A host of stage and screen favorites will help bring the off-Broadway hit Hello Again to the big screen. Emmy winner Martha Plimpton, Emmy nominee T.R. Knight, Rumer Willis, Nolan Gerard Funk, Sam Underwood and Glee alum Jenna Ushkowitz have boarded the cast of the film adaptation of Michael John LaChiusa’s musical. They join the previously speculated Audra McDonald; the six-time Tony-winner will star as Sally (billed as “The Actress” in the stage show).The film will be directed by Tom Gustafson, with Cory Krueckeberg penning the screenplay. No word yet on a release date. Based on Arthur Schnitzler’s play La Ronde, Hello Again follows a string of affairs among ten characters through each decade of the 20th century. The musical premiered off-Broadway in 1993 and was revived in 2011 with a cast that included Max von Essen, Elizabeth Stanley and Rachel Bay Jones.Plimpton won an Emmy for her guest performance on The Good Wife. She recently appeared on Broadway in A Delicate Balance and earned Tony nods for Pal Joey, Top Girls and The Coast of Utopia. Knight received an Emmy nomination for his performance on Grey’s Anatomy; he last appeared on Broadway in It’s Only a Play. Willis, winner of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars season 20, recently made her Broadway debut in Chicago. Funk’s credits include Glee and Awkward on TV and Bye Bye Birdie on Broadway. Underwood has appeared on the small screen in The Following, Dexter and Homeland. Ushkowitz, best known for her role of Tina on Glee, has appeared on stage in Hair at the Hollywood Bowl and Spring Awakening on Broadway.The film is also set to feature Al Calderon and Tyler Blackburn. View Comments
13 February 2014Springbok captain Jean de Villiers on Wednesday became only the sixth player to be named South African Rugby Player of the Year more than once, while Eben Etzebeth was named the Young Player of the Year for 2013 for the second successive season at a glittering ceremony at the Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City in Johannesburg.De Villiers led the Springboks to 10 wins in 12 Tests in 2013 and scored five tries in the process, following an outstanding Vodacom Super Rugby campaign for the DHL Stormers. His first-class record now stands at 254 matches with 91 tries scored.Players of the YearThe blond-haired Springbok captain also walked away with the spoils in 2008. He becomes only the sixth player to win the title more than once, following in the footsteps of Naas Botha (who won it four times), Bryan Habana (won three times), Uli Schmidt, Fourie du Preez and Schalk Burger (who all won it twice).De Villiers, who also received the award for Supersport Try of the Year after rounding off a superb team effort for the Springboks against Wales in Cardiff, beat off strong competition for the top award in South African rugby from fellow nominees Bismarck du Plessis, Etzebeth, Willie le Roux and Duane Vermeulen.Back-to-backThe 22-year-old Etzebeth became the first player to walk away with back-to-back awards for the Young Player of the Year, which confirmed his status as one of the best up-and-coming players in world rugby after yet another superb season at lock for the Springboks and the DHL Stormers.The awards to De Villiers and Etzebeth were two of the highlights of a star-studded evening during which accolades in 14 other categories were awarded to the stars of the 2013 rugby season.Three awardsThe Mpumalanga Rugby Union left with three awards following a highly successful 2013 season for the side from Nelspruit. Jimmy Stonehouse was named the Absa Coach of the Year for his efforts with the Steval Pumas and the SA President’s XV, Rosko Specman was named Absa Currie Cup First Division Player of the Year and the Steval Pumas won the Absa Team of the Year award after winning the Absa Currie Cup First Division and finishing runners-up in the Vodacom Cup.Among the three other national teams, Cornal Hendricks (SA Sevens Player of the Year), Cheslin Kolbe (SA Under-20 Player of the Year) and Zenay Jordaan (Women’s Achiever of the Year) were rewarded for their excellent form last season.Competitions’ awardsThe other individual awards in the three remaining professional competitions went to Adriaan Strauss, who captained the Toyota Cheetahs to their first-ever playoff appearance in Vodacom Super Rugby, Scarra Ntubeni (DHL Western Province – Absa Currie Cup Premier Division Player of the Year) and Fred Zeilinga (Sharks XV – Vodacom Cup Player of the Year).Le Roux’s exploits for the Toyota Cheetahs and the Springboks saw him voted as SARPA’s Players’ Player of the Year – an award voted for by the players themselves.Jonathan Kaplan, the most experienced test referee in the world, who retired at the end of last season, was honoured for his contribution to the game, which spanned two decades, while he also received the Marriott Referee Award for consistently performing well under pressure in 2013.Applauded their achievementsOregan Hoskins, the President of the South African Rugby Union, congratulated the winners and applauded their achievements in 2013.“The Springboks showed massive improvement last year and are now chasing New Zealand hard for the position of top-ranked team in the world, while our Junior Boks and Springbok Sevens teams also performed very well,” he said.“In Vodacom Super Rugby, the Vodacom Bulls and Toyota Cheetahs were top of the local pile, while the standard of play across all levels on local soil was of the highest standard.“As we prepare for what promises to be a massive year ahead, I would like to congratulate every winner on their awards, but would also like to thank every player, coach, administrator, referee, sponsor and all other role players for making 2013 a season to remember.”WINNERS AND FINALISTSSaru Rugby Player of the YearWinner: Jean de VilliersFinalists: Bismarck du Plessis, Eben Etzebeth, Willie le Roux, Duane Vermeulen Absa Young Player of the YearWinner: Eben EtzebethFinalists: Pieter-Steph du Toit, Cheslin Kolbe, Siya Kolisi, Jan Serfontein Sarpa Players’ Player of the YearWillie le Roux (Springboks, Toyota Cheetahs, GWK Griquas) Springbok Sevens Player of the YearWinner: Cornal HendricksFinalists: Frankie Horne, Seabelo Senatla SA Under-20 Player of the YearWinner: Cheslin KolbeFinalists: Jacques du Plessis, Seabelo Senatla Absa Team of the YearWinner: Steval PumasFinalists: The Sharks (Absa Currie Cup), Springboks Absa Coach of the YearWinner: Jimmy Stonehouse (Steval Pumas, SA President’s XV)Finalists: Heyneke Meyer (Springboks), Brendan Venter (The Sharks) Vodacom Super Rugby Player of the YearWinner: Adriaan Strauss (Toyota Cheetahs)Finalists: Willie le Roux (Toyota Cheetahs), Duane Vermeulen (DHL Stormers) Absa Currie Cup Premier Division Player of the YearWinner: Scarra Ntubeni (DHL Western Province)Finalists: Cheslin Kolbe (DHL Western Province), Fred Zeilinga (The Sharks) Absa Currie Cup First Division Player of the YearWinner: Rosko Specman (Steval Pumas)Finlists: Alshaun Bock (SWD Eagles), Tiger Mangweni (EP Kings) Vodacom Cup Player of the YearWinner: Fred Zeilinga (Sharks XV)Finalists: Marnitz Boshoff (Golden Lions), Rosko Specman (Steval Pumas) Supersport Try of the YearWinner: Jean de Villiers (Springboks v Wales in Cardiff)Finalists: Zane Kirchner (Springboks v Australia, Cape Town), Bryan Habana (Springboks v New Zealand, Johannesburg), JP Pietersen (Springboks v Scotland, Edinburgh), Jano Vermaak (Vodacom Bulls v Southern Kings, Port Elizabeth), Lwazi Mvovo (The Sharks v Highlanders, Dunedin), Pat Lambie (The Sharks v Vodacom Bulls, Pretoria), Riaan Smit (Toyota Free State Cheetahs v Vodacom Blue Bulls, Pretoria), Rocco Jansen (GWK Griquas v Golden Lions, Johannesburg), Gio Aplon (DHL Western Province v The Sharks, Cape Town) Marriott Referee AwardJonathan Kaplan Women’s Achiever of the YearZenay Jordaan (Eastern Province) Cell C Community Cup Player of the TournamentGiovano Fourie (GAP Management Despatch) Coca-Cola Craven Week Player of the TournamentGrant Hermanus (Western Province) SAinfo reporter
After racking up a considerable number of air miles Misha Teasdale decided to offset his carbon footprint.Through its School Trees project the organisation plants fruit trees at schools, institutes and organisations around South Africa and Zambia and works with students to understand the importance of trees and how to care for plantsIn September 2010 Teasdale decided to try planting 1000 trees in one month, and to get as many people as possible involved in his project; the team planted more than the targeted 1000 trees at various schools in the Cape Flats in the Western Cape.The project’s success prompted Teasdale to turn his idea into something bigger. With the help of friends Lauren O’Donnell and Jeremy Hewitt he founded Greenpop.Greenpop promotes planting trees and sustainable living by educating people about the importance and benefits of trees.“I was a freelance writer and copy editor so I started at Greenpop doing PR [public relations] to try and attract attention to what we were doing,” says O’Donnell, director at Greenpop.“At that point we were just a group of friends trying to plant 1000 trees in one month so that’s all I expected. I didn’t think it would gain so much traction and continue.”ROOTS OF LIFE“Humans are inherently connected to nature so as soon as people are reminded of this and of the fact that our planet is our one precious home, we are easily reconnected,” O’Donnell says.“It’s human nature to know that trees are important, we just need to be reminded now and then.”Trees and other forms of vegetation are primary producers in the food chain; they provide a major and indispensable form of food and help sustain life by absorbing carbon dioxide to produce oxygen.Trees also prevent soil erosion; purify ground water by filtering out toxins; form wind barriers; and are a natural resource easily turned into useful goods.They also beautify spaces and attract diverse animals.“Green spaces make people happier, they increase pride of place, create shade and cool spaces down.“They encourage biodiversity and so much more,” says O’Donnell.GREENPOP’S MISSIONGreenpop encourages people to plant indigenous vegetation as indigenous plants are more suited to South Africa’s dry climate and don’t use up scarce water resources.Through its School Trees project the organisation plants fruit trees at schools, institutes and organisations around South Africa and Zambia and works with students to understand the importance of trees and how to care for plants.Every July Greenpop hosts a reforestation and eco-educational project in Livingston, Zambia (images: Sarah Isaacs)Greenpop’s reforestation project is aimed especially at rural communities, where residents cut down trees for firewood. The organisation wants to encourage communities to plant more trees to replace the ones they cut down. Some plant species also help improve soil quality, helping rural communities grow better crops to feed their families.During its annual Reforest Festival at the indigenous Platbos Forest in the Western Cape, Greenpop invites tree-lovers to participate in a two-day tree planting spree. Dates for the festival will soon be released.During the organisation’s 2013 Reforest Festival some 5000 trees were planted.PLAY YOUR PART“Plant a tree, either in your own neighbourhood or gift a tree on our website and we will plant it on your behalf and send you a certificate with the GPS coordinates of where your tree is growing,” says O’Donnell.To learn more about Greenpop visit its website, email the organisation or call +27 21 461 9265.
zoomImage Courtesy: Port of Newcastle The National Competition Council’s (NCC’s) draft recommendation on Port of Newcastle, if exercised, would turn the port into an unregulated monopolist, according to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC).Namely, the ACCC has raised concerns following NCC’s draft recommendation on the port, which includes the potential removal of regulation of the shipping channel service at the Port of Newcastle.The port, which provides the only commercially viable means of exporting coal from the Hunter Valley region in New South Wales, was privatised in 2014 via a 98-year lease to Port of Newcastle Operations.The NCC’s preliminary view that the declaration should be revoked would mean the terms and conditions of access to the port would be unregulated.“Should the declaration be revoked, the Port of Newcastle will be an unregulated monopolist that is able to determine the terms and conditions of its access with little constraint,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.“It would be reasonable to expect that, without regulation, further price increases at the port would follow and this would be a bad outcome for users and the economy, particularly given the history here,” Sims added.The NCC’s recommendation follows an application from the port’s owner, Port of Newcastle Operations, that the declaration of the shipping channel be revoked.In October 2018, after an application by port user Glencore, the ACCC determined the port should reduce its charge for the shipping channel service by about 20 per cent.
OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be on Juno Beach to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day this year.His office says his trip will start on June 4 in Portsmouth, the British port from which many of the Allied ships set out for the invasion of Nazi-occupied France in 1944.More than 150,000 troops — including Canadians — crossed the English Channel on D-Day on June 6 to take five landing points on the Normandy coast.The landings claimed thousands of lives but began the successful campaign to roll back German forces in western Europe and led to the end of the Second World War.After the 75th anniversary commemoration in Normany, Trudeau will go to Paris, which the Allies liberated from the Germans in August 1944.Trudeau’s delegation will include the defence minister, representatives from Indigenous and veterans’ organizations, and young Canadians.The Canadian Press