Alex Brightman in ‘School of Rock'(Photo: Matthew Murphy) As School of Rock approaches its second year on Broadway—and prepares to welcome a new cast—Andrew Lloyd Webber’s latest rock musical has kept its numbers at the top of Mount Rock. After a September slump with kids returning to their classrooms, the musical has bounced back up to seven figures, having grossed over $1 million for the second consecutive week (where it sat comfortably during the summer months). We expect its advance to allow it to maintain this position for the coming months and into the holiday season. Lloyd Webber’s perennial favorites Cats and The Phantom of the Opera were not too far behind, with both less than $40,000 away from reaching the million-dollar mark. Meanwhile, five usual suspects held the top spots on the board this past week: Hamilton, The Lion King, Wicked, Aladdin and The Book of Mormon.Here’s a look at who was on top—and who was not—for the week ending October 16:FRONTRUNNERS (By Gross)1. Hamilton ($2,163,855)2. The Lion King ($1,962,745)3. Wicked ($1,653,148)4. Aladdin ($1,476,542)5. The Book of Mormon ($1,360,797)UNDERDOGS (By Gross)5. Falsettos ($457,577)*4. The Encounter ($331,497)3. The Cherry Orchard ($323,836)**2. Heisenberg ($297,088)***1. Black to the Future ($171,884)****FRONTRUNNERS (By Capacity)1. The Book of Mormon (102.46%)2. Hamilton (101.76%)3. The Front Page (100.97%)*4. Beautiful (100.65%)5. Black to the Future (100.00%)****UNDERDOGS (By Capacity)5. Kinky Boots (73.35%)4. Something Rotten! (72.50%)3. The Encounter (68.29%)2. On Your Feet! (67.96%)1. Fiddler on the Roof (59.06%)* Number based on eight preview performances** Number based on seven preview performances and one regular performance*** Number based on three preview performances and five regular performances****Number based on one regular performanceSource: The Broadway League View Comments
The Glenda Jackson-led King Lear, which is currently playing to much acclaim at London’s Old Vic, is eyeing a Broadway bow. According to the Daily Mail, the production, which additionally stars Rhys Ifans, Jane Horrocks and more, could also transfer to the West End. The current limited engagement is scheduled to run through December 3.When King Lear divides his kingdom among his daughters, he sets in motion a cascade of violence that sweeps the civilized world to the brink of chaos, and Lear himself to the edge of madness.Directed by Deborah Warner, two-time Oscar winner Jackson (Women in Love, A Touch of Class) takes on the title role in Shakespeare’s classic, along with Ifans as Fool, Horrocks as Regan, Celia Imrie as Goneril, Morfydd Clark as Cordelia, William Chubb as Albany, Simon Manyonda as Edmond, Harry Melling as Edgar, Gary Sefton as Oswald and Clifford Rose as Old Man.King Lear was last seen on Broadway in 2004, headlined by Christopher Plummer. Jackson has received four Tony nods, for Macbeth, Strange Interlude, Rose and The Persecution and Assassination of Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade. View Comments ‘King Lear’
Volume XXXNumber 1Page 10 By Will G. HudsonUniversity of GeorgiaThe two-lined spittlebug is an increasingly common pest ofGeorgia turf grasses. It will feed on all turf grasses, but ithits centipede turf especially hard. Both adults and nymphs feed on the plants by inserting theirneedle-like beaks into the stem and sucking out the juices. Thiscauses the grass to yellow, wither and die if it goes unchecked.The symptoms are similar to the damage caused by chinch bugs. Butspittlebug adults are much more mobile. The damage tends to bespread out, rather than concentrated.Spittlebugs overwinter as eggs in plant stems, under leaf sheathsor in plant debris.It’s not spitNymphs hatch in the spring and begin feeding. They exude a white,frothy mass around them that resembles spittle. It serves toprotect the nymphs from drying out and from natural enemies.The nymphs feed for about a month before becoming adults. Adultslive for about three weeks and lay eggs for the last two weeks ofthat time. The eggs take two weeks to hatch in the summer. Twogenerations hatch each year.Adult two-lined spittlebugs are about a quarter-inch long andblack to dark brown. They have two bright, red or orange linesacross their wings. Nymphs resemble small, wingless adults.They’re white to yellowish orange with red eyes and a brown head.Early damage symptoms will look like yellow spots of dead ordying grass. With heavy infestations, these spots may overlap toform large areas of dead turf.Can’t hideThe nymphs are easily detected. Just look on the grass stems nearthe soil surface for their distinctive spittle masses. Adults flyreadily when disturbed and can be flushed from the grass bywalking through affected areas.It’s been reported that spittlebug adults can damage a variety ofornamental plants, too, particularly during late summer and fall,when populations are at their highest levels. The ornamentalplants they prefer include hollies, asters and morning glory.Spittlebug infestations can be controlled with several commonlyavailable turf insecticides. Use plenty of water to apply theinsecticide. This volume is easily achieved with a hose-endsprayer, but not with a hydraulic sprayer pulled behind a lawntractor.Contact your county University of Georgia Extension Service forrecommendations.Take steps to reduce the buildup of thatch. Nymphs need highhumidity to survive. Turf with excessive thatch is much morelikely to provide them the conditions they need.Following good turf management practices, too, can makeinfestations or reinfestations less likely.(Will Hudson is an Extension Service entomologist with theUniversity of Georgia College of Agricultural and EnvironmentalSciences.)
By Brad HaireUniversity of GeorgiaAfter a cool spring that delayed the growth of Georgia’s vegetable crop, harvest has started. Overall, the crop is plentiful and looks good, says a University of Georgia horticulturist.From late April to early July, Georgia becomes a main source for some fresh vegetables like yellow squash, snap beans, sweet corn and peppers, said Terry Kelley, a horticulturist with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.Chilly weatherBut Georgia’s crop is late. Cool spring temperatures slowed its growth. The average daily temperature for much of southeastern Georgia in March was 5 to 10 degrees cooler than March 2004, according to UGA’s Georgia Automated Environmental Monitoring Network.Temperatures have warmed in the past three weeks. “But we’re still having periods of cool, damp conditions,” Kelley said. “And we still haven’t seen many of the regular 90-degree days and 70-degree nights.”Georgia usually ranks third or fourth in the nation in vegetable production. California, No. 1, harvests about 50 percent of the U.S. spring vegetable crop. Florida, No. 2, harvests about 23 percent.Florida’s vegetable crop was late, too, because of the cool spring. States north of Georgia experienced the same cool weather.“Most of the vegetable crops around the southeast have been pretty much delayed because of cool weather,” he said.There may be slightly fewer vegetables this spring compared to last spring, he said, but there is still an ample supply.Consumers usually don’t see big price swings in the grocery stores, unless there is a disaster that takes out a lot of planted acres or keeps farmers from harvesting, Kelley said.Tropical storms in September hurt last fall’s vegetable crops in Florida and Georgia. Supply was low. Prices were high for growers. And consumers saw higher prices for some vegetables like tomatoes.Georgia farmers can usually plant two vegetable crops, one in early spring and another in late summer, because of the state’s mild, subtropical climate.Supply good. Prices, too Fewer vegetables this spring, Kelley said, would be a good thing for Georgia growers. Last spring’s crop was big. Farm prices were low.Prices are good for most Georgia vegetables now. A bushel of Georgia snap beans costs about $16 at the Atlanta Wholesale Market. This time last year, a bushel was about $8.50. A 30-lb box of yellow crookneck squash is selling for about $24 to $26 now, about twice as much as the same time last year, according to U.S. Department of Agricultural reports.Georgia farmers have a window to harvest and sell their fresh vegetable crop. As temperatures warm in spring, vegetables begin to ripen in areas further north. The market follows fresh vegetables. Georgia’s fresh harvest begins after Florida’s harvest, which starts in late February and early March. On a good year, the vegetable harvest in Georgia is winding down as it begins in other states like Tennessee and North Carolina. Because the crop was delayed, however, this may not happen this spring, Kelley said.Northern vegetables may begin to ripen now in the warm weather and begin to flood Georgia’s market window before harvest can end. This could drive prices down.The state’s vegetable crop is worth about $900 million each year.
University of GeorgiaIn his last “Gardening inGeorgia” show of the season, hostWalter Reeves looks atpropagating houseplants over the winter Oct. 29 on Georgia PublicBroadcasting.”Gardening in Georgia” is produced by GPB and the University ofGeorgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. It’stelevised each Saturday at 12:30 and 7 p.m.On this week’s show, Reeves shows how to build a wooden boxcontaining a small light bulb to keep the rooting soil warm, akey to successful propagating. He covers the box with a metalcookie sheet and fills the makeshift propagation tray with leafcuttings from favorite houseplants.Reeves visits Callaway Gardens with Hank Bruno, who shows himsome American beautyberry varieties, including an eye-poppingwhite-berried form.He takes a look at bromeliads, too. These holiday delights havecenters filled with water but roots that like to be dry. Theflowers are unlike those on any other plant. Reeves shows how touse an apple to force a bromeliad to bloom. He shows how to breakoff a “pup” from a mature plant, too, and plant it in loosepotting soil.Finally, Bob Westerfield of the UGA Center for Urban Agriculturetells about the free publication, “FloweringBulbs for Georgia Gardeners.” Get a copy from your UGACooperative Extension county office, or download one from the Webat http://pubs.caes.uga.edu/caespubs/pubcd/B918.htm.
By Brad HaireUniversity of GeorgiaAgriculture remains an economic “bright spot” that could help rally the country out of what is now a dismal financial situation, said Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue at the 31st Sunbelt Ag Expo in Moultrie, Ga., Oct. 14. “I believe that farmers, producers and small-business people and people that make goods will be the foundation rock of a resurgence of the United States of America economy for the future, and you all will lead the way I’m persuaded,” Perdue told a lunch crowd of farmers, politicians, agricultural experts and policymakers.“Our economy for agriculture is as strong today as it has ever been in the history of American agriculture,” said Mark Keenum, U.S. undersecretary of agriculture for farm and foreign agriculture service. “Overall, the balance sheet for American agriculture is extremely strong.”Cash income for agriculture this year will be $313 billion, a record high, he said. Net farm income for the year will be $96 billion, $9 billion more than last year and a new record.The world is demanding U.S. agricultural products, he said. Agriculture exports this year will total $114 billion, $32 billion more than last year and another record high. “The outlook next year for agriculture exports is just as strong,” he said.Though the numbers look good, he said, farmers face record high input costs, tightening cash flow and a recent downturn in commodity markets. “The risks are there and they are real.”The Expo annually draws more than 100,000 visitors to the south Georgia town. This year, they saw 1,210 exhibits on everything agriculture and beyond. At the University of Georgia building, Expo visitors saw firsthand water conservation research and programs conducted by the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. They also learned about simple ways they can conserve water. CAES experts at other Expo locations conducted seminars and showcased their work with peanuts, cotton, corn, vegetables and livestock.Students learned about in-demand careers that CAES can train them for.“Our college’s relationship with the Sunbelt Expo – America’s leading agricultural exposition – continues to be a strong one. It’s an excellent opportunity for our faculty and staff to showcase their work and its impact on the state,” said J. Scott Angle, CAES dean and director. “Our Expo committee works hard throughout the year to help our college put its best face on at our permanent building on the Expo grounds, and we’ve been able to tell our story to the thousands of people who have visited us here over the past three days.”Every year, 10 Southeastern states each send a farmer to compete for the Swisher Sweets/Sunbelt Expo Southeastern Farmer of the Year. It went to Arkansas farmer Brian Kirksey this year. Georgia’s nominee was Wayne McKinnon from Douglas. Kentucky was the official Expo spotlight state.
Cotton prices right now are the highest in history. Prices for other Georgia-grown row crops are riding high, too. And the ride could last well into next year, say University of Georgia farm economists.Cotton prices for the 2010 crop are currently around $1.20 per pound, the highest ever in 134 years of records, said Don Shurley, a UGA Cooperative Extension cotton economist.Commodity economics can be complicated. But the simple reasons why cotton prices skyrocketed are because:World cotton acreage decreased over the last three years, reducing production.There is uncertainty in the status of the 2010 crops in China, India and Pakistan.Economic recovery has increased global demand for cotton-made items. “The demand side is growing very well, and the supply side has yet to catch up with it. So, that really set the stage for higher prices, the supply-and-demand situation that has developed over the last several years,” Shurley said.Cotton harvest started a few weeks ago in Georgia and will end later this fall. But most farmers won’t get the record prices for this year’s crop, he said. Current prices are what farmers could get if they sold their cotton now. Farmers typically contract cotton in the winter or spring before the crop is planted. At that time this year, prices were 40 cents to 45 cents per pound lower than they are now.“We can talk about a $1 (per pound) cotton, but it’s a moot point really as far as most producers are concerned because they’ve already sold their crop,” he said.Cotton prices will likely go down for next year’s crop. But a pound of cotton should still sell for 85 cents to 90 cents, he said. These are still good prices.Farmers are harvesting soybeans and peanuts now, too. Corn harvest ended during summer. Prices for these other major Georgia commodities are looking good next year. Such an across-the-board outlook is rare, said Nathan Smith, a UGA Extension agricultural economist.Georgia and other southeastern farmers can produce a wide range of crops, unlike Midwest farmers who typically grow only one or two crops in a year. Georgia farmers can decide more freely what and how much they plant, he said.“This year is looking at competition between the major crops grown in Georgia, in terms of peanuts, corn, soybean and cotton, where all the prices are going to be higher than they’ve been in the last two seasons,” Smith said. Peanuts prices next year may reach $500 per ton, $50 more per ton than this year. Corn could jump as high as $5.25 a bushel, $1 per bushel more than this year. Soybeans could reach $11 per bushel, $2 per bushel more than this year, he said.Though prices next year look good, the cost to make the crops doesn’t, Smith said. Energy prices will climb. Seed costs will be higher. Fertilizer will be 10 percent to 15 percent higher next year, too. And weather, as is always the case, must cooperate to make a crop.
Sheep are a cost-effective and ideal solution to clear the privet, Adams explained, because “unlike cattle, sheep avoid the water’s edge, leaving vulnerable embankments undisturbed. Unlike goats, they do not attempt to strip larger, desirable trees.” Sarah Workman, a natural resources scientist with the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Office of Global Programs, is conducting a controlled experiment and demonstration project showing the effectiveness of this natural method for invasive removal within riparian zones, or vegetated corridors along rivers. The grazing project will be featured as part of the 12th Annual North American Agroforestry Conference to be hosted by UGA June 4-9. Jennif Chandler, the enlisted local shepherd, has used her sheep to help clear the David Henry Hardigree Wildlife Sanctuary in Oconee County, as well as in managing her land in Madison County. “One of the best things about using sheep in woodland and riparian areas is that they do not disturb, erode or compact the soil,” said Chandler. “Neither do they damage existing trees. Roots of invasive vegetation will slowly die while roots of trees and other desirable plants move in.” During the last weekend in February, as new privet growth began to emerge, 30 sheep were dispatched to an area between the Oconee River and East Campus. Two donkeys accompanied them to ward off coyotes and other predators and clear higher vegetation. The grounds department plans to pull the sheep after a few weeks of grazing but will return them in the summer to combat resprouting. “The grazing site is currently choked with privet,” said Dexter Adams, director of the UGA Grounds Department. “In addition to forming a nearly impenetrable physical and visual barrier, this invasive plant displaces more diverse and controlled native species.” The project also will enhance visibility and accessibility to the North Oconee River, which is separated by manmade barriers or steep embankments in most other areas of campus. Master planners in the University Architects Office envision a park-like setting in the heart of East Campus where students and faculty can engage with the river for research and recreation. The University of Georgia Grounds Department, in collaboration with several UGA colleges and departments interested in the potential of a novel invasive plant management strategy, has enlisted the help of a shepherd and her small sheep herd to improve access to a major waterway that runs through the UGA campus in Athens. “This project represents an innovative best practice for invasive plant removal and will further the vision laid out by campus planners for ecological restoration and pedestrian improvements on UGA’s East Campus,” said Kevin Kirsche, UGA’s director of sustainability. Given the regenerative nature of privet, it could take several years before the unwanted vegetation is removed.
The temptation is great to let newly set fruit plants bear fruit the first year, but don’t be give in. Whether they are fruit trees or tiny plants like strawberries, these plants need that first year to become established. If you gather your berries or fruits this year, you could deal with less healthy, less productive plants for years to come. Remove first bloomsGardeners should remove all of a fruit plants blooms the first year after planting to prevent them from bearing fruit. For strawberries, allowing the newly set plants to produce fruit the first year can reduce the amount of fruit the plant produces the following year and delay the formation of daughter plants. Just a single fruit can sap the limited resources of a young fruit tree and delay its development. Even if new shoots do develop, they can be stunted and produce a mis-shapened tree.Fertilization is an important practice in growing all fruit crops. When properly used, fertilizers help achieve better plant growth and increased yields. Improperly used, fertilizer can be wasted or even damage fruit plants. Fertilizer cannot compensate for poor plants or cultural practices. Follow soil test resultsTake a soil sample to your local University of Georgia Cooperative Extension office to determine fertilizer needs. Soil samples can be taken at any time but late winter is probably the best time. A soil test will provide a lot of information about your soil, but one of the most important things to know for fruit trees is whether you need to adjust the soil pH by applying lime. Lime applications made during the next several weeks will have ample time to react before the spring growing season begins. Generally it takes about three months for lime to react in the soil.
June’s rainfall increased the potential for diseases to strike south Georgia watermelon fields, according to University of Georgia Cooperative Extension experts.Plant diseases, such as phytophthora blight, fruit rot, downy mildew, gummy stem blight and anthracnose, have a tendency to take hold in watermelon fields as a result of heavy moisture.The pathogen responsible for the phytophthora blight thrives in wet conditions and attacks watermelon fruits, causing pre- and postharvest yield losses. Gummy stem blight is a fungal disease that causes necrotic, dark-colored lesions on leaves and, in severe cases, gummy exudations on stems, UGA plant pathologist Bhabesh Dutta said. Anthracnose is a fungal disease that also prefers warm, moist conditions. Symptoms include necrotic, irregularly shaped lesions on leaves and dark, sunken spots on fruits.Dutta believes these diseases could impact yields if farmers don’t maintain a stringent treatment program this growing season.“While some places in southern Georgia may have had only a couple of inches of rain in the last couple of weeks, there have been other places that have had more than 8 or 9 inches. Thus far, growers have been diligent with their fungicide sprays, and disease has not been a problem that has impacted farmers across the board. But, due to conditions in specific locations, it may become an issue,” UGA vegetable horticulturist Timothy Coolong said.Between June 1 and June 18, Moultrie, Georgia, received 4.07 inches of rainfall, according to the Georgia Automated Environmental Monitoring Network. During the same time period last year, Moultrie received only 4.4 inches. In this interval, Moultrie saw 14 rainy days compared to just six rainy days the previous year.Tifton, Georgia, received less rainfall from June 1 to June 18 this year than last year — 2.6 inches compared to 3.26 inches. However, there have been 13 rainy days in Tifton during this period in 2017 compared to just seven rainy days this time a year ago.“Conditions are certainly not ideal. I think if you ask most growers, they would prefer warm and dry conditions. Earlier this spring, the weather was warmer and drier than is typical, but with continuous rain events like we’ve had recently, conditions are now favorable for the development of several diseases,” Coolong said.Increased rainfall does mean a decrease in temperatures. In Moultrie last year, from June 1 to June 18, the average high temperature was 90.42 degrees Fahrenheit. This year, the average temperature for the same time period is 85.97 F. In Cordele, Georgia, last year’s average high temperature was 92.29 F compared to 86.95 F this year.“Last year, the second week in June was quite warm. The temperature was in the low- to mid-90 degree range every day for several days. The high temperatures with clear skies caused sun scald damage to the melons,” Coolong said. “This week is supposed to be mostly cloudy, meaning less potential for sunburn. But the disadvantage is that the wet weather could lead to more disease potential.” The accumulated rainfall means growers must pay the extra cost of chemical applications. Farmers could invest $70 or $80 per acre in a spray program to combat these diseases, Coolong said.“If you add that up over several hundred acres, it is a significant weekly expense,” he said. “I would say that vegetable growers prefer dry conditions. Spray control for these diseases can be very expensive.”Watermelons are grown predominantly in south Georgia and had a farm gate value of $124.5 million in 2015, according to the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development.