Hough, who took the gold in the fourth and fifth seasons of Dancing with Stars, and is now a permanent judge on the competition. She is no stranger to the movie musical, having appeared on screen in Burlesque, Footloose and Rock of Ages. Grease is the word for Vanessa Hudgens and Julianne Hough! The Broadway-bound Gigi star and Dancing With the Stars victor/judge will headline Fox’s previously reported live telecast of the musical as Rizzo and Sandy, respectively, according to Deadline. The announcement was made at the Television Critics Association Press Tour on January 17. The event, tentatively titled Grease: Live, will hit the small screen on January 31, 2016 (it had initially been scheduled for this year). The popular tuner, which features a score and book by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, follows teenagers in love during the soda shop culture of the 1950s. The show premiered on Broadway in 1972 and has been revived on Broadway twice since. The 1978 film adaptation starred John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John and Stockard Channing. View Comments Hudgens is best known for playing Gabriella, love interest of Zac Efron’s Troy, in Disney’s High School Musical movies. Recent screen credits include Bandslam and Spring Breakers. In 2010, she played Mimi in Rent at the Hollywood Bowl. Gigi will mark her Broadway debut this spring.
View Comments Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today.Hugh Jackman Cancels Turkey ConcertsTony winner and recent The River star Hugh Jackman has canceled the remaining performances of his one-man show An Evening with Hugh Jackman in Istanbul, Turkey due to a vocal hemorrhage. Performances were scheduled to run through March 20. The Oscar nominee took to Twitter to promise, “Make no mistake, I’ll be back!” We sure hope so, Hugh. Geçmiş olsun!Rita Moreno Will Get Physical on CBSEGOT-winner Rita Moreno will return to the small screen for CBS’s sitcom pilot Joe Time. The multi-cam comedy, according to Deadline, follows—get this—Joe (played by Broadway alum Steven Weber) who sits on the sidelines as everyone around him follows their dreams and pursues happiness. Moreno will play Judy, Joe’s fitness-obsessed mother. Also on tap are Alli Kinzel and Noland Ammon.James Monroe Iglehart Gets Another ViewTony-winning Aladdin star and former Broadway.com vlogger James Monroe Iglehart has his wish of becoming a daytime talk show host granted last summer, and now he’s back for another round. Broadway’s Genie will return as a guest co-host on The View on March 20, along with fellow Broadway alum Raven-Symoné. Tune in as the two chat with off-Broadway’s The Mystery of Love & Sex stars Diane Lane and Tony Shalhoub.Kristin Scott Thomas is a Challenging DameThe Queen making you a Dame is surely a nerve-racking experience—one that surely isn’t made any less terrifying by the Queen giving you the regal equivalent of “Well, good luck with that.” Kristin Scott Thomas, who is set to play Queen Elizabeth II in the West End’s The Audience beginning April 21, received the British Hono(u)r on March 19. According to The Telegraph, Thomas told reporters on the scene that Her Majesty “asked me what I was doing next, so I had to tell her and she said it would be quite a challenge.” We’re certain the Olivier winner is up to the task—just as Dame Helen Mirren is stateside.OBIEs Set Date for 2015 CelebrationThe date is now set for the 60th annual OBIE Awards. The ceremony, celebrating off-Broadway’s finest, will take place at Webster Hall on May 18. As previously reported, the judging panel this year will include playwright Adam Bock, orchestrator Bruce Coughlin, director Lear deBessonet, scenic designer Mimi Lien, critic David Rooney, Village Voice critic Tom Sellar, director Liesl Tommy and Michael Feingold. James Monroe Iglehart Star Files
Long may she reign over the Great White Way! Broadway.com has confirmed that the Helen Mirren-led The Audience has recouped its $3.4 million production costs on the Main Stem. Directed by Stephen Daldry, Peter Morgan’s play began previews on February 17 and officially opened on March 8 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre. The show’s limited engagement will run through June 28.For sixty years Elizabeth II has met each of her twelve Prime Ministers in a weekly audience at Buckingham Palace. Both parties have an unspoken agreement never to repeat what is said, not even to their spouses. The Audience imagines a series of pivotal meetings between the Downing Street incumbents and their Queen. From Churchill to Cameron, each Prime Minister uses these private conversations as a sounding board and a confessional—sometimes intimate, sometimes explosive. In turn, the Queen can’t help but reveal her own self as she advises, consoles and, on occasion, teases. These private audiences chart the arc of the second Elizabethan Age, from the beginning of Elizabeth II’s reign to today.The production will also star Geoffrey Beevers as the Queen’s equerry, with Michael Elwyn as Anthony Eden, Richard McCabe as Harold Wilson and Rufus Wright as David Cameron. All are reprising their roles from the acclaimed London production. Show Closed This production ended its run on June 28, 2015 Related Shows The Audience View Comments
from $49.50 We want Billy! B-I-Double L-Y! Lucky for us, Jane the Virgin star Jaime Camil starts performances as Chicago’s razzle-dazzle story swirler Billy Flynn on May 31. We already got a feathery first look at him in character, and we can’t wait to see him take the stage. He will assume the role for a five-week stint, stepping in for Ryan Silverman.One of the most well-known actors in the Spanish-speaking world, Camil made his Broadway debut in Latinologues in 2005. He plays Rogelio de la Vega in Jane the Virgin, and his other screen credits include Pulling Strings, 200 Cartas, La fea más bella, Por ella soy Eva and Qué pobres tan ricos. Camil has recorded four platinum-selling albums and has led many musicals in his native Mexico City including West Side Story, Hook, Aladdin and El diluvio que viene; he has also been seen on stage in The Mambo Kings.The sizzling, Tony-winning revival Chicago also currently stars Dylis Croman as Roxie Hart, Amra-Faye Wright as Velma Kelly, Raymond Bokhour as Amos Hart, NaTasha Yvette Williams as Matron “Mama” Morton and R. Lowe as Mary Sunshine.Be sure to catch Camil in the toe-tapping revival at the Ambassador Theatre through July 3! Related Shows Chicago View Comments Jaime Camil(Photo: Jeremy Daniel)
View Comments Darren Criss(Photo: Bruce Glikas) Elsie Fest, the brainchild of Broadway.com Audience Choice Award winner Darren Criss, Jordan Roth and Ricky Rollins, is returning for a second year. The outdoor music festival, named after Sally Bowles’ roomie, will take place on September 5 at 1PM at the Ford Amphitheater at the Coney Island Boardwalk.Along with Criss, the event will include full sets from Megan Hilty, Tituss Burgess, Rebel and a Basket Case, Tony winner Jason Robert Brown, Tony winner Lena Hall, Corey Cott, Pasek and Paul, Julie James and a special guest performance by Tony winner Cynthia Erivo.Along with the performances, concertgoers will be offered exclusive meet and greet packages with their favorite stars, festival merchandise and a Beer Garden from the famed West Village piano bar Marie’s Crisis (Criss has been known to belt out a tune or two with Tony winner Lea Salonga there).For more information visit ElsieFest.com. Star Files Darren Criss
Photos: Jeremy Daniel | Photo Assistant: Terra C. MacLeod | Hair & Makeup: Sarah Patch | Casino Croupier: Reggie Duvalsaint | Shot at Big Deal Casino, NYC NaTasha Yvette Williams, Mary Testa, Adriane Lenox, Kecia Lewis, LaVon Fisher-Wilson & Christine Pedi at Big Deal Casino, NYC(Photo: Jeremy Daniel) Chicago Chicago celebrated its 20th anniversary on November 14, and we marked the occasion with six performers who have taken on the role of Matron “Mama” Morton. Photographer Jeremy Daniel snapped pics of the Mamas at Big Deal Casino, NYC, where they raked in the chips, waxed nostalgic and reminded us why the Tony-winning revival is still atop the ladder two decades later. Want a smile on your face? Spend some time with these six Mamas, and know they will always be good to you! from $49.50 View Comments Related Shows
Defining productions of Tom Stoppard and August Wilson classics raised the bar high for revivals in a classics-heavy year that also found Glenda Jackson, of all people, taking on the title role in King Lear. All that plus Harry Potter all grown-up and Andrew Lloyd Webber at seemingly every turn: read on for a list of five of the year’s best shows.1. MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOMAugust Wilson’s Chicago-set play launched the late dramatist’s career more than 30 years ago but was at no point better served than by the English director Dominic Cooke and an extraordinary National Theatre cast headed by O-T Fagbenle as the feral young trumpeter Levee and the formidable Sharon D. Clarke as Ma Rainey—the mother of the blues in a production that constituted close to the last word on this great play.2. TRAVESTIESA potential head-scratcher of a play was revealed to have a beating heart in the director Patrick Marber’s ravishing take on Tom Stoppard’s 1974 play about the political and cultural collisions afoot in 1917 Zurich while war is raging elsewhere. Tom Hollander stepped with fluency and flair into the demanding central role of Henry Carr that brought its originator, John Wood, a Tony Award in 1976, and the sublime supporting cast included Freddie Fox in gleeful form as the Dadaist poet and provocateur, Tristan Tzara. The production transfers to the West End in February: 2017 is looking pretty good already.3. KING LEARAt a time when many performers of her generation were calling it quits, the two-time Oscar winner Glenda Jackson returned to her first home, the theater, to play no less a role than Shakespeare’s once-mighty and now possibly mad monarch, King Lear. Her vocal authority kept in shape by 23 years as a member of parliament, Jackson fully inhabited a fiendishly demanding part and was also, at 80, that rare Lear who was also the correct age to play the part. Deborah Warner’s Old Vic production is eyeing a New York transfer: let us hope.4. JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTARYou couldn’t move for Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals on both sides of the Atlantic this year, starting in London with Glenn Close’s return to her career-defining part as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard; the West End premiere of the buoyant School of Rock; and, a league apart, the director Timothy Sheader’s scorching alfresco production of the album-turned-rock musical, Jesus Christ Superstar. This notably tricky piece for once had brio and bite and an impassioned cast headed by Declan Bennett (Jesus) and the award-winning Tyrone Huntley (Judas) that seared the night sky. The good news: Regent’s Park is bringing the show back next summer for a second run.5. HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILDEvent theater doesn’t get more audacious than a two-part, nearly six-hour stage piece that takes one of the most beloved series of books ever written and moves its characters on in life, love and art. That’s to say, if the Harry Potter saga can transfix the screen, why not the stage, as well? And so it was that this newfound tale from the protean mind of J.K. Rowling gave us Hogwarts alumnus Harry Potter and his chums Hermione and Ron all grown up and with children—and parenting issues—all their own. John Tiffany’s savvy production of Jack Thorne’s script appealed both to Potter diehards and newbies, all of whom exited part one eager to return for more. Small wonder Broadway has been chomping at the bit and will get to feast on the show firsthand in 2018. Jesus Christ Superstar, King Lear & Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Photos by Manuel Harlan and Johan Persson) View Comments
While farmers wait to learn what and how much they can plant under whatever programsWashington finally adopts, some consumers worry. How will the drawn-out farm bill battleaffect their grocery bills?”We don’t see the delayed farm bill as having a significant effect on groceryprices in 1996,” said Bill Thomas, an economist with the University of GeorgiaExtension Service.”In the short run, I see world markets having much more effect on prices thandomestic farm policy,” he said.Thomas expects many grocery prices to rise 2 percent to 4 percent in 1996. “That’sabout the same rate as inflation,” he said, “so consumers shouldn’t see much ofa net change.”Potential price hikes vary by commodity, he said, with several interesting twists.Fresh fruits and vegetables should remain plentiful, but their prices will increase themost — 6 percent to 8 percent.Fresh produce isn’t supported by government programs, so the higher retail prices thisyear are due mostly to export demand. World markets demand large quantities of U.S.produce, since the quality is very high.”U.S. growers export about 25 percent of their fruit and vegetable crops,”Thomas said. “World demand that strong means U.S. consumers will have to pay more toget the same high-quality produce.”The North American Free Trade Agreement had some effect on produce markets. Thomas saidthe United States imports many of the same items it exports, but during different times ofthe year.During the winter we may import produce from Mexico, he said. But southern U.S. farmersprovide produce for U.S. and world markets over a long growing season.Prices of other commodities may change less, he said. As consumers, we know the priceof staples — the items we buy every week. So we’re more aware of changes of those itemsand wonder why the price fluctuates every week.Some people don’t pay attention to fairly minor fluctuations, thinking, if they needmilk or ground beef, they need it at almost any price.A government support program can affect prices of items not directly covered by theprogram, Thomas said. For instance, grain prices kept artificially stable have kept beefand pork prices more stable.Farmers feed corn and other grains to livestock that eventually are sold at grocerystores. As feed-grain prices rise or fall, so do meat prices.As consumers buy more prepared foods to make meals easier and quicker, they may notrealize that for many items, only about 10 cents of every dollar of cost is actually forfood.”The rest is preparation, labor, packaging, safety inspections, transportation andother related costs,” Thomas said.Basic foods may contain even less food cost than that. A regular loaf of plain bread,Thomas said, may contain only three to four cents’ worth of wheat per dollar of retailcost.”So even if grain prices increase fairly dramatically this year,” he said,”retail prices of such items won’t increase much.”Still, Thomas said U.S. consumers spend less of their budget on food than those of anyother country: 7.8 percent on average, compared to almost 20 percent in Japan, which hasroughly the same overall economic picture. Former Soviet countries spend around 30percent, and in India shoppers must fork out 68 percent of their household dollars forfood.”Even though our percentage is lower, we still spend more actual dollars onfood,” he said. A family in India may spend the equivalent of $500 a year on food,while an American family may spend that much in a month.The American system of food delivery and availability, Thomas said, is geared almosttotally to satisfying consumer demand.”Transportation or weather affects short-term prices more than almostanything,” he said. “Those changes are usually temporary and the pricestabilizes quickly.”
Over a Million Hits aMonth on a Shoestring Budget AgriSurf is designed for farmers, agribusinesspeople, farm press, educators and others to find out what theyneed to know about agriculture rapidly. The Ag Index lists 12,751sites in various categories. Pocknee’s automated system allowsgroups to add their site to his index themselves.You can also check ag news, ag weather, agshows, ag sounds and an ag forum. Add your vote to the poll, whichasks, “Who feeds the world?” Farmers cornered 91 percentof the vote, but visit the comments section to find out why peoplecast their votes for politicians and researchers as well. Checkout the archivesfor some fascinating facts. Brainstorming with MajorProfessorPocknee’s major professor, CraigKvien, agreed. They decided the listservs and a few othersites just weren’t enough. And they knew the Web could be a greatway to get news out about precision agriculture. So Pocknee developeda small scale information resource on the Web – a compendium ofinformation linked together.”None of this is difficult, it just takestime,” Pocknee says. “So I decided I needed to writeprograms to automate the process. The programs collect links andlook after them and make changes that make the Web site more efficient.It worked well but then we wanted to make applications bigger.That’s where AgriSurf camefrom.” What the world needs is a good Web site foragriculture. At least that’s what Crop& Soil Sciences graduate student StuartPocknee figured. When he arrived in Tifton from Australiain 1993 to begin work on his doctorate on soil spacial variabilityin precision farming, Pocknee already loved the Internet. Especially for Aggies From the ‘Land Down Under’ to SandySouth GeorgiaWhenyour family and friends are half-way around the world and you’reliving on a grad student’s income, e-mail is a natural fit forcommunicating long-distance, Pocknee says.Soon he was looking to the Internet for morethan letters from home.”I was interested in news, sports, anythingnot in the local media, and the Web had so much,” Pockneerecalls. “But it didn’t have a lot of information on precisionagriculture.” And while you’re there, notice the advertisers.”They about cover the costs of keepingup the site,” Pocknee says. “Their dollars cover theconnection costs, the news feed and computers. I tried to comeup with a system that gave me the most control and still be cut-throatcheap with the best technology I could afford.”The site may run on a shoestring, but it doesn’tlook cheap. Not to the 35,000 regular users who account for 1.2million hits a month.”That’s pretty good for a little sitewith only word-of-mouth advertising,” Pocknee says.But Pocknee isn’t done with AgriSurf yet.”What I want to do is expand the searchcapabilities,” he says. “Right now it’s more of an indexbut it doesn’t search these sites for the information they have.”AgriSurf. That’s what a little ingenuity andtechnology will get you.
By Cat HolmesUniversity of GeorgiaATHENS, Ga. — After a three-day forum on North Korean and U.S. nuclear challenges, North Korean policy framers met with University of Georgia scientists and officials on lighter topic: jump-starting a cooperative agricultural project that’s been stalled for two years.The project began in 1999 with reciprocal visits between scientists at the Academy of Agricultural Sciences in North Korea and the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.Through those visits, scientists from each country assessed areas of mutual interest and settled on three: poultry, biotechnology and sweet potatoes.Project on holdHowever, events in both countries, including Sept. 11, moved the project to a back burner.”Since June 2001 when the delegation last visited, we have not had an exchange,” said Stanley Kays, a UGA horticulturist specializing in sweet potatoes. “We are eager to move the process along. Our college would like to see an exchange of ideas and technologies.”The North Koreans included Jo Sung Ju, Kim Myong Gil and Sim Il Gang of the Korean Institute of Disarmament and Peace; Han Song-Ryol, North Korean ambassador to the United Nations; and Sin Song Chol of the U.N. mission. They are policy makers, not scientists. But they agreed to discuss the project, which everyone agreed was a much easier subject than nuclear arms.Simple goal”In agriculture, we are idealists,” said UGA poultry scientist Nick Dale, who has participated in the project since the beginning. “All we have to do is feed people. It’s not controversial.”The North Korean delegates sampled a sweet potato variety Kays developed that tastes like white potatoes but has the higher yields and nutrients of sweet potatoes. They then toured the UGA Center for Applied Genetic Technologies, a state-of-the-art facility that brings together diverse expertise and resources in plant and animal genomics.During an informal discussion that followed, Ed Kanemasu, director of the UGA office of international agriculture, proposed to get the joint project moving again by inviting several North Korean scientists to come to UGA.New start”We have the funds to invite several agricultural scientists to come here long enough to gain actual experience in technologies of interest to them,” he said.The North Korean delegation was receptive.”I have a message from Pyongyang,” ambassador Han said. “We want to advance the exchange of technology (in agriculture) and enhance our productivity. Georgia is known in DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) for agriculture. We can set up a relatively short project in the short term and then expand to a larger joint research project.”Han Park, director of the UGA Center for Global Issues, organized the North Koreans’ visit this week. He has participated in the joint agricultural project from the beginning. Park encouraged both sides to take action to get the project moving again.”I would like to remind us of a Korean saying,” he said. “‘Starting is halfway done.'”After the discussions were complete, Kanemasu said both Ambassador Han and Park felt the talk went very well. “Dr. Park felt that the stalemate has been broken,” he said, “and that we should be able to move forward.”(Cat Holmes is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)