Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 19, 2020 Damon Daunno (Photos: Emilio Madrid-Kuser for Broadway.com) Little RascalGrowing up in northern New Jersey, Daunno was a “rascal of a child” who adored mischievous characters like Bugs Bunny and Bart Simpson. He says these traits made him a natural fit for performing—and getting attention. “I just always loved microphones, you know?” he says. “I loved being on a stage in front of a room full of strangers and seeing if I can get people to laugh or clap along.” Around age 10, Daunno began playing electric guitar and auditioning for school plays. Musical theater was a “great hybrid” of his hobbies. “I had posters of Kurt Cobain and Pete Townshend all over my wall,” he says. “But I also was listening to the soundtrack of Cabaret and Into the Woods.”God, I Hope I Get ItFrank Sinatra, a staple in his Italian-American family, must have bridged those bad boy cartoon characters and Daunno’s interest in musical theater. After watching the 1955 movie version of Guys and Dolls, starring Sinatra and Marlon Brando, he began to dive into classic, old Hollywood movie musicals and their soundtracks. “I was like, ‘That! That’s what I want,’” he remembers. “Those are my guys.” Lucky for Daunno, a recently announced remake of the film is in the works at TriStar. “I just read that! I was like, ‘Take a breath,’” he jokes. “But, goodness gracious, would I love to be seen for that.” View Comments As Curly McLain in director Daniel Fish’s newly reimagined Oklahoma!, Damon Daunno does double duty as an actor and guitarist—often playing along with the seven-member band. “Strutting around with a guitar, singing these tunes, really feels amazing.” the actor says. “I feel like I’ve discovered new friends in Rodgers and Hammerstein.” The set, mainly plywood and picnic tables, isn’t the only thing that’s been stripped down in this staging. The musical arrangements and orchestrations is, too. “It’s a mark of any great piece of work that you can interpret it in any kind of way,” Daunno says of the darker take on the classic. “These melodies are so sweeping and these lyrics are so poetic that you don’t need 30 instruments to convey their bounty and beauty.” Daunno talked to Broadway.com about growing up loving Cobain and Cabaret, his knack for playing instruments on stage, and why he wants to be in the Guys and Dolls movie. Married Life While performing with Kneehigh Theater Company in 2014, Daunno met British actress Kirsty Woodward. The pair got hitched last year at Brooklyn City Hall, celebrating with tacos and margaritas. Despite the hectic schedule of opening a Broadway show, and a difficult immigration process for Woodward, Daunno says married life is “domestic bliss.” He adds, “When I first met my wife, I said, ‘Every molecule in my body says yes to you.’ And I didn’t know that it was exclusively romance at the time. I just knew that I could sort of watch her exist forever,” he says. “And now I get to.”From Hell to a Beautiful Mornin’Daunno is gearing up to open Oklahoma! in the same season as another musical he’s helped develop. In the world premiere, 2016 New York Theater Workshop production of Hadestown, the Anaïs Mitchell concept album-turned-musical, he played the tragic young lover Orpheus. “I’m so excited and proud for the Hadestown folks,” he says. “It’s a wild spring. It’s going to be a great season.” Making it even more special—and meta— current Hadestown star Amber Gray played the Laurey to his Curly in Oklahoma!’s 2015 summer run at Bard College, as well as Persephone in the off-Broadway Hadestown in which he starred. “It’s really fun to witness yourself and your friends getting to level up at the same time.” Related Shows Star Files Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 2:14Loaded: 0%0:00Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently behind liveLIVERemaining Time -2:14 1xPlayback RateChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedEnglishAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button. Oklahoma! Guitar HeroThe roles in Daunno’s career have a theme: his characters almost always play instruments. “It’s a really exciting time to be a fella who does lots of stuff in this industry,” the actor says. “Particularly with theater, there are more projects now that celebrate folks that are musicians.” Similar to his performance as Curly, he played the guitar as the young lover Orpheus in the off-Broadway production of Hadestown. He even learned how to play both the ukulele and the upright bass for his role in Brief Encounter, his 2010 Broadway debut. “I play lots of stuff, mostly stringy things. I’m not a horn man—never was,” Daunno says. “I could be in a pop rock band on most instruments.”You’re in the BandDaunno has been writing his own music ever since his pre-teen years, when he started a band that was banned from playing his school’s showcase due to inappropriate lyrics. “My punk rock spirit peaked in the sixth grade.” As Daunno’s career grew, he felt he was straying from creating original material: “It was a bit of an identity crisis,” he admits. “Do I have to choose music or acting to properly succeed in one or the other?” Nowadays, he’s trying to balance the two, composing music for his wife’s web series. “For a long time, I wanted to fight against that and be like, ‘No, I want to play Hamlet!’” he says. “But now I really am excited for the amount I get to sing and play in Oklahoma! It makes me really want to get back to writing my own tunes again.” Rebecca Naomi Jones and Damon Daunno in Oklahoma! (Photo: Little Fang) Damon Daunno
View Comments Sullivan Jones Annie McNamara and Sullivan Jones in Slave Play (Photo: Matthew Murphy) “The first time I read the script there was shock and confusion,” Jones said. “I use the word beguiled a lot. Jeremy [O. Harris’] writing keeps you off-balanced in a way that is really engaging. It’s leading you somewhere you’re not sure you want to go to. Jeremy is also really engaged in a deep way when he’s in the room with us and is incredibly supportive.”It’s no secret that Slave Play is the talk of the town with its title, subject matter and explicit sex scenes, and Jones hopes audiences leave the theater feeling differently than when the first entered. “Some people aren’t aware of how to approach the play,” he said. “For others, it’s completely transformational. They come out of it going, ‘I’m going to try to be a different person because of what I saw on stage.’ That’s the best compliment you can give a piece of theater.” Related Shows Sullivan Jones (Photos by Emilio Madrid for Broadway.com) Jones has to do his fair share of vulnerable acts in the play, but one of the most challenging things for him to master was the violin. “It’s a very difficult instrument,” he said. “I played guitar which is the same species of instrument but not the same thing at all. If you’ve ever tried to use a bow on a string you know how difficult this is. I have a newfound respect for violinists and cellists.”Growing up, Jones’ eyes were set on the basketball court instead of center stage. “I was steered toward sports most of my life,” he said. “I began reconsidering what I wanted to do I started dipping my toes into acting classes. I caught the bug and went to Brown [University] to play basketball and major in theater. I was immediately struck with the sense that I didn’t want to be a professional athlete, but I was willing to do whatever it took to be a professional actor. I slowly made the shift and dove in the deep end and have been on that path ever since.”See Sullivan in Slave Play, now playing at the Golden Theatre.Watch the full #LiveatFive episode below! Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 23:54Loaded: 0.00%00:00Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently behind liveLIVERemaining Time -23:54 1xPlayback RateChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedEnglishAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button. Slave Play Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 19, 2020 Sullivan Jones is making his Broadway debut as Philip in Jeremy O. Harris’ Slave Play. The provocative new work, which transferred to Broadway’s Golden Theatre after a sold-out run at New York Theater Workshop, focuses on three interracial couples navigating conflicts through a very specific kind of therapy. The limited run was recently extended through January 19, and Jones stopped by Broadway.com’s #LiveatFive to chat with Beth Stevens about the show’s audacity, his sports dreams and more. Star Files
Vermont Business Magazine Members of the Cancer Center Community Crusaders (known as the 4Cs) and the Quiet Valley Quilters have joined forces to support patients at Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center in Bennington. In October, the three organizations worked together to provide 14 handmade quilts to cancer patients whose treatment had ended who had transitioned to hospice care. The quilters are preparing quilts for six additional patients now. Cancer patients and staff build deep relationships throughout their appointments, sometimes over many years. Once a patient has transitioned to hospice care, they no longer come to the Cancer Center. Both patients and staff feel that separation.Quilters Nelle Knapp, Wendy Sharkey, Gloria Boutin, Pat LaFontaine, Sharon Shorey, and Daraine Niegoda present pieces from quilts they are assembling for cancer patients at SVMC. “Giving one of these beautiful quilts to a patient is a way of recognizing the significance of their journey and to continue to be there with them. It communicates that they are not alone,” said Charlene Ives, MD, a medical oncologist at the Cancer Center.The idea to give quilts arose more than a year ago. The staff had been giving personal gifts to patients to acknowledge their last treatment. These special gifts were meant to mark the transition between the end of treatment and the start of hospice care. Honoring this transition seemed to help both patients and staff cope with the separation. Ives became aware of other cancer treatment centers providing transition kits, which included quilts. She brought the idea to the Breast Care Program Leadership Team for consideration. This group includes physicians, nurses, volunteers and others.Avis Hayden, a former SVHC employee, was part of this group and a member of the Quiet Valley Quilters Guild. She felt the Guild might be interested in providing quilts for these transition kits. She researched similar programs around the country, including Peace Health in Oregon. The staff there provided the details necessary to launch a program here in Bennington. Hayden introduced the idea to the Quiet Valley Quilters Guild — to date more than a dozen quilters have worked to sew blocks for the quilts.Hayden worked with the Cancer Center Community Crusaders to help fund the project. When approached with the project, Hayden said, “The 4Cs were very receptive. We couldn’t do this without their financial support. The Guild members provide a substantial amount of the fabric and certainly the time in design and sewing — but the larger pieces of fabric necessary for the quilt backs would have been a financial burden for Guild members had the Four C’s not stepped in.”“Most of our committee members are survivors or caregivers. So when Avis came to us with the idea of supporting patients with handmade quilts, it really resonated with us,” said Joanne Holden, a member of the Cancer Center Community Crusaders.Hayden also worked with the Quiet Valley Quilter’s Guild to organize quilters. More than a dozen quilters sew blocks for the quilts. The Group holds workshops a few times a year to assemble the blocks and finish the quilts, said Wendy Sharkey, the guild’s spokesperson.The staff at the Cancer Center will choose a quilt for each patient transitioning to hospice care, just as they have chosen special gifts in the past.“We will do this as a team. We hold each other up,” Ives said. “The quilts stay with the patients’ families after the patient passes away. It is a way of remembering this time in their loved one’s life.”About:Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) is a comprehensive, preeminent health care system providing exceptional, convenient, and affordable care to the communities of Bennington and Windham Counties of Vermont, eastern Rensselaer and Washington Counties of New York, and northern Berkshire County in Massachusetts. SVHC’s providers are members of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Putnam Physicians, a multispecialty medical group operated in partnership with Dartmouth-Hitchcock. SVHC includes the SVHC Foundation; the Centers for Living and Rehabilitation, a 150-bed long- and short-term care skilled nursing facility; and Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), a 99-bed community hospital. SVMC also includes 19 primary and specialty care practices and primary care offices in Bennington, Manchester, Pownal, West Dover, and Wilmington, VT. The hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission and is the state’s first Magnet Center for Nursing Excellence, a designation it has held since 2002. To learn more, visit svhealthcare.org(link is external).
The Westwood City Council Thursday directed staff to prepare an ordinance that would restrict tobacco sales and e-cigarettes in the city to those 21 and over.The move came after a presentation by Scott Hall of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce representing the Healthy KC alliance. Prairie Village already has raised the age to purchase tobacco products and e-cigarettes to 21 along with Westwood Hills, Leawood, Overland Park, Lenexa, Olathe and both Kansas City, Kan., and Kansas City, Mo. Mission and Merriam declined to adopt the change.The initiative raises the age to purchase from 18 to 21, but does not raise the age for possession or use.“I am supportive of it,” said Westwood Councilor David Waters. He noted that it is also one of the primary initiatives of the KU Cancer Center which is located in Westwood.Councilor Margaret Bowen said she would like to see an exemption for active military personnel to the age restriction.The Healthy KC presentation says 95 percent of current smokers started before they were 21 and those who had a first cigarette by 18 are twice as likely to become lifelong smokers as those have have not tried it by 21. Raising the age to purchase reduces the number who start smoking early, the alliance says.The initiative has the support of the Shawnee Mission School District. Hall said Chamber member businesses support the move because of the cost of having smokers in their workforce.
Lenexa Mayor Michael Boehm in his 2019 State of the City address spoke of citizen-led efforts on the visioning process for Old Town and City Center.Lenexa’s future lies not just in the continued development of City Center, but also in renewed vitality of Old Town, Mayor Michael Boehm told the audience at his 2019 State of the City address.The mayor’s address, which was hosted by the Lenexa Chamber of Commerce, highlighted much of these citizen-led visioning efforts being guided by city leaders and staff. Ultimately, residents have asked to keep the city’s community as a “vibrant, connected, hometown feeling, with a distinct culture within a larger metropolitan area.”Vision 2040, the city’s third visioning process, is working to do just that, Boehm said. For example, the city allocated $26 million last year for maintenance and new projects, he added.The mayor highlighted other key areas for city and business development:$26 million was budgeted last year for construction of Ridgeview Road from Highway K-10 to Prairie Star Parkway$3.2 million is budgeted this year for street, walkability and lighting improvements along Quivira Road between 79th and 99th streetsThe city kicked off its Complete Streets programLast year, about $466 million in new construction took place, adding to the five-year total of more than $1.8 billion of new investment and development all over Lenexa. These include 332 townhomes at the future Sonoma Hill, plus commercial development of Sonoma Plaza along 87th Street Parkway. At least 80 percent of the commercial project has been leased or sold, the mayor added.On top of these developments, the city is also welcoming several new businesses, including:T.J. Maxx & HomeGoods on Quivira RoadGrundfos at 95th and LoiretVanTrust Widmer Industrial at 96th and PflummUrban Air, to be located in the former Kmart next to SproutsBoehm also applauded the new growth at City Center along 87th Street Parkway and Renner Boulevard, including the six-story Kiewit office, The District mixed-used project, the Shawnee Mission School District’s new Aquatic Center and the Lenexa City Center Library.Also in development are The Silo Modern Farmhouse restaurant and the Central Green office building.While all of this development is underway, the city has celebrated its one-year anniversary of both the Lenexa Rec Center and the Public Market. Plus, the city begins its second year of the Lenexa Farmers Market this spring.Boehm said the city plans to continue momentum at Old Town as well.“While the success of City Center gets an abundance of attention, it’s important to remember that we value all parts of Lenexa — especially Old Town,” Boehm said, citing the city’s work with residents and investors over the past year to create a long-term vision for the area in terms of development and redevelopment.Boehm spoke of the city’s study last year to review the city’s community center and senior center looking for ways to improve the city’s commitment to the area.“The recommendations reviewed by the governing body earlier this year were very well received, and we anticipate advancing the plan through the budget process in the coming years,” Boehm said.Meanwhile, the city has found a cost-effective stationary wayside train horn system to lessen the impact on area businesses and homes near the Noland and Pflumm road crossings along Sante Fe Drive.Boehm also honored city staff for their commitment to excellence; he especially thanked city manager Eric Wade, who is retiring after 35 years of service to the city.“Looking back over the past year with all that has been accomplished, it’s no wonder Money Magazine named Lenexa the Best Place to Live in Kansas,” Boehm said.
Report: Antibiotic resistance, sustainable development are intertwinedA new report from ReAct and the Dag Hammerskjold Foundation calls for antibiotic resistance to be integrated into the sustainable development agenda.The report, titled “When the Drugs Don’t Work: Antibiotic Resistance as a Global Development Problem,” argues that if antibiotics continues to lose their effectiveness, efforts to achieve the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development could be in jeopardy. Using data from the World Health Organization, World Bank, and other sources, the report focuses on how antibiotic resistance could hinder efforts to eradicate poverty, promote economic growth, reduce inequality, fight hunger, improve public health, and protect the environment.The report also illustrates how antibiotic resistance is intertwined with many of these issues. For example, the authors note, poor people in low- and middle-income countries are more vulnerable to infection, and lack of access to affordable and effective medical care to treat drug-resistant infections may push them deeper into poverty because they have to pay out of pocket for more expensive second-line drugs or for hospitalization. It could also lead people to self-medicate and use antibiotics inappropriately, thereby promoting more resistance. Conversely, efforts to eradicate poverty could help reduce vulnerability to resistant infections.The report concludes that antibiotic resistance should be included in national or regional target-setting to reach the Sustainable Development Goals, and that stakeholders in sectors beyond health and agriculture need to get involved in efforts to combat resistance.”The Sustainable Development Goals are deeply interconnected and many goals and targets rely on one another to achieve the envisioned state of wellbeing and sustainability,” the authors write. “Antibiotic resistance knows no sectorial limits, country borders or other divisions and therefore requires a level of cooperation that other challenges have not demanded before.”Feb 28 ReAct/Dag Hammerskjold Foundation report Feb 28 ReAct news release CARB-X provides funding for Contrafect’s amurin platformCARB-X announced today that it will award up to $1.75 million in funding to Contrafect Corporation, of Yonkers, New York, to develop a new approach to treating serious infections caused by gram-negative ESKAPE pathogens (Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterobacter species).The funding will support Contrafect’s work on amurins, a class of phage-encoded lytic agents that have demonstrated broad-spectrum activity in vitro against all ESKAPE pathogens and Salmonella Typhimurium, and have also show the ability to clear biofilms and act synergistically with a range of antibiotics. The company could receive an additional $5.9 million if certain project milestones are met.”Amurins are highly differentiated from conventional antibiotics through their novel mechanism of action and potent spectrum of activity against the most threatening Gram-negative pathogens,” Contrafect chief medical officer Cara Cassino, MD, said in a CARB-X press release. “We look forward to advancing development of this promising new class of antimicrobial agents with the support of CARB-X.”CARB-X (the Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator) is supporting the development of amurins to treat acute exacerbations of cystic fibrosis caused by multidrug-resistant gram-negative pathogens and potentially hospital-acquired bacterial pneumonia.This is the second award that Contrafect has received from CARB-X, which to date has awarded more than $110 million for pre-clinical development of new antibiotics, diagnostics, and alternative therapies for drug-resistant infections.Mar 4 CARB-X press release Study compares prediction methods for multidrug-resistant infectionsA study today in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology found that two methods for predicting multidrug-resistant infections performed similarly in a head-to-head comparison.The single-center study by investigators from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the University of Maryland School of Medicine compared two statistical models for identifying multidrug-resistant gram-negative infections: logistic regression–derived risk scores and machine learning–derived decision trees. They compared the performance of the two models using a dataset of 1,288 patients hospitalized at Johns Hopkins Hospital with E coli or Klebsiella bloodstream infections to determine which one was better at identifying patients with an extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) producer. They also reviewed the practical and methodologic attributes of the two approaches.A total of 194 patients (15%) in the cohort were ESBL-positive, based on previous microbiologic test results. The results of the comparison showed that in practice the 14-variable risk score and the 5-variable decision tree performed similarly in identifying these patients, with positive predictive values of 94.6% and 90.8% and negative predictive values of 91.8% and 91.9%, respectively. While the C-statistic of the risk score was higher (0.87 vs. 0.77), suggesting better predictive value, the investigators also determined that the decision tree was more intuitive and user friendly.”Statistical models for predicting drug resistance can provide important information in settings when laboratory diagnostics are challenging to implement,” the authors of the study conclude. “These methodologies offer different strengths and limitations, and we hope that their continued utilization in infectious disease research will assist with improving patient outcomes.”Mar 4 Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol abstract
Los Alamos County Municipal Building at 1000 Central Ave. File photoCOUNTY News:Los Alamos County has posted the proposed Biennial Budget online, along with a Citizen’s Guide to the Budget, which offers a high-level summary and budget overview. Both documents are available on the County’s website: https://losalamosnm.us/cms/one.aspx?portalid=6435810&pageid=6996200Budget hearings with the County Council will begin Monday, April 20. The hearing format and schedule is subject to change based upon public gathering guidance governed by the COVID-19 emergency. Check the webpage for details later in April.
STATE News:SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials have announced today 48 additional positive tests for COVID-19.The updated New Mexico COVID-19 cases are now at 363 with one additional death related to COVID-19.Per the New Mexico Department of Health, the most recent cases are:19 new cases in Bernalillo County1 new case in Catron County2 new cases in Cibola County2 new cases in Curry County3 new cases in Doña Ana County1 new case in Grant County4 new cases in McKinley County1 new case in Otero County3 new cases in Sandoval County5 new cases in San Juan County6 new cases in Santa Fe County1 new case in Taos CountyThe Department of Health also reported one additional death Tuesday in New Mexico related to COVID-19.That case is:A female in her 90s from Sandoval County who died Tuesday, March 31. The individual was hospitalized and had underlying medical conditions.The number of deaths in the state related to COVID-19 is now six.Including the above newly reported cases, New Mexico has now had a total of 363 positive tests for COVID-19:Bernalillo County: 148Catron County: 1Chaves County: 10Cibola County: 4Curry County: 5Doña Ana County: 21Eddy County: 4Grant County: 1Lea County: 2McKinley County: 20Otero County: 1Rio Arriba County: 4Roosevelt County: 1Sandoval County: 32San Juan County: 37San Miguel County: 1Santa Fe County: 48Socorro County: 3Taos County: 12Torrance County: 3Valencia County: 5County totals are subject to change upon further investigation and determination of residency of individuals positive for COVID-19.As of today, there are 31 individuals hospitalized in New Mexico for COVID-19. This number may include individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 out of state but are currently hospitalized in New Mexico. This number does not include New Mexicans who tested positive for COVID-19 and may have been transferred to a hospital out of state.As of today, there are 26 COVID-19 cases designated as having recovered by the New Mexico Department of Health.The Department of Health has detected community spread and is investigating cases with no known exposure. The agency reports that given the infectious nature of the virus it is likely other residents are infected but yet to be tested or confirmed positive. To that end, all New Mexicans have been instructed to stay home except for outings absolutely necessary for health, safety and welfare. These additional restrictions have been enacted to aggressively minimize person-to-person contact and ensure spread is mitigated. All businesses except those deemed essential have been ordered to close. New Mexicans are strongly urged to limit travel to only what is necessary for health, safety and welfare.The New Mexico Department of Health has active investigations into the positive patients, which includes contact-tracing and swabs of symptomatic individuals who have had contact with the positive cases.Every New Mexican must work together to stem the spread of COVID-19. Stay home.New Mexicans who report symptoms of COVID-19 infection, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, should call their health care provider or the NMDOH COVID-19 hotline immediately (1-855-600-3453).Thanks to increased statewide testing capacity, the following people may now be considered for COVID-19 testing: Asymptomatic people who are close contacts or household members of New Mexico residents who have already tested positive for the coronavirus;Asymptomatic residents in nursing homes;Asymptomatic people in congregant settings such as homeless shelters, group homes, detention centers; andSymptomatic people displaying the COVID-19 symptoms of cough, fever or shortness of breath. New Mexicans who have non-health-related questions or concerns can also call 833-551-0518 or visit newmexico.gov, which is being updated regularly as a one-stop source for information for families, workers and others affected by and seeking more information about COVID-19.The state Department of Health will update its dedicated COVID-19 webpage with additional tests as the state lab provides results.
In “Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow” at the MCC Theater, playwright Halley Feiffer has found her voice, and it sounds a lot like a cartoon, rife with social commentary. Her new work, an adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s “The Three Sisters,” brings to mind the theatrical sensibility at work in Taylor Mac’s “Gary: A Sequel.” His Broadway premiere last season is a takeoff on William Shakespeare’s “Titus Andronicus.”To appreciate Feiffer’s theatricality and humor, it won’t be necessary to reread Chekhov. However, it would be a good idea to watch a boring classical drama, produced in traditional fashion. Evoking that ants-in-your-pants feeling is at the heart of Feiffer’s metatheater. This production gives us a sense of how the sisters feel, contained in a small town, however ironically, just an Uber ride away from Moscow. Yet, in spite of all their dreams, they can’t get there.Blending heavy metal music, rap, and contemporary dialogue, such as Irina’s “smash the patriarchy” definitely gives a new slant to this work. As Treplev in Chekhov’s “The Seagull” says, “New forms we must have.” One wonders how the playwright would feel about this one.With the help of an astonishing ensemble of actors, director Trip Cullman pulls off a theatrical coup. Capturing the fast-paced dialogue of people ranting, then dropping down into naturalistic conversations feels jilting. But then, so does the simulated anal sex scene at the living room piano.There are lots of surprises being hurled at us here: Irina’s birthday party/picnic with pink paper plates, Solyony’s affectionate dueling with Baron Tuzenbach using a bottle of spray cologne, and Natasha’s breast pump which she nakedly bears, looks like an instrument from a sci-fi feature.Observing these characters on the cliff of despair, we become immersed in their frenzy, as if we were on a roller coaster ride at a carnival. The circus metaphor is boldly employed here.Without exception, the actors are standouts. As the oldest sister Olga, Rebecca Henderson is commanding in her unhappiness, delivering dialogue with such a droll and heavy hand that she looks wacked. With her classic retort, “Every night is the worst night of our lives,” she fulfills her sister-in-law Natasha’s expectations of a comic book villain.In the role of Natasha, Andrei’s wife, Sas Goldberg is outrageous. Boundless in her contemptuous behavior toward her sisters-in-law, she flaunts whatever she can find to flaunt. Her imagination is wildly nefarious, a stand-out of balls-to-the-wall comedy.The most despondent of the three sisters, Masha, is portrayed in gender-bending fashion by Chris Perfetti. When Masha dons a veil to cover her pain, she looks, and acts, like Olivia de Havilland in “My Cousin Rachel.” There is something a little shady about this pain of hers.As Andrey, Greg Hildreth is a quintessential existential millennial with no interest in changing that. And Alfredo Narciso’s Vershinin, an icon of super dramatic acting, looks like he walked out of a Bollywood movie. In that regard, he’s kind of on his own here . . . a bit of an outsider.No less alarming, Steven Boyer mines his ability to scare an audience, while remaining coolly aloof and contained within himself. Still, the most startling performance is Matthew Jeffers as Solyony. The way Jeffers, a little person, plays this quirky character is off the charts, and close to the bone.Designer Mark Wendland’s boldly colored fresco of Moscow, framed with neon lights, reflects the action and mood of the ongoing life, with red lightbulbs flashing during the sex scene, and flames blazing through the backdrop for a fire — the one that destroys the sisters’ home. Paloma Young’s costumes are equally unpredictable, and definitely make for character statements.No matter how often you’ve seen Chekhov’s play, you’ll be surprised by the ending.Toni StoneSoccer sheroes, the likes of Megan Rapinoe, are a loudly assertive presence. They’re defiant and unafraid to make demands. In their pursuit of gender equality and equal pay, they’ve definitely got balls.In a different way, so did Toni Stone, the first African American woman in the Negro League. In the titular play by Lydia R. Diamond, currently at the Roundabout Laura Pels Theatre, Stone is portrayed for her struggles on the all-male baseball teams of her day.Diamond’s gift for dialogue, capturing Toni’s down-home quality and the baseball players’ lingo, gives the show its rhythm, sting, and humor. Introducing herself at the opening of the play, Toni tells us, “I’m not a big talker. I talk a lot, but I don’t talk big. I have pride, but I wouldn’t say I’m proud. Don’t think I’m bragging when I tell you that I do the things I do well, bettern’ anybody.”Reaching beyond the racism, sexism, and adversity with which she was faced, is the heart of this portrait. While Stone began playing semiprofessional baseball at the age of 15, the focus here is on her trajectory to the Indianapolis Clowns, where she replaced Hank Aaron.As portrayed by April Matthis, Stone is a quirky character, and an ineffable force. Judged as being a slow learner in grade school, she delivers the stats on every baseball player, negotiates with management, and finesses her survival on the all-male team. Like her male teammates, Stone was not allowed to sleep in most hotels, and suffered the abuses of the Jim Crow laws that prevailed in many of the states where they played. As a woman, she also endured the bigotry and transgressions of her male colleagues.In portraying Stone as a clown, mirroring the Chaplin-esque qualities of a tramp, Matthis is marvelous. She’s good-hearted, but cunning, with a sassy disrespect for authority. As the program notes explain, an Indianapolis Clowns game was accompanied by entertainment. Like the Harlem Globetrotters, their hallmark was physical comedy.Demonstrating athleticism, the Clowns would incorporate bursts of imaginary baseball — exaggerating their physical moves, bungling, and bumbling with comedic timing. Structuring the play around their performance art, Diamond finesses a narrative that is multifaceted and fast-paced. At the same time, the historical context and insights are shocking, and often unsettling.Deftly directed by Pam MacKinnon, Stone’s commentary attached to the action serves as something of a Greek chorus. Indeed, she was the ideal spectator of her own unique life. And she is portrayed admirably for juggling professional life, marriage, and her own inspired ideals.Team spirit rules on this stage, with the players performing variety acts that are Vaudeville-like in spirit. Several actors, an ensemble of eight men, play the various characters. Most outstanding, Phillip James Brannon’s King Tut is effective in his disillusionment. And Kenn Head as Millie is a hoot in her baggy dresses. Head is transfixing, alternating between his role as baseball player and the prostitute who becomes Toni’s confidante.Costumes by Dede Ayite consist primarily of baseball uniforms, with Stone throwing a man’s blazer over hers. Her life is played out on the wooden stage, a highly compact version of a baseball field, designed by Riccardo Hernandez.It’s her reach that prevails. Matthis hits it out of the park. Share
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