Hairspray Live! Taps Kenny Leon, Harvey Fierstein & Jerry Mitchell

first_img NBC’s previously announced Hairspray Live! will welcome a creative team of Tony winners to the ‘60s. Kenny Leon, who directed last year’s The Wiz Live! for the Peacock network, will return to helm this year’s musical telecast. Also returning is Harvey Fierstein, who will adapt the book for the small screen. Fierstein is of course familiar with the show, having won a Tony for his performance as Edna Turnblad. Original choreographer Jerry Mitchell is also on board.The live event is set for Wednesday, December 7 (a departure from The Wiz, Peter Pan and The Sound of Music’s Thursday premieres). Further information, including casting, will be announced at a later date.Leon won a Tony in 2014 for his direction of A Raisin in the Sun; he was also nominated for Fences. Fierstein, who is also a Tony winner for La Cage aux Folles and Torch Song Trilogy, recent updated the book of Funny Girl for London’s Menier Chocolate Factory and West End. Mitchell earned a Tony nomination for his Hairspray choreography and won for La Cage and Kinky Boots.Featuring music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman and Shaiman and a book by Mark O’Donnell and Thomas Meehan, Hairspray follows plus-sized teenager Tracy Turnblad in 1960s Baltimore as she attempts to become a cast member of The Corny Collins Show, a popular local dance TV series. Tracy soon finds herself leading a civil rights campaign to integrate the show. Kenny Leon(Photo: Bruce Glikas) View Commentslast_img read more

Get to Know Cats Duo Jess LeProtto & Shonica Gooden

first_imgJess LeProtto & Shonica Gooden (Photo: Caitlin McNaney) Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on Dec. 30, 2017 Catscenter_img View Comments Of all the frisky felines in Cats, Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer are the biggest mischief-makers, grabbing Sunday dinner from the oven one minute and swiping a string of pearls the next. These show-stopping cats are played by two of Broadway’s best young dancers, Jess LeProtto and Shonica Gooden, who share their characters’ sassy chemistry. LeProtto, a finalist on So You Think You Can Dance, is a vet of Newsies and On the Town; Gooden is savoring her first featured role on Broadway after appearing in the ensembles of Bring It On, Cinderella and Hamilton. The co-stars recently chatted with Broadway.com about the nuttiness of getting into character, those unforgettable Andrew Lloyd Webber melodies and their purrfect (sorry!) stage pairing. Q: First things first: Are you a cat person?SHONICA: I am not a cat person, but I play one at night! I just think they’re strange creatures. They’re creepy. They’re not as fun-loving as dogs.JESS: Yes, I am a cat person. No, I don’t have a cat, but I know a lot of people who do, and I’ve always loved just seeing them do their own thing. In our show, we crawl around all over the place, and pretty much that’s what cats do in real life, so I’m like, “Yes! You live your life, cat!”Q: How do you get into character?JESS: Cats have relaxed hands, so we have to lead with the wrists, and we lead with our ears. Our ears are not like human ears—we have them up above a little more, so just getting into that world physically from the outside is good exercise.SHONICA: My cat place stars in my gut. It starts in my stomach with a contraction and then it flows up through my ears, through my paws, and she becomes Rumpleteazer.Q: What’s it like to be part of a cast of grownups dressed as cats? SHONICA: There was one moment during our rehearsal/preview period where none of us had our costumes on; we just had the cat face and the wig. Seeing each other with normal clothes and then the cat face and the wig was so crazy! When they say, “Take a five-minute break,” everybody immediately comes out of “cat” and they’re talking like regular people. It’s the most bizarre thing.JESS: From the other perspective, during tech rehearsals, we had crew members and creative team members on stage and it was like, “Humans! Get them offstage! This is our place. Get out of our junkyard.” Q: You are so well matched as Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer. What makes the two of you such a good pair?SHONICA: Just the fact that we’re friends outside of the show. We met doing American Dance Machine, and within that process, I got to know Jess as this fun-loving guy. I always knew he was talented, but actually getting to know him, I was like, “Oh this is going to be great.” And then we bonded on comedy, which is so fitting for our characters.JESS: We’re able to adapt to each other’s sensibilities as people, as actors and as cats when we’re performing. Shonica has this dynamic personality that shines through her eyes. It blossoms, and in a way, I can take that excitement and delightfulness and apply it to what I do. We’re connected to each other’s strengths and vulnerabilities.Q: That sense of trust is obvious during your signature musical number. JESS: The number that we do is cardio-driven, it’s stamina-driven, and it’s the only moment in the show that there are two cats singing their song when no one else is on stage. To demand that attention, you really need to ground yourself into the material and know that these confident little kittens are going to steal the show right now.SHONICA: I think of them as very adventurous teenagers. They’re exploring the world, and if that means they get into a little trouble, they’re not afraid of that because that’s what makes their life so incredibly exciting.Q: Cats is filled with songs that stick in the mind. How do you deal with that? JESS: You just let it ride. If I get off the subway after the show, I’ll have the opening stuck in my head: “Practical cats, dramatical cats.” Just roll with it. It has this effect on people because Andrew Lloyd Webber’s score is so beautifully written and so attractive to the ear. He knows how to get the audience’s attention by high stakes and by lush scoring that’s so captivating.SHONICA: I just try to remember to have normalcy in my life, especially now that I’m playing a cat on stage. When I go home, I do other things, whether it’s reading a book on the train or listening to a different piece of music or watching an action movie. I try to remind myself that I am a human first and an artist second. Q: Tell us about your path to Broadway as a dancer. SHONICA I knew I wanted to dance right out of college, but I thought musical theater people were so weird! They were always excited, whereas I grew up in the concert dance world where everybody was very serious. Then I did Bring It On: The Musical and I fell in love with the world and the people. When I got Cinderella, I was like, “OK, God, I guess this is what I’m supposed to be doing.”JESS: I started dancing when I was three, and when I was about seven or eight, I started getting into the business. I was also doing competitive dancing. I knew that I was different—I was kind of cute and quirky, and I found a way to incorporate that into my professional career. I grew up doing a lot of research on choreographers and dancers of an older generation, and I’d like to represent that somehow.SHONICA: You do it very well, and I’m not saying this because he’s my partner in crime. If you walk into an audition, there is no other guy in the room that moves like Jess LeProtto. We always say we both were born in the wrong generation. I was supposed to be with the Debbie Allen generation. He was supposed to be Jerome Robbins, all the classic guys.JESS: I could say the same for Shonica. She doesn’t dance like any other dancer on Broadway. I’m a very lucky partner because the dynamic she brings—not just her beautiful voice, but the way she puts herself out there—you know you’re going to have a good time each night. She delivers, and that makes you want to deliver even more.last_img read more

Cotton Crop

first_imgUniversity of Georgia agricultural economists believe that Georgia cotton farmers in the path of Hurricane Michael have only begun to feel the impact of the storm that took 90 or 100 percent of many area growers’ crops.This week, Yangxuan Liu, assistant professor of agricultural and applied economics in the University of Georgia’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), and UGA Cooperative Extension agricultural economist Amanda Smith released preliminary cost estimates of Hurricane Michael’s damage to Georgia’s cotton industry.Their initial estimates of farm gate value loss range from $550 million to $600 million. This includes losses related to cotton lint, cottonseed and reductions in fiber quality.UGA’s estimated loss value for cotton is still preliminary. Updates will be provided as more data is collected, Liu said.“We took into consideration yield loss variation across the state and adjusted our estimates accordingly,” she said.“We are still in the process of gathering more data from cotton farmers and county agents.”Because heavy rains and winds occurred when the bulk of Georgia’s cotton crop was at risk, Liu cautions farmers that quality issues may be a problem.“Some harvested cotton modules in the field were damaged by wind and rain, which might degrade quality. The cotton harvested after the hurricane might face quality discounts as well, because more mature bolls of possibly higher quality were lost,” she said.Liu cited U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that only 12 percent of Georgia’s cotton crop had been harvested prior to the storm’s arrival. Eighty-eight percent of cotton bolls were open and susceptible to the hurricane’s destructive winds.Hurricane Michael’s path up through southwest Georgia significantly impacted the region that is responsible for some of the top cotton production in Georgia. Southwestern Georgia counties Colquitt, Crisp, Decatur, Dooly, Early, Mitchell and Worth were hit hard by the hurricane — and make up seven of the top-10 cotton-producing counties in the state, according to the USDA’s figures for 2017.Cotton is the largest row crop in Georgia. According to the USDA, the farm gate value for Georgia-grown cotton and cottonseed in 2017 was $867 million with more than 1.2 million harvested acres.Producers should contact their local UGA Extension agents to report any losses or for more information about estimating storm damage.“The impact of Hurricane Michael will extend beyond the farm gate level. Cotton gins, local communities and the entire Georgia economy are likely to experience the ripple effect of Hurricane Michael for years to come,” said Jeff Dorfman, a professor of agricultural and applied economics at CAES.For up-to-date information on Georgia’s cotton crop, see www.ugacotton.com.last_img read more

Fracking, Port Ambrose Opponents Rally in Long Beach

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York About 200 demonstrators waved anti-hydraulic fracturing signs and chanted in unison as speakers with bullhorns led a rally on the Long Beach boardwalk Saturday against the controversial natural gas drilling technique, and to bring public attention to a proposed offshore liquid natural gas deepwater port off of the City by the Sea.The protest coincided with a global day of demonstrations against hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which environmentalists say could pollute drinking water and cause underground contamination, among other wide-ranging negative effects. Opponents urged New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to enact a ban on fracking after a moratorium on the drilling technique was extended earlier this year.“We need to say no to fracking in our state,” Legis. Dave Denenberg (D-Merrick) yelled into the crowd of people with their backs to the ocean. “It’s not the answer.”The crowd, forming a semicircle on the newly re-built boardwalk, lifted up signs that read, “Get the frack outta here,” “Don’t frack with our water,” and “Long Island against Frackenstein,” while chanting similar remarks as bike riders buzzed by and passersby stopped to listen.Adrienne Esposito, executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, directed her comments to Cuomo, criticizing him for only coming to LI to meet with the “rich and powerful” over concerned residents.Demonstrators in Long Beach calling on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to ban hyd“We the people have power and influence. Why isn’t he meeting with us?” she blasted, adding, “Do not frack New York.”Fracking proponents note that the drilling technique could be a boon to the upstate economy, with the gas industry pumping chemicals into shale rock to release natural gas.Related: Long Island’s Offshore LNG Port Proposal’s Critics Fear Fracking Exports on HorizonOpponents are worried that if gas companies get the green light to frack upstate it would allow a proposed LNG port dubbed Port Ambrose about 20 miles off Long Beach to export gas extracted through the drilling process, though the company applying for the deepwater import facility license has said the permit does not allow exports through the facility.The group gathering in Long Beach Saturday afternoon said they had other concerns regarding the offshore port, including the ramifications of a potential oil spill.“We don’t want to see the industrialization of our waters,” said Claudia Borecky, of the Nassau County Coalition of Civic Associations, noting that the proposed facility could be in the path of a future hurricane.“You don’t want to swim in polluted water or drink polluted water,” added John Moore, co-organizer of MoveOn.org.Cuomo has not discussed which way he’s leaning on the fracking issue. The governor also has final say regarding Port Ambrose, though the U.S. Coast Guard and Maritime Administration will first decide whether to grant the license.last_img read more

FBI 10 Most Wanted Fugitive Sentenced To Life For LI Mom, Tot Murders

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Juan Elias Garcia, 21, spent one day on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list.A reputed MS-13 gang member was sentenced to life in prison Monday for the revenge-fueled execution-style double murder of a Long Island mother and her toddler in the woods of Central Islip.Juan “Cruzito” Garcia, who fled to El Salvador following the February 2010 slayings, had pleaded guilty to murdering 19-year-old Vanessa Argueta in October 2014. His life sentence was handed down by US District Judge Joseph F. Bianco in Central Islip.“The MS-13 is infamous for committing senseless and brutal acts of violence, but, even for the MS-13, the murders of Vanessa Argueta and Diego Torres were particularly depraved and callous,” said Robert L. Capers, US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.Garcia, 22, was one of four men involved in the murders of Argueta and her 2-year-old son, Diego Torres. All four men have been convicted for their roles in the murders, and all but one have been sentenced to life in prison. Rene Mendez Mejia, who pleaded guilty to the Argueta and Torres murders, is awaiting sentencing.Garcia was on the lam for four years before surrendering to law enforcement authorities in Nicaragua in March 2014, after spending one day on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list. The feds had offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to Garcia’s arrest.The murders were in retaliation for Argueta’s apparently requesting a rival gang jump Garcia after their romantic relationship had soured, authorities said.After getting approval to exact revenge, Garcia and his accomplices picked Argueta and her son up from her home under the guise of taking her out to dinner, authorities said.Instead, they took the mother and son to a secluded area in the woods of Central Islip. Then they fatally shot Argueta in the head and chest and Torres twice in the head, authorities said. Prosecutors said Garcia fired one of the bullets that killed Argueta.last_img read more

Spartan lacrosse standout Mia Hartung taking talents to Colgate

first_imgAs a Spartan, Hartung has been named a Section IV Class A 1st team all-star (2019), and a Section IV Class A 2nd team all-star (2018). “It was really important to me because I’m a defender so I’ve really been focusing on my footwork, and just keeping my agility up,” she said. “So being able to implement that again into an actual game was really helpful for me, and I could see what areas I improved on and what areas I still needed to work on.” With so many unknowns surrounding next season, Hartung is hoping for a final chance to play with her teammates, and to take down Vestal, the reigning Section IV champions. Hartung said finally signing her NLI in front of family and friends made her commitment to Colgate feel real. “I’ve really just improved my self discipline. I have a lot of friends going to play college sports so we’ve been running with each other, trying to keep each other in shape,” she said. Hartung said Colgate was a perfect fit, from an academic and athletics standpoint. Off the field, Hartung is the Vice President of her grade, an honor roll student and a member of the National Honors Society. She plans to study economics at Colgate. She also represented Upstate New York at the Under Armour All-American games in 2018, 2019 and 2020. This year, playing in the games may have been even more beneficial to her lacrosse skills. She said it was the first time she’s played at a competitive level in months. TOWN OF UNION (WBNG) — Maine-Endwell senior Mia Hartung recently signed her national letter of intent to play lacrosse at Colgate University. Despite losing her junior season due to the pandemic, Hartung said Colgate was with her every step of the way. “Going into the recruiting process I knew that I wanted a small school, but I also wanted to compete at a high level,” she said. “I think Colgate just gave me the whole package.” As she prepares to play at the Division 1 level, Hartung has been training with her teammates. “It was just so exciting to be able to, you know finish what I’ve been working for,” she said. “At this point I’m really hoping to play with my best friends again one last time,” she said. “And obviously try to win that section championship if we can, and I think we’re all really excited to get that opportunity again.” “It definitely put a lot of stress on me,” she said. “But the coaches at Colgate were great about communication. They were open, they were honest with me.” “last_img read more

Unai Emery provides Arsenal transfer update on Nicolas Pepe deal

first_imgShkodran Mustafi was at fault for Lyon’s winning goal against Arsenal (Picture: Getty)The sight of second half substitute Shkodran Mustafi committing the error which led to Moussa Dembele’s winning goal did little to calm the home crowd which had booed the German’s introduction.Asked to explain Arsenal’s ongoing defensive struggles, Emery said: We defended well in the first half. The second half we switched off.‘The focus and concentration maybe wasn’t there as much in the second half. We were winning and playing very well…but we lost. We’re going to work and watch to improve.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal Advertisement Comment Arsenal are competing with Napoli over the £72million transfer of Nicolas Pepe (Picture: Getty)Unai Emery insists Arsenal are working to sign players ‘who will improve the squad’ amid speculation Nicolas Pepe is on the verge of completing a £72million transfer to the north London club.The Spaniard was reportedly working with a meagre £45million budget having failed to mastermind a return to the Champions League following last season’s capitulation during the run-in.After a meeting with the club’s owners in America last week, however, Emery appears to have been granted the funds required to significantly bolster his squad in what remains of the summer window.Dani Ceballos arrived on loan for the season from Real Madrid earlier this week, while Arsenal beat off late competition from Tottenham to sign highly-rated Saint-Etienne centre-half William Saliba.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTMore: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityArsenal had failed with an opening bid of £40million for Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha and turned their attentions to Pepe after failing to tempt the Eagles with an exchange deal which would have included the likes of Mohamed Elneny or Carl Jenksin.Napoli, too, maintain a strong interest in Pepe, but Arsenal are understood to be the Ivory Coast international’s preferred destination and only an agreement with his representatives needs to be finalised before confirmation of the deal, which is expected to be announced early next week.‘The club is thinking on how we can improve,’ said Emery after Arsenal’s 2-1 defeat against Lyon in the Emirates Cup.‘There are different players on the table. Pepe’s a very good player. We only want players who can really, really improve the squad. Reiss Nelson impressed after replacing Alexandre Lacazette against Lyon (Picture: Getty)‘We want the best players possible for the first game at Newcastle.’After Reiss Nelson and another summer signing, Gabriel Martinelli, impressed against the Ligue 1 side, Emery was pressed again on whether a new winger represented a key requirement.‘Again, we really want players who make the squad better than last year,’ he added.With Saliba heading back to France for another year to continue his development and club captain Laurent Koscielny effectively on strike, Arsenal appear to be in desperate need of defensive reinforcements.center_img Unai Emery provides Arsenal transfer update on Nicolas Pepe deal Metro Sport ReporterSunday 28 Jul 2019 5:59 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link4.2kShares Advertisementlast_img read more

A Bunya home with a mini ‘Wet n Wild’ line up for the gavel

first_img >> FOLLOW EMILY BLACK ON FACEBOOK<< With resort-like appeal this property offers everything from a waterslide to a tennis court.“The feedback has been it’s a tranquil setting, resort style feel, a safe environment for a family to grow, all within 30 minutes’ (drive) to the CBD,” he said.According to the realestate.com.au listing, 8 Ernest Court, Bunya the property is an “entertainer’s dream”, featuring an 8x8m Balinese-inspired hut and north-facing pool with waterfall and spa. The outdoor entertaining area with built-in pizza oven is one of many places to entertain.According to CoreLogic the current owners purchased the property in 2005 for $905,500.The property is one of nearly 70 Brisbane homes going under the gavel this weekend. This Bunya home has it all — architectural design, ample parking and loads of room to entertain.“You’ve got your own outdoor projector screen, you’ve got a waterslide — you know it’s like a mini Wet and Wild,” Mr Crompton said.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus16 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market16 hours agoHe said 44 groups had inspected the property, who were impressed with its resort-like qualities, including the tennis court and pool area. Ray White Samford sales agent Brett Crompton said it would be like owning your own “Wet n Wild” amusement park. Adding to the fun, this billiards room is the perfect place to wind down.Other features include a terrazzo benchtop and dual Blanco overs in the kitchen, separate formal dining room with bar and fireplace, billiards room and outdoor entertaining with a wood fired pizza oven.The five-bedroom home, which will go to auction this Saturday, October 15 at 10am, is set on a 6102sq m lot and offers parking for up to six cars. AUCTION ACTION: 8 Ernest Court, Bunya will go under the hammer on Saturday, October 15 at 10am.SLIP and slide into this property at Bunya, which comes complete with everything you’d expect from a five-star resort.last_img read more

Baylor Trucking holding wreath ceremony

first_imgMILAN, Ind. — Baylor Trucking would like to remind the area about their upcoming wreath ceremony on December 14th at 5:30 pm.The ceremony will take place inside their headquarters in Milan.As children make their own wreaths, they will learn about the importance of a remembrance wreath and what each bouquet of the wreath symbolizes.Baylor Trucking has participated in the Wreaths across America program for nearly a decade and purchases wreaths for local veterans and their families.Wreaths across America has several educational components to emphasis its principles of Remember, Honor and Teach.last_img