Celia Keenan-Bolger and her hubby John Ellison Conlee have welcomed their little bundle of joy to the world! The three-time Tony nominee wrote on her Instagram: “William Emmet Conlee was born 4/29 at 10:21am. 8lbs 2oz and 20 3/4in. We are IN LOVE.”The Mommy-to-be had previously revealed to Broadway.com that the baby was due on April 28, they didn’t know if it would be a boy or a girl and that he or she would take the surname Conlee.Keenan-Bolger received Tony nods for The Glass Menagerie, Peter and the Starcatcher and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. She has also been seen on Broadway in Les Misérables. Conlee was nominated for a Tony for The Full Monty; additional Broadway credits include The Constant Gardner and 1776. View Comments
Glenn Close Star Files View Comments Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed from London today. Glenn Close May Return to Sunset BoulevardIt’s as if she never said goodbye! Glenn Close may not just be reprising her Tony-winning role of Norma Desmond on screen, but also on stage in London. The Daily Mail reports that the star could headline Sunset Boulevard for a limited engagement at the English National Opera in spring 2016 or 2017. Featuring a score by Andrew Lloyd Webber and a book and lyrics by Christopher Hampton and Don Black, the tuner premiered in the West End in 1993, directed by Trevor Nunn and starring Patti LuPone. In a widely publicized upset that resulted in an out-of-court settlement, Close brought the role of Norma to the Great White Way the following year. The production won seven Tonys including Best Musical.Sheridan Smith Confirms Funny GirlLea Michele Sheridan Smith has revealed that she will play Fanny Brice in Funny Girl. The British stage and screen star had been in talks with director Michael Mayer about headlining the classic tuner at the Menier Chocolate Factory. Smith won two Oliviers in consecutive years for Legally Blonde and Flare Path; Mayer won the Tony for Spring Awakening and was nominated for Hedwig, Thoroughly Modern Millie, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown and A View From the Bridge. This could end up being a West End—and Broadway—match in heaven…Bertie Carvel Will Headline The Hairy ApeBertie Carvel will lead the cast of Eugene O’Neill’s The Hairy Ape. Directed by Richard Jones, the previously reported production will begin previews on October 17 and officially open on October 29 at the Old Vic. Carvel, who received a Tony nod and won an Olivier for Matilda, will play Robert Smith “Yank.” Further casting will be announced later.Kenneth Branagh Taps John Dagleish & Zoë WanamakerKenneth Branagh’s much-buzzed about season at the Garrick Theatre just got even starrier! Branagh has brought in Olivier winner John Dagleish (Sunny Afternoon) and four-time Tony nominee Zoë Wanamaker (Awake and Sing!) to appear in Harlequinade. It will be double duty for both; Dagleish will also star in The Winter’s Tale, while Wanamaker is set to perform Terence Rattigan’s dramatic monologue All On Her Own every evening before Harlequinade. Harlequinade and The Winter’s Tale are scheduled to play in repertory at the West End venue October 17 through January 16, 2016.Watch New Sherlock TrailerIt’s Friday, it’s been a long week and since he’s about to return to the stage in Hamlet, including this sneak peek in today’s roundup is almost absolutely justified. Below is the first trailer for Sherlock’s upcoming Victorian special, starring Olivier winner Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role. You’re welcome.
View Comments Ben Platt It’s Friday, which means it’s time to head home, jump into bed, marathon some Netflix and dreamcast Aaron Tveit’s hair in Grease Live! But before you begin those super-fun weekend activities, we’re recapping the wildest, wackiest things that happened on the Great White Way this week. From Alex Sharp’s sexy and regal hip-hop musical to your new favorite Midtown brunch destination, here are the lessons of the week!Groffsauce Is Into Old People (Like Himself)If you want to give Jonathan Groff a gift at the Hamilton stage door, maybe go for large-print books or a some orthopedic footwear. The 30-year-old King George told us that Spring Awakening coming back makes him feel old. “I’m into it. I’m happy to be old,” he said. That’s so nice to hear, Jonathan. I SAID THAT’S SO NICE TO HEAR. Just kidding. Groff fits right in with the young, hip group at Hamilton. But we also have another show in mind for him.Shakespeare Is a Rotten LibrarianChristian Borle may have a Tony for Something Rotten!, but he’s urging you to be just the opposite. In Heidi Blickenstaff’s latest vlog, Borle announced the launch of @RottenActs: Tweet them your random acts of kindness, and you might just win won of his books from the nook! Suggestions include befriending a cartoon character, buying the next round or throwing a surprise party for someone in a public bathroom.Benedict Cumberbatch Is a West End PattiSpeaking of people who aren’t on social media but want others to be, Benedict Cumberbatch has a message for you to “hashtag the shit out of.” Apparently, the proclamation of Patti LuPone hasn’t yet reached its way to London, since people are recording his performance in Hamlet ,and he can definitely see the little red lights. Don’t you remember what the Bard wrote? “This above all: to thine own self be true and STOP TAKING PICTURES RIGHT NOW.”Alex Sharp Wants More Broadway QueensIf Lin-Manuel Miranda needs any help working through ideas for his next musical, he needn’t look further than a block up at the Barrymore Theatre. At the Hamilton opening night, Curious Incident Tony winner Alex Sharp revealed that he thinks a hip-hop musical about Queen Victoria would be “sexy.” That’s not the first word that comes to mind for us, but Sharp is British, so we trust him on these things.New York’s Hottest Brunch Spot Is…We’re all about Friday bagels and booze at Broadway.com HQ, but for the cast of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, Sunday is Funday. As Bryce Pinkham showed us in the inaugural episode of his vlog, the cast kicks the day off with brunch before the matinee. Then, after the show, they all gather in his dressing room for a drink! Carbs, show tunes and whiskey? You’re speaking our language!Save Room for Broadway PieSara Bareilles’ Waitress musical is still in the oven over at the American Repertory Theater, and we can’t wait for her to serve us a slice at the Brooks Atkinson this spring. We’re still waiting on exact dates, but the tuner is set to begin performances sometime in March. We’re holding out for March 14, which, as math nerds and dessert enthusiasts know, is Pi Day. We’ll be at that first preview. With pie.The Music Box Needs More Shelf SpaceYou know what show is starting on Pi Day? [Takes deep breath] Shuffle Along, Or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed. Hopefully, the Music Box Theatre will be able to build some more storage space. Between Audra McDonald, Billy Porter and Brian Stokes Mitchell, the still incomplete cast has eight Tonys. With those three hot stars, plus Joshua Henry and Brandon Victor Dixon, we suspect there’ll be more to come in June.The Sex Is in Wayne Brady’s HeelAfter winning an Emmy for Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Wayne Brady is quick on his feet, so to speak. That’ll soon come in handy, because those big, red kinky boots are no joke. The TV favorite will assume the role of Lola from Billy Porter, who, as you’d know if you were paying attention four sentences ago, is going on to star in Shuffe Along and the Title We Haven’t Memorized Yet. We can’t wait to see what Brady will look like all dolled up.Heights Is Going Scrappy, Not Snappy¡No me diga! The In the Heights movie has a new screenplay! But…it’s still a ways off. Lin-Manuel Miranda recently explained the setbacks the project has faced since 2008, and that a “scrappy $15 million movie” is in the works. Hey, plenty of movies have had lower budgets than expected. Just look at Paranormal Activity. Maybe you can have a poltergeist or something cause the barrio blackout? We hear Kristin Chenoweth likes to play evil now. Just a suggestion.We Punched Ben Platt’s K-CardWhile side by side with Susan Blackwell, the Pitch Perfect fave and Dear Evan Hansen star revealed that he had never done anything “remotely related” to flying a kite. Which makes total sense no sense at all. You’re from L.A. and you’ve never flown a kite? Fortunately, Blackwell was on hand to pop his kite-flying cherry, and he quickly got the hang of it. He was even able to do it one-handed! (Still talking about kite flying, children.) Star Files Jonathan Groff
View Comments P.S. The 61st Annual Obie Awards, which recognize excellence in off-Broadway and off-off-Broadway theater, will be held on May 23 at Webster Hall; Lea DeLaria has been enlisted to return as host. Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today. Joe Jonas’ DNCE Set for Grease: LiveThey’re the ones that we want! Joe Jonas (not to be confused with his little brother Nick, who is a Broadway alum) will appear on Grease: Live with a slew of Main Stem faves including Aaron Tveit and Vanessa Hudgens. PEOPLE reports that Joe and his DNCE bandmates have been tapped for the upcoming telecast on January 31; they are set to play Johnny Casino and the Gamblers during the infamous school dance sequence at Rydell High. Did we mention that we’re already knee-deep in our viewing party plans?Joe Iconis’ New Tuner Will Bow at BSCWe’re dreaming of those summer nights…in the Berkshires. Joe Iconis’ (Be More Chill, Smash’s “Broadway Here I Come”) new musical will make its world premiere at the Barrington Stage Company this summer. Directed by Leah Gardiner and inspired by the Blaxploitation movies of the 1970’s (think Shaft), the production will play a limited engagement August 12 through September 3. Opening night is set for August 19 at the St. Germain Stage. Other productions slated for BSC’s season include a revival of Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance, helmed by Tony winner John Rando and choreographed by Joshua Bergasse, which will run July 15 through August 13, officially opening on July 20 at the Mainstage.$100,000 Kleban Prize AnnouncedHugh congratulations to Stacey Luftig and Daniel Goldstein, who have been honored with the 26th annual Kleban Prize, each winning $100,000, payable over two years. Luftig takes home the accolade for most promising musical theater lyricist, and Goldstein most promising musical theater librettist. Established in 1988 under the will of Tony winner Edward L. Kleban (A Chorus Line), the Kleban Foundation has awarded approximately $5,000,000 to 62 artists including Tony winner Jason Robert Brown and EGOT-er Robert Lopez. This year’s private ceremony will take place on February 8 at the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.Broadway Backwards Sets 2016 DateBroadway Backwards, the annual celebration where the LGBT community sees its stories told through the great songs of musical theater by a plethora of Great White Way mainstays, will return for its 11th edition on March 21. This year’s one-night-only event is set to play at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre and benefit Broadway Cares and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center in New York City.Will Adele Pen a Broadway Musical?Did we mention how much we love The Late Late Show host James Corden? The Tony winner recently filmed Carpool Karaoke with Adele and brought up the possibility of the songstress achieving the EGOT. “The Tony’s pretty unlikely…I ain’t got time for that,” she remarked. Corden, however, was convinced that one day she should be “writing a huge musical,” to which Adele replied: “What if no one cares then?” Trust us, Adele, whether its next year or decades from now WE WILL CARE. Check out the video below!
Josh Groban View Comments Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 Related Shows Here’s your chance to catch Josh Groban in his Broadway debut! Tickets are now available for Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812, starring Groban and Denée Benton. Performances will begin on October 18 at the Imperial Theatre, where it is set to open officially on November 14.In addition to Groban and Benton, the cast will include Brittain Ashford as Sonya, Gelsey Bell as Princess Mary, Nick Choksi as Dolokhov, Amber Gray as Helene, Grace McLean as Marya D and Paul Pinto as Balaga.Directed by Rachel Chavkin and featuring a book and electropop score by Dave Malloy, the show draws inspiration from a 70-page portion of Leo Tolstoy’s Russian masterpiece War and Peace. It follows Natasha (Benton), a young girl who forms a relationship with the attractive rebel Anatole (Lucas Steele) while her betrothed Andrey (Nicholas Belton) is off fighting. Andrey’s best friend Pierre (Groban) remains on high alert as the new romance blossoms. Show Closed This production ended its run on Sept. 3, 2017 Star Files ‘The Great Comet’
ARMYWORMS marching through Georgia lawns can weaken turf and allow diseases to invade. “This year is the worst for caterpillars of all kinds that I’ve seen in 20 years,” said Will Hudson, an Extension Service entomologist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.Birds eat the caterpillars, but when hundreds are present, homeowners need to treat to kill the worms. (Photo courtesy the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.) Left click to download the 4.2M file, right-click to download the .gif North Georgia lawns are under attack. Fall armyworms are chewing their way throughturf, leaving destruction in their wake. And University ofGeorgia scientists say they’ve only just begun to bite.”This year is the worst for caterpillars of all kinds that I’ve seen in 20years,” said Will Hudson, an Extension Service entomologist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.”If you haven’t yet seen fall armyworms on your turf this fall, it’s very likelyyou will, and soon,” said UGA horticulturist WalterReeves.Fall armyworms are the caterpillar stage of a nondescript, small gray moth whichoverwinters in Florida and the tropics. Each year, storms bring the adult moths north. Thefemales lay masses of up to 700 eggs on just about everything.In a recent test, Hudson put 15 small flags on a turf plot. Just 24 hours later, eachflag had at least one egg mass. Some had more than a dozen.”The eggs are cream-colored at first, but turn darker as the tiny caterpillars getready to hatch,” Hudson said. “They’re covered with gray fuzz from the female’sbody.”The first sign that enemy armyworms are near might be birds clustered on your lawn.”Although birds eat caterpillars, they’re no match for hundreds of them on onelawn,” Reeves said. “Look closer at the grass, and you may see severalcaterpillars munching on turf blades.” Young armyworms are one-quarter to three-quarters of an inch long. Mature ones are oneand a half inches. They are dark, with several light stripes down the length of the body.The head or “face” has an inverted Y on it.The first battalion of females lays eggs in south Georgia. Succeeding generations marchup the state, traveling on weather fronts and storms.The caterpillars hatch from eggs in two to four days, depending on the temperature.Eggs develop to fully grown larvae in two to four weeks. The larvae burrow into the soiland form pupae. Moths emerge in about 14 days.Fall armyworms can’t overwinter in north Georgia. They may survive a mild winter inFlorida and extreme south Georgia.”They rarely kill grass,” Reeves said. “But some plots may be severelyweakened. Feeding damage, coupled with damage from the recent drought, may justifyapplying insecticides.”In turf or pastures, finding five caterpillars per square foot is a signal to starttreating for fall armyworms.If you suspect your turf is being infiltrated but can’t find the caterpillars on thegrass, use a soap flush to bring them to the surface.Carbaryl (Sevin), chlorpyrifos (Dursban), acephate (Orthene), sinosyn (Conserve) andother insecticides are effective caterpillar killers.Products containing Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) are effective only on little(a half-inch or smaller) worms. Irrigate before treating, to move the caterpillars out ofthe thatch. Treat in late afternoon, when the caterpillars are likely to begin feeding. Ifpossible, mow before you treat, and then don’t mow for three days after the treatment.For help in identifying armyworms, or for more information on treating them, contactthe local Extension Service office.
Thursdays and Saturdays Soon the flush of spring color will fade in your landscape. So then what? On “Gardening in Georgia” April 20 and 22, host Walter Reeves will show how to keep nonstop color in your yard. One solution, Reeves says, is to substitute colorful plants in hanging baskets to keep continuous color in your home landscape. Reeves will take a look at your landscape shrubs, too. He’ll show how to fertilize shrubs using both synthetic and organic methods. And he’ll examine types of rhododendrons that thrive in the Southeast. Finally, he’ll show how to prune those trees that were damaged in the January ice storm. Photo: UGA CAES Horticulture Don’t miss “Gardening in Georgia” on Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. or on Saturdays at 10 a.m. on Georgia Public Television. The show is designed especially for Georgia gardeners. “Gardening in Georgia” is produced by the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and GPTV.
By Dan RahnUniversity of GeorgiaLast year’s devastating hurricanes are hitting Vidalia onionsnow. The effect is troublesome at the moment, but the potentialfor Georgia growers is scary.”We’re still planting a few onions,” said Reid Torrance, theUniversity of Georgia Cooperative Extension coordinator inTattnall County and an area onion agent. “The primary reason isthat so much of our labor force has gone to Florida and Louisianacleaning up behind hurricanes.”Vidalia onion planting is behind schedule in Tattnall County. Andfarmers there grow more of the sweet, specialty onions than inany other county in the official growing region.Labor crews that normally have 40 workers are showing up with 15or so. “And when heavy rains come through and everything comes toa standstill for a while, we tend to lose more of our laborforce,” he said.The real problemThe labor shortage isn’t a big problem — for now. “We don’t mindhaving to plant a few onions in January,” Torrance said. “Somegrowers are helping their neighbors finish up. We’re doing OK.”The real concern, he said, “is if we have a labor shortage laterthis spring.” That would be a vastly more serious problem. TheVidalia onion harvest starts in just three months.”We will not be through cleaning up after hurricanes in threemonths,” Torrance said. “And with Vidalia onions, when it’s timeto go, we have to go. We have to get those onions out of thefields and out of the weather.”Harvested and stored properly, Vidalia onions have a fairly longshelf life for consumers. But for farmers, the window forharvesting and processing the sweet onion crop is small.”We have tended not to maximize the potential of mechanicalharvesting,” Torrance said.Machines?Some onion growers have mechanical harvesters. But for a numberof reasons, as long as the labor is here, they prefer to harvestby hand. “Some are looking harder at mechanical harvesting now,though,” he said.Some growers, he said, contract for laborers through the H-2Aprogram, a process, run by the U.S. Department of Labor, ofsecuring farm workers from other countries. These growers’ laborcosts more, but the contracts leave them in a good position in alabor-shortage year like this one.A slight shortage of transplants has delayed planting a bit, too.”We really didn’t produce the volume of plants that we thought wehad,” he said. But the transplants aren’t a problem. Many Georgiagrowers have additional plants grown on contract in Arizona andTexas.Crop looks goodFor the moment, the season’s Vidalia onion crop is looking good,Torrance said. Growing conditions have been favorable, and mostfields have good stands of onions that are growing well. Somefields, however, show signs of two viruses that are relativenewcomers to the Georgia crop.The tomato spotted wilt and iris yellow spot viruses were firstdetected in Vidalia onions in 2004. Torrance and other UGAExtension agents and scientists are helping growers identifyinfected plants. So far, the viruses haven’t caused any yield orquality losses in Vidalia onions.”We continue to be concerned about these viruses,” Torrance said,”because they’re here and we know how much they’ve hurt otherareas. So far, though, our losses have been minimal. We hope itstays that way.”(Dan Rahn is a news editor with the University of GeorgiaCollege of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)
By Stephanie SchupskaUniversity of GeorgiaIf you want to make sure your Christmas tree is fresh, cut it down yourself, said a University of Georgia specialist. But if you can’t, you can still make sure the tree you pick stays fresh until next year.“If you go to a cut-your-own farm, you know it’s fresh,” said Matthew Chappell, a UGA Cooperative Extension horticulturist.Georgia has more than 250 Christmas tree farms. To find the ones closest to you, he said, visit the Georgia Christmas Tree Association Web site at www.gacta.com.If trekking through a tree farm isn’t appealing, precut Christmas trees are springing up at supermarkets, home and garden stores and empty lots around Georgia. Most trees sold at home improvement stores grew up somewhere in the North or West. “They can cut a tree and have it in Georgia in five days,” he said.The best time to buy a cut Christmas tree is “anytime, if you keep water on it,” Chappell said. To get the best prices and quality, buy a tree at the beginning of the holiday shopping season, he said. Retail stores want to sell ornaments and lights and often give discounts on trees. Tree prices are good the week before Christmas Day. “But you’ll sacrifice quality for price.”To test a cut tree for freshness, he said, take a branch and lightly pull down it. If you get one or two needles, it’s OK. If you get a handful, the tree is not fresh.Chappell’s tips for a merry Christmas tree are:• Measure the area that you need it to go before you go buy the tree. The tree could end up taking up half of your living room if you don’t.• Pick the right kind of tree. Red cedars, for example, aren’t good. They dry out very quickly if not watered properly. • Cut a half-inch off the tree’s base when you get it home.• Water the tree within 20 minutes of making the cut at home. Secure your tree in its base first. A tree will consume a gallon of water the first two days, and as much as two pints per day after that. Don’t let the water dry out.• Recut the base another half-inch if the water dries out. Don’t do this on a daily basis or by Christmas your tree will be much shorter.
With the fall migration underway for monarch butterflies through November, gardeners should soon start seeing the colorful creatures on their travels south. It’s also time to be on the lookout for pests of common milkweed (Ascelpias tuberosa), the most popular milkweed plant grown in Georgia butterfly gardens.The larval plant of the monarch butterfly is grown by gardeners across the state to assist in monarch conservation, but milkweed can also attract insects that are less welcome.The oleander aphid, Aphis nerii Boyer de Fonscolombe, uses piercing-sucking mouthparts to suck the juices out of the plant. Often called milkweed aphid, this pest can be a problem for young milkweed plants — older plants are more equipped to handle the damage.If aphids are damaging the milkweed in your garden, simply use a wet paper towel to remove them. Wipe the insects off the plant and smash them inside the paper towel. You can also use sticky tape or packing tape to pull the aphids off of the plant. Smash the aphids by folding the tape onto itself.Luckily, pollinator gardens attract other beneficial insects, like parasitic wasps, that can assist in aphid control. Another pest to look out for is the large milkweed bug (Oncopeltus fasciatus). This insect is easy to identify with its dark orange and black coloration. Many gardeners choose to leave this insect alone, as it is part of the ecosystem. Unfortunately, milkweed bugs interrupt seed production by attacking the seed pods. If producing viable seed is important to you, you can remove these insects simply by picking them off the plant and dropping them into a cup of soapy water.It is important to remember that any insecticide that you use will also affect the wonderful pollinators that you work hard to conserve. The monarch migration is coming in a few weeks, so watch for pests, reap the rewards of the hard work of butterfly gardening and enjoy the show.To follow the monarch migration and to report your butterfly sightings, visit Journey North at journeynorth.org/monarchs. For many years, this organization has tabulated the reports of citizen-scientists and is a great resource for school groups. Monarch Watch, accessible at monarchwatch.org, provides online information about these insects and their habitat needs. Contact your local University of Georgia Cooperative Extension office for more information about butterfly gardening and habitat building by visiting extension.uga.edu.