaina Taub as Princess Mary. The ensemble includes Ken Clark, Catherine Brookman, Luke Holloway, Azudi Onyejekwe, Mariand Torres and Lauren Zakrin. Related Shows Based on a most scandalous slice of Leo Tolstoy’s Russian masterpiece War and Peace, The Great Comet tells the story of a young girl named Natasha, who is betrothed to Andrey, though he’s off at war. In his absence, Natasha strikes up a relationship with the attractive Anatole, whose rebellious nature causes Andrey’s best friend Pierre to be on alert to the budding romance. Smells like a Broadway hit… or is that the borscht? View Comments Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812 Show Closed This production ended its run on March 2, 2014
Funny man Steve Martin is getting serious about musical theater. The star is quitting Twitter for the time being to focus on working on his buzzed about new musical Bright Star. Next stop, Broadway? View Comments As previously reported, the new tuner, which which features music by Martin and Brickell, lyrics by Brickell and a book by Martin, is set in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and travels between 1945 and 1923, as a young man returns from war and uncovers hidden yearnings and dark secrets about his past. The bluegrass score includes songs from Martin and Brickwell’s album Love Has Come For You. The production will run from September 13 through November 2 in California. Martin tweeted to his more than five million followers on July 6: “Taking a hiatus from Twitter for a while to concentrate on @ediebrickell’s and my musical Bright Star, opening in San Diego in Sept.”
Honeymoon in Vegas Ready to win big? Honeymoon in Vegas begins performances at Broadway’s Nederlander Theatre on November 18. The new tuner features a score by Jason Robert Brown and a book by Andrew Bergman. Gary Griffin directs a cast led by Tony nominee Rob McClure, stage and screen favorite Tony Danza and Broadway.com vlogger Brynn O’Malley. Opening night is set for January 15, 2015. Based on the 1992 film, Honeymoon in Vegas tells the story of Jack Singer (McClure), a commitment-phobe who finally proposes to his girlfriend Betsy (O’Malley). The couple heads to Vegas to get hitched, but when the smooth talking gambler Tommy Korman (Danza) falls head over heels for Betsy, he arranges for Jack to lose big in a poker game so he can claim the bride-to-be as his own girlfriend. The company also features David Josefsberg, Nancy Opel, Matthew Saldivar, Matt Allen, Tracee Beazer, Grady McLeod Bowman, Barry Busby, Leslie Donna Flesner, Gaelen Gilliland, Albert Guerzon, Raymond J. Lee, George Merrick, Jessica Naimy, Zachary Prince, Catherine Ricafort, Jonalyn Saxer, Brendon Stimson, Erica Sweany, Cary Tedder and Katie Webber. Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on April 5, 2015 View Comments
View Comments Adam Kantor, Sally Field, Scott J. Campbell, Audra McDonald, Lin-Manuel Miranda & Barbra Streisand Happy Friday! We’re sure you have some busy plans this weekend, with Bernadette Peters and Kelly Bishop’s birthdays and the Oscars, but before you order a bunch of balloons in the shapes of clowns and ballerinas, let’s have a Broadway refresher. A lot went down this week on the Great White Way, so take it all in with the Lessons of the Week.Lin’s Gonna Feed the Birds“What’s your name man? Jack, the lamplighter” doesn’t have quite the same ring as Hamilton’s opening number, but this is still pretty exciting. Fresh off his Grammy win, Lin-Manuel Miranda is in talks to star opposite Emily Blunt in Disney’s new Mary Poppins film. He won’t be a chimney sweep and he (presumably) won’t dance with penguins, but still, it’s never too soon to start rehearsing that Cockney accent!Angelica Schuyler Got a Grammy SurpriseWhen a cast recording wins the Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album, its principal soloists also win. However, Hamilton standout Renée Elise Goldsberry never got this memo. As our favorite lamplighter rapped his way through his acceptance speech, Goldsberry beamed, not realizing she too had just won. If you need an Awards primer, Renée, let us know! We don’t want you to run into this problem again in June.Liza Miller Is a Huge #LiveatFive FanAre you watching #LiveatFive, our daily Periscope broadcast with special Broadway guests? Because Liza Miller (a.k.a. two-time Tony winner Sutton Foster) probably is. On this week’s Younger, the 40-something millennial mentioned Periscope as part of her proposed marketing strategy. Take that, Laura Benanti! Just kidding, Laura. We love you, too. Let’s get vanilla ice cream. And Periscope it.Scott J. Campbell Wants to Be SketchyScott J. Campbell takes on the role of the late Gerry Goffin eight times a week in Beautiful, and while he’s playing a real person, his dream roles are bit more two-dimensional. On Live at Five, Campbell revealed that he’d love to star in the upcoming musical adaptations of Spongebob Squarepants and Frozen. We’re pretty sure the latter hasn’t been cast, so Sven can still be yours, Scott!Fears at Disaster! Are NOT Itsy-Bitsy As Broadway.com vlogger Jennifer Simard polled her Disaster! co-stars about their fears, we learned that both Adam Pascal and director Jack Plotnick have the same, highly specific fear: a spider crawling up the toilet while they’re on it. A spider suddenly biting you on the ass? Wait. Is THAT what Kiss of the Spider Woman is about? Wait. Oh my God. A Kiss of the Spider Woman revival with Plotnick and Pascal. You’re welcome.The Nederlander Has Sturdy ColumnsPlotnick, the aforementioned Disaster! director with a phobia of toilet spiders, makes his Broadway directorial debut with the jukebox musical at the Nederlander. However, it’s certainly not his first time causing a scene at that theater. Plotnick revealed that one of his first Broadway memories is seeing Rent in the standing-room-only section, where he bawled and held onto a column for dear life. Never let go, Jack!It’s Always Glass Menagerie TimeThe last time a Glass Menagerie revival was on Broadway, Beyoncé dropped a surprise album, Sandra Bullock fell from space and Queen Latiah officiated a mass gay wedding. Yes, it was a lifetime two years ago. That’s not stopping Oscar winner Sally Field, who is rumored to headline a revival later this year. While it may be soon, we can’t say no to the thought of Sam Gold having Field tell us all about her 17 gentlemen callers in one afternoon.Babs Should Eat Biscuits on the Big ScreenHelloooo, cheese grits! If you’ve ever wanted to follow Barbra Streisand around as she visits various Cracker Barrels across the United States, you’re not alone, and you have very specific desires. Tony nominee Thomas Sadoski revealed this week that he wants to make a documentary about the legend, in which she visits the aforementioned restaurant chain. 1. OK, Tom. Good thinking. 2. How does this affect the Gypsy remake?Audra’s Dog Lost It for Betty LynnWe all go crazy for Betty Buckley, but no one loses their shit more than Audra McDonald’s dog, Georgia . Unfortunately, we mean that literally. Between discussing Shuffle Along and tackling some Yahoo Answers in song on The Tonight Show, McDonald revelaed how Buckley’s visit backstage went wrong: two-month-old Georgia suddenly got diarrhea and started circling Buckley. You win, Georgia. We’ve never done that.Adam Kantor Is a Jellicle of JelliclesAdam Kantor may be in Fiddler at the Broadway Theatre, but later this summer, he can go around the corner to appear in Cats at the Neil Simon. In this week’s episode of Motel Citizen, the Broadway.com vlogger shared his, uh, interesting warmup techniques, inspired by Meisner’s repetition exercise. Watch as he meows continually with castmate Melanie Moore. Fiddler has never been so Jellicle! Star Files Lin-Manuel Miranda
Sutton Foster(Photo: Bruce Glikas) Two-time Tony winner Sutton Foster will headline a 50th anniversary revival of Sweet Charity this fall. The production will kick off the New Group’s 2016-17 off-Broadway season. Also on the lineup is the U.S. premiere of Wallace Shawn’s Evening at the Talk House and world premieres by Erica Schmidt and Hamish Linklater.Sweet Charity will begin performances in November. Leigh Silverman, who directed Foster in the recent revival of Violet, is set to helm the production; Joshua Bergasse will choreograph. The Cy Coleman, Dorothy Fields and Neil Simon musical follows the romantic ups and downs of Charity, a dance hall performer in Times Square. The tuner premiered on Broadway in 1966 and was last revived in New York in 2005.Foster’s stage credits include Tony-winning turns in Anything Goes and Thoroughly Modern Millie, as well as Violet, Shrek, Young Frankenstein and The Drowsy Chaperone. Fans can catch her as 40-year-old-but-pretending-to-be-26 Liza Miller on TV Land’s Younger, which is set to return for a third season next year, as well as the upcoming Netflix revival of Gilmore Girls.Beginning January 2017, the New Group will present Shawn’s Evening at the Talk House, helmed by artistic director Scott Elliott. The play explores the reunion of a group of actors and a playwright on the tenth anniversary of their flop. It first premiered at the U.K.’s National Theatre in 2015.Next, Schmidt will helm the world premiere of her play All the Fine Boys. The show is set in a South Carolina suburb in the late ‘80s and follows fourteen-year-old best friends Jenny and Emily as they contemplate their sexual awakening. Performances will start in February 2017.The season concludes with Linklater’s The Whirligig, featuring Girls star and off-Broadway alum Zosia Mamet and recent Golden Globe winner Maura Tierney. Elliott will direct the production, which begins previews in May 2017. Tierney will star as Kristina, who heads back to Berkshire County to care for her estranged daughter alongside her ex-husband. As word of her return travels, several familiar faces, including her childhood best friend Trish (Mamet), attempt to reconnect.Performances of the four productions are set for the Pershing Square Signature Center. Additional casting and creative team members will be announced at a later date. View Comments
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory The play’s musical’s the thing! The Present marked the first Great White Way opening of 2017, and we can’t wait to see all of the shows the new year has in store. We asked the fans which Broadway productions they’re most excited to catch this year, and musicals took over the top 10. Take a look to see which brand new shows and highly anticipated revivals have fans ready for Broadway in 2017. Miss Saigon Hello, Dolly! (Photo: Joan Marcus & Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images) View Comments Bandstand War Paint Sunset Boulevard Amélie Anastasia Sunday in the Park with George Groundhog Day
Julian Williams is facing an old enemy that just won’t go away: drought. “We’re in bad need of some rain now,” Williams said as he cut a customer’s pasture for hay.University of Georgia weather experts say pastures will signal the familiar agricultural drought’s return. Williams already sees some hay fields needing water, as well as other crops.That wasn’t the case two weeks ago.The state had more rain than it usually gets, about 2 inches more during June, when Tropical Storm Allison made a rainy and much-welcome visit. Temperatures, too, averaged about 1.5 degrees cooler.The storm clouds gave way to dust clouds, though, and much warmer weather in July. The July Georgia sun boiled out the moisture that remained after the storm.Green Plants MisleadingThe plants look green, giving the impression they have plenty of water.”Just because things look green doesn’t mean the drought is gone,” said Pam Knox, assistant state climatologist with the University of Georgia.Agricultural drought, Knox said, is a short-term water deficit caused by limited rainfall, high temperatures and low humidities. The combination depletes the soil moisture, stressing plants, particularly those with shallow root systems.Technically, the early-summer rains broke the agricultural, or short-term, drought in June. But it was more of a hair-line fracture than a clean break.Crops wilt, cotton leaves sag and peanut leaves fold in a desperate effort to save the little water the plants have. After a little leave of absence, the short-term drought threatens to return.Need an Inch per Week”You have to have an inch a week or you start to go back into a short-term drought,” Knox said.Many areas haven’t had anywhere close to an inch of rain since the first of July. The whole state needs about 3 inches of rain spaced out over the next two to three weeks. If it doesn’t come, the official agricultural drought will be back.Some areas could get scattered thunderstorms, and while they help those lucky enough to get them, the UGA weather experts say the scattered thunderstorms won’t stave off a drought.Julian Williams knows. He farmed for 35 years, worrying about the weather. Now, he cuts hay for other people who would like the rain to stay away even longer.Most Hoping for Rain”Folks that have hay to cut want it to be dry a day or two, you know,” says Williams. But most farmers search the skies hoping for rain.Knox said the state will need months of rain, even years, to break the long-term, hydrologic drought.”Most people think of droughts as hot, severe, short-term events that cause plants to wilt and grass to brown,” Knox said. “That’s agricultural drought.”Georgia is in the fourth year, she said, of an unbroken hydrologic drought, which happens when the long-term water balance is negative. In other words, the soil and plants lose more water than comes back as precipitation.Long-term Water BalanceThe negative long-term water balance, she said, draws down the soil moisture. Over the long haul, it will reduce the replenishment of groundwater, leading to drops in well-water levels and in the base flow in streams.”Base flow is the water in streams which comes out of the ground, rather than from rainfall,” she said. “It’s especially important in preserving the health of streams in dry spells.”The only way to recover from hydrologic drought, Knox said, is to have months or even years of above-normal precipitation. Cooler temperatures help, too, she said, because they reduce water losses.In the short term, Georgia farmers need timely rains to provide the moisture they need for their shallow-rooted crops. In the long term, Knox said, the state needs a long period of rain-soaked days.
By Brad HaireUniversity of GeorgiaPlenty of good pumpkins should be available for Georgia shoppers this Halloween. And a few precautions can make sure that pretty pumpkin doesn’t turn scary before its time.Properly cured pumpkins can last as long as three months, said Ken Seebold, a plant pathologist with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. A pumpkin needs a consistent 80-degree (Fahrenheit) temperature for about two weeks to cure.Pickin’ a punkin'”Most pumpkins on the market should be sound and should last through the Halloween season,” Seebold said.But shoppers can look for a few things to avoid getting a bad pumpkin, he said. Avoid pumpkins with mushy handles, or stems. This is a sign of disease. Pumpkins with cracks or pits in the rind may decay early.To prolong the life of pumpkins, keep them out of direct sunlight and in a dry, cool place, said Terry Kelley, a horticulturist with the UGA Extension Service. But once you carve that pumpkin into a jack-o’-lantern, its life becomes shorter.”It will start to break down quickly,” Kelley said. “You can preserve it a little longer by placing a damp towel over it when it’s not on display.” Refrigeration will extend the life of a jack-o’-lantern, too.Georgia pumpkinsWith only about 400 acres of pumpkins, Georgia is a relatively small pumpkin-producing state, Kelley said. Tennessee, Ohio and Indiana produce much more than Georgia. Tennessee has about 4,500 acres of pumpkins a year.”Georgia imports the vast majority of pumpkins sold here,” Kelley said. “But most of the pumpkins grown in Georgia are sold locally at retail roadside markets.”Georgia’s crop is good this year despite wet summer weather. “We had just enough dry spells to allow the crop to make,” Kelley said.Because of the wet weather, however, diseases were tough on the 2003 crop. “Georgia pumpkins are susceptible to a number of diseases caused by fungi, bacteria and viruses,” Seebold said.A disease called Phytophthora crown rot likes warm, wet weather and caused a lot of problems for some growers, he said.Most of Georgia’s pumpkins are grown in the northern part of the state, where it’s just cool enough to keep disease pressure to a minimum. It’s hard to grow pumpkins in south Georgia’s climate without intense management.
Side-by-side with Georgia’s bestMullis and UGA plant pathology researcher Alex Csinos arementoring Connell and Wright in the Young Scholars Program of theUGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.The annual program pairs students with CAES scientists insix-week summer internships on the UGA Athens, Griffin and Tiftoncampuses.”We wanted these two students to do something productive,” Mullissaid of the research project he and Csinos have guided. “I’vebeen extraordinarily impressed with their work. We may be lookingat getting their names on a refereed journal article.”Connell, a country boy, and Wright, a city girl, are studyingtomato spotted wilt virus. Specifically, they’re trying to findexactly how this devastating virus moves through tobacco plants.The scientists set up the experiment by screening 90 tobaccoplants for the virus. From those, they singled out 10 infectedand 10 noninfected plants.Twice a week since early June, Connell and Wright have been outin the tobacco field, observing symptoms and carefully samplingplant tissues throughout those plants to be analyzed in the lab.”I like this, but I don’t like the field work much,” said Wright,whose normal summer habitat is air-conditioned. “It’s a lotharder than I thought it would be.”But the work they’re doing may be groundbreaking. “They’ve runroughly 2,000 samples off those 20 plants so far,” Mullins said.”We’ve got a lot of good, hard data to analyze.” By Dan RahnUniversity of GeorgiaIt’s hard to imagine two less likely partners toiling in asteamy, south Georgia tobacco field than Summer Wright and ShaneConnell. The high school students’ studies, though, could catchscientists’ eyes worldwide.”This research has been done before, but not in this detail intobacco,” said Stephen Mullis, coordinator of the University ofGeorgia’s plant pathology virology lab in Tifton, Ga. More than 60 interns statewideThe Young Scholars Program has 14 students enrolled on the Tiftoncampus this summer, said Susan Reinhardt, YSP director in Tifton.Another 26 students are interning in Griffin, and 25 are inAthens.The interns are paid for up to 40 hours per week while workingside-by-side with UGA scientists. “The whole purpose is to getstudents involved in the science behind agriculture,” Reinhardtsaid.It’s working.”It’s different from what I expected,” said Wright, a junior thisfall at Tift County High. “I never thought of agriculture andscience together. I thought of agriculture as growing things andscience as high-tech work. But the two really go togetherhand-in-hand.”Wright was surprised at the work load in a science laboratory,too. “I pictured them sitting around a lot, but they don’t,” shesaid. “They really work.”Connell, a senior this fall at Berrien County High, feels rightat home in agriculture. “I’ve had a lot of ag classes,” he said.”And I live in south Georgia. Everything around me isagriculture. I’m naturally interested in it.”While Wright chose plant pathology because she knew the leastabout it, Connell was well acquainted with it, partly through hisFuture Farmers of America work. “I’ve been working on athree-year study on tomato spotted wilt virus,” he said.His experience hasn’t completely surprised him. “This is what Iexpected, for the most part,” he said. “But I’ve had a muchbroader look at how research is actually done, as opposed to thekind of science we do in the high school lab.”Like Wright, Connell is impressed by the volume of work in auniversity lab. “The most surprising thing,” he said, “has beenhow many samples run through this lab in a week. These guysreally have a lot to do.”Connell plans to attend Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College forcore classes and then UGA or the Medical College of Georgia.”I’d like to get into clinical pathology — people pathology,” hesaid. “But some of the basic principles of what we’re doing herewill apply in that field, too.”
By Sharon OmahenUniversity of GeorgiaGeorgians may think of spring as the beginning of tornado season, but University of Georgia experts say tornadoes can occur almost year-round. “Statistically, the odds of a tornado hitting a particular point are like 1 in 5,000 or so,” she said. Tornadoes typically occur when “the humidity is high, the winds change with height and there’s sunshine,” she said. They most often form in front of a “push of energy” like a cold front.Too cold for twisters Tornado warnings may seem to last forever, but Knox says an average tornado lasts about 15 minutes. If you live in a state like Colorado, you may be able to see a tornado coming from 20 miles away, Knox said. Georgians, unfortunately, don’t have that luxury. Tornadoes are part of what Knox calls “a whole suite of things that can happen in a thunderstorm.” “Most meteorologists get hooked on weather at an early age,” she said. “I was hooked in the third grade when a tornado hit two blocks from our house in Michigan. It took the middle of a church and left the two ends standing.” “A weather radio is one of the best purchases you can make for your family’s safety during any weather emergency,” she said. Slim odds It can be too cold for a tornado, Knox said. Remembering such dates is part of Knox’s job as assistant to Georgia state climatologist David Stooksbury. It’s also part of her nature. “Tornadoes can happen any time of year, any time of day,” said Pam Knox, Georgia’s assistant state climatologist and a researcher with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “It’s true, spring to early summer seems to be the time of year we think about tornadoes. But Georgia has had them all year.” “Sometimes tornadoes are wrapped in rain so you don’t see them,” she said. “And we have lots of hills in the Southeast, so you can’t see tornadoes coming. That’s why most tornado photographs are taken in the plains of Oklahoma or Kansas.” You can’t see them coming “They won’t happen if the temperature’s 32 degrees or lower,” Knox said. “That said, there are also isolated tornadoes that happen outside these atmospheric conditions. Many form in the right front quadrant of a hurricane like before (Hurricane) Ivan in Georgia on Sept. 15-16, 2004.” Many tornado survivors liken the sound of a tornado to that of a moving freight train or a swarm of angry bees. But don’t rely on sound or sight during a tornado warning, Knox said. Instead, rely on weather reports from the National Weather Service. Don’t trust the movies Despite this experience, Knox isn’t scared of tornadoes, because she understands how they form. She also knows the math. Knox also warns people to remember that tornado movies are often more fictional than factual. The average tornado follows a well-defined path of about 10 miles and usually touches ground for just one mile. “Sometimes a tornado will skip along the ground, and sometimes it never hits the ground,” she said. “When that happens, it’s just a funnel cloud.” “The movie ‘Twister’ significantly increased the number of students majoring in meteorology,” she said. “Unfortunately, it wasn’t very true to life. It usually takes 10 tracking trips to see one tornado. We meteorologists have to suspend our scientific beliefs when we watch tornado movies.”