Watch the First Teaser Trailer for the Upcoming Into the Woods Film!

first_img View Comments Once upon a time, in a far-off kingdom, lived a bunch of eager Broadway fanatics who waited not-so-patiently for an Into the Woods trailer. Well, it’s here, and it was absolutely worth pulling hair from a maiden in a tower (we regret nothing). Hot off the heels of unveiling stunning promo shots, Disney has released a teaser for the star-studded film adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine tuner, set to premiere on Christmas Day. Take a look below at Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Johnny Depp, James Corden, Emily Blunt, Billy Magnussen, Lilla Crawford and more in action! And we didn’t even have to ask the tree!last_img

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Layon Gray’s The Harlem Rens Will Play Off-Broadway

first_img View Comments Featured in the cast are Delano Barbosa, Lamar Cheston, Thaddeus Daniels, Melvin Huffnagle and Ade Otukoya. Layon Gray’s The Harlem Rens, will play a limited engagement September 18 through November 23 at the Actors Temple Theater. Opening night is set for October 2. The off-Broadway production will run on Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.center_img Helmed by Gray, The Harlem Rens is inspired by the true story of six men who overcame adversity to win more than 2,000 basketball games while barnstorming throughout segregated parts of the country in the 1930’s, despite never being officially accepted professionally or socially.last_img

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Alex Gaumond Replaces Rufus Hound in London’s Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

first_img Dirty Rotten Scoundrels opened in London in February 2014 at the Savoy Theatre, starring Hound and Robert Lindsay. The comedy follows two conmen competing for the riches and the heart of a young impressionable heiress. Along with Lindsay as the French Riviera’s chief conman, Lawrence Jameson, the cast currently includes Gary Wilmot as Andre Thibault, Beaumont-Sur-Mer’s Chief of Police and Lawrence’s sidekick and partner in crime, Bonnie Langford as Muriel Eubanks, a glamorous divorcee looking for love and Katherine Kingsley as Christine Colgate. View Commentscenter_img London will have a new conman in town. Alex Gaumond (Matilda, Legally Blonde, We Will Rock You) will replace Rufus Hound as Freddy Benson in London’s Dirty Rotten Scoundrels from November 11. According to The Daily Mail, an understudy is taking on the role for the time being, with conflicting reports from illness to another engagement being cited as the cause for Hound’s departure from the production.last_img read more

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Kerry Butler to Play Hillary Clinton in Clinton the Musical Off-Broadway

first_img Butler received a Tony nod for Xanadu. Her additional Broadway credits include Catch Me If You Can, The Best Man, Hairspray, Little Shop of Horrors, Les Miserables, Rock of Ages and Beauty and the Beast. Last year, she appeared in Under My Skin off-Broadway. The tuner premiered in 2012 at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where it was nominated for Best Musical. It went on to transfer to London’s King’s Head Theatre in 2013. It celebrated an acclaimed run at the 2014 New York Musical Theatre Festival. Show Closed This production ended its run on June 21, 2015 View Comments Kerry as Clinton? Ugh, this is confusing. Tony nominee Kerry Butler will star in the previously announced off-Broadway return of Clinton the Musical as former Secretary of State and First Lady Hillary Clinton. Tickets are now available to performances, which will begin on March 25 (a day earlier than previously reported) at New World Stages, where it will open officially on April 9. Dan Knechtges will direct the musical, which features a book by Michael Hodge and Paul Hodge and a score by Paul Hodge.center_img Related Shows Clinton The Musical explores the two very different sides of the 42nd President of the United States: “WJ,” the wholesome, intelligent one, and “Billy,” the randy, charming one. With Hillary (Rodham) Clinton at their side, the two will handle issues from The White House to Whitewater, the sax to the sex, social security to social climbers, and in the process make history. Maybe. Clinton the Musicallast_img read more

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Fernanda Coppel’s King Liz to Receive Showtime Adaptation

first_img View Comments Fernanda Coppel’s King Liz, which made its world premiere off-Broadway earlier this summer, is to be adapted for the small screen. Deadline reports that Coppel will pen the Showtime half-hour dramedy herself.King Liz follows Liz Rico, a sports agent who, despite money and an elite client roster, must work twice as hard to stay on top in an industry dominated by men. When Freddie Luna, a high school basketball star with a troubled past enters, she seizes the opportunity to skyrocket his career as well as her own.Directed by Lisa Peterson, the Second Stage Theatre Uptown production officially opened at the McGinn/Cazale Theatre on July 27 and starred Karen Pittman, Jeremie Harris, Michael Cullen, Russell G. Jones, Caroline Lagerfelt and Irene Sofia Lucio.last_img read more

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New London Beautiful Star Cassidy Janson Compares Carole King to Elphaba & More

first_img View Comments English actress-singer Cassidy Janson has appeared in many American shows in and around London, from blockbusters like Wicked to more intimate productions like Dessa Rose, opposite The Color Purple’s Cynthia Erivo, and alongside Neil Patrick Harris in tick, tick…BOOM! She recently took over from Olivier Award winner Katie Brayben as Carole King in Beautiful at the Aldwych Theatre. Broadway.com caught up with the performer to talk dressing room handovers, theatrical uplift and making her New York stage debut in January.How is starring in Beautiful going?It’s been amazing, absolutely wonderful. Everyone loves the show and that makes all our jobs easier because everyone is watching everyone else’s back. Every night, I literally look up to the sky and say thank you because this has been such a wonderful part to play.Did you see yourself playing Carole King before the prospect came your way?I’d been to see the show twice to see Katie [Brayben, the London originator of the role}, who’s a very good friend and afterwards we were having drinks and she tapped me on the hand and said, “Look, I’m going to be leaving—make sure you go up for the role.”It’s almost as if you were anointed!I guess it is! Talking with Katie about it made me feel as if I could do the show—as if it were entirely within my skill set. Before that, I hadn’t really considered it and I doubt I would be doing the role if she hadn’t suggested it.What was your first awareness of Carole King?I grew up in north London knowing and loving Carole’s music, and I had been singing “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” as an audition song for the last decade. But like so many, I hadn’t been aware of the huge body of work that Carole wrote but gave to others to sing. When I realized the extent of that, I thought, “Oh my goodness, this woman is a phenomenon!”Have you experienced the “Carole moment,” where the subject of the show appears onstage at the curtain call to take a bow?No, not like Katie did on her opening night! I don’t know how I would react were that to happen. I like to think I would handle myself with dignity but who knows how I would be in the presence of a living legend?The role has certain challenges, not to mention that you pick up Carole’s life story from when she was a teenager.Yes. We begin at Carnegie Hall but then go back chronologically to when Carole was 16 and tell the story going forward to her late-20s. I’ve got four different wigs and an insane amount of costumes—nine quick changes in act one alone!How do you approach playing a teen when you are in your 30s?Luckily, I’ve got a very cute-looking wig and very young-looking clothes and the dialogue is written for a 16-year-old, so you just have to act it and be honest and that does it for you. There’s nothing worse than someone who isn’t 16 trying to play a 16-year-old—that’s painful. But the dialogue tells you where the character is at, so you just have to go with the truth of that.Did Katie leave any welcome gifts for you in the dressing room?She did! I arrived on the Monday and there was a box with a thermos mug and some Throat Coat tea and also some Sanderson’s mixture, which you gargle with—all very good to have!What is Beautiful like for you, as a nightly sing?What’s lovely is that this very much suits my voice naturally, and how Carole sang isn’t the same as musical theater singing, so you don’t have any sustained high-belt notes: there’s nothing you have to build your stamina up to, so there isn’t the same pressure which is nice when you’re singing 17 songs each show.Very different, then, from playing Elphaba in Wicked!There’s certainly no b-flat, or whatever, that I have to hold for eight bars! But in Beautiful, I’ve got plenty of other things that I’m worrying about. I’d only run the show twice before I did my first performance so I was really worried that the quick changes might mess me up; when they didn’t, that took a lot of my angst away!You’ve done any number of musicals in London that began in New York; do you travel across the pond to check shows out?Absolutely. I think most London-based actors look to see what’s happening in New York. I do go over for a theater blitz to see as many shows as I can and to see what may or may not be right for me: London and New York are very much sister cities.Have you ever performed in New York?I will as of January! I’m taking two weeks off from Beautiful to tour in the States with a British swing band called The Jive Aces. We’re playing the Metropolitan Room [in NYC] on January 17. I’ve been touring with this band now on and off for 18 months and these guys are like my big brothers. I had no idea how big swing dances were until I started gigging with them: people come dressed in vintage clothes!That sounds huge fun—and you can catch your co-star from London’s Dessa Rose, Cynthia Erivo, in her Broadway debut in The Color Purple.Of course, yes, and she’s opening this week, isn’t she? My God, Cynthia is incredible. I know when I see her I will be a blubbering mess.last_img read more

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Lloyd Webber Taps Andy Blankenbuehler for Cats; B’way Dates Set

first_img Cats View Comments Related Shows A new day has begun! As promised, Andrew Lloyd Webber is bringing his Tony-winning musical Cats back to the Great White Way. The legendary composer has enlisted Tony winner Andy Blankenbuehler to choreograph the revival, based on the original choreography and associate direction by Gillian Lynne. The show, which will begin performances at the Neil Simon Theatre on July 14, is scheduled to officially open on August 2.Blankenbuehler will join forces on the production with original creative team members, director Trevor Nunn, and scenic and costume designer John Napier. Also on board are sound designer Mick Potter and lighting designer Natasha Katz.In addition to choreographing Hamilton, Blankenbuehler helmed and choreographed the recent premiere of The Bandstand, which will transfer to Broadway in the 2016-17 season. He won a Tony Award for In the Heights and additional nominations for 9 to 5 and Bring It On. Blankenbuehler is also rumored to be attached to an ABC remake of Dirty Dancing.Cats, featuring a score by Lloyd Webber and lyrics by T.S. Eliot, Trevor Nunn and Richard Stilgoe, ran for 21 years in London and 18 years on Broadway. It won seven Tony Awards in 1983, including Best Musical; this production will be the first Main Stem revival of the tuner. Based on Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, the musical tells the story of the Jellicle cats and each cat’s individual quest to be selected as the lucky one who will ascend to “the Heaviside Layer.”Lloyd Webber’s School of Rock is currently playing at Cats’ former Great White Way home, the Winter Garden Theatre. He is also represented on Broadway by The Phantom of the Opera.No word yet on casting, but Lloyd Webber has spoken of his hope that Nicole Scherzinger, who was Olivier nominated for her role in the 2014 West End revival, will headline the show in New York.Check out Broadway.com’s exclusive interview with Lloyd Webber at the opening night of the London revival of Cats in December 2014 below. Show Closed This production ended its run on Dec. 30, 2017last_img read more

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London Aladdin Star Trevor Dion Nicholas on Standbys, Friendship & Loving London

first_img View Comments The Disney musical Aladdin has hopped a magic carpet to London for what looks set to be a long run at the Prince Edward Theatre in a West End premiere that has made a star out of American performer Trevor Dion Nicholas as the Genie. An alum of the ongoing Broadway production, where he was the standby for three roles (Genie included), Nicholas was clearly relishing his much-deserved moment in the spotlight when Broadway.com caught up with him one recent afternoon. You’ve been part of Aladdin for 18 months now, but how did you first get connected to the show?I remember watching the “Friend Like Me” performance on the Tonys [in 2014] and thinking, “that looks like something I could possibly do—that could be in my wheelhouse.” Skipping ahead, I ended up later that same year getting an audition and the next week I was flying down to Florida to start rehearsals for The Wiz and flash forward to one day early in 2015 when I was asked to fly up to New York on a Monday to talk about the part and before I’d gotten on the flight, I had the gig: I replaced Michael James Scott when he went to do Something Rotten.But to cover multiple roles is different to opening in a starring part from scratch in London.Tell me about it!  I guess it was June or July of 2015 when I got a call from Disney asking whether I would consider going to London, and I just burst into tears. As a standby or understudy, you can feel overlooked or undervalued and here I was getting to open the show in the West End! My heart was more than full—it was overflowing. The interesting thing with Aladdin in Britain is how well-known the title is here from the traditional Christmas pantomime or panto.That’s right, which we don’t have in the States. I think it’s fantastic that tradition exists [here] and I’m delighted that we can give audiences something different—something that isn’t just the classic familiar panto. Your experience must make you especially sympathetic to your own standbys.Absolutely because I’ve lived that life and I know the difficulty of it. I actually have two standbys here, and both have got to go on, and I’ve enjoyed watching them enjoy their moment; I know what it feels like. Now that the Genie is yours, what do you particularly like about him?The joy of the Genie for me is the undying friendship and companionship that he is there to provide. Also, I mean, who wouldn’t want to appear on the stage swathed in Swarovski crystals—not to mention that I must have one of the best entrances: I love the way he’s revealed right at the top of the show! How does it feel to play with and feed off the audience?That’s so much fun! What’s great is that he exists both in and out of the story, so it’s as if the show for the Genie is just this large sandbox. Casey [Nicholaw, the director] has been so supportive of allowing me to make [the part] my own and for me to find my own legs. The honesty of the cast’s personalities is allowed to come through, which helps a show that’s so crazy and fun at the same time to have a sense of reality.I saw you online sharing a pretty terrific duet here with your Broadway Genie [Tony winner James Monroe Iglehart]. You know, that’s the first time we’d ever done that, and it was great that it was caught by the folks at Disney, who jumped at the opportunity of James being in London for us to have a go together at “Somebody’s Got Your Back.”Did you and James click from the get-go?Really, really fast because we’re both man-children! I’ve missed him a ton since coming to London, so it was wonderful having him here with his wife and family. Sometimes I think the two of us should do another revival of Side Show. If they ever feel like gender-flipping those parts, we’re in! Opening night here must have been unlike anything else.Oh my God, it was insane! My parents were in the audience and my family and friends, and I remember just finishing “Friend Like Me” and screaming “yes!” like this sudden affirmation. It was like, I’m here, it’s real, I did it, and it just felt like this amazing joint success. It was so exciting!How well did you know the film?I was obsessed with it, especially Jafar. I thought he was a fascinating villain and just so slick. What’s fun is that I have two young children and now they love the film: the oldest is two years younger than I was when I first came across the movie at age 10. It’s one of those animated features that transcends generations. Where do you see this experience taking you?I’m really keeping things open right now. It’s been a struggle at times and a fight to get to this place. Right now, I feel precisely where I want to be; so for me, it’s about just enjoying this definite sense of happiness. This is the first time in my career where I have really experienced something where I think, “OK, I can enjoy what I’m doing for now. This can be the center of my universe without always needing to look forward.” What are you loving about London?The food!  people warned me about the food, when in fact, it has been absolutely incredible. And I am really tickled, too, by the adoration [the British] have for the theater, which I think is vanishing more and more in the U.S. But it genuinely exists here, which is lovely to experience onstage and off.  Trevor Dion Nicholas in ‘Aladdin'(Photo: Deen van Meer © Disney)last_img read more

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Precision Farming on Display

first_imgWhen Craig Kvien tells about the gee-whiz technology to be displayed during the GeorgiaAg Showcase ’96, there’s a lot of little kid in his voice.Georgia Ag Showcase ’96 will be June 29 at the Rural Development Center in Tifton. It’sgeared to farmers and anyone interested in Georgia farming.The event is co-sponsored by the UGA College of Agricultural and EnvironmentalSciences, Fort Valley State College and Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.One of the show’s best prospects — for farmers, science teachers or anyone else — isthe chance to talk with people like Kvien, a University of Georgia crop physiologist whochairs the National Environmentally Sound Production Agriculture Laboratory.”You should see that combine,” he says, referring to a yield-monitoringpeanut harvester UGA engineers developed in concert with a host of participating firms.”It looks like a race car, with decals identifying all the cooperatingcompanies.”Such harvesters are mostly grain combines now, Kvien says. The peanut combine, inanother year or so, will add to these space-age machines.Every second or so the combines measure and record the volume, weight and moisture of acrop sample, along with where in the field it came from.When the whole field is harvested, the farmer can feed all of the data into a computer.The result is a color-coded map of his field’s harvest.”At the show we’ll have maps from Georgia fields showing a whole range ofcrops,” Kvien says. “These maps describe the yield variance within afield.”The combines, and the resulting maps, will make it easy to test crop varieties.”All you’ll have to know is where you planted them in the field,” he says.Their best use, though, may be diagnosing problems. “With them you can look forthe causes of low-yield areas,” Kvien says. “It might be soil compaction here,chinch bugs there, or nematodes, or weeds.”Or it might be ‘I-haven’t-got-a-clue,'” he laughs, admitting no one has allthe answers.Besides the state-of-the-art combines, the June farm show will display a number ofsprayers designed to target specific weeds.”One sprayer turns on and off when it sees chlorophyl,” Kvien says. “Itcan sense a plant smaller than a dime and turn a nozzle on. But it won’t turn it on for agreen dollar bill — I’ve tried lots of ways to fool that thing!”Another sprayer targets weeds taller than the crop — a valuable feature for peanutgrowers.”Imagine running about rabbit-high across a peanut field and turning on a sprayernozzle every time you see a weed above the peanuts,” Kvien says. “It turns anozzle on for an eighth of a second.”We tested that sprayer in a field with beggarweed and Texas panicum,” hesays. “And we got an 80-percent reduction in herbicide use with the same weed kill.Now, that’s something. This is a great concept.”The big question now is, ‘How many acres do you have to run it over to pay forthe equipment?'” he says.Among the other high-tech gadgets on display will be a four-wheeler equipped to measureand find problem areas in a field.And Kvien finds an automatic soil sampler fascinating. Mounted in the back of a pickup,the unit extends an arm over the side and takes soil samples from an arc around thepickup. It then packs the samples away for analysis — if you don’t get the truck stuck.”If you do get stuck, the soil sampler can help you get out,” he laughs.”Guess how we found that out? And you can get stuck where it can’t help you get out,too.”It’s comforting to think that all that technology hasn’t taken mud, or humor, out offarming.<last_img read more

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Make Trees of Shrubs

first_imgCleyera (Cleyera japonica) is one of the many culprits of the overgrown-shrub dilemma.If you let it, it will grow to 20 feet tall. This plant is often pruned year after year in anattempt to keep it small. Remove a few of the bottom branches and use it as a verticalelement in your landscape. New foliage is reddish and attractive. Common privet hedge (L. sinense) is often used as a hedge. Allowed to grow up as aspecimen plant, it will resemble L. lucidum with flowers and fruit but with a smaller, moreflexible leaf. Pruned with care, it can become a weeping tree. Burford holly (Ilex cornuta ‘Burfordi’ and Ilex cornuta ‘Burfordi Nana’). The regularBurford holly grows 15-20 feet tall and is certainly not suited as a foundation plant. Butdid you know the “dwarf” form may get 10 feet tall? Burford hollies are versatile plantsequally well-suited as shrubs or trees. The standard form makes an impressive plant as aspecimen, laden with red berries in fall, while the dwarf is good as a tree form closer to thehouse. Simply remove lower branches and tip the ends in spring to create a pleasinground-headed tree. You’ll need both a male and female plant for berries, but a number ofother species and varieties will perform this task. Making trees out of shrubs isn’t hard and can add an exciting new dimension to thelandscape. Imagine their curiosity when people see this strange new tree in your garden. Southern wax myrtle (Myrica cerifera) is an outstanding native plant finding its way intoGeorgia landscapes. Although it’s often used as a hedge, its genetic variability gives eachplant character and a form all its own. So the hedge often looks misproportioned orlumpy. Why not use this plant as a tree? Its attractive, bright green foliage is aromatic ifcrushed. It produces abundant berries along new stems as the fruit develops in fall. Here are some possibilities. It is not unusual for some landscape shrubs to outgrow their allocated area. So we’re facedwith a problem.center_img Solutions to the overgrown-shrub dilemma include moving, replacing and reinventing. Thelatter refers to changing a plant from the shrub form to a tree form. Fragrant tea olive (Osmanthus fragrans) forms a nice specimen plant where it has roomto grow. But its size (20-30 feet tall) excludes its use close to the home. If it’s alreadythere, though, try pruning up the bottom branches and tipping off the new growth inspring. Ligustrum (Ligustrum japonicum, L. lucidum and L. vulgare) make striking tree formswith differing textures and forms. The wax-leaf ligustrum (L. japonicum), probably thesmallest, grows 12 feet at most. It has very coarse-textured, shiny green leaves. Avariegated form also exists. Prune the bottom branches, then prune lateral buds to createan attractive overhanging canopy. Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus). Grows eight to 12 feet tall and generally has a treeform but is very upright. Prune it to create lateral branches and a canopy worthy of a tree.It’s deciduous, but has attractive foliage and fantastic blooms from midsummer until fall.Its many flower shades range from whites to pinks to purples and even bicolor. The planttolerates a range of soils but prefers sunny sites. Sasanqua camellia (Camellia sasanqua). It’s the same genus as the well-known Japanesecamellia. But this form spreads slightly more than its cousin. It has darker green, smallerleaves and blooms in fall. As with its close cousin, it grows taller than you would expect(10-15 feet in a good place).last_img read more

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