Dianna Agron Set for McQueen Glee star Dianna Agron and stage vet Stephen Wight (Don Juan in Soho) will take on the roles of Dahlia and Lee McQueen, respectively, in the world premiere of James Phillips’s play McQueen. Directed by John Caird, the show is set on a single London night and steps into the fairy story landscape of the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen’s mind. The production begins performances at the St. James Theatre on May 12, with opening nights scheduled for May 19 and May 20. Here’s a quick roundup of London stories you may have missed today. Kit Harington Eyes 2016 Stage Return Game of Thrones’ Kit Harington is aiming to return to his stage roots. Before spending literally years shooting in snow as Jon Snow, Harington made his name on the boards, originating the role of Albert Narracott in London’s War Horse. He told the Daily Mail that he is considering going back to the theater in 2016. No word yet on the project or location, but we (of course!) think it’s time he followed his Thrones co-star Emilia Clarke and made his Broadway debut! Judi Dench & More to Star in The Vote This sounds like an “Event” with a capital “E”! Mother-daughter duo Tony and Oscar winner Judi Dench and Finty Williams, Broadway alums Paul Chahidi and Hadley Fraser, Catherine Tate and more will star in The Vote. Set in a fictional London polling station, the play, written by Finding Neverland’s James Graham, dramatizes the final ninety minutes before the polls close in this year’s U.K. General Election. There will be two weeks of performances at the Donmar Theatre from April 24 through May 6 in the run-up to a live TV broadcast on May 7 (the day the Brits go to the polls). View Comments
Star Files Honeymoon in Vegas Show Closed This production ended its run on April 5, 2015 Before American Idol and Dreamgirls movie favorite Jennifer Hudson makes her long-awaited Broadway debut in The Color Purple, she took a little trip to Vegas…by way of the Nederlander Theatre! The Grammy winner and her pal, Weight Watchers guru Elizabeth Josefsberg (below), took a field trip to see Josefsberg’s husband David in the hit musical Honeymoon in Vegas. After the show, the pair stopped backstage to meet Tony Danza, Rob McClure, Brynn O’Malley and the cast. Check out these sweet snapshots, then roll the dice at Honeymoon in Vegas on Broadway! Jennifer Hudson Related Shows View Comments
View Comments Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today. Stanley Tucci Set for BeautyAnother stage and screen star has boarded Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast! Tony nominee Stanley Tucci (Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune) will play new character Cadenza, the neurotic grand piano, writes Variety. The film, which will star the previously reported Emma Watson, Ian McKellen, Ewan McGregor and many more, is scheduled to hit movie theaters on March 17, 2017.Telly Leung Tapped for Tokio ConfidentialBroadway faves Telly Leung (Allegiance), Jill Paice (An American in Paris) and Jeff Kready (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder) will feature on the recording of Tokio Confidential: A New Musical. Eric Schorr’s show had its off-Broadway world premiere in 2012, starring Paice, Mel Sagrado Maghuyop and Benjamin J. McHugh, and follows the story of an American Civil War widow who in 1879 sails for Japan. The album will be released both digitally and in store on Broadway Records on May 12.Jersey Boys Takes First PlaceThe 29th Annual Easter Bonnet Competition raised a new record of $4,711,386 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. The news was revealed after two days of Easter Bonnet Competition performances, which honored the fundraising efforts of 52 Broadway, off-Broadway and national touring productions in song, dance, comedy and 18 ornate, handmade bonnets. The company of Jersey Boys took top design honors, with Avenue Q winning the best presentation award. The top Broadway fundraiser was The Book of Mormon, while Hamilton led the way off-Broadway.See Steven Pasquale Backstage at CarouselYou’ve probably guessed by now that we at Broadway.com are extremely keen for the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s staging of Carousel to transfer to the Great White Way. Check out below a dressing room shot of star Steven Pasquale reading all our coverage to prepare for the show below (at least that’s what we’re telling ourselves). How does @StevePasquale prepare to be great in #Carousel? Reading @broadwaycom on his phone before the show. #fiction pic.twitter.com/QHu2CdAbLW— Paul Wontorek (@PaulWontorek) April 22, 2015
Related Shows The cast is now set for the world premiere of Important Hats of the Twentieth Century. The Manhattan Theatre Company’s off-Broadway production, directed by Hand to God’s Moritz von Stuelpnagel, will star Carson Elrod and Matthew Saldivar. Performances begin on November 10 at New York City Center—Stage II. The Nick Jones comedy will open officially on November 23.Elrod takes on the role of Sam Greevy, an in-demand fashion designer in 1930s New York. Saldivar will play Paul Roms, a designer whose latest collection features anachronistic sweatshirts, tracksuits and skater pants. Their rivalry escalates as Greevy wraps his head around where—and when—these pieces come from.Elrod’s previous credits include Reckless and Noises Off on Broadway and Lives of the Saints off-Broadway. Saldivar last appeared on Broadway in Honeymoon in Vegas; his additional credits include Act One and The Toxic Avenger. Both played the role of Black Stache in Peter and the Starcatcher: Elrod understudied Christian Borle; Saldivar assumed the role later in the run.Additional cast members include Remy Auberjonois, Jon Bass, John Behlmann, Reed Campbell, Maria Elena Ramirez, Triney Sandoval and Henry Vick.The production will feature set design by Timothy R. Mackabee, costumes by Jennifer Moeller, lighting design by Jason Lyons and an original score and sound design by Palmer Hefferan. Important Hats of the Twentieth Century View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on Dec. 13, 2015
Benjamin Walker in ‘American Psycho'(Photo: Jeremy Daniel) Despite a catchy score and acclaimed engagements in London, American Psycho received little Tony love this year and is set to shutter on Broadway on June 5 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre. Headlined by Benjamin Walker, the new tuner officially opened on April 21 and at time of closing will have played a total of 81 performances.The Rupert Goold-helmed musical boasts a book by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and a score by Duncan Sheik. Based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis (which also inspired the Christian Bale-led film), American Psycho follows 26-year-old Patrick Bateman (Walker): a sophisticated, affluent and devastatingly handsome Wall Street tycoon in 1980s New York City. He’s got a sculpted body, a model-gorgeous girlfriend and a picture-perfect apartment. There’s just one snag: he also has a murderous, psychopathic alter ego that he hides from his friends and co-workers.The cast also includes Alice Ripley, Jennifer Damiano, Heléne Yorke, Theo Stockman, Brandon Kalm, Drew Moerlein, Krystina Alabado, Dave Thomas Brown, Jordan Dean, Anna Eilinsfeld, Jason Hite, Ericka Hunter, Holly James, Keith Randolph Smith, Alex Michael Stoll and Morgan Weed.London fans feasted their eyes on the to-die-for musical during its world premiere at the Almeida Theatre in December 2013. The thriller’s subsequent off-Broadway engagement was axed, clearing its direct shot at the Great White Way.Broadway.com customers with tickets to canceled performances will be contacted with information on refunds or exchanges. American Psycho View Comments Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on June 5, 2016
Now in its third year, the current drought has many Georgians wondering if the state will ever returnto normal weather. But state climatologist David Stooksbury saysthe drought is part of a historically more normal climate pattern.Stooksbury, who is also a professor of engineering in the Universityof Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences,doesn’t see drought as strange or even unusual. But that doesn’tmean the state will be a desert anytime soon.”The state has now returned to a more normal climate pattern,with greater year-to-year variability,” Stooksbury said.Drought is part of the overall history of the Southeast, he said.The history also contains long periods of wetter weather.”We will have more years that are extremely wet and moreyears that are extremely dry, which is historically the more common pattern,” he said.Unusually Mild WeatherFarmers and others looking back now recall extended times of wet,mild weather in the 1960s and ’70s. That weather makes the currentdrought seem that much more unusual. But those days weren’t the”normal” that people think they were.”If you look back at droughts, the ’60s and ’70s were theabnormal years,” Stooksbury said. “They had very littlevariation.”In the ’60s, central Georgia had only one month of drought. Andthroughout the ’70s, the same area had only 13 months of moderate,extreme or severe drought.Drought Still Grips StateThough rains brought relief to parts of the parched state in September,Georgia remains under drought conditions. As of Oct. 27, the soilmoisture in 80 percent of the state was short to very short.State water restrictions remain in effect.The severity of the drought varies from region to region, Stooksburysaid. Georgia is the largest state east of the Mississippi River,and the state has a diverse landscape. This allows for variationsin the drought’s severity. The state’s northwestern corner isin mild drought, the west central area in severe drought and thesouth central part near normal for this time of year.A drought doesn’t start during summer. It’s what happens the winter before that marks the severity of a drought.”Wetter” Winter ExpectedWinter rains usually replenish the state’s soil moisture and thegroundwater supplies lost during the year. However, the past twowinters haven’t brought the needed rain.With the dissipation of the Nino family — for now — Stooksburysaid the state will probably return to near-normal rainfall thiswinter.”The global ocean temperature pattern is close to neutral,which means we don’t have the more robust, forcing pattern forthe weather,” he said. The state is less likely to have thewet winter of El Nino, but it’s also less likely to have the drywinter of La Nina.”We don’t have a well-defined guide for this winter,”Stooksbury said. “But we’ll tend toward a more normal winter.”He said another El Nino event is possible for the 2001-2002 winter.It would still take several months of above normal rainfall topull out of the drought, he said. Even normal rainfall throughwinter will not solve the problem.Going into the next growing season, Stooksbury believes the statewill have adequate soil moisture to germinate seeds. But groundwaterand deep-soil moisture levels will remain low.”We should have enough moisture in the top soils to get thecrops up,” Stooksbury said. “But there won’t be muchof a cushion for next year.”
By Sharon OmahenUniversity of GeorgiaThe abundance of rain in Georgia is, for the most part, ablessing. Your turf grass may not agree.”We’ve had one of the wettest Mays and Junes on record,” saidClint Waltz, a turf specialist with the University of GeorgiaCollege of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.Compacted soil”Too much water combined with traffic can cause the soil tobecome compacted. And when it does dry out, there isn’t enoughroom for oxygen to get to the plant’s roots,” Waltz said. “Two ofturf grasses’ major needs are water and air. Too much of one canaffect the other.”So how to do know if your soil is compacted?”You’ll see wear patterns on the turf once it dries out,” hesaid. “Or there will be thin areas and spots that are extremelyhard and too tough to penetrate.”To solve the problem, Waltz suggests renting an aerator or hiringa service. An aerator is a device that punches holes in the soil.These holes are typically 3 to 6 inches deep and will allow formuch-needed air flow.Run the aerator over the affected area two to three times indifferent directions, he said.”Not all areas of the lawn need aerification,” said Waltz. “Onlytreat the area that needs it. And make sure you do this while thegrass is actively growing.”Some aerators actually pull out cores of turf and soil. Eitherdispose of these or work them back into your lawn, he said.If your soil is clay, he recommends leaving the new air holesunfilled and letting them fill in naturally. If your soil issandy, he said, you can incorporate an organic matter as anamendment to improve its nutrient- and water-holding capacity.Waltz said centipede and St. Augustine grasses don’t respond toaerification as well as Bermuda and zoysia.Disease pressureBesides compacting soils, the recent rains have increased turfdisease pressure.”By far the biggest turf disease problem caused by the rain hasbeen brown patch,” said Mila Pearce, a UGA integrated pestmanagement specialist. Pearce works closely with UGA ExtensionService county agents to identify submitted disease samples andmake recommendations for homeowners.”Brown patch is caused by a fungus that primarily gets in theroot and crown,” she said. “It causes large brown patches thatwill slowly expand if they aren’t treated.”Pearce said homeowners often make brown patch worse by acting ontheir first reaction. “Their instinct is to throw nitrogen to itto green it up,” she said. “This is the absolute worst thing todo and it makes it 10 times worse.”If you have to fertilize, Pearce said, select a low-nitrogentype. Brown patch is typically seen on zoysia and Bermudagrasses.Homeowners with St. Augustine grass are reporting a differentdisease problem.”We’re seeing a lot of gray leaf spot in St. Augustine grass, whichis a direct result of all this wet weather,” Pearce said. “Itleaves gray, water-soaked lesions and eventually causes dryingand dieback.”One dose won’t do itTo control these diseases, you have to develop a schedule.”Homeowners think they can spray one time and be done,” Pearcesaid. “One spraying will only reduce disease. It’s not uncommonto have to keep a spraying schedule of every 10 to 14 days.”Pearce said aerating the soil and reducing thick thatch areaswill help prevent diseases. To control them, she recommendsselecting a chemical treatment such as Immunox, Terraclor orCleary’s 3336.”One thing you can’t control is Mother Nature. So as long as itrains, you’ll just have to be prepared to make continual sprays,”Pearce said. “Spraying is not going to remove it. It’s just goingto reduce it and keep it from spreading.”
By Gary L. WadeUniversity of GeorgiaYou don’t have to use the same old hanging baskets. Creativeplanters made from PVC drain pipe can add a new dimension to yourhanging gardens.These durable planters can be used for years. Their sleek,cylindrical shape adds a contemporary feel to the landscape. Andif you already have the required tools, you can make four of themfor less than $20.To build yours, start with the rigid, 4-inch, white PVC drainpipe used for indoor plumbing. It comes in 10-foot lengths inmost home improvement and hardware stores.You’ll need PVC cement and an end cap for each planter, alongwith a hacksaw, sandpaper, 8-gauge wire, an electric drill,1/8-inch and 1/2-inch drill bits and a 1 3/4-inch hole-saw bit.Here’s howWith the hack saw, cut the 10-foot pipe into four equal sections2 1/2 feet long. Then with the hole-saw bit, bore three holesabout 8 inches apart along one side, beginning about 4 inchesfrom the bottom.Leave enough space for the end cap at the bottom and at least 6inches of head space at the top. If the top hole is too close thetop, water will gush out of it each time you water and will washaway the top plants. I learned this through trial and error.Once the first row of holes is bored, turn the pipe over anddrill a second row on the opposite side, directly across from thefirst holes.Keep goingThen rotate the pipe one-quarter turn and drill another line ofholes midway between the first two sets of holes, so the holesalternate up the planter. When all is done, each planter shouldhave 12 holes. Sand off the plastic shards left around each hole.Next, drill a 1/2-inch drain hole in the center of the end cap.Then glue the cap with PVC cement on the bottom of the planter.Finally, drill two 1/8-inch holes about 1 inch from the top ofthe planter. Insert the ends of a 12-inch length of the 8-gaugewire into each hole from the outside in, bringing each end up andover the top of the container. Secure it around itself withseveral twists.What to plant and howPlants grown in six-plant cell packs work best for the drain-pipeplanter. Their roots are small enough to insert easily into theholes. Don’t use 4-inch plants. Their roots will be too large.Plant from the bottom up by adding soil mix to the first set ofholes. Carefully insert the roots of the first two plants intothe bottom holes. Add more soil mix to the second set of holes,then plant the next two plants.Continue filling the pipe and planting. Leave 4 to 6 inches ofsoil above the topmost hole and another 4 to 6 inches of spacebetween the soil mix and the top of the planter. The top spacewill serve as a reservoir when you water.Last stepsWhen all plants are in place, gently tamp the planter on a hardsurface to settle the soil around the roots. You may need to adda little more soil after it settles.Finally, hang the planter. Use a liquid fertilizer to water inthe plants and settle the soil. Add it slowly until you see itdraining from the bottom.Many plants adapt well to the drain-pipe planter. I use pansiesand violas in winter and vinca, begonias and sedums in summer.Impatiens are excellent for shady areas. Avoid trailing plantslike petunias. They tend to dry out quickly.In late winter, I plant my drain pipes with lettuce and parsleyfor spring salads. That makes the planters both attractive andfunctional.(Gary Wade is a professor and extension horticulturist withthe University of Georgia College of Agricultural andEnvironmental Sciences.)
For the fourth consecutive year, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension and the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens at the Historic Bamboo Farm (CGBG) are hosting December Nights and Holiday Lights, a traditional, family event filled with displays, music and more than 500,000 holiday lights. The seasonal event will be Nov. 27 through Dec. 24, from 6-9 p.m. each Wednesday through Sunday night. Cost of admission is $8 for adults, $5 for children 10 years and under, and free for children under 2 years. “Events like Holiday Lights are great ways for families to spend time together learning and enjoying the outdoors,” said Elizabeth Lubrani, outreach coordinator for the gardens and Chatham County Extension agent. This year, the CGBG has expanded the event to add two more acres of lights and lighted displays, and there will be local choirs and musical groups performing live in the new Andrews Visitor and Education Center, Lubrani said. The gardens will also feature a model holiday train display from the Coastal Rail Buffs. Favorite activities, such as story time with Mrs. Claus, are back by popular demand this year, said Lubrani, along with Saturday night pictures with Santa. In “Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen,” students from the local 4-H and nonprofit groups will sell and serve holiday treats and hot drinks to raise funds for their organizations. “These events and events like it really bring the community out to the gardens and get them excited,” Lubrani said. “I would like all visitors to leave feeling impressed with what University of Georgia Extension has to offer, and I would like for local visitors to leave feeling proud that Savannah has such an impressive and well-supported botanical garden.” Located 10 miles southwest of historic Savannah, Georgia, the CGBG is a UGA Extension facility that showcases 51 acres of plants, gardens, lakes and historical buildings for residents and visitors. To learn more about the CGBG, visit coastalgeorgiabg.org or call 912-921-5460.
If Georgia farmers want to maximize their profits, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension economist Amanda Smith says that, like all business owners, they first need to know their costs of production.Whether you’re talking about seed costs, fertilizer or fuel, farmers need to calculate their total expenses to maximize their profitability during the harvest season. That’s the message Smith has been communicating to producers during this year’s winter crop meetings.“In the case of peanuts, if growers are planning on shortening their crop rotation, they know they’re likely to take a hit in terms of yield,” Smith said. “I want them to also be thinking about how it’s going to impact them from a cost-of-production standpoint.”Making a change like this could result in lower yields due to more disease or insect pressure, she said. “If growers anticipate more disease and insect pressure, they can expect a higher cost to manage it, through additional disease-control sprays or other measures.”With assistance from fellow UGA Extension agricultural economists Adam Rabinowitz and Don Shurley, Smith has formulated a cost-of-production table — the “2017 Row Crop Comparison Tool” — that allows row crop farmers to estimate their total variable costs per acre, and their return above variable costs. Variable costs are what it costs to plant, grow and harvest a crop.Based on a survey of local input suppliers conducted in cooperation with UGA Cooperative Extension agents, Smith calculates what farmers can expect to pay for seed, chemicals, fuel, insurance, labor, fertilizer and irrigation for row crops like cotton, peanuts, corn, soybeans and grain sorghum. The costs vary depending on the commodity.“Seeds are generally one of the higher costs for several row crops. As far as peanuts are concerned, disease control is where (growers) spend much of their chemical expenses,” Smith said.For irrigated peanuts, disease control represents 13.2 percent of total variable costs. Disease control is 8.7 percent of total variable costs for non-irrigated peanuts, she said. Fertilizer costs represent a larger portion of the total variable costs of cotton and corn production.“Irrigation can also be expensive for cotton, corn and peanut crops, depending upon the weather,” Smith said.Land rent is also a cost factor. In Georgia during 2016, irrigated cropland cost an average $189 per acre and nonirrigated cropland cost $63 per acre, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service survey on cash land rents.UGA Extension’s estimates of costs in the crop enterprise budgets are based on a typical production year, assuming an average year in terms of rainfall and crop rotations and calculating what’s expected to be the average season price and yield per acre. Smith recommends growers use UGA’s estimates as a guideline and adjust the numbers to reflect their management decisions and historical yields.Based on expectations for the upcoming year, peanuts seem the most attractive crop for farmers as far as return above variable cost per acre, according to UGA Extension experts. However, peanut acreage is expected to be near, or over, 700,000 acres in Georgia this year. This means farmers will likely shorten crop rotations, Smith said.“At county meetings, we stress that if you are changing crop rotations, you’ll need to make some revisions to your budget. It doesn’t just impact yield, but it can also increase your costs. You need to add a little bit more for input costs for improving soil quality or reducing pests likes weeds, insects and diseases,” Smith said.With planting season a few weeks away for corn growers and a couple of months away for cotton and peanut farmers, Smith said most have an idea of what they’re planning to plant and where. For example, many farmers signed contracts for peanuts early in December.“With contracts ranging anywhere from $425 to $475 per ton on a portion of yield, combined with good management, many peanut farmers figured that they could cover their cost of production. When you can forward contract at a price above your cost of production, you can reduce your risk,” Smith said.According to Smith, UGA Extension Economists have provided farm enterprise budgets for Georgia farmers for over fifty years. The UGA Extension farm budgets for beef, corn, dairy, peanuts, soybeans, and grain and sorghum can be viewed online at www.agecon.uga.edu/extension.