___________________________________________________________________________________________We apologize. We are having technical issues with our comment sections and fan community and it is temporarily unavailable. We are actively working on these issues and hope to have it up and running soon. We are also working on enhancements to provide a better forum for our fans. We appreciate your patience and apologize for the inconvenience.
View Comments Nikki Davis-Jones has proven so popular as Elphaba in the current U.K. tour of Wicked that she will be taking over from Willemijn Verkaik in the role in the West End production from October 27. Also joining the cast on that date are Liza Sadovy as Madame Morrible and Philip Childs as Doctor Dillamond, taking over Sue Kelvin and Paul Clarkson respectively. Verkaik, Kelvin and Clarkson will all play their final performances on October 25 at London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre. Wicked has music and lyrics by multi Grammy and Academy Award winner Stephen Schwartz, a book by Winnie Holzman, musical staging by Wayne Cilento and is directed by two-time Tony winner Joe Mantello. The West End cast also currently includes Savannah Stevenson as Glinda, Jeremy Taylor as Fiyero, Martyn Ellis as The Wizard, Sam Lupton as Boq and Katie Rowley Jones as Nessarose. Davis-Jones’ stage credits include Blues in the Night, Rent, LIFT and Little Women. She will play her final performance in the Wicked U.K. Tour on September 6 at Birmingham Hippodrome. Sadovy appeared in La Bête on Broadway and in the West End. Her many other theater credits include Oliver! and Sunday In The Park with George. Child’s stage credits include The Hired Man, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, People and The Habit of Art.
• Photo Gallery: Pavilion last floats DUARTE – After a 12-year run, this is the last time Duarte’s Tournament of Roses Buena Vista Pavilion will be the site of Rose Parade float building. Award-winning Fiesta Parade Floats, which occupies the pavilion at 1727 Buena Vista St., plus a five-acre lot and 30,000-square-foot tent at 2144 Buena Vista St., is moving to an 80,000-square-foot building at 16016 Avenida Padilla in Irwindale. “So when we bring our floats back Wednesday we’re going to take them straight to the new building,” said Tim Estes, Fiesta Parade Floats president. “This is the third time we’ve moved in the last 20 years,” he said, “and I hope it’s the last.” The five-acre lot belongs to City of Hope and officials there said they need it for expansion. City of Hope charged the Tournament of Roses $1 a year to use the property. Initially it was for four or five years, but it turned into 12. “This is the most popular decorating site,” said Duarte Councilwoman Lois Gaston, who’s been involved in managing the five-acre site since it opened. “It’s the only site where you can get guided tours in English and Spanish and, with a reservation, in Mandarin Chinese,” she said. “And it’s handicapped accessible.” The first year at the site was rough, Gaston said, with neighbors concerned about floats driving on streets and traffic congestion from visitors. Gaston said about 40,000 people from around the world and across the U.S. visit the location during four days of float viewing. The Duarte Community Coordinating Council, an umbrella organization for 25 to 30 Duarte nonprofits, managed the site, taking care of parking, concessions and ticket sales, leaving Fiesta employees free to concentrate on float building. About 300 volunteers from various groups work at the locations and Gaston said some nonprofits make enough money to support their activities all year. “We have tour guides who have been doing this for 12 years,” Gaston said. “They learn about each float so they can answer visitors’ questions. We take this seriously. We provide food for the float builders, too.” Managing the site has brought Duarte residents of all races, ages and incomes together, Gaston said, and improved relations within the city. The Tournament of Roses has asked the coordinating council to manage the Irwindale site, and they’re willing to do so, but the final decision will be up the Irwindale City Council, Gaston said. At least two people said this will be their last year as volunteers. “I’m happy it’s moving from Duarte,” said Bessie Mullins, 69. “This will be my last year here. It’s hard getting up early in the morning. It’s just lots of work and I’m just getting too old.” Karl Hallie, 73, said health problems will prevent him working as a volunteer. “This is my last year,” he said. “I have kidney failure so I’m not going to be able to work anymore. I’m not going to follow them to Irwindale. I’ve had a great time. Being management, I have to open up everything. I’m normally the first one here. I’ll miss it.” [email protected] (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4475 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!