View Comments Following a sold-out tour of the United Kingdom, Cameron Mackintosh’s new production features a new set and staging. Based on the classic novel by Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera originally premiered in 1986 in the West End. The musical has been playing at Broadway’s Majestic Theatre since 1988. Grodin appeared in the national tour of Les Miserables. His additional credits include Into the Woods at the Delacorte Theater and The Golden Land. He released his debut album “It’s the Little Things” in 2012. Bravi, bravi, bravissimi! Cooper Grodin will don the mask in the new national touring production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera, replacing previously announced title star Mark Campbell. Grodin will begin performances January 9 at the Cadillac Palace Theatre in Chicago, IL. Campbell, who began performances November 27, has departed the production for personal reasons. Grodin will appear alongside Julia Udine as Christine Daae and Ben Jacoby as Raoul. In addition to Grodin, Udine and Jacoby, Phantom stars Jacquelynne Fontaine as Carlotta, Craig Bennett as Monsieur Firmin, Edward Staudenmayer as Monsieur Andre, Linda Balgord as Madame Giry, Frank Viveros as Piangi and Hannah Florence as Meg Giry.
INDONESIAN President Soharto joined ceremonies at Jakarta to mark completion of the first General Electric diesel locos to be built in Java. Three U20Cs assembled at Madiun (above) by joint venture company PT GE Lokindo were delivered on December 17.The joint venture between GE and Badan Pengelola Industri Strategis is intended to supply locomotives to the southeast Asian market under the Asean Free Trade Agreement. GE has invested over US$300m in the Madiun plant, and signed a technology transfer and staff training package with BPIS. The initial units are destined for Indonesia and the Philippines. o
Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero was not likely to be banned for his tackle on David Luiz, assistant boss David Platt believes. Aguero will not face retrospective action over his two-footed challenge on the Chelsea defender in Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final victory at Wembley. With referee Chris Foy having awarded a free-kick at the time of the incident, the Football Association considers the matter to have been dealt with. Some pundits have said the tackle warranted a red card but the FA does not like to ‘re-referee’ incidents which have been seen by officials, and Platt said: “I wasn’t surprised, based on the rules the FA has put in place if the officials have seen it.” The former England midfielder added: “There have been precedents set, and not only have precedents been set, they’ve actually gone on record and said if that’s the case – I wasn’t surprised. The rules are the rules. We don’t make them up, we adhere by them.” City manager Roberto Mancini has felt his team have suffered from some poor decisions this season, most notably when captain Vincent Kompany was sent off against Arsenal in January. The defender’s red card was later overturned on appeal. Platt has dismissed a suggestion that luck has evened itself out. He said: “I don’t know if it’s luck and whether we’ve had it. What is luck? I am not sure. It is a situation that has gone. I am not surprised he has got off. They are the rules, the officials saw it.” Playmaker David Silva, who missed Sunday’s game at Wembley with a hamstring injury, has all but been ruled out of Wednesday’s Premier League match against Wigan and is more likely to return against Tottenham this weekend. Platt said: “The game on Sunday was a bit too early for David. I think if we had pushed we probably could have got him ready for tomorrow evening but it would still be a risk. I think we will probably be pragmatic about it. We will see how he feels today but I think we’ll probably give him a full week’s training before the game at the weekend.” Right-backs Micah Richards and Maicon are both back in contention after knee injuries. Midfielder Jack Rodwell, sidelined for the past month with the latest in a series of hamstring injuries, is also in contention. Press Association
Americans are receiving unrequested packages of seeds in the mail, and they look they are from China. State agriculture departments say people should not plant the seeds because they could be harmful to plants and livestock. Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles saiys the types of seeds are unknown and could be harmful, stressing that they should not be planted.“We don’t know what they are, and we cannot risk any harm whatsoever to agricultural production in the United States,” he said. “We have the safest, most abundant food supply in the world and we need to keep it that way.”“At this point in time, we don’t have enough information to know if this is a hoax, a prank, an internet scam or an act of agricultural bio-terrorism,” he said. “Unsolicited seeds could be invasive and introduce unknown diseases to local plants, harm livestock or threaten our environment.”Residents of at least eight states have now received suspicious packages of seeds that appear to have originated from China, with officials in each urging people not to plant them, according to the Reuters news agency.”At this point in time, we don’t have enough information to know if this is a hoax, a prank, an internet scam or an act of agricultural bio-terrorism,” he said. “Unsolicited seeds could be invasive and introduce unknown diseases to local plants, harm livestock or threaten our environment.”Residents of at least eight states have now received suspicious packages of seeds that appear to have originated from China, with officials in each urging people not to plant them, according to the Reuters news agency.