Jan
18

Gov. Andrew Cuomo Book On COVID-19 Response Out In October

first_imgImage via Crown Publishing Group / Andrew Cuomo Twitter.NEW YORK — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has gained a national following through his management of the coronavirus pandemic, is writing a book that looks back on his experiences so far, and includes leadership advice and a close look at his relationship with the administration of President Donald Trump.Crown announced Tuesday that Cuomo’s “American Crisis” will be released Oct. 13, three weeks before Election Day, when Trump is expected to face presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden. The news comes the day after Cuomo addressed the Democratic National Convention and called the virus’ spread a metaphor for a country weakened by division. New York State has one of the lowest infection rates in the U.S., a welcome contrast to the spring, when it had one of the highest.The book is an unusual and risky case of reflecting on a crisis that is still ongoing, and could intensify in the fall.“In his own voice, Andrew Cuomo chronicles in ‘American Crisis’ the ingenuity and sacrifice required of so many to fight the pandemic,” according to Crown, “sharing his personal reflections and the decision-making that shaped his policy, and offers his frank accounting and assessment of his interactions with the federal government and the White House, as well as other state and local political and health officials.” Over the past few months, Cuomo has been praised for his calm but forceful demeanor, while also being accused of waiting too long to close schools and other indoor facilities, and criticized for the high number of deaths at New York nursing homes. He had said in July he was thinking of a book, commenting during a radio interview on WAMC that he wanted to document the “entire experience, because if we don’t learn from this then it will really compound the whole crisis that we’ve gone through.”In an excerpt from “American Crisis” that Crown shared with The Associated Press, Cuomo emphasized the importance of confronting fear.“The questions are what do you do with the fear and would you succumb to it,” he wrote. “I would not allow the fear to control me. The fear kept my adrenaline high and that was a positive. But I would not let the fear be a negative, and I would not spread it. Fear is a virus also.”Financial terms for “American Crisis” were not disclosed. Cuomo was represented by Washington attorney Robert Barnett, whose other clients include former President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush. Cuomo is also the author of “All Things Possible: Setbacks and Success in Politics and Life,” which came out in 2014.Cuomo, currently serving his third term, became known to many for his blunt, straightforward press conferences, and for a time was even mentioned as a possible presidential candidate. His style has differed notably from the more erratic approach of President Trump, a Republican with whom he has clashed often. In his speech to the Democratic convention, Cuomo bemoaned the “dysfunctional and incompetent” federal response to the pandemic. Trump, meanwhile, has blamed Cuomo’s “poor management” for New York’s tens of thousands COVID-19 fatalities.Cuomo has received some of his strongest criticism for the thousands of virus-related deaths at New York nursing homes. A recent AP investigation found that the state’s death toll of nursing home patients, already among the highest in the nation, could be significantly more than reported. Unlike every other state with major outbreaks, only New York explicitly says that it counts just residents who died on nursing home property and not those who were transported to hospitals and died there.So far, Cuomo’s administration has declined to release the number. The governor has called criticism of nursing home deaths politically motivated. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Jan
18

Alexander Hanson on His Sexually Ambiguous Role in London’s Stephen Ward

first_img Were you living the dream when you starred in A Little Night Music opposite Angela Lansbury and Elaine Stritch? I remember going with Angela to the second preview of Promises, Promises and it was like going to the theater with Jesus! They all wanted to touch the hem of her garment. God, she’s a classy dame. What about Elaine? Did you send her a card for her recent 89th birthday? No, but I did send the odd message via her dresser at the time. Elaine’s not on e-mail, so communicating with her can be tricky. But God, I love her—I absolutely love her. She’s completely different from Angela. Elaine is cantankerous and moody and, of course, has diabetes. But there’s no doubt she is quite, quite brilliant. They were—and are—extraordinary ladies, both of them. And as with Joe Gillis in Sunset, Stephen Ward is narrated by a central male character who happens—semi-spoiler ahead!—to be dead. I hadn’t thought of that, but you’re absolutely right! And of course there’s the added parallel of Stephen and the young girls [Christine Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies] for whom he’s a Svengali-type figure, which, of course, makes you also think of the Phantom. That must be an Andrew thing. Alexander Hanson has appeared in many Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals, including Aspects of Love, Sunset Boulevard and an arena tour of Jesus Christ Superstar—but only now is the actor originating a Lloyd Webber role. In Stephen Ward, Hanson plays the title character: the doomed osteopath who was at the epicenter of the Profumo sex-and-politics scandal that shook British public life a half-century ago. The ever-engaging Hanson took time to discuss the ongoing enigma that Ward remains this many years after his death and to reflect on some potent Broadway memories and a bevy of fabulous leading ladies. That must be quite empowering. It’s almost like doing a TV or a film where you are given the day’s schedule and suddenly you realize that all the dialogue’s changed. As long as the show is still in process, you can’t pin it down! You’ve done many Lloyd Webber musicals but Stephen Ward must feel a breed apart. Oh, it does! It’s certainly different from Jesus Christ Superstar, which is the most recent one that I did. I guess the most similar would be Sunset Boulevard because that had the same creative team in Don Black and Christopher Hampton. But even then, this one is more a play with music. View Commentscenter_img On some level, it’s a story of society turning in on itself. Sure, and I think the clue to understanding Stephen’s relatively short life [he died in 1963 at the age of 50] is that he just lived for high society. He loved hanging around with the movers and shakers of society—film stars and royalty and aristocracy—and he basically had three pretty powerful pass doors into that world. And because he was an exceptional osteopath, he treated the right people, so it then wasn’t a surprise when he started befriending Lord Astor and had all these young women around him. Stephen was able to make himself indispensable within the world he wanted to be in. What has it been like to open a Lloyd Webber musical cold on the West End? When I’ve taken over in the past, the show has been set and everything has been explored so you just go in and start from that point. But with a new musical it’s very fluid and also Andrew is incredibly canny. He’s a very passionate man and he cares deeply about his stuff so he knows the process whereby a song will be taken out or put in or the lyrics will change depending upon the dynamic between the piece and the audience. He also wants you as a performer to bring what you feel to the table, as well. Except that for all his love of female companionship, his sexuality remains opaque. It certainly helped that Stephen knew how to talk to women and that in his own way he was very feminine. But I think if he had actually been gay that it would have come out by now: There are plenty of guys out there who are very in tune with their femininity, particularly in our world [of the theater], who aren’t necessarily gay. Tell me about your wife, Samantha Bond, who is currently preparing to star in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels in the West End. She’s like a pig in sh*t. She’s just loving it! She’s always wanted to do a musical comedy, and that is precisely the right one for her. She’s living the dream. Were you conscious of this musical occupying an unusual place within his canon? What I realize now is that there is a certain type of [person] who comes to see a musical, whether by Andrew Lloyd Webber or anyone else, and they want dancing girls and big tunes and that’s what they want. And Stephen Ward isn’t that. It kind of subverts the Lloyd Webber genre. But then there’s another constituency who love this show because they feel it’s grown up and is dealing with a serious subject and has maybe told them something new. The older generation, in particular, come in already knowing something about the Profumo affair, and the reaction from them has been pretty amazing.last_img read more

Jan
18

Just Jim Dale Starts Previews Off-Broadway

first_img Related Shows The Just Jim Dale creative team feature set design by Anna Louizos, lighting design by Rui Rita, sound design by Carl Casella with Mark York as pianist and co-arranger and musical direction by Aaron Gandy. In Just Jim Dale, Dale recounts an unequaled lifetime in the theater and myriad irresistible showbiz tales—from a childhood performing on the British Music Hall stage, through his many Broadway triumphs in Scapino, Barnum and Me and My Girl, to his experiences narrating all seven Harry Potter audiobooks. The show is a collection of stories from Dale’s breadth of theatrical work and songs, including “The Colors of My Life” “The Lambeth Walk” and “Georgy Girl.” Just Jim Dale Tony winner, two-time Grammy winner and Oscar nominee Jim Dale’s solo show Just Jim Dale begins previews off-Broadway on May 15. Directed by Tony winner Richard Maltby, Jr, the limited engagement for the Roundabout Theatre Company is scheduled to open at the Laura Pels Theatre on June 12. View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on Aug. 10, 2014last_img read more

Jan
18

54 Below Welcomes a Sweeney & Mrs. Lovett, Bonnie & Clyde and More!

first_img LAURA OSNES “The Paths Not Taken” – 12/9, 12, 13, 15 at 7PM, 12/13 at 9:30PM Patti had “Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda,” and now it’s Laura’s turn. Sure, she has a couple Tony noms and four Broadway.com Audience Choice Awards, but what about the opportunities that never came to be? Laura wades through her career to sing the songs that, perhaps in another universe, she would have gotten to sung. GET TICKETS 54 LOVES BILLY JOEL “He’s Got a Way” – 11/2 at 7PM & 11/30 at 9:30PM When are we not in the mood for a melody? The six-time Grammy winner (and Tony-winning orchestrator) gets the 54 Salute this November with a night honoring his prolific career. A four-piece band (and perhaps some high-quality vocal talent) is just what we need to put us in a “New York State of Mind.” GET TICKETS JEREMY JORDAN “Breaking Character” – 10/27-11/1, 7 at 7PM, 11/1, 11, 12, 14 at 9:30PM At last, the Broadway heartthrob makes his NYC solo show debut. Audiences can wine and dine as the Tony nominee croons some of the hits from his already stellar career: from Newsies, to Smash to The Last 5 Years and beyond, as well as some tunes from his own personal collection. GET TICKETS  View Comments PATTI LUPONE “Far Away Places Part Two” – 11/3-6, 8, 10-15 at 7PM, 11/15 at 9:30PM She’s baaaack. Having recently signed a multi-year deal with 54 Below, the two-time Tony Award winner returns with a follow-up to her acclaimed “Far Away Places.” Audiences can expect to hear some encores of performances from the first set list, as well as some new tunes from the likes of Billy Joel, David Yazbek and more. GET TICKETS JOE ICONIS “Seventh Annual Christmas Spectacular” – 12/19-20 at 8PM & 11PM The wacky New York/theater geek tradition heads to 54 Below for the first time ever! The seventh annual yuletide concert will feature tons of musical theater all-stars (plus a wasted Santa, elves, and then some) as they showcase some brand new holiday songs, some classic faves and more. ‘Tis the season to be belting! GET TICKETScenter_img It’s officially sweater weather in New York, and what better place to stay warm and toasty than midtown’s swankiest supper club? From some Broadway maggots to a milestone-hitting demon barber to Bonnie and Clyde themselves, 54 Below has some sure-to-be exciting acts lined up this season. Take a look at just some of the recently-announced nights to remember at the hottest spot in town! BROADWAY LOVES LEN “Cariou at 75” – 10/5 at 9:30PM Now—OK, later, but still soon—is the time to celebrate. Len Cariou turns 75 this fall, and his former co-stars and friends (real ones, not razors) will take the stage to pay tribute to the Tony-winning performer. Join James Earl Jones, Nathan Lane, Betty Buckley and more as they share the songs and anecdotes that made him the lovable demon barber he is. GET TICKETS THE NEWTILDAS With Paige Brady, Gabriella Pizzolo, Ripley Sobo & Ava Ulloa – 10/10 at 7PM & 9:30PM A little bit “naughty” once more! Having recently finished their runs in Matilda on Broadway, the pint-sized stars head to 54 Below for a night of showtunes and more. The four are the latest maggots to headline the intimate supper club, following original bookworm Millie Shapiro. GET TICKETS DONNY MOST “Sings and Swings!” – 10/22 at 7PM Sunday, Monday, Happy Days. Wednesday? 54 Below. The TV star brings his seven-piece band to the Broadway nightclub, where he’ll croon the tunes of Sinatra, Bobby Darin, Dean Martin and more. The Glee actor makes his NYC solo concert debut with the swingy show. We especially love him because he, like us, is really into Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. GET TICKETSlast_img read more

Jan
18

Sandra Mae Frank & Katie Boeck on Sharing the Role of Wendla in Spring Awakening

first_img Related Shows Spring Awakening Creating a character on stage is a very personal act of transformation, which makes the double casting of Spring Awakening so unusual. Sandra Mae Frank gives a blazing performance as Wendla in Deaf West’s acclaimed Broadway revival, but because Frank is deaf, she shares the role with Katie Boeck, a soulful singer, actress and musician who becomes the voice of the young heroine. In a lively pre-show conversation (with Frank’s mile-a-minute signing voiced by an ASL interpreter), the co-stars reflected on their singular bond and joy of making their Broadway debuts.Q: First things first: What’s it like to play the same character simultaneously? KATIE: Initially, I thought I would just be standing in the band, speaking and observing, but Sandy and I developed a strong emotional connection. I feel like I am playing her conscience, exploring the subtext of the character.SANDRA: As a deaf actor, I’d rather have a voice actor sit in back and not be seen. In my experience, voice actors try to steal the stage and the focus goes to them, but Katie doesn’t do that. She is amazing, and [director] Michael Arden brought a brilliant vision of having us be together without it getting weird.KATIE: It’s an interesting acting exercise, because she’s making a lot of the character’s choices for me. I’m following her.SANDRA: And our chemistry was instant. We automatically knew how to work together and find the moments we should connect on stage. And I need her! She’s my thinking; she’s my information. She’s who is talking.KATIE: I get to be inside her mind, and on top of that, I get to play guitar and do all the things I love to do. I feel really lucky.Q: When you met, did you think, “We look nothing alike. Why have they put us together?” SANDRA: Absolutely. Look how tall and blonde she is!KATIE: I thought, this girl is sassy! I’m a little quieter. But it works better this way. Visually, people do not think we’re sisters. [As Wendla] Sandy is living in the real world, and I am her guardian angel.Q: Each of you is tackling a unique challenge in this show. Sandra, how do you experience the music on stage?SANDRA: First of all, I love musicals. I’m completely deaf, but I grew up watching musicals on television, and I told my mother, “I’m going to do a musical one day.” Spring Awakening came along, and here I am! Experiencing the process with Katie made it easier because I rely on her breathing, especially when she is singing. Breath is my “thing” for acting, and it helps me find the beat. People in the show joke, “You’re not deaf because you’re so on beat.”KATIE: Sometimes I forget that she’s deaf because she has such a remarkable sense of internal rhythm.SANDRA: This is my first musical, but I can say for sure that it’s not going to be my last.Q: Katie, how have you managed learning sign language? Are you fluent now?KATIE: Oh, I’m definitely not fluent! I spend so much time playing the guitar that I didn’t get a lot of practice signing. Sign language totally terrified me at first because my personality is based on my voice, and there was no way for Sandy to know what that sounded like. But for some reason, even before I knew any sign language, she and I were natural communicators.Q: How do you spend your days off?KATIE: We’re off on Wednesdays, so we’ve been seeing a lot of theater. We just saw The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.SANDRA: I saw it twice!KATIE: We saw Fun Home and Amazing Grace.SANDRA: I saw Something Rotten!, and I loved it so much that I went back a second time without the captions. It was so funny that I understood everything without captions.Q: What’s the best thing about making your Broadway debut?SANDRA: We’ve created a family over the past year, and now I’m on Broadway with my family.KATIE: When we first started, a lot of us [hearing actors] were like, “A musical with deaf people? Okaaay.” But I had been trying to make it in the music business for nine years, and I thought, “Well, this is a job.” Right away, we knew we had a special show. Seeing the effect on deaf audiences, on hearing audiences, has been amazing. And to share the story on a Broadway stage is incredibly rewarding. View Comments Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 24, 2016last_img read more

Jan
18

Lana Gordon to Take Over as Velma Kelly in Chicago

first_img Related Shows Lana Gordon View Comments from $49.50center_img Chicago Lana Gordon can’t do it alone! The Broadway alum will begin performances as Velma Kelly in Broadway’s Chicago on August 15. She steps in for Amra-Faye Wright in the role at the Ambassador Theatre.Gordon previously appeared on Broadway in the original casts of The Lion King and the 2000 revival of Jesus Christ Superstar. Over the last 10 years, she has performed extensively throughout Europe in various productions including Chicago as Velma Kelly, Sister Act as Deloris Van Cartier, Tarzan as Kala, West Side Story as Anita, and the title role in Carmen Cubana.The cast also currently includes Bianca Marroquín as Roxie Hart, Tom Hewitt as Billy Flynn (through August 23—Jason Danieley returns to the role on August 25), Raymond Bokhour as Amos Hart, Ron Ryan as Matron “Mama” Morton (through September 4—NaTasha Yvette Williams returns to the role on September 5), and R. Lowe as Mary Sunshine.  last_img read more

Jan
17

Monkey Grass.

first_imgWalter Reeves If you’re thinking of monkeying around with Liriope in your landscape, check out “Gardening in Georgia” Oct. 18 and 21.Host Walter Reeves will visit with Wally Pressey of Classic Groundcovers. Pressey will show many of his favorite varieties of monkey grass and mondo grass.Reeves will also visit with Randy Drinkard, a Cobb County Extension agent with the University of Georgia Extension Service. Drinkard walks Reeves through a landscape that has followed the seven principles of Xeriscaping, or water-saving landscaping.Wednesdays, Saturdays on GPTVDon’t miss “Gardening in Georgia” Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 12:30 p.m. The show is designed especially for Georgia gardeners. It’s produced by the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and GPTV.last_img read more

Jan
17

Larger than Georgia.

first_imgThe tour will leave Atlanta on Aug. 18. It will include field, packing house and processing stops and a free day in Monterey before returning on Aug. 25.Anyone interested in joining the tour must register by July 25. The cost is $900 and includes all air and ground transportation. To learn more about the tour, call your county extension office. Or call Terry Kelley (wtkelley@uga.edu) at (229) 386-3410.last_img

Jan
17

Prevent dropout

first_imgThe decision to drop out of school has consequences that affect a student for life. It can hurt communities, too, say education experts with the University of Georgia. Parents should intervene early to keep kids on the right path to success.Numbers vary. But there is no doubt Georgia’s dropout rate is high.Almost one out of three Georgia students leaves school before getting a diploma, according to the Georgia Department of Education. Georgia’s graduation rate is only 62 percent, according to the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center, a non-profit organization that conducts education research, and less than half of the students in Atlanta earn a diploma.“Dropouts are more likely to end up unemployed or working in low-wage positions,” said Ted Futris, a child and family development specialist with the UGA Cooperative Extension. “They are also at a higher risk for criminal activity, imprisonment, childbearing out of wedlock and poverty.”It’s a “push-me-pull-me effect,” he said. School policies like those on truancy and negative experiences at school can push kids out. Challenges at home and early transitions like teen pregnancy can pull kids out. There is no single cause or cure, but efforts to prevent dropout should start before high school.“Adolescents’ brains are not finished developing, especially the parts that control reasoning, planning and making wise decisions. Preventing dropouts begins much earlier than high school or middle school,” said Diane Bales, an associate professor with the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences. “In fact, it begins in early childhood with the skills, relationships and attitudes toward learning that young children build in early childhood programs.” Children should be encouraged to learn and graduate even before entering school, Bales said.“Encourage parents to read to young children daily,” Bales said. “One of the best predictors of children’s ease in learning to read is their oral vocabulary at age 4.” Parents should stay involved, Futris said, by attending parent-teacher meetings and volunteering in the classroom.He suggests parents:Monitor learning, keep up with what children are doing and ask questions.Read daily to children and introduce them to the library. Praise effort and not just success. Give children responsibilities at home, which can translate into positive classroom behavior. Establish a schedule at home, which helps children understand routines at school. “Help children explore careers they are interested in and find out what they need to accomplish to meet those goals,” Futris said. “Make your values and expectations clear to your children.” Involvement in extra-curricular activities can keep kids attached to the educational community, he said. If a high school student suggests dropping out of school, try to identify the reasons and work through solutions. Parents can talk to school counselors and teachers for help. “Help them think through all the consequences and see beyond the immediate,” Bales said. “Get them the help they need. It may be a tutor or testing for a learning disability.”“Dealing with academic difficulties in high school or dropout after the fact can be challenging,” said Futris. “That’s why it is important that parents foster learning and the value of education in their children when they are young.”last_img read more

Jan
17

Bare-root transplants

first_imgIt harkens back to another era, but you can still buy vegetable transplants that have bare roots. Your local feed and seed may still carry them, particularly if you live in a rural area.Bare-root transplants are field-grown, bundled with 25 to 50 plants per bundle and then are sometimes wrapped with moist peat moss in Kraft paper.Bare-root plants can be an inexpensive and environmentally friendly method of growing your vegetable garden. You will receive many more plants for a lot less money than tray-grown plants. They are also better for the environment because there are no plastic containers to dispose of.These plants may even do better than tray-grown transplants. Because they were field grown, they are already hardened.The number of vegetables that can be successfully produced this way may surprise you. Years ago there was a considerable industry in south Georgia of bare-root produced transplants that were shipped north along the East Coast.One of the most common bare-root transplants are onions. In particular, Vidalia onion growers produce their own on-farm transplants.Many of the brassicas (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, mustard, radishes, rutabagas and turnips) are particularly suited to being handled in this fashion. They tend to have a waxy coating on their leaves so they are less prone to water stress that can result with bare-root transplants.If you find these plants at your local feed and seed or garden center, give them a try. Check to make sure the plants aren’t too wilted or dried out.Have your garden ready for planting before purchasing these plants. If you can’t plant them right away, rewet the roots and keep them in a cool location. But don’t hold them for more than a day or so before getting them in the ground.Plant bare-root transplants as you would tray-grown plants. Be sure to water them in, and watch them grow.Even if you lose a few plants, there are so many in a bundle that it’s well worth the loss. You’ll be amazed at how well the plants perform in your vegetable garden.last_img read more