Image by World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc.NEW YORK – A consumer watchdog group has released its list of the most dangerous toys of the year.World Against Toys Causing Harm is cautioning parents against getting these toys for the holidays.The first toy on the list are Calico Critters Nursery Friends. The group says the box lists it for children three and up, but they say there’s still potential choking for young children.Another toy is the “Get Outside Go Launch,” toy that has packaging that includes a warning label of choking and outdoor use, but the group says the toy can cause potential eye and facial injuries. The Avengers Vribraniaum Claw, which is number three on the list, can also cause potential eye and facial injuries.Overall, the group cautions against toys that encourage aggressive play because they often come with a risk of injury. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)
Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today.Ben Platt Will Get Meryl Streep DrunkThe Book of Mormon star Ben Platt already has his next big screen project lined up. According to Deadline, Platt has joined the cast of Ricki and the Flash, directed by Jonathan Demme. He will appear opposite Meryl Streep, her daughter Mamie Gummer and Kevin Kline. The Pitch Perfect star will play Daniel, the bartender at the titular duo’s regular hangout. Streep is set to star as Ricki, a rock ‘n’ roll fanatic who gets one last chance to have it all.Ohhhhhhh, What a Night?!No, who really loves you, pretty mama? Porn star Tommy Pistol will play Frankie Valli in an upcoming adult film version of Jersey Boys, aptly titled Jersey Boys XXX: The Porn Musical. The seasoned sex-thespian says he is a huge fan of the show, and has been listening to The Four Seasons nonstop for the past couple months. Read more on the adult entertainment news site XBiz. Needless to say, NSFW. You know, because of language.Betty Buckley Brings Ghosts to Joe’s PubWhen a theater is unoccupied, a single light bulb—a ghostlight—illimuniates the stage to keep away the spirits. But when Betty Buckley takes to Joe’s Pub to celebrate the launch of her album Ghostlight, there will surely be plenty of (live) spectators cheering on the Broadway legend. The Tony winner will play the venue on October 7 and October 9-11.Wicked Continues to Fly High Across the PondAnd no one’s gonna bring it down. The London production of Wicked has become the 14th longest-running musical in West End history, surpassing Me and My Girl. It is also now the 10th longest-running show currently playing the West End. The U.K. hit opened on September 27, 2006 at the Apollo Victoria Theatre with the show’s Tony-winning star Idina Menzel. Whoever that is. Broadway.com Audience Choice Award winner Kerry Ellis and Savannah Stevenson currently play Elphaba and Glinda in the London production.Those Scoundrels Better Werk, BitchYou wanna hot body? You wanna Bugatti? Just want “great big stuff” in general? Well, as Britney, the cast of the West End’s Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and director/choreographer Jerry Mitchell say, you better work, bitch. Oh, Jerry, you drive us crazy and we just can’t sleep. Check out their fun video below, and happy Friday! Ben Platt Star Files View Comments
from $95.00 Related Shows We all know that there’s certain behavior you can get away with at stadiums that won’t fly at Broadway theaters (ahem, AT&T), but who says you can’t tailgate outside the Gershwin before a performance of Wicked?! That’s just what Billy Eichner and Jason Sudeikis do on an upcoming episode of Billy on the Street. The two bro out over the Stephen Schwartz tuner with a party featuring Idina Menzel Frisbees, a keg with the composer’s face, emerald shots and some witches “gone wild.” Oh and by the way, Stephen Schwartz spells his name with a “ph” and not a “v,” bruh. But party on?! Check it out below (beginning around 2:50), and catch Billy on the Street on Thursdays on truTV. Wicked View Comments
Sara Bareilles Star Files View Comments Sara Bareilles(Photo by Caitlin McNaney) Sara Bareilles, who has penned the upcoming Broadway musical Waitress, has a new stage project lined up…The SpongeBob Musical! It’s also been announced that Yolanda Adams and Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros have joined the previously reported roster of artists who will contribute songs to the show. Co-conceived and directed by Tina Landau, with a book by Kyle Jarrow and music supervision by Tom Kitt, the Main Stem-aimed production will make its world premiere on June 7 at Broadway in Chicago’s Oriental Theatre.The end is near. Only one sponge can save the day. But he’s going to need help from some of the greatest songwriters in rock and pop music history. The production will also feature work from artists including including David Bowie and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, Jonathan Coulton, Dirty Projectors, The Flaming Lips, John Legend, Lady Antebellum, Cyndi Lauper, Panic! At the Disco, Plain White T’s, They Might Be Giants and T.I.The characters will be human and are not set to don puppet type outfits as seen in Times Square. “The DNA is the same but the form is so radically different, we’re not approaching it literally,” Landau told EW. “We’re not trying to take the cartoon and put it onstage. We’re trying to create a live theatrical event.”Ethan Slater, Lilli Cooper, Gavin Lee, Nick Blaemire, Danny Skinner and more will appear in the Chicago incarnation of the show, which will run through July 3.
View Comments In recent years Curious Incident and War Horse bowed at the U.K.’s National Theatre before landing in the West End followed by Broadway, and now it looks like People, Places and Things will tread the same path. Duncan Macmillan’s new play, which started out at the NT’s Dorfman Theatre and is currently running at the Wyndham’s Theatre through June 18, is eyeing a Main Stem bow. Denise Gough, who recently won an Olivier for her performance in the show, told the Daily Mail: “I think New Yorkers would really go for it.”Emma was having the time of her life. Now she’s in rehab. Her first step is to admit that she has a problem. But the problem isn’t with Emma, it’s with everything else. She needs to tell the truth. But she’s smart enough to know that there’s no such thing. When intoxication feels like the only way to survive the modern world, how can she ever sober up?Directed by Jeremy Herrin, the cast also includes Jacob James Beswick, Nari Blair-Mangat, Alistair Cope, Jacqui Dubois, Charlotte Gascoyne, Sally George, Kevin McMonagle, Nathaniel Martello-White, Barbara Marten, David Rubin and Laura Woodward.The production features sets by Bunny Christie, with costumes by Christina Cunningham, lighting by James Farncombe, sound by Tom Gibbons, video by Andrzej Goulding and music by Matthew Herbert. Denise Gough in ‘People, Places and Things'(Photo: Johan Persson)
Sandra Mae Frank & Austin McKenzie in ‘Spring Awakening'(Photo: Joan Marcus) Related Shows View Comments Spring Awakening The cast of Deaf West’s Spring Awakening will officially perform on Broadway’s biggest night—a decision made before the Tony-nominated revival’s Kickstarter campaign reached its goal. The Tony Awards made the announcement three days before the June 11 deadline for fans to donate to (and effectively alleviate the cost of) the performance; within hours of the confirmation, the Kickstarter received a $35,000 spike and surpassed its $200,000 target.The Kickstarter campaign launched on May 24. At that time, the production tweeted, “Spring Awakening has a chance to perform on the Tony Awards, but we need your help!” Incentives to donate included signed merchandise, private meet-and-greets with cast members and original compositions.Producer Ken Davenport confirmed to Broadway.com that the crowd-sourced $200,000—which the show would only receive once the goal had been met in its entirety—”covers the cost of everything.” This includes travels expenses for members of the cast, rehearsals and recovering design elements from storage. A Tony Awards spokesperson said a small stipend is offered to each nominated show to assist with the expenses involved with the telecast. The spokesperson did not specify the amount of the stipend.Spring Awakening producers had to decide if they wanted to accept their performance slot before the Kickstarter’s June 11 deadline, though neither Davenport nor representatives for the Tony Awards would comment on the exact date required by the broadcast.Shortly after the launch of the campaign, Deaf West Artistic Director DJ Kurs stated to Broadway.com, “We will proceed on the assumption that our Kickstarter will be successful.” On June 6, Kurs released a video on Spring Awakening’s YouTube channel in which he explained that the cast would reassemble in New York this week. “We’ll have rehearsals and get ready for the big night.”At noon on June 8, the Kickstarter campaign had raised just over $165,000. Whether or not the goal had been met, fans would have been able to tune in on June 12 to watch the acclaimed production, which included a cast of both deaf and hearing performers. Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 24, 2016
View Comments Chicago Star Files Related Shows Mel B(Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images) from $49.50 Mel B Whoopee! Mel B, “Scary Spice” of the iconic Spice Girls, is set to star in Broadway’s Chicago! The America’s Got Talent judge will begin performances on December 28 and remain at the Ambassador Theatre through February 19. A production spokesperson told Broadway.com that the role she will be playing will be announced soon.Mel B is a chart-topping music artist, actress, author, TV host and entrepreneur. She’s currently starring on hit TV shows on three different continents: in the U.S. as a judge on NBC’s America’s Got Talent, in the U.K. as host of Lip Sync Battle U.K. and in Australia as a guest judge on The X Factor. She made her Broadway debut back in 2004 in Rent, when she played Mimi.Chicago currently stars Veronica Dunne as Roxie Hart (through November 27), Lana Gordon as Velma Kelly, Paul Alexander Nolan as Billy Flynn, Raymond Bokhour as Amos Hart, NaTasha Yvette Williams as Matron “Mama” Morton and R. Lowe as Mary Sunshine.
Choosing a potting soil can be confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some keyterms you might see at the garden center. An all-purpose potting mix has composted bark, peat moss or peat humus added to loamy soil. Gardeners usually add ingredients to customize mixes. Ready-to-use premium mix has similar material but in different proportions. More bark and peat and less soil make it lighter. Perlite and vermiculite give it better drainage and aeration. Many contain a wetting agent for uniform water distribution. A professional mix has the same materials as the premium types. But it’s more finely processed. It works well for starting seeds or transplanting delicate seedlings. Plant-specific mixes are used when you have a certain plant in mind with special requirements. Orchids, African violets and cacti are a few of the special mixes available.
By Wayne McLaurinUniversity of GeorgiaIn your garden, you need to get inside the mind of a tomato.No, I’m not crazy. Tomatoes really do think. Well, OK, “respond”might be a better term.Take, for instance, when the tomato is young. Just planted, withsnug roots down in nice, rich soil, plenty of food for growth andnothing to do but just stretch those cells, make chlorophyll andenjoy itself, the tomato is much like a baby. It inches up,extending its roots and growing branches and leaves, then moreleaves. Tomato care tipsWhat can you do if you can’t think like a tomato? Just followthese directions (that a tomato “told” me):1. Fertilize and lime according to soil-test recommendations. Usea fertilizer with a 1-2-3 or 1-2-2 analysis (5-10-15, 1-2-2 or 6-12-12, for instance). Avoid, at all cost, using a 1-1-1 analysis,such as 10-10-10 or 13-13-13.2. Water as needed, usually about 1 inch per week. Don’t wet thefoliage — this causes diseases.3. Side-dress tomatoes only after fruit set and never whilethey’re blooming. It’s best to side-dress when the fruits areabout the size of a dime. This will allow for proper growth andfruiting for the next flowering structure.If you talk with your tomatoes, they may tell you,”More than 100 diseases and insects attack us. So please don’tcomplicate our lives with extra fertilizer and overtax our’thinking’ processes.” Fertilizer shockAlmost at once the plant is thrown into confusion. This happytomato that was basking in the warm sun just a few minutes ago,with no cares in the world, is jolted back into anotherphysiological process it didn’t really want.All of its sensors, all of its “mental” processes, now tell itmore fertilizer is present, especially nitrogen, and it needs tothrow off the fruit it has set and grow more foliage. Theobedient plant responds and drops the fruits.The gardener goes out the next day and looks for the flowers thatwere there yesterday, can’t find them and calls the nearestcounty agent.Well, I get the call from the county agent. That’s when I “getinto the mind of the tomato.” What went wrong from the tomato’sperspective? Tomatoes go through growing stagesAfter going through these juvenile growing pains, it becomes astrong, healthy plant and turns to reproducing its own kind. Itsample leaf area can support reproductive structures (tomatofruits).Now, at its peak, it sends out the flower structures. The flowersdevelop, open up for only one day and are pollinated by the wind.The plant sets fruits, knowing all systems are functioning fully,thinking all along just how happy it is in the sunshine.Along comes a heavy-handed gardener with the fertilizer bag. Youknow what happens. The gardener sees the plant’s flowers andinitial tiny tomatoes and, thinking it needs feeding at thisreproductive time, dumps a generous amount of fertilizer at thebase of the plant.
By Brad HaireUniversity of GeorgiaEveryone will be bullied at one time in their lives. It will most likely happen at school. If your child is being bullied, there are things you can do to help stop it. Bullying can come in many forms. But it can include, physical or emotional abuse, damage to a child’s property, spreading malicious rumors or forcing a child to do something he or she doesn’t want to do, says Sharon Gibson, a family and consumer science educator with the University of Georgia Extension Service.Don’t ignoreA consistently bullied student can have emotional problems and can begin to perform poorly in school. And if the bullying is physical, it can take its toll on the student’s body.Don’t ignore the problem. And don’t tell your child to ignore the bully.“When a child is bullied, he or she may feel angry, helpless or deserted,” Gibson said. “If that child tells a teacher or parent about the bullying, they need to know that it is not tattling and that speaking about it was the right thing.”Parents can become angry at first learning a child is being bullied. “Parents should stay calm and first find out if their child is in any immediate physical danger,” she said.Contact schoolThe most important thing a parent can do is find a way to stop the bullying. Ask for a meeting with the principal of your child’s school. The principal can then determine if and when to bring the child’s teacher or teachers into the conversation.“Again, parents should stay calm. If they are not, this could set up a defensive action by school officials,” she said. “Parents should be proactive but not demanding before they learn more about the situation at school.”Teachers and principals train to deal with issues like bullying, she said. Parents should voice concerns but listen too. Most schools have an action plan to deal with bully situations. If the school doesn’t, the parent should offer to help develop a plan.The child doing the bullying should be given a chance to reform. The bullied child should have an adult contact at school to tell if the bullying doesn’t stop. This person could be the teacher or a paraprofessional.There is a lot going on in the average classroom. A teacher or paraprofessional can have their hands full all day. It can be tough to concentrate on one child.Gibson recommends a codeword be established for the bullied child to use when he or she feels uncomfortable or in danger due to bullying. This will inform the adult without the child having to raise a hand or bring much attention. The adult can then investigate or even witness the bullying. Parents should follow up with the school to make sure steps are in place to keep all children from being bullied. Parents can also:- make sure the school has good monitoring.- keep records of bullying episodes and of any communication with the school.- work with other parents in their neighborhood to make sure children are supervised and feel safe. At home, parents should encourage good social skills and behavior. They should help their child find his or her talents and praise accomplishments, she said.