Broadway To Vegas



Copyright: October 11, 2020
By: Laura Deni


Last Friday the Broadway League announced that The Great White Way will remain dark until the summer of 2021.

If openings do take place, they will be on a staggered basis.

“With nearly 97,000 workers who rely on Broadway for their livelihood and an annual economic impact of $14.8 billion to the city, our membership is committed to re-opening as soon as conditions permit us to do so,” said Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, in a statement. “We are working tirelessly with multiple partners on sustaining the industry once we raise our curtains again.”

Some actors and shows will never return while others jumped to announce 2022 openings.

Hugh Jackman, set to star as Prof. Harold Hill opposite Sutton Foster in the in the eagerly anticipated revival of the The Music Man, will march in River City beginning February 10, 2022, producers Scott Rudin, Barry Diller and David Geffen immediately announced following the Broadway shutdown extension.


Every presidential vote in America is critical. Always has been.

Currently, the corona-virus is headlining. It's not realistic to compare America to European countries, since each of those countries is the size of one American state. Each state has its own issues and what is right for one state may not be appropriate for another. In this case no matter the president, there is no one size fits all solution. Each state's governor is the power person. Some governors have displayed more knowledge and backbone than others. Some governors have botched it. Don't like what is happening where you live? Take it up with your governor. They are the ones with the real power in this crisis.

Six decades ago I was a championship debater and extemporaneous speaker. Hours would be spent formulating every possible two minute rebuttal response; timing to the exact second. No stopping short. No going over. Participants were expected to be overly polite, yet extremely knowledgeable and strong - expressing objectives backed up by facts and sensible reasoning. You used such phases as "My learned colleague" and "my esteemed opponent" to address the opposition. Counter arguments frequently began with - "I respectfully object and would like to point out that ..."

There were ways to stick a knife into somebody - always executed with intelligence and class. "I'm sorry the opposition has failed to stay up to date with the latest facts."

You could tear them apart on the debating floor and then go out and have lunch with them.

Decades later I became horrified when I discovered that the entire debating process had changed. 16 and 17-year-old high school students were instructed - that in order to be a winning debater - they were never to let the opposition get in a complete sentence. They were taught to constantly talk over or interrupt the opposition. Polite phrases were replaced with name calling. If a debater permitted the opposition to utter a complete thought, the judges marked them down. Intelligence and common sense had been replaced by hyperbole and insults. Also destroyed was the ability to separate issues from personalities.

Judging from the way politics has evolved, not much has changed. Added to the mix is the unfortunate current rule of thumb that when asked a question one should ignore the question and blabber about what you will.

Lately, there have been several federal level debates and town halls.

Candidates don't answer the question asked - rather they answer their own question. Moderators let that pass, rather than pointing out: "You time is up. Thank you for your comments, although you failed to answer the question," and then move on to the next question for the opposing candidate.

Viewers are watching the show, rather than paying attention to the substance. More people can discuss a fly on Vice President Pence's head rather than tell you what he was talking about when it landed on his coiffed pate.

That gives rise as to whether informed citizenship leave themselves vulnerable to artificial intelligence (AI) manipulation.

An excellent class, AI for Legal Professionals had Mark Shope as course facilitator, a professor of law at National Chiao-Tung University in Taiwan. Prior academia he was a practicing attorney in Indiana.

During the third week the instructors discussed Manipulating Elections and Institutions.

In the digital era, we are paying tech giants with data in exchange for convenient and easy access to the social media networks which are reshaping our understanding of the truth. It is undeniable that tech giants now have greater control over our life than popularly elected officials.

This month several publications referenced a CNET report that Google is handing 'users' personal information to police if they search keywords related to an investigation. Unsealed court documents revealed that Google has provided police with information on users simply based on their keyword searches – an action that some say could be a violation of US civil rights.

Google's transparency report states:" A variety of laws allow government agencies around the world to request user information for civil, administrative, criminal, and national security purposes. "Government agencies, courts, and parties in civil litigation ask technology and communications companies for user data. We carefully review each request to make sure it satisfies applicable laws."

In United States v. Jones, the majority opinion of SCOTUS put forward a “mosaic theory,” under which any use of AI can be considered a search in violation of the Fourth Amendment because of AI’s lack of transparency.

Algorithmic regulation, in short, refers to decision-making systems that regulate a domain of activity in order to manage risk or alter behavior through continuous generation of knowledge from data and, if necessary, automatically refine the system’s operations. Identify the scenario not using algorithmic regulation.

AI influence our decisions easier than traditional advertising because it can analyze our personality and deliver targeted messages.

"So, when we talk about election manipulation, that can be kind of two overarching ideas. The first idea is hacking. Bad actors could hack polling places, computer systems, polling equipment, voting software companies to essentially change the voting count and to influence who wins or loses in that method, then there's an idea of where hackers’, bad actors could use artificial intelligence, machine learning, so they could analyze data about voters, about their personality, their psyche, and then use these social manipulation tools that I discussed in the last lecture to influence voting activities.

The idea is to engage in political and ideological objectives to change or undermine the voting process, democratic participation. So, one idea is related to the social manipulation idea and also involves non-individual agents. Where government or private organizations control thousands of social media accounts and generate social media posts to shape our thinking, to shape the narrative, to even undermine trust in the process. And there's this idea that not only can bad actors use this kind of information, right?

But the candidates can use this kind of information. Hopefully not spreading fake news or disinformation, but using this data, our data for voter outreach, but then the question becomes what is legitimate voter outreach and what is manipulative behavior? Is there free will or is there coercion?"

Referring to the famed Cambridge Analytica case.

"That was an example of inappropriate use of data. So, in this situation, this company created profiles of Americans, using a popular social media platforms users data, and scoring them on these personality metrics, known as the Big Five personality traits, or the five factor model, and with these data points and this model, they created a profile to measure political preferences and our behavior and created this profile to promote one candidate’s candidacy over another's.

What happened was people were targeted with tens of thousands of Ads each day leading up to the election. These kind of microtargeting Ads, and some argue that this company was key in a particular candidate winning this election. And this not only happens in the United States, but there's research finding that this kind of thing happens in dozens of countries, using social media to manipulate public opinion.

Fake news was another kind of idea that's emerged. So, this idea that content is made up, distorted or misleading in a certain way, and created to affect people's opinions, and realize this isn't anything new but artificial intelligence has made its more nuanced. You can now have thousands of data points about individuals, and you can pinpoint with microtargeting.

Ad campaigns individual people to exploit them and their autonomy. There's also this idea that tech companies are profiting from fake news, and that some platforms promote conspiracy theories fake news, because users are more engage when the content is more divisive sensational, and has a conspiratorial moment to it.

So, this kind of leading to a kind of conclusion is what can we trust, what speech can we trust, if there's fake news all over the internet, if there's non-individual eighty agents controlling comments, if we are being profiled and targeted these Ads that are there to manipulate coerce our behavior, the idea that there's a free press is being constantly eroded. What is factual news and what is fake news?

Where is the line between freedom of expression, and trying to prevent the risks of fake news, thought manipulation, and how does that affect our democracy? How does that affect legal institutions? How does that affect our free will? So, what are the answers here? How do we protect the rule of law, democracy in this environment of social manipulation, institutional manipulation, election manipulation?

Autonomy and the right to make decisions about yourself, about your life, about your job, who you interact with, your trajectory in life. These are all decisions we make. There's this idea that these decisions make up part of our privacy, part of our anonymity and it's even been called decisional privacy.

It’s part of our individuality. It's part of our dignity. And every day there are agents. there are marketers, advertisers, influencers who are trying to persuade us, to nudge us in a certain direction for their goals.

If you've ever met anybody in the advertising industry. There are experts in influencing us in our will persuading us to act in certain ways, to vote in certain ways, to spend in certain ways. And in the digital era, there's this idea of online behavioral advertising. Now there's this idea that this kind of advertising is to inform our choices to give us information, so that we can choose a path that is in our best interests. But there's an idea that this information goes beyond that of being purely informational to being manipulative, and when were manipulated our decisional privacy is being in a sense violated, and when our privacy is being violated, so is these principles of equality, fairness are also being eroded, and there's this kind of constant persuasion, and manipulation, coercion that's occurring.

And that line between influence and coercion is a thin line and we often don't know where that line resides with. So, now leads to this concept of surveillance capitalism. That is using our personal data for profit making commodified our personal data for profit making.

It been said now that is that our personal information is the most valuable commodity on the earth now, and then extending that idea of surveillance capitalism to what's called the economies of action. Right now, companies are able to condition our behavior with small cues, rewards, punishments that push us and to the most profitable direction.

According to "Artificial Intelligence: Risks to Privacy and Democracy Karl Manheim and Lyric Kaplan 21 Yale J.L. & Tech. 106 (2019): "There is no privacy on the internet. Here are a few reasons why. Small file “cookies” surreptitiously placed on a user’s hard drive track his or her movement across the internet and deliver that information to servers. User data collected by “spotlight ads,” “web beacons” and “pixel tags” may include: the amount of time spent on each page, activity, page scrolls, referring web site, device type, and identity. While users can invoke the “Do Not Track” (DNT) setting on their browsers, there is no requirement that web sides honor DNT requests, so most ignore them.

"Users may also attempt to employ other privacy-enhancing methods including virtual private networks, end-to-end encryption, and ad-blockers, but such methods will not always succeed.

"The business model for social media and other “free” online services depends on the ability to “monetize” data and content.

"Ultimately, the exercise that these companies need to embark on to exist is to find insights and predictions regarding user profiles, preferences, and behavior. These companies then sell and share the data for various purposes (e.g., advertising targeting and election tampering).

"This is a form of surveillance. And, because it is done not for public safety but to generate profits, it is called “surveillance capitalism.”

"The data marketplace is estimated to represent $150 to $200 billion dollars annually."

So, what happens here is in essence, kind of our free will is being abrogated. Our right to our future selves and this in a way affects democracy itself because if we don't have autonomy with our actions, we don't have autonomy with our thought.

Do we have our own moral judgments? Do we have our own critical thinking? That's necessary for a democracy.

Harry Surden, Artificial Intelligence and Law: An Overview (June 28, 2019). Georgia State University Law Review, Vol. 35, 2019, available at SSRN:
Ashley Deeks, The Judicial Demand for Explainable Artificial Intelligence, 119 Colum. L. Rev. __ (2019 Forthcoming), pp. 1829-1838, available at SSRN:
Harini Suresh & John V. Guttag, A Framework for Understanding Unintended Consequences of Machine Learning (2020), v3,
Yeung, Karen and Lodge, Martin, Algorithmic Regulation: An Introduction (March 14, 2019). Karen Yeung and Martin Lodge (eds) Algorithmic Regulation, Oxford University Press: Oxford, 2019, Available at SSRN: or
Manheim, Karl M. and Kaplan, Lyric, Artificial Intelligence: Risks to Privacy and Democracy (October 25, 2018). 21 Yale Journal of Law and Technology 106 (2019), Available at SSRN: 197 See Jackie Snow, Can AI Win the War Against Fake News?, MIT TECH. REV. Prediction, Persuasion, and the Jurisprudence of Behaviorism U of Maryland Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2017-34

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This is not your typical, totally boring textbook.

In the pages of How To Earn A Living As A Freelance Writer (the first to be lied to and the last to be paid) you'll find sex, celebrities, violence, threats, unethical editors, scummy managers and lawyers, treacherous press agents, sex discrimination; as well as a how-to for earning money by writing down words.


David Hockney's painting of Sir David Webster. Photo: Christie's
has authorized Christie's Auction House to gavel down a famed David Hockney's painting of Sir David Webster in a desperate effort to procure enough cash to survive.

Painted by Hockney in 1971, Portrait of Sir David Webster is expected to raise between £11-18 million * when it is sold by international auction house Christie’s on October 22, 2020.

Sir David Webster was chief executive - under the title of general administrator – at the ROH from 1945 to 1970 and was “instrumental in the expansion of the Royal Opera House into the institution we know and love”, according to Katharine Arnold, who is co-head of post-war and contemporary European art at Christie’s.

The celebrate painter is a renowned opera enthusiast who in addition to painting, designed groundbreaking stage sets for major operas from 1975 to 1992, including at the Royal Opera House.

Painted in 1971, it depicts Webster in the artist’s studio, seated upon a Mies van der Rohe ‘MR’ chair before a glass table. Painted on a grand scale, the work unites Hockney’s flair for human observation with his lifelong passion for opera. From 1975 until 1992, David Hockney would design sets for venues including Glyndebourne, the Metropolitan Opera in New York and the Royal Opera House itself. Inviting stylistic comparison with Hockney’s landmark double portraits produced between 1968 and 1975, Portrait of Sir David Webster demonstrates the meticulous exploration of space, perspective, lighting and compositional drama that would eventually come to inform his theatrical endeavors.

Alex Beard, Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House, said: “As we face the biggest crisis in our history, the sale of David Hockney’s wonderful portrait of Sir David Webster is a vital part of our strategy for recovery, and the proceeds will be used to ensure that the world’s greatest artists can once more return to our stages. To sustain our community of artists through this period, and to ensure we can continue to delight audiences for decades to come with extraordinary ballet, dance, music and opera, we have a four-pronged plan for recovery: a program of restructuring and staffing cuts, reducing our costs wherever possible; a fundraising campaign from our audiences and supporters to sustain our community of artists, craftspeople and backstage staff; support from Government; and realising such value as we can from our assets”.

Portrait of Sir David Webster notably features the same glass table and vase of tulips as the 1969 painting Henry Geldzahler and Christopher Scott. The tulips rendered in vibrant color sit atop a translucent glass table top: a phenomenon that recalls the extraordinary illusionism of Hockney’s treatment of water in his swimming pool paintings. Webster himself is seen seated in a Mies van der Rohe, Marcel Breuer chair just as Ossie Clark is featured in Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy (Tate, London), completed the same year. Though Webster sits alone, the painting captures the sense of hyper-real interaction that lay at the heart of the double portraits: the tulips are startlingly anthropomorphic, as vivid, alive and conversational as another person in the room.

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and are reported net of applicable fees.

THE CUMMER MUSEUM OF ART & GARDENS in Jacksonville, Florida has announced that after an extensive national search, they have selected Andrea Barnwell Brownlee, Ph.D., as the institution’s next George W. and Kathleen I. Gibbs director and chief executive officer (CEO).

Brownlee has served as the director of the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art in Atlanta, Georgia, for nearly 20 years. She will begin her new role in December 2020.

Brownlee earned her Ph.D. in art history from Duke University in 2001. As an undergraduate at Spelman College, she earned dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and art history. She is an alumna of the Getty Leadership Institute.

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TOGEHER WE RISE PRESENTS ZOOM IN: RISE UP! celebrating the incredible community that is Rosie's Theater Kids.

The event, which replaces RTKids’ traditional fall gala, will be hosted by Rosie O'Donnell on Wednesday, October 21 at 7:00 PM. Special guests for the evening will include Tony Award winner BD Wong, and cast members from Broadway’s Ain’t Too Proud - The Life and Times of the Temptations: James Harkness, Jawan M. Jackson, Matt Manuel, Jelani Remy, and Nik Walker. A special performance choreographed by Mayte Natalio will be performed by RTKids.

RTKids is honoring this moment of change in our country by amplifying the voices of our young people. Through song, dance and spoken word, find out what RTKids is doing to Rise Up Together as a community and how you can be a part of the campaign to provide our students with the tools to succeed.

Each year, during gala season, RTKids raises $1,000,000 to support over 1,300 students through free arts education. This year, donors are asked to please consider donating the price of a ticket or a table in a typical year or a gift of any size. Each donor will receive an invite to Together We Rise - Zoom In: Rise Up! on Wednesday, October 21 at 7:00 PM. RTKids was launched in 2003 at PS 51, a Title I public school bordering on the theater district where students would walk by Broadway theaters daily and never have the opportunity to go inside. Rosie noticed this and thought it was “…like living in Hawaii, and never having access to the beach.” Together with Rosie, Artistic and Executive Director Lori Klinger developed PS Broadway – RTKids foundational program. In 2003, all 40 fifth graders at PS 51 participated in 15 weeks of singing and dancing training, and every single fifth grader went to see their first Broadway show – all free of charge.

Over the years since its debut, RTKids has blossomed into much more than simply a song and dance venue. The dedication and inspiration of its expert staff and generosity of its guest Broadway professionals have yielded truly remarkable results. Today, RTKids services have expanded to include ACTE II (A Commitment to Excellence), which includes performing arts instruction, life skills development, academic tutoring, and college and financial aid guidance and support at Maravel Arts Center, RTKids’ home just west of the theater district.

WOMEN WHO ROCK AND GIBSON GIVES the charitable arm of Gibson guitars - -have teamed up for a new virtual concert series to raise awareness for vital breast cancer research. Happening every Wednesday night in October at 5:00pm CT/3:00pm PT/6:00pm ET live, on Gibson TV, all performances will be archived.

Accomplished singer-songwriter Rita Wilson will headline the virtual concert series which will be shot on location at both the Gibson Showroom in Los Angeles, CA and Austin, TX. All donations generated from the Women Who Rock and Gibson Gives series in October will benefit Magee-Womens Research Institute (MWRI)--the nation's largest research institute dedicated solely to women's health research--and will be fully-matched by UPMC and UPMC Health Plan up to $25,000.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Women’s health overall is understudied. While most health research has sidestepped sex differences, MWRI is the nation’s largest research institute dedicated solely to women’s health research and reproductive biology. In addition, MWRI currently offers 192 studies enrolling 162,000 women in clinical trials all over the world. Researchers at MWRI are working on chemotherapy resistance for the most common form of breast cancer, finding a more effective treatment for triple negative breast cancer, and running more than 20 clinical trials to develop new, personalized treatments for women.

Dr. Lisa Rohan is leading her team of researchers at MWRI to develop a nasal spray that could protect users from the COVID-19 infection. This spray may be a game changer for frontline workers and immune-compromised individuals. From therapies that could halt the recurrence of ovarian and breast cancers to improving our understanding of and treatment options for COVID-19. MWRI works to solve real-world problems women face every day.


IT CAN'T HAPPEN HERE airs Tuesday, October 13 at 5pm PT on Berkeley Rep's YouTube channel. A live Q&A with the creative team will take place October 13 after the broadcast.

Berkeley Rep is delighted to welcome back much of the original cast including David Kelly as the candidate Buzz Windrip, and to have Academy Award nominee David Strathairn join in as the liberal protagonist Doremus Jessup.

Written in 1935 during the rise of fascism in Europe, Lewis’ darkly satirical It Can’t Happen Here follows the ascent of a demagogue who becomes president of the United States by promising to return the country to greatness. In 2016, Berkeley Rep unveiled a new stage adaptation of Lewis’ prescient novel; one week after that production ended, the presidential election roiled our nation. Now, Berkeley Rep reprises that production with the same director, but this time as a radio play in four episodes, just in time for the 2020 election.

It Can’t Happen Here will then be available on YouTube through November 8. The venue states "We hope It Can’t Happen Here encourages dialogue and motivates you to exercise your civic power and vote."

VANGELINE THEATER/NEW YORK BUTOH INSTITUTE presents the New York Butoh Institute Festival 2020 online, October 15-25, 2020.

The Festival will feature a program of butoh workshops and exclusive Zoom performances of works by butoh dancers from Asia, Latin America, South Africa, New York, and the United States.

FORD'S THEATRE IN WASHINGTON, DC just 12 days before election day, on October 22, presents political humorist Mark Russell and Former U.S. Representative Joe Crowley who will explore Lincoln and political humor.

"Our education team continues to offer twice weekly distance-learning programs, connecting learners of all ages to Lincoln and the impact of the assassination on America. You can join us on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout October," e-mailed Paul R. Tetreault, Ford's Theatre Director.

TOMMY VIG AND MIA KIM headline a performance of a new show called If I Could Play the Different Piano on Saturday, October 17, at the Budapest Jazz Club in Budapest, Hungary. Vig is the composer and wife Mia Kim will provide the singing. The former Las Vegans will be joined by their musical cohorts: Csuhaj-Barna Tibor – bass, Zsoldos Béla –percussion instruments, and Jeszenszky György – drums.

The concert commemorates the anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian revolution.

On the horizon of American jazz, three Hungarian names stand out in large letters: Gábor Szabó (1936–1982), Attila Zoller (1927–1998) and Tommy Vig (1938). Two of them are already playing their guitars in the celestial orchestra, but the vibraphone-drummer-composer-arranger, who left for America in 1956 and then returned home fifty years later, is an active player in Hungarian music life.

THE OLD VIC has announced that A Christmas Carol will returns to their stage as an Old Vic: In Camera, to be performed live from our auditorium and streamed online to homes across the world from Saturday December 12 through Thursday December 24, 2020.

This Christmas, come together with your household or with friends and family online to take part in the music and merriment of this uplifting story, joyously adapted by Jack Thorne. All performances will be captioned and audio described and available globally.

KEEN COMPANY ARTISTIC DIRECTOR JONATHAN SILVERSTEIN has announced additional guests for Keen After Hours, which connects audiences with luminaries of the theatre world, every Monday night at 6:30pm on Keen Company’s website and Facebook page. Team Keen and a special guest will discuss their careers, their artistic process, and take questions from the audience. Next up is Marsha Mason (October 19th), followed by John-Andrew Morrison and Jasminn Johnson (October 26th), and Lilli Cooper (November 2nd).

Keen Company is an award-winning Off-Broadway theater creating story-driven work that provokes identification, reflection, and emotional connection.

TIM RICE has joined Broadway Podcast Network where listeners will hear recordings of some of his favorite lyrics (not always the obvious ones) as he reveals how and why some shows worked brilliantly and some didn't.

Sir Tim Rice wrote the lyrics s for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; Jesus Christ Superstar; Evita; Chess and The Lion King, to name only five.

Rice will reflect on working with incredible award-winning composers including Andrew Lloyd Webber, Elton John, Alan Menken, ABBA's Bjorn and Benny and Freddie Mercury.

Sir Tim is current President of the London Library (founded in 1841) having been appointed in succession to Sir Tom Stoppard. He was President of the Marylebone Cricket club (founded in 1789) in 2002. He is a Trustee of Sunderland Football Club's Foundation of Light and a Life Vice-President of the schools/cricket charity Chance to Shine. He is President of the Hall For Cornwall project which will establish the first truly world-class theatre in that county by late 2020. He is a regular broadcaster in the UK media, drawing on his extensive knowledge of the history of popular music since Elvis was a lad, and has co-authored many books on the subject.

The Podcast is available on Apple/iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart, TuneIn, Deezer, Player.FM, Pocket Cast, Podcast Addict and everywhere else you listen to podcasts.

JESSICA VOSK brings her “Coco Catch Up act to Birdland in New York City. This show will premiere on Saturday, October 18 and will remain available on demand for 30 days.

Having starred as Elphaba in Broadway's Wicked, as well as defining roles in Bridges of Madison County and Fiddler on the Roof, Vosk has a voice that defies more than gravity and solidifies her as a Broadway great. This performance has been curated during the pandemic and brings the spirit of The Great White Way into your living room. Along with musical director Mary Mitchell Campbell and her special guests, Marissa Rosen and Michael DiLiberto, this vibrant performance will feature songs from her album Wild & Free, as well as some brand new covers.

THE ECHO THEATER COMPANY in Los Angeles presents an online reading of The Villagers, a new play by Jaime Jaget. Just weeks before leaving for college, Regan runs into Eddie late one night on the shores of their small northeast town. Their encounter pulls her world apart. Now as waves of past and present collide, Regan’s forced to ask the water, - can she ever really leave?

The Villagerswas developed in the Echo Theater Company’s “Young Playwright’s Lab,” a group of Los Angeles-based playwrights in the early stages of their careers dedicated to developing new work for the stage.

Starring Amy Argyle, Jaqueline Besson, Edison Ventura, Mata Diaz, Ahna O'Reilly and Django Palty.

Friday, October 16 at 7:30 p.m. PT / 10:30 p.m. ET on Zoom link at Echo Theater Company.


The Earthshot Prize, the most prestigious global environment prize in histor is a new global prize for the environment with the object of incentivizing change and help to repair our planet over the next ten years – a critical decade for the Earth.

Taking inspiration from President John F. Kennedy’s Moonshot which united millions of people around an organizing goal to put man on the moon and catalyzed the development of new technology in the 1960s, The Earthshot Prize is centered around five ‘Earthshots’ – simple but ambitious goals for our planet which, if achieved by 2030, will improve life for us all, for generations to come. “The Earth is at a tipping point and we face a stark choice: either we continue as we are and irreparably damage our planet, or we remember our unique power as human beings and our continual ability to lead, innovate and problem-solve. People can achieve great things. The next ten years present us with one of our greatest tests – a decade of action to repair the Earth.” Prince William.

Five, one million-pound prizes will be awarded each year for the next ten years, providing at least 50 solutions to the world’s greatest environmental problems by 2030.

The Earthshot Prize is about much more than awarding achievement – it is a decade of action to convene the environmental world with funders, businesses and individuals to maximise impact and take solutions to scale, to celebrate the people and places driving change; and to inspire people all over the world to work together to repair the planet," reads a statement issued by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Prince William emphasizes that: "We have just 10 years to repair the planet. The earthshot divisions are:
Restore nature
Clean our air
Revive our oceans
Build a waste-free world
Fix our climate

The Earthshot Prize Council is a truly global team of influential individuals from a wide range of different sectors, all of whom are committed to championing positive action in the environmental space. Every year from 2021 until 2030, The Earthshot Prize Council will award The Earthshot Prize to five winners, one per Earthshot.

Earthshot Prize Council members:

Prince William - Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah - Cate Blanchett - Christiana Figueres - Daniel Alves da Silva - Sir David Attenborough - Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim - Indra Nooyi - Jack Ma - Naoko Yamazaki - Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala - Shakira and Yao Ming.


ACCORDING TO THE EAST LYNNE THEATER COMPANY in West Cape May, NJ, it took "ELTC's artistic director Gayle Stahlhuth, three months (and around 50 hours) to negotiate a contract with Actors' Equity Association so that Nothing Matters could be produced during a pandemic."

Nothing Matters is a fully-staged Actors' Equity production that will be available on East Lynne Theater Company's YouTube Channel, after it has been filmed and edited, from October 14 through November 21, Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8:00 PM.

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This is not your typical, totally boring textbook.

In the pages of How To Earn A Living As A Freelance Writer (the first to be lied to and the last to be paid) you'll find sex, celebrities, violence, threats, unethical editors, scummy managers and lawyers, treacherous press agents, sex discrimination; as well as a how-to for earning money by writing down words.

RITA MORENO WILL BE HONORED during the American Film Institute (AFI) Fest which runs virtually Thursday, October 15 – Thursday, October 22.

The Rita Moreno Tribute will take place live on Tuesday, October 20th at 5pm PST and is free for those that register for a ticket at Rita Moreno Tribute tickets. Rita will be in conversation with Tony winner Tony Kushner, who also wrote the screenplay for the upcoming West Side Story, which Rita co-stars in and serves as Executive Producer.

Rita Moreno’s career began with a Broadway debut at 13 years old. Since then she has become and EGOT - having won all four of the most prestigious awards in show business - an Oscar, a Tony, two Emmys, and a Grammy - as well as a Peabody Award and a Kennedy Center Honor. Moreno has also been recognized with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush and the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama. Moreno received an Honorary Degree from the AFI Conservatory in 2016. Her latest work includes co-starring and serving as Executive Producer in the Steven Spielberg remake of West Side Story, scheduled for release summer of 2021, and starring in the popular Latino remake of Norman Lear’s classic sitcom, One Day at a Time.

VINEYARD THEATRE'S 2020-21 PAULA VOGEL PLAYWRITING AWARD will be presented to John J. Caswell, Jr. at The Vineyard’s Emerging Artists Virtual Salon on Wednesday, October 21 at 5:00 PM ET via Zoom according to Vineyard Theatre Artistic Directors Douglas Aibel and Sarah Stern.

Caswell is the 13th recipient of Vineyard Theatre's Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, named in honor of playwright and teacher Paula Vogel, whose plays Indecent; How I Learned To Drive (Pulitzer Prize for Drama), and The Long Christmas Ride Home premiered at The Vineyard. The residency-based award is given each year to an emerging writer of exceptional promise, and comes with a cash prize and artistic development support.

"John J. Caswell, Jr. is a queer, Mexican-American playwright originally from Phoenix and a current fellow in Juilliard’s Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program. He is the winner of the 2020 Jean Kennedy Smith Playwriting Award, a 2019 Relentless Award Finalist, a 2018 MacDowell Fellow, a 2018 SPACE on Ryder Farm Creative Resident, a current member of Play Group at Ars Nova, and the 2017 Page 73 Playwriting Fellow," according to the release.

Previous recipients of the award include Charly Evon Simpson, Jeremy O. Harris, Antoinette Nwandu, Kate Tarker, Boo Killebrew, Clare Barron, Christopher Chen, Erika Sheffer, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Kara Lee Corthron, Rajiv Joseph and Tarell Alvin McCraney.

Following the award presentation and continuing with tradition, Charly Evon Simpson (2019 Paula Vogel Award recipient) will sit down with Caswell for a virtual Q&A.

2020 TONY AWARD NOMINATIONS TO BE ANNOUNCED OCTOBER 15 James Monroe Iglehart will read the list of nominees for a season interrupted thanks to the pandemic.

As previously announced, the 74th annual ceremony will take place digitally later this year in light of the coronavirus pandemic. That date has yet to be announced.

The Nominating Committee will convene October 13 to vote on the nominations. The Broadway League and American Theatre Wing - co-presenters of the awards - determined that productions that had opened on or before February 19 will be considered eligible. It has been acknowledged that some shows had begun previews or opened between that date and March 12, the start of the Broadway shutdown, though nominators or voters may not have seen them in time to make determinations.


EDDIE VAN HALEN the guitar hero who, with his namesake hard-rock band Van Halen, redefined the sound and possibilities of the electric guitar in the 1970s and '80s, died Tuesday, October 6, 2020 from throat cancer. He was 65.

Van Halen struggled with alcoholism and drug abuse. He stated that he began smoking and drinking at age 12, and that he eventually needed alcohol to function. Van Halen entered rehabilitation in 2007. In a 2015 interview, he stated that he had been sober since 2008.

Suffering from lingering injuries from past, high-risk, acrobatic stage antics and crashes, Van Halen underwent hip replacement surgery in November 1999, after his chronic avascular necrosis, with which he was diagnosed in 1995, became unbearable. Van Halen began receiving treatment for tongue cancer in 2000. The subsequent surgery removed roughly a third of his tongue. He was declared cancer-free in 2002. In August 2012, Van Halen underwent an emergency surgery for a severe bout of diverticulitis. In 2019, it was revealed that Van Halen had been secretly battling throat cancer over the previous five years.

The band won the 1992 Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance with Vocal for the album For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge. As of March 2019, the band was 20th on the RIAA list of best-selling artists in the United States; it has sold 56 million albums in the States and more than 80 million worldwide. Additionally, Van Halen has charted 13 number-one hits in the history of Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart. VH1 ranked the band seventh on a list of the top 100 hard rock artists of all time. In January 2007, Van Halen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The band performed its final shows over two nights at the Hollywood Bowl in 2015. That same year, Van Halen donated a replica of his Frankenstein guitar to the Smithsonian, while the original appeared behind glass at the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

His iconic, road-battered guitar, named Frankenstein, was pieced together to his personal specifications in 1975 from the components of other instruments - a $50 body, a $75 neck, a single Humbucker pickup and crucial tremolo bar. With a red surface crisscrossed frantically with black and white stripes (and traffic reflectors stuck to the back), it remains one of the most recognizable guitars in rock ’n’ roll.

"The idea was to stretch out and get loud," he once said, as he referenced the fictional metal act Spinal Tap, whose members bragged on camera that their amplifiers went all the way to 11. “While they’re going to 11,” Van Halen joked during a 2015 appearance at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., “I was already going to 15.”

Van Halen was an inventor on three patents related to guitars: A folding prop to support a guitar in a flat position, a tension-adjusting tailpiece. and an ornamental design for a headstock.

At age 25, Van Halen married popular TV actress Valerie Bertinelli, 21, in a 1981 wedding swarmed by paparazzi. A decade later, they had a son, Wolfgang, who grew up to join the family business as bass player in the band. The couple separated in 2001 (and divorced in 2007), in part because of the guitarist’s worsening drug and alcohol abuse, which eventually also helped destabilize the band.

With his ex wife and their son present on June 27, 2009 Van Halen married Janie Liszewski, at his Studio City estate, with his son Wolfgang serving as best man. Eddie's brother Alex officiated the ceremony.

He is survived by his wife Janie Liszewski, his son Wolfgang and his brother.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame issued the following statement for the passing of 2007 Inductee Eddie Van Halen.:

“Inductee Eddie Van Halen forever changed the vocabulary of the electric guitar. With blistering speed, control, and melodic feel, he perfected the art of shredding, unleashing two-handed finger tapping, dramatic whammy-bar moves, and other astonishing never-before-seen techniques. Innovative, like his hero Les Paul, Eddie reimagined the sonic possibilities of the guitar and became an inspiration for an entire generation of musicians who worshiped his sound and style. His band Van Halen kicked the American hard rock scene into high gear in the late Seventies, became rock heroes on MTV in the Eighties, and gave rise to a steady stream of shredders and trailblazers ever since.” -Greg Harris, President & CEO of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Harvey Mason Jr. Chair & Interim President/CEO of the Recording Academy issued the following statement: "During his legendary career, Grammy Award winner Eddie Van Halen contributed to some of the world's most iconic music. His explosive guitar playing and approach to the musical process solidified him as an undeniable force in his field and forever established his place as a true guitar hero. The world is lucky to have witnessed Eddie's genius as a guitarist, and we know he will influence and shape rock music indefinitely."

Next Column: October 18, 2020
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