Friday is the best day of the week. No, not because it’s the last day before a long weekend or because the happy hour deals are amazing. Because on Fridays, Broadway.com takes a look back at all of the crazy stuff that happened in the last seven days! It’s Lessons of the Week time, guys. Pay attention.Cheyenne Jackson Has a Musical BedSusan Blackwell hijacked our dreams when she snuggled up next to Jackson in his hotel room at the Carlyle and somehow convinced him to sing “Feeling Good” while she felt him up. First you licked Darren Criss, then you met Lea Michele the Goat… What’s next, engagement ring shopping with Aaron Tveit?!Sienna Miller Went to Karaoke SchoolSoon-to-be Cabaret star Sienna Miller doesn’t have any formal singing training, but everything she needs to know she learned by drinking vodka and singing karaoke. Forget Juilliard! We always thought Cabaret could use a wasted cover of “Total Eclipse of the Heart” in the second act.James Snyder’s the Mark Cohen of If/ThenYou’d think Anthony Rapp would be the Mark Cohen of If/Then by default, but when you watch video blogger James Snyder sit on the sidelines and document the cast singing “Seasons of Love” with his Canon Vixia, you’ll understand. Hey, he’s already dated Idina Menzel (on stage, anyway). Now all he needs is a scarf and an extreme aversion to leases.Rosie O’Donnell Knows Olaf…IntimatelyNo one knows more about Frozen than its stars, right? Wrong. Rosie O’Donnell knows more about Frozen THAN EVERYONE IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. She knows every line. Do NOT mess with her. Don’t. Seriously. She will hurt you. She almost made Josh Gad cry. Trust us on this. Seriously.Martin Short Can Sew a Mean HemIt’s Only a Play star Martin Short is a fantastic actor, comedian and impressionist, but he also has another special skill he’s been keeping under wraps: Apparently, he’s the fastest hemmer in the West. Martin Short, since you’re a man of many talents, could you sew us a coat of many colors? Preferably one like this.Rock Stars Have Secret IdentitiesWhen we got seven original Rock of Ages stars wasted and asked them to divulge their secrets, we found out so much about the “Equity cock,” breasticle autographs and more. But the most surprising thing we discovered is these guys aren’t actually rock stars. In fact, Adam Dannheisser is “just a neurotic Jew living in New Jersey.” What?! Next you’re going to tell us Caroline Bowman isn’t really green.Golden Globes & Oscars Make MistakesWell, the Academy clearly wasn’t as enchanted by the Into the Woods movie as we were. Sometimes the things you most wish for are not to be touched. But even if it’s out of the running for Best Picture, we can still hold on to our dream of Meryl Streep putting Emma Stone and Patricia Arquette under a spell on Oscar night.Sarah Brightman Is Blasting Off (Finally)After years of dreaming, original Phantom star Sarah Brightman has finally arrived in Russia for her space flight training (at the price of $52 million). There’s only one problem—she has a cold, so classes are postponed until she’s feeling better. Just remember, Sarah: there are no understudies in space.The Next Big Broadway Star Could Be YouAs Sienna Miller would say, forget Juilliard! All you need to be a Broadway star is a stage mother and a dream. The new musical School of Rock is holding open auditions for tiny rock gods. Who needs actual elementary school when you can pretend to be in fourth grade in front of thousands of strangers?Super Bowl XLIX = Nachos, Beer & BeltingQuick, name the first thing you think of when you think of the Super Bowl. Commercials? Nah. Big sweaty dudes tackling each other? Nope. A giant tub of bean dip shaped like a stadium? No way. It’s Idina Menzel, on hand for every special occasion! It’s just not a New Year’s Eve, Oscar night, All-Star game or trip to the grocery store without her. View Comments
Mark Strong View Comments Star Files Director Ivo Van Hove, whose A View from the Bridge, is his latest brilliant collaboration with partner and designer Jan Versweyveld. Photo by Walter McBride/Getty Images Entertainment Brit Russell Tovey (left) and American Michael Zegen play Rodolpho and Marco, respectively, the young Italian workers who shake up the lives of Eddie and his family. Photo by Walter McBride/Getty Images Entertainment Related Shows Russell Tovey Mark Strong (right), who headlines as Eddie, with his two leading ladies, Phoebe Fox (Catherine) and Nicola Walker (Beatrice). Photo by Walter McBride/Getty Images Entertainment The hottest ticket in London has become Broadway’s latest must-see on November 12, when Ivo Van Hove’s acclaimed A View from the Bridge transferred to Broadway amidst cheers from the critics. Arthur Miller’s gut-wrenching drama about Eddie Carbone, a troubled Italian-American longshoreman, is revived often (it was last seen in 2010 with Liev Schreiber and Scarlett Johansson above the title), but it’s never looked like this stark, visceral staging. Led by Mark Strong, who won an Olivier Award for playing Eddie across the pond, the cast partied at Gustavino’s under the Queensboro Bridge after the opening night applause finally died down. Don’t wait to get tickets for this one—it’s only scheduled for a limited run through February 21 at the Lyceum Theatre. Show Closed This production ended its run on Feb. 21, 2016 A View From the Bridge
Star Files View Comments Christopher Jackson We’re currently on the prowl for Broadway’s Sexiest Man Alive (2015 edition), and we have a new gig in mind for each of them. A reading of the previously announced Magic Mike musical recently took place with some colonial favorites. Hamilton’s Jon Rua took to Instagram to snap this shot with co-star Christopher Jackson (who plays a cool and collected George Washington in the tuner). And yes, we know, their clothes are still on. Sorry. No word yet on future plans for the striptastic musical from Tom Kitt, Brian Yorkey and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, or if Derek Klena and Taylor Louderman are still on board, but we’ll be over here doing our crunches in the meantime.
Come taste the wine, come hear the band, come blow your horn, start celebrating right this way! Queer as Folk star Randy Harrison and Broadway alum Andrea Goss will lead the national tour of Cabaret as the Emcee and Sally Bowles, respectively. The touring production will launch on January 26, 2016 in Providence, before continuing to cities across the country.In addition to Harrison and Goss, Cabaret will also feature Shannon Cochran as Fraulein Schneider, Alison Ewing as Fraulein Kost, Mark Nelson as Herr Schultz, Ned Noyes as Ernst Ludwig and Lee Aaron Rosen as Clifford Bradshaw. The ensemble includes Kelsey Beckert, Sarah Bishop, Margaret Dudasik, Hillary Ekwall, Lori Eure, Aisling Halpin, Leeds Hill, Andrew Hubacher, Joey Khoury, Tommy McDowell, Evan D. Siegel, Dani Spieler and Steven Wenslawski.Featuring a score by John Kander and Fred Ebb and a book by Joe Masteroff, Cabaret is set in the infamous Kit Kat Klub, where the Emcee, Sally Bowles and a raucous ensemble take the stage nightly to tantalize the crowd—and to leave their troubles outside. The musical features some of the most memorable songs in theater history, including “Cabaret,” “Willkommen” and “Maybe This Time.”Roundabout Theater Company’s acclaimed production of Cabaret includes direction by Sam Mendes, co-direction and choreography by Rob Marshall, tour direction recreated by BT McNicholl, tour choreography recreated by Cynthia Onrubia, set design by Robert Brill, costume design by William Ivey Long, lighting design by Peggy Eisenhauer and Mike Baldassari, sound design by Keith Caggiano, based on the original Broadway design by Brian Ronan. View Comments
View Comments Sandy Duncan Believe! Sandy Duncan, who starred as Peter Pan on Broadway in 1979, will take on the role of Madame du Maurier in Finding Neverland on February 12. The three-time Tony nominee replaces Carolee Carmello, who has departed the Broadway.com Audience Choice Award-winning new musical for Tuck Everlasting. Duncan will remain with the production through March 27.Along with Peter Pan, Duncan received Tony nods for The Boy Friend and Canterbury Tales; she has also been seen on Broadway in Chicago, My One And Only and Love Is a Time of Day. She received Emmy nods for Funny Face and Roots; other screen credits include The Hogan Family.The cast at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre also currently includes Tony Yazbeck, Laura Michelle Kelly, Kelsey Grammer and Teal Wicks.Directed by Diane Paulus and featuring a score by Gary Barlow and Eliot Kennedy and a book by James Graham, Finding Neverland follows the story of J.M. Barrie (Yazbeck) and his relationship with the family of widow Sylvia Llewelyn Davies (Kelly). Llewelyn Davies’ children eventually became Barrie’s inspiration to write Peter Pan. Related Shows Finding Neverland Show Closed This production ended its run on Aug. 21, 2016
from $149.00 Lin-Manuel Miranda in ‘Hamilton'(Photo: Joan Marcus) View Comments Lin-Manuel Miranda Hamilton Related Shows Star Files How were they gonna say no to this? Hamilton, written by and starring Lin-Manuel Miranda, has been awarded the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The musical juggernaut was chosen over finalists Gloria, by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, and Stephen Karam’s The Humans.Miranda will receive a prize of $10,000. Though this marks his first Pulitzer, he and Quiara Alegría Hudes were finalists for In the Heights in 2009. The award went to Lynn Nottage for Ruined that year.Eight other musicals have won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in the awards’ history. Hamilton joins Next to Normal, Rent, Sunday in the Park with George, A Chorus Line, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Fiorello!, South Pacific and Of Thee I Sing.Hamilton premiered at the Public Theater on January 20, 2015 and has gone on to gain myriad accolades. The off-Broadway run won Drama Desks, Outer Critics Circle Awards, Lucille Lortel Awards and more. Since transferring to Broadway, the show won a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album and the Edward M. Kennedy Prize. Expect the list to grow through the 70th annual Tony Awards on June 12.The show’s influence extends past the theater district. Last September, Miranda received a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant for “bringing the traditional Broadway musical into the 21st century.” Hamilton is also credited for helping keep the ten-dollar Founding Father on U.S. currency and has also spearheaded outreach campaigns for students, including a visit to the White House.In addition to Miranda, the current cast features Leslie Odom Jr., Phillipa Soo, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Christopher Jackson, Daveed Diggs, Anthony Ramos, Okieriete Onaodowan, Jasmine Cephas Jones and Rory O’Malley, who recently took over for Broadway’s original King George, Jonathan Groff.
By Sharon DowdyUniversity of GeorgiaMatthew Adams made Georgia 4-H history last year when he won the organization’s statewide annual pumpkin contest with a record-setting 580.8-pound pumpkin. He didn’t break his record this year, but he still got first place.Adams, a 4-H’er from Carroll County, grew a 468-pound pumpkin to win the Georgia 4-H Pumpkin Growing Contest. Second place went to Hannah Brown of Henry County. She grew a 340-pound pumpkin. Terrell County 4-H’er Caroline Daniel won third place with her 323-pound pumpkin.Knowledge, pride and prizesFor the past two decades, the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association has sponsored the contest. First place gets $100. Second and third receive $50 and $25 respectively. Each of the 38 4-H’ers who entered the contest received a contest t-shirt. To enter, a 4-H’er must grow the pumpkin and have it weighed by the local University of Georgia Cooperative Extension agent. Any variety of pumpkin may be used. But to bring in the big numbers, varieties like Atlantic Giant, Big Max, Big Moon, Prizewinner and Connecticut Field are recommended. All of this year’s winners grew the Atlantic Giant.“The 4-H’er needs at least 120 days to grow the pumpkin to full size,” said Lindsey Fodor, a Georgia 4-H program assistant and the contest’s coordinator. “We also recommend they refer to growing tips provided by UGA Extension horticulturist Terry Kelley.”The number of entries was down this year due to the state’s drought, she said.Watermelons, tooThe goal of the contest is to get Georgia students interested in agriculture and in growing their own crops, Fodor said.Due to the heat, it can be tough to grow pumpkins in south Georgia. To give 4-H’ers there a chance to grow competition-size fruit, the Georgia 4-H Watermelon Growing Contest was established three years ago.Information about the pumpkin and watermelon contests, including photos of the past winners, can be found on the Web at www.georgia4h.org/public/edops/nationalfair/pumpkincontest/.
Pesticides can be helpful in controlling insects and diseases, but there are chemicals that should be handled with care. To educate pesticide users, University of Georgia Extension has planned pesticide safety and handling classes in Albany, Savannah and Perry this February and March.The Albany class is set for Thursday, Feb. 5, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Dougherty County Extension Office, 125 Pine Avenue, Suite 100. The registration fee is $50 and increases to $60 after Jan. 29.The Savannah class is set for Thursday, Feb. 19, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens on Canebrake Road in Savannah. The registration fee is $50 and increases to $60 after Feb. 11.The Perry class is set for Thursday, March 5, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Houston County Extension Office, 801 Main Street. The registration fee is $50 and increases to $60 after Feb. 25.Course topics will include protecting pollinators, pesticide label interpretation, pesticide formulations, delusory parasitosis and recent changes in pesticide regulations.Certified applicators can earn five hours of Georgia Commercial Pesticide Credit for attending a class. This credit can be divided over categories 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 31, 32, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39 and 41. Five hours credit from the International Society of Arboriculture can also be earned for attendance. Experts from UGA Extension, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Georgia Department of Agriculture and Arrow Exterminators will lead the classes. For a complete schedule or to register online, visit ugagriffincontinuinged.com. For more information, call (770) 229-3477 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A new study from the Regenerative Bioscience Center at the University of Georgia is the first to suggest that COVID-19 does not directly damage taste bud cells.Contrary to previous studies that have shown damage may be caused directly by the virus particle, the researchers, led by Hongxiang Liu, associate professor of animal and dairy science in UGA’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, found that taste loss is likely caused indirectly by events induced during COVID-19 inflammation.An increasing number of COVID-19 patients have reported losses of smell and/or taste, prompting the CDC to add it to the growing list of symptoms for COVID-19. Recent research shows 20-25% of patients now report a loss of taste.“More alarming is the rate of patients reporting loss of taste at a later date, sometime after exposure to the virus,” said Liu. “This is something we need to keep a careful eye on.”Published in ACS Pharmacology & Translational Science, the study further indicates that taste bud cells are not vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 infection, because most of them do not express ACE2, a gateway that the virus uses to enter the body.”This study isn’t the first to study ACE2 expression in the oral cavity,” said Liu. “But it is the first to show, specifically in relation to coronavirus and taste bud cell survival, that there are likely other cell death mechanisms at play.”Liu and her colleagues wanted to find out whether ACE2 was expressed specifically in taste bud cells, as well as when this receptor first emerges on oral tissue cells during fetal development, by studying mice as a model organism.Although the mouse version of ACE2 isn’t susceptible to SARS-CoV-2, studying where it’s expressed in mice could still help clarify what’s happening when people become infected and lose the sense of taste, given that mouse and human share similar expression patterns of genes.“Mice have a different cellular copy of ACE2, making them impervious to SARS-CoV-2 infection,” said Liu. “A logical first step was to genetically engineer a model to examine the ACE2 receptor expression in wild type mice, to provide insights into what happens in people.”By analyzing data from oral cells of adult mice, the researchers found that ACE2 was enriched in cells that give the tongue its rough surface, but couldn’t be found in most taste bud cells. That means the virus probably does not affect taste loss through direct infection of these cells.“It’s clear from the data, that future designs of therapeutics directed at ACE2 receptors would likely not be as effective in treating taste loss of patients suffering from COVID-19,” said Liu.According to the team, more researchers have jumped into studying coronavirus and have published more data for smell loss than taste.“Anosmia coronavirus research is being published at a faster pace,” said Liu. “This is the only COVID-19 research that we know of, that involves the mechanisms of taste loss. Taste loss in the tongue is more complex and harder to validate, because of the complexity of cells, tissue structures, and the limited expression level of the ACE2 receptor.”For more information about the Regenerative Bioscience Center, visit rbc.uga.edu.
You may have relied on advice from a Georgia Master Gardener Extension Volunteer in the past. Now they want your input to make plans for the future.A number of novice gardeners, or gardeners who haven’t gotten their boots in the dirt recently, have reached out to Master Gardeners for recommendations during the pandemic. These new gardeners may also have tuned in to Master Gardener webinar presentations or connected via social media to stay engaged with other gardeners.“People turn to plants and gardening because it makes them happy, it can provide a source of food, it gives them a sense of accomplishment and it’s something they can do alone or as a family,” explained State Master Gardener Coordinator Sheri Dorn, who is based at the University of Georgia Griffin campus.The volunteer program, coordinated by UGA Cooperative Extension, reached its 40-year milestone in 2019. Now Dorn and other program organizers want public input as part of their comprehensive strategic planning process to shape the next decade.“Citizen participation is critical to Extension,” said Dorn. “Plants and horticulture have been huge this year due to the pandemic, and people may not know that we have this unique volunteer program. People with enthusiasm for gardening can partner with us to increase their knowledge and also help others, so we’re looking for people who may be interested to give us input for future Master Gardener program development.”A statewide survey is currently open to the public for anyone who is not already a Master Gardener and may be interested in the program or its services, including those who may already be an Extension program supporter or stakeholder. Survey topics include Master Gardener program training format, projects and initiatives, personal environmental attitudes, continuing education and advanced training, marketing of the program and more.Currently, about 60 county Extension offices throughout the state offer the Master Gardener program. Last year 2,330 active volunteers logged nearly 180,000 volunteer hours and more than 1.1 million contacts, disseminating timely information about the selection and care of plants for ornamental value, recreation and home food production. These hours also include strategic community and youth projects determined at the local level.“As we adapt and transform our program to anticipate the needs and interests of a digital community, we will still maintain the relationships and social connections unique and essential to the volunteer experience,” said Dorn. “Master Gardeners love to be together. They crave personal interaction and love to share food and go on trips — the social element can’t ever go away.”There is a strong demand for horticultural recommendations from consumers around the state. Ornamental horticulture is big business in Georgia, contributing $8 billion to the economy and 83,000 jobs, according to the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development. Becoming a Master Gardener Extension Volunteer is a big commitment. As representatives of UGA Extension, volunteers must complete an application, training and a background investigation in preparation for supporting volunteer projects. MGEVs volunteer 50 hours the first year following training and must contribute at least 25 service hours each year thereafter to maintain their active status. Georgia MGEVs use an online record keeping system to track their accomplishments.Participation in the survey is anonymous and open to all adult residents of Georgia through the end of October at tinyurl.com/StratPlanPublic. As an incentive to participate, drawings for free soil samples will be held after the survey period closes.To learn more about the Master Gardener program, visit gamastergardener.org.