Star Files Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today. Sunset Boulevard’s Glenn Close on Stopping the ShowIt’s as if the three-time Tony winner never said goodbye in London right now! Glenn Close is about to reprise her Tony-winning role of Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard at the English National Opera and she recently spoke with Good Morning Britain about the upcoming limited engagement. Along with revealing why she “stopped the show once in Sunset Boulevard,” she also adorably admitted that she sleeps with a teddy bear. The semi-staged production, with the full ENO orchestra, will run April 1 through May 7 and officially open on April 4 at the London Coliseum. Samuel Barnett Lands Dirk GentlyTwo-time Tony nominee Samuel Barnett (Twelfth Night, The History Boys) will star as the titular holistic detective in BBC America’s Dirk Gently, opposite Elijah Wood as his unenthusiastic assistant Todd. Deadline reports that the eight-episode series is based on Douglas Adams’ Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency novels and will be penned by Max Landis. The project is scheduled to bow in fall 2016.Tributes Pour in for Patty Duke & James NobleSome sad news now. Patty Duke, who won an Oscar at age 16 for her role of Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker, which she had originated on the Great White Way, died at the age of 69 on March 29, according to NBC news. Along with playing identical cousins in her own sitcom, she also appeared on Broadway in Isle of Children and Oklahoma!. And James Noble, best known for his work on hit 1980s sitcom Benson, died on March 28 in Connecticut at the age of 94, the New York Times reports. His Main Stem credits included The Runner Stumbles, 1776 and Strange Interlude.Idina Menzel Tapped for Tribeca Film FestivalSwitching gears, if screlting “Let It Go,” with Idina Menzel isn’t your thing, the Broadway supernova is helpfully providing other options. The Tony winner is set to take part in this year’s Tribeca Film Festival; she will appear in the (open to the public) Storytellers series at the SVA Theater 1 Silas on April 18. Or you could do both. Glenn Close View Comments Glenn Close
View Comments Julia Knitel You’ve got a new friend! Broadway understudy Julia Knitel will star as Carole King the national tour of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. Knitel will take over for Abby Mueller in the touring production of the hit Broadway musical beginning September 13 in San Francisco. Erika Olson will also join the tour as Cynthia Weil.Knitel has appeared on Broadway in Beautiful, where she’s been the Carole understudy for the last year, and Bye Bye Birdie. Olson is a recent graduate of Carnegie Mellon; her theater credits include Forest Boy, Eurydice, The Full Monty and Uncle Vanya.Knitel and Olson join a company that includes Liam Tobin (Gerry Goffin), Ben Fankhauser (Barry Mann), Curt Bouril (Don Kirshner) and Suzanne Grodner (Genie Klein).Long before she was Carole King, chart-topping music legend, she was Carol Klein, Brooklyn girl with passion and chutzpah. She fought her way into the record business as a teenager and, by the time she reached her twenties, had the husband of her dreams and a flourishing career writing hits for the biggest acts in rock ‘n’ roll. But it wasn’t until her personal life began to crack that she finally managed to find her true voice. Beautiful tells the inspiring true story of King’s remarkable rise to stardom, from being part of a hit songwriting team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with fellow writers and best friends Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann, to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history. Along the way, she made more than beautiful music, she wrote the soundtrack to a generation.With a book by Tony and Academy Award nominee Douglas McGrath, direction by Marc Bruni and choreography by Josh Prince, Beautiful features a stunning array of beloved songs written by Gerry Goffin/Carole King and Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil.
Related Shows The Rockettes are back at Radio City, tap shoes, antlers, sparkles and all! Whether audiences eagerly return to see the beloved Christmas Spectacular or experience the magic for the first time, they are sure to leave the theater starry-eyed. The iconic production officially opened on November 15. Dancing bears, toy soldiers, camels and Santa Claus himself are all taking the stage, and we couldn’t be happier that it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas—at least at Radio City.To honor the holiday classic, Broadway.com Resident Artist Justin “Squigs” Robertson gave the Rockettes, Santa and Mrs. Claus the ink treatment. Enjoy his swirling winter wonderland, chock-full of kaleidoscopic colors.Broadway.com wishes the entire company of the Christmas Spectacular Starring The Radio City Rockettes a magical holiday season filled with everything they wished for! Experience the always-enchanting production through January 2, 2017. About the Artist: With a desire to celebrate the magic of live theater and those who create it, and with a deep reverence for such touchstones as the work of Al Hirschfeld and the wall at Sardi’s, Squigs is happy and grateful to be among those carrying on the traditions where theater and caricature meet. He was born and raised in Oregon, lived in Los Angeles for quite a long time and now calls New York City his home. View Comments © Justin “Squigs” Robertson Christmas Spectacular Starring The Radio City Rockettes Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 5, 2020
Age: 24Hometown: Orlando, FloridaCurrent Role: Denée Benton plays Natasha, a naive ingénue navigating love and lust in aristocratic Russia while her fiancé is away at war, in Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812.Stage & Screen Cred: Benton makes her Broadway debut in The Great Comet, reprising her performance from the American Repertory Theater’s 2015 production. Her additional stage credits include The Book of Mormon in the West End and on tour, as well as regional productions of Annie, Sunset Boulevard and Fiddler on the Roof. Fans can catch her on screen in Lifetime’s ultra-addicting UnReal. Star Files View Comments Denée Benton photographed at The Brill Building(Photo: Caitlin McNaney) Related Shows Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 Show Closed This production ended its run on Sept. 3, 2017 Denée Benton
“It’s important for society to know the impacts (of correct application),” said C. WayneJordan, head of the Agricultural Services Labs with the University of Georgia College ofAgricultural and Environmental Sciences. The test, Jordan said, helps everyone. It’s inexpensive, user-friendly and readily availablethrough your countyextension office. If you’re a homeowner or farmer, you may be wasting your money. You may be amongthe many Georgians who squander thousands of dollars annually by using fertilizersimproperly. Money isn’t the only issue. Using fertilizers wrong hurts the environment, too. “At the same time,” he said, “many Georgia soils need lime. You need to make sure you’reputting on the right amount of the right material.” “The more you apply, the more potential you have for runoff into streams and lakes,”Jordan said. “Landowners and farmers should determine the soil’s fertility levels anddecide what its needs are in terms of fertilizer or lime. We need to limit the likelihood ofgroundwater and stream contamination.” Private labs are also available in some areas. Certain elements consistently show up in levels that are either too high or too low forcertain crops. Jordan said you should know how much to add for each situation. “The soil is drier and fields are cleaner in fall,” he said. “And because such materials suchas lime take time to react in the soil, it’s best to test early in the fall rather than waitinguntil winter or spring.” Not having a soil test means not knowing what to do for your plants, said Henry Hibbs,Extension Service coordinator in Oconee County. “So many people treat their plants’ poor growth symptoms when all they need is a goodfertilizer program,” Hibbs said. “They miss the core problem — an unbalanced soilnutrition program.” The best time to test is now, Jordan said. “People think only farmers need to know this,” Jordan said. “But people with gardens,lawns and ornamental plants need to know this just as much.” The results are easy to read, understand and apply to your soil. “After the test you can goto your fertilizer or garden supplier and know exactly what to buy and how to apply it,”Jordan said. “Your test is only as good as your sample,” Hibbs said. “The more specific you are withyour sample information, the better the results and recommendations.” “We’re concerned with the amount of phosphorous that goes on the soil over the longterm,” he said. “Many of our soil samples from homeowners and some field crops areshowing high phosphorous levels. “Testing your soil can help you accurately match the requirements of the soil and plantsand limit excess runoff,” he said. “Farmers can also maximize their profits and keep costsdown for themselves and consumers if they know how much (fertilizer or lime) to add tothe soil.” Hibbs said the UGA test is free for farmers and commercial horticulture growers. There isa small charge for others. “It costs $4 per sample,” he said. “But you can save money byconsolidating your samples and not overfertilizing by guessing.” Avoiding costly mistakes is easy with a soil test, Jordan said. “You will receive instructions, the proper paperwork and sample bags,” he said. “Theextension agents will mail the samples, provide the results and answer questions.”
“Lady beetles are one of our primary beneficial insects,” shesaid. “They feed on aphids, scale insects and mealybugs — thoseare some of the most important pests of ornamental plants — sowe should conserve these beneficial insects.” “Most of them are hunkered down in some kind of shelter now,”Braman said. “Insects are tough. They survive a lot better thanwe sometimes think they do.” The lady bugs can become a nuisance, though. “Some people reportthat the insects have bitten them. That is fairly unusual,”Braman said. “But most people don’t like the insects in theirhomes.”People see ladybugs more during warm spells. “As we see somefluctuation in the temperature, we’re going to see more activityfrom these insects,” she said. “They get out and move around,looking for shelter and trying to get warm.” Braman said Asian lady beetles are “especially interesting,” andparticularly valuable to homeowners, because they feed on aphidsthat attack woody plants. Getting them out Come spring, the beetles will move out on their own. If they’re lingering on porches, sweep them into a bag, she said,and release them far enough away from the house that they don’tcome right back in. “Better yet,” she said, “if you have woodytrees or a wood line, this would be a good place to release thebeetles safely.” “They attack the aphids eating your pecans and crepe myrtles,”she said. “They even attack aphids on roses. So many of the otherlady beetles don’t eat the aphids that attack woody plants.” Windowsills and ceiling vents are popular places for the beetlesto congregate. They’re sometimes also found in large numbers inattics or in light fixtures. By April ReeseUniversity of GeorgiaYou may consider lady beetles a nuisance as these orange invadersmove into your home, borrowing tiny spaces of your shelter fromwinter weather. But come spring and summer, you’ll be glad theysurvived to move into your yard and garden. If enough of them get into your house, Braman said the best wayto get them out is to suck them up in the vacuum cleaner.”We have to remember that they do have a yellow hemolymph,” shesaid. “That’s just insect blood, but it can stain the walls orfurniture if we’re not careful.” Braman describes the insects as an “unwelcome winter guest thatstays too long to suit us.” But she urges people to remember thatthey do good things. “As weather warms up, the lady beetles will become active andbegin moving out, searching for aphids to feed on,” Braman said.”Because they don’t feed in the winter, they’re more than willingto exit your home and move on, protecting your ornamentalplants.” Also known as the Halloween beetleand just as a ladybug, Asian lady beetles would die if they were exposed to the kind of deep-freeze chill expected in Georgia this week. Fortunately, most won’t be exposed to it. “It’s tricky to try to keep them out,” Braman said. “They can fitthrough the smallest hole. Try to seal windows to keep them out.Seal around any holes you find in windows.” It’s hard to keep lady beetles from getting in at all. Getting warm Try to save them (April Reese is a student writer with the University of GeorgiaCollege of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.) Kris Braman, an entomologist with the University of GeorgiaCollege of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, says theAsian lady beetle (Harmonia axyridis) is a beneficial bug.
As you plant fall vegetables, bring plants inside on cold nights and dream of what your landscape will look like next spring, take a moment to check out some of these free resources written by University of Georgia Cooperative Extension experts.Home Gardening explains everything you need to know about growing a successful home vegetable or herb garden, including location and planning, soil preparation, choosing what to plant and how to tend to it, fertilizer, weed control, mulching and composting, watering, pollination, disease and insect control, harvesting, and freezing, canning and preserving.The Vegetable Garden Calendar is a handy reference for knowing when to plant vegetables to keep your garden producing year-round. You can also learn how to keep your garden healthy with Disease Control in the Home Vegetable Garden.With scorching days and balmy nights, winter might seem like it will never arrive. Plan ahead for those cold nights with advice from “Winter Protection of Ornamental Plants” and learn how the pros make those pansy beds look perky all winter in Success with Pansies in the Winter Landscape: A Guide for Landscape Professionals. Flowering Bulbs for Georgia Gardens describes the wide variety of bulbs that grow well in Georgia as potted plants, in shrub borders, as naturalistic plantings and in mass displays. Even when there’s frost on the ground you can still have a lush, green garden by creating an indoor oasis. Experts share their advice in Growing Indoor Plants with Success, Gardening in Containers and Propagating House Plants.And when those first days of spring finally start to beckon you into the garden again, make sure you’re ready to create a beautiful landscape by doing some basic preparations first. These resources will help you lay a good foundation for your vegetable and flower gardens: Basic Principles of Pruning Woody Plants, Soil Preparation and Planting Procedures for Ornamental Plants in the Landscape, Soil Testing for Home Lawns, Gardens and Wildlife Food Plots and Make Every Drop Count: Proper Planting Results in Healthy, Water-Efficient Plants.UGA Extension offers more than 600 free, research-based publications to help you learn about everything from planting the perfect vegetable garden to raising a backyard chicken flock, and from identifying stinging and biting pests to determining if your agribusiness is feasible. For more information, go to www.caes.uga.edu/publications.
Cotton and peanuts, two of Georgia’s top row-crops, joined forces earlier this month for the University of Georgia Cotton and Peanut Research Field Day, spotlighting research projects funded by the Georgia Peanut Commission and Georgia Cotton Commission.In this episode of “In the Field” Brad Haire speaks with John Beasley, peanut agronomist with UGA Cooperative Extension, about the field day.Watch Cotton, peanuts join forces to spotlight UGA ag research.(Note to editor: “In the Field” is a video news series produced by Brad Haire, news director with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, providing timely, reliable information about Southern agriculture, and showing it in action. The series is available for your use on YouTube. Higher-resolution files are also available for broadcast.)
It is well-known in the medical field that the pig brain shares certain physiological and anatomical similarities with the human brain. So similar are the two that researchers at the University of Georgia’s Regenerative Bioscience Center have developed the first U.S. pig model for stroke treatments, which will provide essential preclinical data and speed the drug discovery process. Often referred to by research teams as “the animals most like people,” pig-derived medical products have a long history of use in humans and have improved the lives of countless patients. Pig heart valves are used to replace damaged or diseased human valves, diabetics may use insulin taken from pigs, and the blood-thinning drug heparin was first derived from a pig. “Compared to mice, our large animal stroke model is a more rigorous test of potential therapeutics with findings that are likely more clinically relevant,” said Franklin West, an associate professor in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and senior author of the paper describing the model. Using their model, the team has shown that induced neural stem cells, or iNSCs, can replace stroke-damaged brain tissue and stimulate neuroplasticity — the brain’s ability to naturally repair itself. “This is the first time that a neural stem cell therapy has been tested in a large animal model with a brain more similar to humans,” said Emily Baker, lead author of the study, who recently received her doctorate in neuroscience from UGA. “With greater predictive capabilities, there’s a better likelihood of it working in a human.” Stroke is the cause of one in every 19 deaths in the U.S. and has estimated annual cost of $315 billion — 56 percent higher than treatment-associated costs of all cancers, according to the American Heart Association. Despite the urgent need, almost all clinical trials of neuroprotective therapies to date have failed to translate from the laboratory to the clinic, according to the RBC research team. Stroke therapies that worked on small animals such as mice more often than not proved ineffective in human strokes.With the failure of so many clinical trials, the concept of neuroprotection and the inability to demonstrate a regenerative action to restore and replace brain tissue has been the subject of many discussions in both research and medical communities. Through this model, the research team was able to more precisely establish the repair mechanism by which stem cells work in neural tissue regeneration and neuroprotection than was previously known. “The takeaway from this work is that the injected stem cells led to cellular and tissue improvement,” West said. “Basically, if you have a stroke and you get this treatment, fewer neurons are going to die, and for stroke research that’s critically important.” The findings from the study, published in Nature’s Scientific Reports, suggest that there are peripherals of salvageable brain tissue that would benefit from cell-based restorative therapies after acute ischemic stroke. Specifically, iNSCs that naturally promote brain plasticity and recovery. In collaboration with Emory University and UGA’s College of Veterinary Medicine, the team’s work shows improved recovery in white matter, the “superhighways of connectivity” that connect key centers of the brain. This change in response to restorative therapy can be monitored using MRI imaging techniques. “From the MRI we learned of a recovery mechanism in that neural stem cell therapy improves white matter integrity,” said Baker. “We now have white matter tracts that allow for faster, more effective communication from one region in the brain to another after injury.” The research marks a major milestone and, while a long way from clinical use, it may speed stroke discoveries by providing a better, more predictive translational model. Researchers within the RBC are already using this model as a platform for future nanotechnology applications. “If we can replace lost brain tissue and neural systems that are basically gone from stroke, which would lead to functional improvement or functional independence like feeding yourself, getting yourself dressed and being able to move again, then we’ve met our long-term goals — but in the bigger picture what we’ve done is improve the quality of life,” said West. The study, “Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Neural Stem Cell Therapy Enhances Recovery in an Ischemic Stroke Pig Model,” is available online at www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-10406-x.The Regenerative Bioscience Center at the University of Georgia links researchers and resources collaborating in a wide range of disciplines to develop new cures for devastating diseases that affect animals and people. With its potential restorative powers, regenerative medicine could offer new ways of treating diseases for which there are currently no treatments — including heart disease, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and stroke. For more information, see www.rbc.uga.edu.
Fire ant populations are high in the fall and ants haven’t yet burrowed deep into the soil for winter. Among others, these are the reasons University of Georgia entomologists say that now is the perfect time to treat for them.“Since the ants aren’t too deep in the ground, they are easier to kill with a mound-drench, granular or dust,” said UGA Cooperative Extension Entomologist Dan Suiter, who’s based on the UGA Griffin campus. “When using these products, it’s critical to treat when the queen and brood are close to the surface.”Fire ants are usually most active in the spring and fall, when daytime temperatures are between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. They also spend a lot of time foraging for food in the fall. Actively foraging ants will pick up bait and carry it into the nest within the first hour or two.Suiter recommends treating fire ants by first broadcasting a fire ant bait. He said if the product label is followed carefully, about 90 percent of the ants will be suppressed.Apply the bait either across the home lawn or in a 4-foot circle around each fire ant mound. Use care not to disturb the mounds. Wear gloves and use only a new spreader dedicated to treating fire ants.Never apply bait using a spreader that’s been used to spread fertilizer. Suiter warns that the fertilizer residue can alter the scent of the bait.“And, if you are a smoker and the smoke smell gets on the bait, the ants won’t touch it. If you have gasoline on your hands, the ants won’t touch it either,” he said.A week to 10 days after applying bait, kick or poke the fire ant mounds with a stick. Don’t forget to step away quickly. If there is any ant activity, apply a contact insecticide to the mounds.“Get a long stick and run it down through the center of the mound,” he said. “It should push like a hot knife through butter. Pull the stick out quickly and pour in the premixed insecticide.”Suiter says to be prepared to move away right after pouring the insecticide on the mound as the ants will scatter once the mound is disturbed. A premixed gallon or two of insecticide should fill the mound from the bottom up.Baits do not stop new fire ant colonies from moving in from surrounding land or keep newly mated queens from becoming established. And, unfortunately, fire ant populations can fully recover within 12 to 18 months of the last bait treatment, Suiter said. Low-lying, moist and flood-prone areas are more susceptible to reinfestation.If you prefer to use dry treatments, UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences entomologist Wayne Gardner says that dusts or powders can also be sprinkled on the surface of fire ant mounds.“One really excellent one is Orthene (acephate) which is actually packaged and sold for fire ant control,” said Gardner who has studied how to control urban insect pests for more than 30 years at UGA-Griffin. “For those colonies that might survive the bait treatment, a second treatment of the mound with this material is an excellent idea.”Dry treatments work like this. The worker ants find the powder, carry it into the mound and expose their nest mates and food supply, Gardner said. This method is called the “Texas Two-Step Method,” as it was developed at Texas A&M University.“It’s basically Amdro followed by Orthene,” Gardner said.Both Suiter and Gardner ask homeowners to be especially careful and never apply a pesticide near any body of water — streams, rivers, ponds, or lakes — as over-the-counter insecticides are deadly to fish and other aquatic life.Fire ants were first reported in Georgia in the 1950s. Their mating flights have taken them as far east as North Carolina and as far west as Texas. The ants have also spread through nursery plant material to states like Arizona and California.For more advice on controlling household pests, contact your local UGA Extension agent at 1-800-ASK-UGA1 or search “fire ants” at extension.uga.edu/publications.