Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today and over the holiday weekend. Lin-Manuel Miranda & Jennifer Lopez Team UpWhat comes next for Hamilton creator and star (through July 9) Lin-Manuel Miranda? The Tony winner has joined forces with Jennifer Lopez for a tribute to the victims of the recent tragedy at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. Proceeds from the track “Love Make the World Go Round,” will benefit the Hispanic Federation’s Proyecto Somos Orlando. 95 percent of the victims in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history were Latino. Check out the video below. P.S. The latest installment of American Horror Story, starring Broadway fave Cheyenne Jackson, will bow on FX on September 14, a little earlier than usual. Star Files Fun Home Cast to Play Concert for OrlandoThe Tony-winning Fun Home will also perform to benefit those impacted by the events in Orlando. All nine of the Broadway show’s onstage company members, including Tony winner Michael Cerveris, Judy Kuhn, Beth Malone, Emily Skeggs and Gabriella Pizzolo will be in attendance for the one-night-only concert at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando on July 24. Money raised will go to Equality Florida and the LGBTQ community of Orlando.Union Square Theatre to CloseOff-Broadway’s Union Square Theatre is to be demolished; it will be replaced by a six-story office building, complete with glass-domed rooftop. “We tried to preserve the theater,” a representative of the building’s owners told the New York Times. “But we couldn’t come up with a program that was economically viable.” The theater most recently played host to 39 Steps.Full Beverley Knight-Led Bodyguard Cast AnnouncedFinal casting has been confirmed for the upcoming return of The Bodyguard to the West End. Joining Beverley Knight as Rachel Marron, Ben Richards as The Bodyguard, Rachel John as Nicki Marron, Carole Stennett as alternate Rachel Marron, Mark Holden as Bill Devaney, Alex Andreas as Tony, Dominic Taylor as Sy Spector, Matthew Stathers as Stalker and Glen Fox as Ray Court will be Omari Bernard, Faye Best, Pablo Ceresuela Torres, Lisa Darnell, Charles Hagerty, Emma Joy Hopkins, Ibinabo Jack, Christopher Jeffers, Verity Jones, Annie Kitchen, Phoebe Liberty, Elliot Powell, Raul Naranjo Garcia, Mary Lynn Tiep, Michael Wade-Peters, Kyle Wardlaw, Matthew Wesley, Emmy Willow and Mark Willshire. Keaton Edmund, Max Fincham, Jaden Oshenye and Mickell Stewart Grimes are set to alternate the role of Fletcher, Rachel Marron’s young son. Performances will begin at the Dominion Theatre on July 15.Get Looking at More #GroffsauceAfter his Tony nominated turn in Hamilton, Jonathan Groff may have no imminent plans to return to Broadway, however we do have multiple small screen appearances to look forward to. Before Netflix’s Mindhunter, there’s HBO’s feature-length series finale of Looking, which will premiere on July 23. Check out a new cast featurette below. View Comments Lin-Manuel Miranda J. Lo & Lin-Manuel Miranda
-30- Allen Pool, Spas & Chemical Corp,Tasha Wallis, Executive Director of the Vermont Retail Association (VRA) announced today the winners of the 2010 VRA Retailer of the Year (ROY) Awards. In 2009, VRA inaugurated the ROYs to recognize the ‘best of the best’ in the retail industry, which is a major sector of Vermont’s economy. Retailers employ more Vermonters’over 37,000’than any other business sector except health care, accounting for 14% of the entire work force.All Vermont businesses engaged in retail operations are eligible for nomination and consideration for the ROYs. After considering numerous nominations, this year’s panel of judges from the business community chose to honor these winners:RETAILER OF THE YEARHonoring a Vermont retailer for Overall Excellence Allen Pools and Spas Rutland White River Jct. Williston Contact: Tom Colman [email protected](link sends e-mail) (802) 288-9028Excellence and growth go hand in hand, and no better proof exists than this year’s ROY winner. Allen Pools and Spas has grown steadily for more than a half-century, even posting a 20% growth in 2009, one of the toughest economic years in memory. What’s more, in 2010 they added 20% growth onto that!Dan Allen, Sr. started the company in his Rutland home in 1957. Today, it has 33 employees in three thriving stores. Allen Pools and Spas is not only growing and prosperous–it is truly a “corporation with a conscience.” Its primary products–HotSpring Portable Spas–are silent, use little documented electricity, and are virtually chemical free. The company also launched its “A.T.P.” program in 2010, providing free removal and environmentally friendly disposal of old spas, along with charitable donations with proceeds from salvaged spas.In 2010, Allen Pools and Spas received the highest honor from the world’s leading manufacturer of spas, HotSpring Spas. The award citation read, in part, ‘Their determination, dedication, loyalty, and passion for customer satisfaction never falters. They excel in every way.”That says it all about Allen Pools and Spas. Tom Colman, sales manager, summarizes Mr. Allen’s 53 year success story like this: “Ed Allen has never thrown any idea under the bus. He is the Ben Franklin of the modern business world!’GREENTAILER OF THE YEARHonoring A Vermont Retailer For Environmental Excellence The Outdoor Gear Exchange Burlington Contact: Marc Sherman [email protected](link sends e-mail) 802-383-0382 x300The Outdoor Gear Exchange could be the prototypical 21st-century business model, and the differences start right at the top. Marc Sherman is the 15-year old company’s founder. In the old paradigm, his title would be ‘President and CEO,’ or some other official-sounding label. He prefers ‘Visionary.’‘GearX’ was born in a discussion around an Adirondack campfire and the forward-thinking design was part of Sherman’s vision from day one. That vision included a three-phase mission statement. The first year focus was on customers: ‘We have fun outdoors and want people to enjoy themselves in our store.’ In the second year, it expanded to include staff: ‘Our staff, a most crucial ingredient in our overall success, is empowered to question, change, and improve our business.’ And after the third year, it embraced the community as well: ‘At the Outdoor Gear Exchange, we strongly believe in a responsible environmental stewardship. We strive to run our business in a way that promotes our staff, local community, and outdoor industry as a wholeâ ¦’Outdoor Gear Exchange’s commitment to the environment is total. Company founder Sherman serves on the Burlington Public Works Commission. The company contributes to the Conservation Alliance, donates a nickel for every bag not used, has virtually eliminated the use of paper, offsets trade show travel with carbon credits, and uses compact fluorescent bulbs and UV tinted glass to reduce energy costs. And those are just a few of its overall environmental initiatives. Together, they form the solid foundation of a company where ethical behavior and environmental protection top the list of goals.COMMUNITY GEMHonoring Vermont Retailers Who Make Unique And Valuable Contributions To Their Communities The Old Brick Store Charlotte Contact: Carrie MacKillop [email protected](link sends e-mail) (802) 425-2421A Vermont village’s store plays a crucial role for its community, customers, owners, and visitors. One of the state’s most remarkable and venerated such establishments is Charlotte’s Old Brick Store, which had been operating since 1853. By 2008, though, the cherished icon had come on hard times. With bare shelves, cash flow down to a trickle, and renovations urgently needed, its ultimate demise seemed inevitable. Most potential purchasers would turn and run fast from such a decrepit property, but its very need was what attracted current owner/operator Carrie MacKillop most. ‘I needed something to dive into,’ she recalls. MacKillop purchased the store in January of 2009, with a plan for resurrecting the moribund landmark that was definitely not business as usual. From the outset, MacKillop intended to pursue ‘convenience with a conscience,’ re-inventing the historic store as a Community Supported Enterprise (CSE). In line with that, she sold memberships to raise money for much-needed renovations. Investors became members and would be reimbursed in store credits plus 10%. No fewer than 90 families bought in, generating enough revenue for the renovations. The Old Brick Store reopened on March 1, 2009 and has been flourishing ever since, offering food to rave about and a wide variety of beverages and wines. The store is still quintessentially Vermont, the rough edges here and there part of its inherent beauty. But the times have brought at least one 21st century necessity: lattes are available. The vibrant new business generated a laudatory article in the Burlington Free Press. MacKillop herself penned an editorial for a local paper that eloquently captures the spirit and letter of her creation: ‘The Brick represents childhood, adulthood, transitions and passages. It gives basis to vacation memories and the days of summer. People love the Brick not because of the goods it provides, but because of the memories it holds.’‘Judging to select winners was extremely challenging this year,’ noted Tasha Wallis. ‘There were so many outstanding retailers under consideration. But in the end, the three recipients stood out for the variety and quality of their laudable practices.The ROYs will be presented to the winners by Bonnie Hawley, President of VRA’s Board of Trustees, in an awards ceremony on Tuesday November 9 at 2 p.m. at Table 24 in Rutland. The press is invited to attend.
EXCLAMATION POINT—Serena Williams reacts to a point won against Justine Henin of Belgium, during the Women’s Singles finals at the Australian Open in Melbourne. King was at the stadium Saturday night to take part in a pre-match ceremony to honor the 40-year anniversary of Margaret Court’s four Grand Slam tournament wins in 1970.“Billie, we are tied,” Williams said. “So I’ve reached my goal.”Williams’ five Australian titles is the most by any woman in the Open Era, since 1968, surpassing the four held by Margaret Court, Evonne Goolagong Cawley, Steffi Graf and Monica Seles. Court holds 11 Australian Open titles overall, most coming before 1968.Henin, who had most of the crowd support at Rod Laver Arena, couldn’t match her fellow Belgian Kim Clijsters’ feat of winning in her Grand Slam comeback tournament. Clijsters won last year’s U.S. Open in her return from a two-year retirement after getting married and having a daughter.Williams won the last four games to clinch the championship in just over two hours, falling on her back in celebration after match point.“It was definitely a tough match mentally and physically,” Williams said. “We were both out there to prove something, and I think we did at the end of the day.”It was an impressive run by Henin. She lost in the final of the Brisbane International tournament to Clijsters two weeks ago.“It’s been a very emotional two weeks for me,” said Henin, who put her hand on her heart as she thanked the crowd for support. “I thought it would never happen to me again. I’d like to congratulate Serena. She’s a real champion.”“It’s good to have her back, it’s exciting,” Williams said of Henin. “She can definitely be No. 1, especially with our ranking system, if she keeps doing well.”The American holds an 8-6 edge in career meetings between the pair, including a 6-2, 6-0 win in Miami in 2008. At the time, it equaled the worst loss for a reigning No. 1, and Henin quit tennis two months later.Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova are Williams’ next goal, with 18 majors each.“Honestly, I’m just doing what I can. I obviously enjoy playing in Melbourne, clearly,” Williams said. “I never thought I could catch up with Martina, because she’s such an amazing champion.”Last Friday Serena and sister Venus won their fourth Australian Open doubles title beating Cara Black and Liezel Huber 6-4, 6-3 in the final at Rod Laver Arena. It was the 11th time the Williams sisters have combined for a Grand Slam doubles title. by Dennis PassaAssociated Press Writer MELBOURNE, Australia (AP)—Serena Williams won her second straight Australian Open championship, ending Justine Henin’s hopes of a Grand Slam title in her return from retirement with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 victory Jan. 30.Williams withstood a determined challenge from Henin before securing her fifth Australian Open title overall and 12th Grand Slam singles championship overall, tying Billie Jean King.