first_imgIn the corporate world, employees leaving a job are asked to sit through a sometimes exhausting “exit interview” with HR about their time at the company. Although that concept doesn’t exist for Broadway performers, we think it’s fun to check in with stars as they finish up a successful run. For over a year, Michael Urie has been trapped in a basement—Barbra Streisand’s basement, to be exact—in Jonathan Tolins’ one-man show Buyer & Cellar. After a year of playing every role in the hit comedy at the Barrow Street Theatre, he concludes his off-Broadway run on March 16. Before Urie brings the show to “people who need people” all across the country, he reflected on his “delightful, isolating and Babtastic” year. What are three words you would use to describe your experience at the job? Delightful. Isolating. Babtastic. View Comments Related Shows Employee name: Michael Urie Show Closed This production ended its run on July 27, 2014 How did you feel when you first got the job? TERRIFIED! Of course, I was grateful too. I knew what a special piece of writing I was being given by Jonathan Tolins, and what a unique and perfect place and time David Van Asselt and the Rattlestick Theatre were providing. I knew the play would work, given the right presentation, and the Rattlestick was exactly the right kind of hip and edgy downtown theatre that we needed to share such a wholly original work. Thanks to Dan Shaheen and Ted Snowdon, we were in rehearsal within a month and I was sweating it out in front of a paying audience a mere three-and-a-half weeks later! What will you miss most about the job? Since I’m not finished with the play or the role(s) and I won’t have to say goodbye to the playwright, director, producers, nor hopefully the crew, I’d have to say the West Village. Working downtown is a dream, and getting to know the staffs of Barrow Street and Rattlestick, the restaurants, shops and quiet streets have been a true honor. I’ll miss the hood. What was the highlight of your time at this job? I will never tire of watching the audience’s faces as they catch on to the tale I’m spinning. Granted, some people have a frowny at-rest face, which can be interpreted by my insecure brain as any number of things. BUT, most people watch the play with a surprised look of joy, that is completely priceless and it never gets old. What advice would you give to future employees in your job position? Never go onstage grumpy! YouTube has a wealth of things to make one giggle last minute—and Sam the assistant stage manager has plenty of jokes. What was the hardest thing? Five-show weekends! Since June, I’ve been performing Friday nights, then twice on Saturday and twice on Sunday. Mondays are trying… Why are you leaving? I must tour! I’ve got a six-week hiatus before I bring the Cellar to Chicago, D.C. and L.A. So I need a break to rest up for new cities, new people and much bigger theatres! Buyer & Cellar What skills do you think are required for future job applicants? You gotta love telling a story, and have no problem looking people in the eye. There are 200 expectant souls out there every night waiting for you to wow them. They are the nervous ones, after all they know it’s a one man show (what if they hate the one man?!), they saw the sign out front that there’s no intermission (they’re stuck), and they know it’s 100 minutes! Luckily both Clancy O’Connor, my understudy who filled in during my vacation and Christopher Hanke, my successor, are both natural charmers. One flash of their pearly whites and all is well. What was the easiest thing about the job? It has been surprisingly easy to keep the play fresh, due in great part to the wonderful writing, but also my fabulous co-stars! Each performance, a group of 200 strangers come to the Barrow Street Theatre to hear me tell this story—their new and fresh take on what I’ve got to say has been exactly what I need to tell the story as if it’s never been told. How do you feel now that you’re leaving? After nearly 370 performances I’m trying to keep my eyes open. Not only because I’m very tired, but also because I’ve never experienced this kind of work before, this many performances and this much kindness from press/friends/patrons and I don’t want to miss a thing. Come March 17, I intend to close my eyes very tightly, and sleep for a few days. Or perhaps go on a silent retreat. How do you think you’ve grown during your time at this job? I’ve become very forgiving of myself. When you’re a part of an ensemble, playing one role with a smattering of scenes, it can be very easy to focus on the small stuff. When you’re the entire ensemble, and have to play all the parts in all the scenes, there are inevitably going to be any number of missteps a night, and there’s no time for mourning. A word burble or missed laugh that may have plagued me for the remainder of the night in past shows is easily left behind now, thanks to B&C. Star Files Michael Urielast_img read more

first_imgby Anne Galloway March 29, 2011 Darcie Johnston, a political campaign consultant for GOP candidates, is galvanizing support ‘ and money ‘ for a campaign to kill the universal health care bill that just passed in the House. Johnston started her organization Vermonters for Health Care Freedom, a ‘free’ market group that opposes a ‘single-payer’ style medical coverage system for the state, just a few weeks ago as a Facebook campaign.Her mini movement has ‘ thanks to money from an unnamed source ‘ migrated from the somewhat limited realm of social networking sites to a website and a burgeoning list of 200 donors, ‘friends’ and supporters. Johnston, who is the volunteer prime mover of a faction of disaffected conservatives, rallied the anti-single payer flag and got dozens of opponents of H.202, the universal health care bill, to come to the Statehouse last weekend to decry the evils of government-controlled payment systems for medical care.Johnston has formed a 501(c)(4) to collect anonymous donations for the cause, and just today launched a website featuring a V-shaped, ultra-patriotic logo wrapped in the American flag and crowned with three gold stars.DOYLE POLL SHOWS SUPPORT FOR VERMONT YANKEESen. Bill Doyle, R-Washington, a political science professor at Johnson State College, has released the results of his annual town meeting survey. Though the survey is unscientific, it’s considered to be a indicator of public opinion. This year about 15,000 Vermonters filled out the survey, representing 142 cities and towns. Doyle says it’s one of the biggest responses in the 42 years he’s conducted the survey.Forty-five percent of respondents supported renewing Entergy Corp.’s license to operate Vermont Yankee, while 41 percent said no and 14 percent were unsure.Doyle also asked Vermonters whether ‘physician-assisted suicide’ should be legalized. Fifty percent of those polled said yes; 37 percent said no; and 13 percent weren’t sure.Here is a rundown on some of the ‘yes votes.’Tougher DUI law 75 percentExpand bottle deposit 79 percentPay more for locally grown foods 63 percentRequire use of motorcycle helmets 90 percentGOLD PLATE DINNER FOR DEMSIt’s never too early to start raising money for the next campaign cycle, which is now 13 months away. Gov. Peter Shumlin began tapping donors just eight weeks into his first term as governor. The Democratic House Campaign isn’t far behind. On April 7, Democratic Party devotees will have an opportunity to break bread with House Speaker Shap Smith and three other members of his leadership team at the Chef’s Table in Montpelier for $500 a plate. Want cocktails with that? Donate $1,000 to the party and you can sip away at martinis, too.NRA TARGETS ‘RIGHT’ ANSWERLast weekend the National Rifle Association called my husband (they wouldn’t speak to me) as part of a telephone survey and wanted to know if he was concerned about the bureaucrats taking away his right to bear arms. The caller then played a recorded message from the CEO, Wayne LaPierre. The message? A secret U.S. Senate subcommittee is looking to hit the delete button on the right to bear arms. And they asked what my husband (who happened to purchase a hunting rifle for our son a few years ago) would do about it. My husband wasn’t aware that secret Senate subcommittees could change the Constitution without state ratification.When he replied that he was a proponent of gun control, the caller, a self-professed NRA member, said ‘Oh. That’s alright then. Good-bye.’ Survey completed.It wasn’t clear why the NRA would make such a concerted effort to reach out to Vermonters. Maybe it’s because as Kate Robinson reported earlier this month, Vermont has among the most liberal ‘carry’ gun laws in the nation for the carrying of concealed or visible weapons’in a car or on your person’without a permit. ‘There are no gun licensing or registration requirements, no waiting period to buy a gun, no requirement for firearms safety training before you can buy a gun, private sales do not require records and there are no state laws limiting who can buy a gun,’ Robinson wrote.The bill the NRA was worried about, H.83, which proposed stiffening penalties for gun owners whose guns have been used in teenage suicides, has gone nowhere this year.H. 244, however, a bill allowing Vermont law enforcement officials to use gun silencers was introduced in February.THE GRASS ISN’T GREENER IN VERMONTJohn Gregg reports this week in the Valley News that population growth in towns along the Connecticut River is decidedly lopsided. More people are moving to sort of tax-free New Hampshire (the Granite state does charge a 5 percent tax on unearned income) than the Green Mountain State. Gregg analyzed Census reports as the basis for his story, which appeared in theSunday edition of the Valley News.  Anne Galloway is editor of vtdigger.orglast_img read more

first_imgby Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — Sometimes life has a way of superseding your expectations. So is the case of 11-year-old Mason Lough and his parents, Larance and Carrie Lough of Wellington.Saturday night, the Zac Brown Band came to Wichita to perform in front of a near capacity crowd at Intrust Bank Stadium.What the Loughs didn’t expect was that Mason would perform his piano solo “Colder Weather” to the Zac Brown Band and its thousands of zealous number of fans in south-central Kansas (see video below). “I don’t know if he really knows what hit him,” said his mother Carrie Sunday morning. “He’s out this morning in the front yard playing basketball, like last night was just a normal evening for him.”Rest assured, it wasn’t.Mason Lough performing as Clay Cook looks on…It’s been an interesting ride for the Loughs, since placing a You Tube video a year ago where Mason, 10-years-old at the time, played a commanding  rendition of “Colder Weather” on a grand piano with no sheet music (see other video below).The thing about the Internet is you never know what could happen. But the video was picked up by “The Wolf” 100.5 — a local radio station in Wichita, who was sponsoring the concert held Saturday. And members of the band saw the video.As a result, the Kennedy Elementary fifth grade student and his mother were invited to eat at a VIP pre-concert dinner for 150 of Zac Brown Band’s most ardent fan club fans in the Wichita area. It was a dinner of down-home cooking that was actually prepared for the band or at least its entourage.“That in itself was an incredible experience,” Carrie said “We got to meet all the band members and have a great conversation with them.”But then the evening turned into something so much more. Clay Cook, the keyboardist for the band, introduced himself to Mason and said.“Look here, you are the kid who can play ‘Colder Weather’ better than I can.”He then looked Mason into his eyes and asked him if he would like to perform the song during the concert.“Mason’s eyes got real big and said, ‘sure,’” Carrie said. “I don’t think he was ever nervous about playing. He was so excited… Me, on the other hand, was petrified. I couldn’t calm my nerves.”Well, as you can tell on the video, Mason performed like a seasoned veteran. People in the crowd, except for a few sliver of Wellington fans scattered throughout, had no idea where this little man came from. But some were said to be moved to tears before Mason was done performing. At the end, Clay Cook lifted Mason in his arms and held him high. Mason threw his hands in his air making the touchdown sign.This most certainly wasn’t planned.Mason started playing way back when he was 3 playing on a cheap keyboard. By the time he was 5 he was taking piano lessons.After the family moved away from Wellington, they eventually moved back and eventually got in contact with Scott Williams in Winfield, who has been teaching Mason how to perform using both sheet music and playing the songs by ear.“It is quite an acquired art,” Carrie said about listening to music by ear. “It is something Mason is still learning.”Mason wanted to play songs he heard on the radio and “Colder Weather” was one of his favorites – a country song Zac Brown Band took to the top of the charts in 2010.And what was the reason for the original You Tube video? The Mason family simply made it so friends and relatives in the Kansas City area and elsewhere could see him play.How that piece of video led to Mason Lough on stage with the Zac Brown Band Saturday night at Intrust is one of those stories where truth is indeed stranger than fiction.Mason Lough on the big screen at Zac Brown Band Concert in Wichita, April 20, 2013. Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (11) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. +8 Vote up Vote down WHSFAN · 381 weeks ago Simply Awesome! Great Job.. Report Reply 0 replies · active 381 weeks ago +5 Vote up Vote down Imagine · 381 weeks ago Very cool! Report Reply 0 replies · active 381 weeks ago +6 Vote up Vote down Brian Kimzey · 381 weeks ago That’s my nephew, I couldn’t be more proud! Fantastic job Mason! Report Reply 0 replies · active 381 weeks ago +3 Vote up Vote down Tanya Kimzey · 381 weeks ago Mason’s Grandpa ,Robert Kimzey passed, away last October. He would be so proud ! He would tell all his friends that’s my Grandson, he take after me. Good job Mason Report Reply 0 replies · active 381 weeks ago +3 Vote up Vote down Gator · 381 weeks ago I’ve known this little man for a few years and he holds a special place in my heart. He is a very special kid. GREAT JOB MASON!! Report Reply 0 replies · active 381 weeks ago +2 Vote up Vote down Austin · 381 weeks ago I coached his younger brother! Just awesome! Good Job Mason! Report Reply 0 replies · active 381 weeks ago +2 Vote up Vote down tammy · 381 weeks ago Mason you was so good last night at the Zac Brown show. I was there right up front and everyone around me coundnt believe you was playing. AWESOME JOB MASON!!!!! 🙂 Report Reply 0 replies · active 381 weeks ago -1 Vote up Vote down ilyssa · 381 weeks ago mason good job Report Reply 0 replies · active 381 weeks ago 0 Vote up Vote down Sarah · 381 weeks ago So awesome Mason! I was there watching you, first I had goosebumps and by the end I had tears! Don’t ever give up on your dreams Mason!! Report Reply 0 replies · active 381 weeks ago 0 Vote up Vote down Roxie · 381 weeks ago Mason I am very proud of you. You have come a long way from the 4year old boy who dreamed of playing like Nickelback. Report Reply 0 replies · active 381 weeks ago 12Next » Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new commentslast_img read more

first_imgA copy of the Constitution hangs on the restroom door. The objects that adorn the walls run the gamut of time and place: a public health advisory sign from the city of New York parks and recreation department that warns pregnant women not to “eat fish or eels caught in these waters,” a boxed “crazy cat lady” action figure, a sombrero, a sign for Bianchi bicycles. Try to find a thread that runs through this decor, a unifying theme or a cumulative message, and you might just drive yourself crazy.Instead, appreciate the amalgamation for what it is: a fusion of crafted works of art and simple snapshots of reality. It is, at once, a space that displays creative outputs and reminds us of less-inspiring realities: a painting of a woman with blue hair on one side of the room and a copy of “Civil War Naval Chronology” on a bookshelf on the other. It is wonderfully alternative without trying so hard to be. It is as transcendent as it is grounded. By Jenna Moldaver |HIGHLANDS – “Water Witch is like this vortex,” said Valerie Browning, owner of Water Witch Coffee. “All these creative people just come toward it.”When waiting for your order at Water Witch Coffee, you won’t be at a loss for entertainment. Your eyes may drift across art-lined walls, fixating on vibrant pieces from artists across the country, or you might take a seat in a spindle-back chair and absorb the eclectic decor that encompasses you in your little corner of this inventive space on Waterwitch Avenue. Either way, there’s a lot to see, hear and experience. Browning, who has run the shop for four years, has grown Water Witch into a cultural hub. There are blues jams every third Sunday of the month, traditional Irish music jams every second and, most popularly, open mic night every Wednesdays. The music scene has given birth to groups like the Water Witch Jazz Band, which has used the space both to practice and perform.“It’s a welcoming atmosphere for people to come into as musicians and the place really fosters the growth of all the arts,” said Browning. “There’s this one woman who comes in who says, ‘Val, this place saves lives,’ ” Browning said. “Because without it they wouldn’t really have anywhere to go. There’s a Water Witch family. You can walk into the shop and find someone if you need help. Someone will know something about almost any topic.”When she’s having a bad day, Browning says the cure is simply going in to work, where customers fill the place with color. Customers have named menu items, jammed out on weeknights and grown to know the staff. They are more than patrons; they are participants. “We have a lot of regular customers who I see every day who have been coming here for 12 years,” says Browning. “Some are detectives, some have had computer engineering jobs and they show up at 6:30 every morning. If one doesn’t show up they end up calling the other ones.”Browning says she couldn’t begin to describe all the different people who come into the shop. “Highlands has a sort of quirkiness to it and it’s filling up with all sorts of people,” she said.One thing they all have in common, though, is they all care deeply about the shop and together they form what Browning calls the “Water Witch family.”center_img This article was first published in the June 14-June 21, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times. Water Witch has artists lined up well into next year to do art shows in the shop. Every two months a new artist takes over the walls of Water Witch, giving customers an ever-changing backdrop. Some artists have created entire shows just for the purpose of having their work displayed at the shop.“Every two months the customers have a whole new genre or idea of art,” says Browning.But not everyone who steps foot in the shop is buzzing with artistic talent. While a welcoming space for creative types, Water Witch is home base for a wide variety of locals. Water Witch Coffee is more than just savory paninis and espresso drinks; it’s a breath of pure authenticity in the Highlands community. It’s both a venue where musicians can perform during Wednesday open mic nights and a workspace for anyone with a laptop and a latte craving. You can use it for its authentic promotion of the arts or for its Wi-Fi and crepe offerings. The space is yours to experience.And experiencing it is exactly what people have done.last_img read more

first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (April 8, 2016)–Makena, a rapidly improving 4-year-old filly by Pioneerof the Nile, made short work of six rivals on Friday at Santa Anita, winning the track’s $58,000 allowance feature under Drayden Van Dyke by 3 ¼ handy lengths. Trained by Scott Hansen and based at San Luis Rey Downs, Makena negotiated a flat mile in 1:35.98.Quick out of the gate from her number three post position, Makena sat a comfortable second just outside of favored Our First Girl throughout, prior to taking command at the quarter pole and won eased up in her second consecutive win.The second choice in the wagering at 9-5, Makena paid $5.60, $3.00 and $2.40. Owned by Gary Broad, she picked up $34,800 for the win, increasing her earnings to $102,120. A maiden special weight winner going a mile here on March 3, Makena’s overall mark now stands at 6-2-2-2.Ridden by Flavien Prat, Savannah Sky was attentive to the pace and finished second, 2 ¼ lengths in front of longshot Girl Downstairs. Off at 7-2, Savannah Sky paid $3.60 and $3.00.Like the top two finishers, Girl Downstairs, who was ridden by Martin Garcia, was attentive to the pace and was easily third-best, finishing 4 ¾ lengths in front of Our First Girl. Off at 18-1, Girl Downstairs paid $5.00 to show.Fractions on the race were 23.17, 47.01, 1:11.45 and 1:23.34.First post time for a 12-race program on Saturday, Santa Anita Derby Day, is at 12 noon. Admission gates open early on Derby Day at 10 a.m.last_img read more

first_imgTechnology firms and device manufacturers ABB, Bosch, Cisco, and LG aim have agreed to set up a smart home software platform consortium in Germany. The firms have signed a memorandum of understanding and, subject to antitrust approval, said they plan to develop an open architecture for data exchange that will allow different devices and services – ranging from security to entertainment – to exchange information with each other.The firms said that a common platform like this has not been available before now and that they aim to make different devices compatible with each other and able to communicate over WiFi and wired connections.“This consortium represents an opportunity to bring together a variety of business ecosystem partners, all working together to help make the ‘internet of things’ for the home a reality. Cisco is looking forward to participating in the consortium and creating a standard that allows consumers to experience a connected home,” said Jesper Andersen, senior vice president and general manager, Cisco Service Provider Video Software & Solutions Group.last_img read more

first_imgUK free-to-air satellite platform Freesat added 6,000 new TV homes in the third quarter, taking its total number of additions this year to 25,000 households.Announcing Q3 figures, Freesat said that more than 4 million viewers watch its service each week and that it continues to be the preferred TV offering for 1.9 million households.Freesat revealled that its connected service, Freetime, has seen 60% year-on-year growth, and that the Freesat App has been downloaded more than 550,000 times to iOS and Android devices.In the last quarter, Freesat also added six new channels to its lineup – including PBS America and Fox UK’s YourTV – taking its content offering to more than 200 TV and radio channels.“It’s been another busy quarter for Freesat and we’re pleased that six new channels see the value in joining the platform. The launch of Fox’s Your TV and PBS America on free-to-air for the first time only reinforces the strength of free TV in the UK,” said Freesat managing director, Alistair Thom.Freesat’s Freetime service is available on TVs and set top boxes and lets users pause, rewind and record live TV, scroll back through seven-days of catch-up programming and access on-demand players including BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, All4, Demand 5 and YouTube.last_img read more