A Month in the Country’s Megan West & Mike Faist on Co-Star Crushes & More

first_imgMegan West and Mike Faist are spending A Month in the Country at Classic Stage Company alongside two very high-profile co-stars: Orange Is the New Black’s Taylor Schilling and Peter Dinklage of Game of Thrones. Although both young stars are new to the theater scene, Faist cut his teeth in Broadway’s Newsies and West is best known as mysterious victim Lila Stangard on TV’s How to Get Away With Murder. In their new gig, West and Faist play Vera, a student, and Aleksei, a tutor, respectively, who both live in the household of Natalya (Schilling). But when both Vera and Natalya fall in love with Aleksei, things get tricky…and steamy. Broadway.com spent the afternoon with two stars to chat about TV addiction, love at first sight and secret crushes. Q: A Month in the Country is a departure from Newsies, Mike. Do you ever bust out a pirouette for everyone?MEGAN WEST: Yes! I can vouch, we make him do it. Dance for us, fouette, come on!Q: This play was written in the 1800s—were you surprised how salacious and sexy it is?MIKE FAIST: It’s like a romance novel.MEGAN WEST: It’s an erotic comedy.MIKE FAIST: Bring out the sex! [Laughs.]Q: Speaking of which, Mike, did you ever think you’d be making out with Taylor Schilling?MEGAN WEST: Well, I was shocked. I didn’t know it was happening ‘til it happened.MIKE FAIST: I didn’t know it was happening either. We started trying it three weeks into rehearsal. Erica [Schmidt, director] pulled Taylor and I aside and it was very secretive.Q: There’s a lot of unrequited love in this show. Did you ever have a crush that didn’t like you back?MEGAN WEST: Growing up, I had so many theater crushes. When I was little I did The Sound of Music, and I was Gretl, the youngest. I had a crush on all of my older siblings! One of them kissed me on the cheek in the show. Oof!Q: Mike, do you believe in love at first sight?MIKE FAIST: I do. My girlfriend Alexis and I met through my friend from high school—they came to New York for the weekend and saw me in Newsies. I was instantaneously in love. Then she needed a place to stay in New York, so she asked if she could stay with me. I was like, “YES. Yes, you’re gorgeous.” I was spitting all types of game, and she said no! I just kept being so obnoxious, it finally happened. Always be persistent! Related Shows Q: You’ve been working together a few months now—when you first met, what were your first impressions of each other?MEGAN WEST: I was so nervous about meeting everybody. I wanted to have a visual of what everyone was gonna look like, but Mike only had these baby photos online, and I was like, “How old is this kid?”MIKE FAIST: I’m 12! [Laughs.] I’m really 23.MEGAN WEST: I’m 24 and I thought, “Wow, maybe I’m supposed to look younger.”Q: Are the nerves going away now, Megan?MEGAN WEST: I’m still warming up, but I realized that these people are human beings, instead of—MIKE FAIST: Yeah, instead of the celebrity persona. I finally went out for drinks with Peter [Dinklage] and told him that every time I see him, I’m like, [singing the Game of Thrones theme song] “Duh-duh-da-duh, duh-duh-da-duh.” I gotta stop doing that!Q: If you could only watch HBO or Netflix for the rest of your life, which would you pick?MEGAN WEST: That’s not fair!MIKE FAIST: I have Netflix, so I choose HBO. The grass is always greener.MEGAN WEST: Yeah, I love HBO.Q: So you’re both Team HBO?MEGAN WEST: Not that I don’t love Orange Is the New Black.Q: Speaking of TV, Broadway.com did a musical fantasy cast of How to Get Away with Murder—could you see it onstage, Megan?MEGAN WEST: It’d be really dark! Maybe it would be like Sweeney Todd, very emotional.MIKE FAIST: Would Audra McDonald be Viola Davis?MEGAN WEST: What about Billy Porter? [Laughs.] He could do it! He’s so talented. See West and Faist in A Month in the Country at Classic Stage Company.center_img View Comments A Month in the Country Show Closed This production ended its run on Feb. 28, 2015last_img read more

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The Wiz Live! Team Introduces a New, Free-Willed Dorothy

first_imgWhen NBC’s The Wiz Live! airs on December 3, viewers will meet a brand new Dorothy for a brand new day. The Kansas girl is no longer a victim of chance; she’s doing the Nae Nae; she even has a new song with her Ozian friends.Tony winner Harvey Fierstein has revamped the musical’s book to tell a story apt for 2015, but his work extends past modernizing the dialogue. “There are certain questions I’ve always had,” he explained at a recent press event. “What is her journey? Is she just a victim? I made her in charge of her own life.”In Fierstein’s new script, Dorothy—originally from Omaha—lives with her aunt (played by Stephanie Mills, The Wiz’s original Dorothy) after her parents died. She misses Nebraska, but learns on her journey through Oz that home is where you love and are loved. There is purpose behind her actions that lead to that discovery.“It’s very modern. It’s a girl trying to find out and where she belongs in 2015,” newcomer Shanice Williams, who takes on the seminal role for the telecast, explained. The 19-year-old had her own moment of questioning where home was just before booking this gig: “I went to school in Los Angeles and was like, ‘I do not belong here.’ I came [to New York] and auditioned for this the day after I got off the plane.”With new autonomy comes some new moves. “We have every fun street dance that’s out there,” choreographer Fatima Robinson said. “We’re Hitting the Quan, we’re hitting the Nae Nae.” Arranger Stephen Oremus and music producer Harvey Mason Jr. were tasked with creating a new sound for said steps. “We have a hybrid of all the different musical styles that feels modern, but also honors the score,” said Oremus. Skeptical? Williams assured us it’s done “in the classiest way. It’s not gonna be ratchet!”Oremus and Mason Jr. also collaborated with Ne-Yo and Elijah Kelley—NBC’s Tin Man and Scarecrow, respectively—to introduce a new song roughly halfway through the presentation. The number, titled “We Got It,” features Dorothy rallying her newfound companions as they set out to kill the wicked witch Evillene.Ne-Yo and Mason Jr., both Grammy winners for R&B (as performer and producer, respectively), understood the challenge of adapting to a new medium. “There’s a difference between that style of writing [for radio] and writing for theater. The storytelling element has to be kicked up,” explained Ne-Yo.Mason Jr. still has hit-making on his mind, though he’s careful not to compromise the number’s context: “It’s telling a great story. A song like this would be a bit of a long-shot at radio, but it’s the kind of thing that could stand out.”For director Kenny Leon, this is an opportunity to expand a theatergoing audience to millions of spectators in just one night. Whether they are coming in as fans of the original musical, the 1978 film or the new all-star cast, he wants to make this an experience specific to today, and that’s just what he hopes these changes do.“I tried to honor [book writer] William Brown, [Broadway director] Geoffrey Holder and [composer] Charlie Smalls, but I’m also trying to address it for now,” Leon said. When they turn the TV off at 11 o’clock, I want people to talk about what it meant to their lives.”All of these alterations were made especially for the telecast, but with the intention to incorporate them in a forthcoming Broadway revival, slated for the 2016-17 season. “We’re thinking in terms of the proscenium,” producer Neil Meron said, looking ahead. “‘Oh, this would work on Broadway. Will these costumes work? The choreography? Harvey’s script?’ All of that has a dual purpose.”There may be pressure—and some big silver shoes to fill—but Williams has undoubtedly found a new home on the stage and screen. And a new family as well: “She asked me if she could call me Uncle Kenny,” Leon said. “I said yes.”And what does the original Dorothy have to say about her latest successor? “I had to find a way and make it mine; now she’s finding her way,” said Mills. “She’s delicious as Dorothy. She’s a star. Her Yellow Brick Road is going to be gold.” View Commentslast_img read more

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Speaker Smith announces public hearings on budget proposals

first_imgSpeaker Shap Smith today announced that he and Senate President Pro Tem Peter Shumlin have asked money committees and chairs to hold public hearings next week on the Governor Douglas newly submitted budget. They have also asked that Douglas’ proposals, announced Tuesday, be submitted in budget form. The governor’s proposal cuts about $42 million from the $4.5 billion budget the Legislature passed two weeks ago. I appreciate that the Governor has returned to the negotiating table with a written proposal, said Speaker Smith. Senator Shumlin and I intend to give the Governor s newly presented budget due diligence, which is why we have asked committees to convene public hearings next week to understand the impact of Governor Douglas proposal on Vermonters.On Wednesday, May 27, the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees, along with the Chairs of Appropriations and Education, will hold a public hearing from 1 4 p.m. in Room 11 on the Governor s Education Fund and tax proposals.On Thursday, May 28, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, along with the Chairs of Ways and Means, Finance, Human Services, Health Care and Government Operations, will hold a public hearing from 1 4 p.m. in Room 11 on the Governor s proposal to make deeper General Fund cuts. I continue to have very serious concerns about the Governor s newly outlined budget, especially with regard to how it will dramatically raise property taxes on middle income families, Speaker Smith said. A town by town comparison of how much more or in four cases, less families making between $75,000 and $96,000 will pay in property taxes under the governor s proposal v. the legislature s budget is attached.The Speaker and President Pro Tem yesterday sent a letter to the Governor asking him to submit his new budget in bill form no later than Friday, May 29, in advance of the special session on Tuesday, June 2. AttachmentSize PropertyTaxComparison.xls427.5 KBlast_img read more

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Hunger Mountain Coop considering Waterbury for second store

first_imgHunger Mountain Coop in Montpelier is exploring the feasibility of adding a store in downtown Waterbury by the end of 2010. The Coop Council agreed to explore this opportunity over the summer to see if it is in The Coop’s best interest to pursue. If The Coop’s research indicates that moving forward on this location makes sense, The Coop’s Member-Owners would need to vote on a proposal before it could be approved.The Coop was approached by Pomerleau Realty to see if it is interested in leasing the 20,000 square foot space now filled by RJ’s Friendly Market in downtown Waterbury. Ernie Pomerleau, President and CEO, recently negotiated a similar arrangement with the Hanover Co-op for a storefront in White River Junction and is excited about the prospect of Hunger Mountain taking over the Waterbury space. RJ’s owner Robert George is considering retirement and will help The Coop as it explores this option.State Representative Sue Minter noted, “I am so pleased to hear that The Coop is considering coming to Waterbury. Losing RJ and our downtown supermarket would be a huge loss, especially to many people who live, work and shop in Waterbury village. I know that Revitalizing Waterbury hopes to sustain a downtown supermarket as an anchor to our local economy. Moreover, the Waterbury-Duxbury Food Council is working to bring more local food to our area. This could be a wonderful opportunity to support the mission of both organizations and to sustain and grow our vibrant downtown.”RJ’s underwent extensive renovations about five years ago, including new shelving and major equipment. That means The Coop could be up and running quickly, without taking on the cost of building and equipping a brand new facility.“The prospect of a low-risk expansion in a thriving nearby community is very appealing” explains Coop General Manager Kari Bradley. “A new store and new market share would help us advance our mission: to sell more healthy and local food, serve more Members, increase sales for local vendors, create more jobs and cooperative commerce and deliver greater economic, social and environmental returns.”“But,” he is quick to add, “we have to look at a lot of factors to see if this is right for us.”The Coop completed a significant expansion of its Montpelier store in 2008, and sales have been ahead of projections despite the slow economy. It now has over 6,000 members—700 from the Stowe, Waterbury, and Mad River Valley area.“In addition to analyzing financial and marketing data, we plan to hold discussions with Member-Owners, vendors, staff and community members to get their comments and questions on the table,” said Council President Lydia Busler-Blais. “I want to emphasize that nothing has been decided, and the Council will not recommend anything that might jeopardize the success of our current operations.”Two community forums are scheduled. One is at Waterbury’s American Legion Hall on July 15 from 5-7pm and the other at the Montpelier Unitarian Church on July 20 from 5:30-7:30pm.For more information about The Coop, or how to participate in the discussions, please visit www.hungermountain.com(link is external), contact Krystal or Robyn at 223-8000 ext. 202, or sign up to be on The Coop’s e-news list by sending an email to info@hungermountain.com(link sends e-mail).Source: 6.24.2010. Hunger Mountain Coop, located in Montpelier, Vermont is a community-owned natural market & café committed to building a dynamic community of healthy individuals, sustainable local food systems and thriving cooperative commerce. The Coop celebrated its 38th anniversary in 2010.last_img read more

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PSB begins hearings on Lowell wind project

first_imgGreen Mountain Power Corp,The Kingdom Community Wind technical hearings began at the Vermont Public Service Board Thursday. Over the course of the next few weeks, approximately 50 witnesses will be questioned by parties to the case and by Public Service Board members. The Lowell project would be Vermont’s largest wind energy development. Up to 21 towers will be constructed, with a capacity of up to 63 megawatts. The project will generate enough electricity to serve 20,000 Vermont homes. All the electricity will be sold to customers of Green Mountain Power and members of Vermont Electric Coop. VPR’s series on Vermont’s Wind Energy Future The town of Lowell overwhelmingly supported the project in a vote taken last year. Opposition to the wind turbines has come mostly from neighbors and others who argue that the 410-foot towers on the ridgeline will ruin the aesthetics of the rural area and could negatively impact adjacent property values. They are also concerned with the impact on wildlife from the construction and maintenance of roads and from the noise generated by the turbines.Mary Powell, president and chief executive officer of Green Mountain Power, was one of the first witnesses at the PSB hearing. She explained why GMP is pursuing the Kingdom Community Wind project in Lowell. Powell commented that Kingdom Community Wind is one of the most cost-effective ways Green Mountain Power can deliver clean renewable energy for its customers and for customers of Vermont Electric Coop.Powell also discussed how Green Mountain Power and Vermont Electric Cooperative worked collaboratively with the community exploring the pros and cons of a wind project. On whether or not to move forward on the project, she explained that GMP agreed to abide by a vote of the citizens of Lowell. In a vote held last March, 75 percent supported the project moving forward.Robert Dostis of Green Mountain Power testified regarding the Good Neighbor Fund that Green Mountain Power established to ensure neighboring communities benefitted economically from the project. The fund demonstrates GMP’s commitment to share the economic benefits beyond the town of Lowell, which will host the plant.  Dostis pointed out that the idea was included in the energy plan of The Northeast Vermont Development Association and was something that was raised at public meetings in neighboring towns.  Towns receiving payment from the Good Neighbor Fund are Albany, Craftsbury, Eden, Irasburg, and Westfield.Artist renderings courtesy: Kingdom Community Wind, http://www.kingdomcommunitywind.com/(link is external)last_img read more

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Cost-cutting Tips For A Fiscally Healthy Retirement

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York The average person will spend more than 50 years in the employment sector. As retirement draws closer, many professionals begin to daydream about giving up the commute and having more time to pursue their personal interests. Even if planning for retirement has been many years in the making, it can take some time for a person to become acclimated to having less income. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, older households, which are defined as those run by someone age 65 and older, spent an average of $45,756 in 2016, or roughly $3,800 a month in 2016. That’s roughly $1,000 less than the monthly average spent by typical American households. Housing, transportation, healthcare, and food are some of the biggest bills retirees will have to account for. Aiming to have savings in addition to any other retirement income or government subsidy coming in to cover that amount is a step in the right direction. Retirees can make their money go further if they take inventory of their spending and make some cuts where possible.Know where your money is going. It’s impossible to save without knowing what your expenses are each month. Many people are surprised to learn how much little things add up over the course of a month. For example, spending $4 for a takeout coffee each day can quickly become an expensive luxury. Add all expenses and see where you can trim, especially if there’s a deficit each month.Consider extra health insurance coverage. In the United States, Medicare participants can choose Medicare Supplement Insurance plans to help reduce out-of-pocket health care costs. Medicare Parts A and B cover only some of your healthcare costs. Supplemental insurance can cover some of the costs not covered by original Medicare, such as copayments, deductibles and coinsurance, according to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).Pare down your possessions. Take inventory of what you have and scale back where possible. If you are no longer commuting to work, you may be able to become a one-car household. Downsizing your residence can help seniors avoid spending too much of their retirement time and money maintaining their homes. Take advantage of senior discounts. Take advantage of the many discounts offered to seniors. Retirees can usually save on restaurants, travel, groceries, and much more by simply shopping on specific days or verifying their age when checking out.Purchase less expensive life insurance or consider canceling it altogether. According to Cheapism, a site that advises consumers about how to be more frugal, the chief purpose of life insurance is to replace income to ensure the financial security of dependents in the event of death. Retirees may have no dependents and little income. Therefore, a large life insurance policy may not be necessary, especially if you’ve already set aside funds to cover funeral costs.Pay off a mortgage. Housing is many people’s most substantial expense. Paying off a mortgage can free up more money each month and allow retirees to spend their golden years doing as they please. As retirement nears, adults can employ various strategies to reduce their monthly expenses.-Metro Creative Connectionlast_img read more

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India coronavirus cases rise as millions return home

first_imgBut the eastern state of Bihar registered more than 160 infections on Monday, its highest one-day rise, taking its tally to more than 2,700 cases. In the past 36 hours, more than 75 people tested positive in Odisha and 35 in three isolation homes in the desert state of Rajasthan.The latest cases have forced authorities to stretch limited testing resources.”Dozens of laborers who travelled from New Delhi have tested positive. We are ensuring that no one enters their village with this infection,” said Gaurav Sinha, a senior health official in Bihar’s capital, Patna.Economists studying reverse migration patterns said India’s poorest migrant laborers have been the worst hit by the lockdown. TV footage early in the crisis showed police beating migrant workers as they tried to board city buses to reach their villages, making a mockery of social distancing. Indian states witnessing millions of migrant laborers returning from the big cities are recording rising coronavirus infections, officials said on Tuesday, fearing that the pandemic could spread through villages where medical care is basic at best.Officials from the home and railway ministries said at least 4.5 million workers had migrated home from economic hubs in the two months since Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared a lockdown.On Tuesday, India had recorded a total 145,380 infections and a death toll of 4,167, low figures for the world’s second-most populous country when compared with some countries in Europe. Topics :center_img On May 1, the government responded to rising public opposition to the migrant crisis by allowing special trains to take workers back to their home states.But millions of workers without jobs or money are still waiting to reach home.”The migrant crisis exposes the spatial fault-lines of India’s development,” wrote Sai Balakrishnan, an assistant professor at Harvard University, in the Mint newspaper.last_img read more

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Option to renovate old Brisbane home proves a big drawcard

first_img68 Spring Street, West End.Mr Porfyriou said the house was very neat and liveable while, at the same time, being the perfect blank canvas for someone to put their signature on with renovating. “Little untouched cottages are popular to a great portion of the market,” Mr Porfyriou said.“The West End peninsula is constantly growing and there’s still loads of potential for buyers to value add to properties in the area. “Now that West End State School has been given the extra campus, the demand to buy into the area will only get stronger.” 68 Spring Street, West End.A 1920s home at West End has sold for more than $1 million at auction.The three-bedroom, one-bathroom home at 68 Spring St attracted six registered bidders on August 12 and was bought by a local for $1.125 million. 68 Spring Street, West End. 68 Spring Street, West End.Mr Porfyriou said he was constantly contacted by interstate buyers relocating from the south to get into the area but the amount of stock available was the challenge. 68 Spring Street, West End.Kosta Porfyriou and Henry Hodge of McGrath Estate Agents – New Farm said the vendors were moving to Tasmania.More from newsCrowd expected as mega estate goes under the hammer7 Aug 2020Hard work, resourcefulness and $17k bring old Ipswich home back to life20 Apr 2020Set on a 721sq m block of land, the Queenslander-style home was marketed as ready to live in with the option to renovate. last_img read more

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Ex-US Navy Officers Face Criminal Charges over Collisions

first_imgThe commanding officers of two US Navy destroyers, which were involved in fatal collisions in 2017, could face courts-martial and military criminal charges, US Navy said in a statement.The charges are a part of the navy’s efforts to address the problems that led to the collisions of USS Fitzgerald and USS John S. McCain with merchant vessels in the Pacific Ocean on June 17 and August 21, respectively, in which 17 sailors lost their lives.As a result, the US Navy dismissed several senior officers, including the commander of the US 7th Fleet. The officials have now informed that investigative hearings would be held to review evidence supporting possible criminal charges against the commanding officers and several lower-ranking officers who served on the two destroyers.The commanding officer and three other officers on the USS Fitzgerald are facing charges including dereliction of duty, hazarding a vessel, and negligent homicide. Additionally, the commanding officer of USS John S. McCain faces charges include dereliction of duty, hazarding a vessel, and negligent homicide. Also, one charge of dereliction of duty was preferred and is pending referral to a forum for a chief petty officer, the US Navy said.“The announcement of an Article 32 hearing and referral to a court-martial is not intended to and does not reflect a determination of guilt or innocence related to any offenses. All individuals alleged to have committed misconduct are entitled to a presumption of innocence,” the statement reads.Additional administrative actions are being conducted for members of both crews including non-judicial punishment for four Fitzgerald and four John S. McCain crewmembers.last_img read more

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Bizwoman arrested over falsification rap

first_imgChamplon was taken to the Sta. Barbara municipal police station. ILOILO City – A businesswoman was arrested for allegedly falsifying public documents in Barangay Lanag, Sta. Barbara, Iloilo. The 43-year-old Janet Champlon – resident of the village – was caught on the strength of an arrest warrant 9:45 a.m. on June 25, a police report showed.center_img The court recommended a P24,000 bail bond for the suspect’s temporary liberty./PNlast_img

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