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Coronavirus Deals One-Two Financial Punch To State Budgets

first_imgMGN Stock Image.ALBANY – The coronavirus is pounding state governments with a financial one-two punch, costing them millions to try to contain the disease just as businesses are shutting down and tax revenue is collapsing. The sharp drop in revenue could jeopardize some states’ ability to provide basic services.States ranging from tiny Rhode Island to California, with the world’s fifth-largest economy, have warned that many programs are likely to face cuts or even elimination.“I am gravely concerned about our ability to deliver basic services over the next six months to a year given the drop in revenues, and that’s why I am encouraging the Legislature to be extremely fiscally prudent,” Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, said about building the budget for the coming fiscal year.Many states are blowing through the multi-billion dollar rainy day funds they built up after the end of the Great Recession. Without that cushion, government finance experts say, states would have been in much worse shape. Virginia expects to take a hit of up to $2 billion. The result: Lawmakers may rescind the 2% annual raises just promised to teachers.Christine Melendez, a high school Spanish teacher in Chesterfield County, said losing the raises would be a “slap in the face” to teachers who have endured years of stagnant pay. Like teachers across the country, they are improvising online lesson plans after schools were shuttered.Melendez predicted there would be fierce pushback if teacher pay is not improved.“We can only take so much,” she said.States will get help from the $2.2 trillion stimulus passed by Congress this week and signed Friday by President Donald Trump. State, local and Native American tribal governments are in line for $150 billion in direct aid to combat the virus and could get more through other parts of the legislation.How far that will go is unclear as the outbreak grows more severe in many states and shutdown measures are all but certain to be extended.New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, ripped the GOP-led Senate’s version of the coronavirus package as “terrible” for New York and said, based on preliminary reports, that it would send the state some $4 billion in direct aid. A Tax Foundation estimate shows the state government in line for nearly twice that much.New York, which has become the epicenter of the coronavirus fight in the U.S., could see revenue drop by $15 billion, or about 8%, in the coming fiscal year, budget officials said. Another $12 billion that was expected to arrive soon will be delayed for months because the state, like others, is extending the tax filing deadline from April to July.“The response to this virus has probably already cost us $1 billion. It will probably cost several billion dollars when we’re done,” Cuomo said. “I’m telling you, these numbers don’t work.”The gloomy financial outlook is a sudden and stark turnaround after years in which a strong economy sent streams of cash into state coffers. Governors and lawmakers across the country had plans for that money: teacher raises, pre-K expansions, Medicaid for immigrants who are in the country illegally.Those wish lists are now looking more like pipe dreams.California has a $20 billion reserve but also relies heavily on capital gains, which swell the budget when the stock market is soaring. Gov. Gavin Newsom this week warned agency heads that a drop in economic activity would put their ambitions for new or expanded programs on hold.In Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine announced freezes on state-government hiring and new contract services. He also told cabinet members to look for immediate budget cuts of up to 20%.Only a month ago, Minnesota officials said the surplus for the fiscal year that goes through June would be $1.5 billion — $200 million more than previously expected. Now Gov. Tim Walz says most of the surplus would be set aside to deal with uncertainties brought by the virus.New Jersey announced this week that it would keep $920 million it had planned to spend between now and June to ensure cash flow. That’s more than 2% of the state’s current spending plan, but officials are warning that the budget impact could be deeper than that.In Tennessee, Gov. Bill Lee is now basing his budget plan for the fiscal year that starts July 1 on having an economy with no growth. Previously, he anticipated a growth rate of 3%.Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said the outbreak is projected to cause a drop of $353 million in state revenue through June. That represents about 6% of the state’s general fund budget.The U.S. has at least 100,000 confirmed infections of the new coronavirus, the most of any country. Across the globe, the virus has claimed at least 26,000 lives. Health authorities have said most people experience mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can be fatal; younger adults also have succumbed to the disease.Governors across the country have warned that the number of cases in their states is expected to spike in the coming weeks. While their shelter-in-place or shutdown orders have varied, schools and a wide array of businesses remain closed, dramatically reducing consumer spending and, in turn, government tax revenue.Some states are being hit especially hard, including those that rely on tourism.The Nevada Resort Association says taxes on tourism have paid for about 38% of the state’s general fund budget in recent years. The governor there has frozen state hiring and limited government purchases.Rhode Island loses about $1 million in state revenue for each day its two casinos are closed. Gov. Gina Raimondo is warning that the virus’ widening economic fallout could lead to government layoffs in a state that already was facing a $200 million shortfall. Rhode Island lawmakers also approved borrowing up to $300 million to help the state cover its bills.“Furloughs and layoffs are things you want to avoid at all costs,” Raimondo said. “They were considered in the last recession, but it all depends on how quick we get the economy back on track and how robust the federal government response is.” Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Cuomo Says He Will Tour Bills Stadium To Decide If Fans Should Be Allowed In

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window),Who the hell does this dictator think he is. It is time that the business owners in nys enlist Mr. Cambria to represent them as well and get this dictators powers stripped from him through a federal court. Some of His orders have already been deemed unconstitutional by a federal judge. Nys stand up and fight for what you believe in and fight for your freedom before you have no freedoms left thanks to king Cuomo. We continue to let this man do what he is doing and he keeps these powers until April of 2021 no one will recognise this state at that point. MGN ImageORCHARD PARK – There’s still a glimmer of hope for Bills fans wanting to attend the October 15 game.Governor Andrew Cuomo now plans to come and tour Bills Stadium to help him decide if and when fans should be allowed inside.The announcement comes one day after the Bills announced there would be no fans in the stands for the foreseeable future.“I am 100% eager about the games but I’m gonna go out, meet with the team leadership, tour the stadium,” Gov. Cuomo said on a press phone call Wednesday. “We have engineers looking at the situation now to see if there’s a way we can work it out- but again with safety, the complicating factor, the overall infection rate in WNY, but we’re working on it and we’re working on it actively.” The Governor did not say when he will be touring the stadium.On Tuesday, the Bills organization released a statement saying they won’t be allowing fans back into Bills Stadium anytime soon.Last month, the team announced there wouldn’t be fans at the first two home games of the season based on guidance from the department of health.last_img read more

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Jamestown Red Raiders Release Fall Sports Policy, Limits Spectators

first_imgJAMESTOWN — No more than two spectators per athlete will be allowed to attend sporting events under the Jamestown Public School Districts just released Fall sports policy.The Chautauqua Cattaraugus Athletic Association has printed up two season passes to be given to each participating athlete.Spectators will be required to use masks and socially distance at events.In addition, some schools may perform health screenings for spectators. Because of limited seating, no spectators will be allowed to attend Jamestown High School swim meets.Last month, state athletic leaders gave the ‘okay’ for low-risk fall sports like cross country, field hockey, golf, gymnastics, soccer, girls swimming and girls tennis to start practice.Activities deemed ‘high risk,’ like competitive cheerleading, football and volleyball for Section VI are on hold until the spring season. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Here’s Johnny, Live on Stage! Stephen King’s The Shining Will Premiere at Nebraska Theater

first_img The innovative Omaha theater company will use the production as a fundraiser to purchase and renovate a 1923 theater as their home base. Come play with us, forever and ever! Or for two nights. The Benson Theatre in Nebraska is staging a new theatrical version of Stephen King’s novel, The Shining. According to The New York Times, the adaptation, written by Jason Levering and Aaron Sailo, is set for performances on March 21 and 22. King’s horror novel follows alcoholic writer Jack Torrance who slowly goes mad while supervising an isolated resort with his family during a snowstorm. Jack Nicholson famously portrayed Jack opposite Shelley Duvall in the Stanley Kubrick-directed film adaptation in 1980. The Shining is not the first King novel to make its way to a stage. Most famously Carrie was adapted into a musical that was revived off-Broadway in 2012. Other King works on stage include Misery, Dolores Claiborne and Ghosts of Darkland County. View Commentslast_img read more

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Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Stephen Ward to Close in London’s West End

Featuring a book and lyrics by Christopher Hampton and Don Black (who collaborated with Lloyd Webber on Sunset Boulevard), Stephen Ward tells the story of the scandalous Profumo Affair of 1963, in which Secretary of State John Profumo had an affair with a call girl by way of an osteopathic experimentalist (the titular Stephen Ward) who stands trial for pimping out clients. The production stars Alexander Hanson as Ward, with Charlotte Spencer as Christine Keeler, Charlotte Blackledge as Mandy Rice-Davies, Anthony Calf as Lord Astor, Daniel Flynn as John Profumo, Joanna Riding as Valerie Hobson, Ian Conningham as Ivanov, Chris Howell as Murray, Ricardo Coke Thomas as Lucky Gordon and Wayne Robinson as Johnny Edgecomp. The world premiere of Stephen Ward, the latest musical from legendary composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, has set a closing date of March 29 in London’s West End. Directed by five-time Olivier winner Richard Eyre, the show began previews at the Aldwych Theatre on December 3, 2013 and opened on December 19.  View Comments read more

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Big Brother is Watching! 1984 to Transfer to London’s West End

first_img View Comments April, 1984. 13:00. Comrade 6079, Winston Smith, thinks a thought, starts a diary, and falls in love. But Big Brother is always watching. The cast at the Almeida currently includes Mark Arends, Tim Dutton, Stephen Fewell, Christopher Patrick Nolan, Matthew Spencer, Gavin Spokes, Mandi Symonds and Hara Yannas. 1984 has design by Chloe Lamford, lighting design by Natasha Chivers, sound design by Tom Gibbons and video designed by Tim Reid. The show will conclude its run at the Almeida March 29. 1984 is set to transfer from London’s Almeida Theatre to the West End. Based on George Orwell’s classic 1949 novel and adapted and co-directed by Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan, the show will run April 28 through July 19 at the Playhouse Theatre. Opening night is set for May 8.last_img read more

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Beyond Therapy Starts Previews Off-Broadway

first_img Related Shows Beyond Therapy premiered off-Broadway in 1981. Directed by Jerry Zaks, the cast included Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Collins and Jim Borrell. The 1982 Broadway production, directed by John Madden, starred Dianne Wiest and John Lithgow. In 1987, Durang adapted the play for the screen with director Robert Altman. The film version starred Julie Hagerty, Jeff Goldblum, Glenda Jackson and Tom Conti. Life can be crazy. Therapy can help? The first New York revival of Tony nominee Christopher Durang’s Beyond Therapy begins performances off-Broadway March 11. Directed by Scott Alan Evans, the comedy will will play a limited engagement through April 19 at the Beckett Theatre at Theatre Row. Opening night is set for March 25. In Beyond Therapy, Prudence and Bruce are two urbanites seeking romance with the help of their psychiatrists, each of whom suggests the patients try personal ads. Discovering that the therapists may be more disturbed than Prudence and Bruce, complications ensue. The comedy is about the search for a meaningful relationship in an insane world and may provide the best therapy of all—laughter. The production stars Mark Alhadeff, Cynthia Darlow, Jeffrey C. Hawkins, Liv Rooth, Karl Kenzler and Michael Schantz.center_img View Comments Beyond Therapy Show Closed This production ended its run on April 19, 2014last_img read more

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Follow the Odyssey of Hedwig, From Underground Club to B’way

first_imgLadies and gentlemen, whether you like it or not…Hedwig and the Angry Inch is back in New York City! How I Met Your Mother star and Tony host extraordinaire Neil Patrick Harris is stepping into the transgender rock star’s high-heeled boots, where he’ll be rocking out all summer long (without an understudy) at the Belasco Theatre. So put on some makeup, turn on the eight track, and read below to find out how Hedwig transformed from a late-night dive bar act into an internationally beloved rock musical. The world wigged out After the success of the film, productions of the musical popped up all over the globe, including Puerto Rico, Prague, Brazil, Korea and Japan. Hed-Heads (a term for Hedwig fans coined by Mitchell) declared their love by getting Hedwig’s signature tattoo, based on the love story from Plato’s Symposium. Hedwig “shadowcasts,” where actors perform along with a movie screening a la The Rocky Horror Picture Show, continue to play all over the United States. Hedwig and the Angry Inch See Hedwig and the Angry Inch at the Belasco Theatre. View Comments The creators met on a plane The story of Hedwig begins at an altitude of 30,000 feet. John Cameron Mitchell, an actor who had appeared in Big River on Broadway, struck up a conversation with Stephen Trask, a rock musician, while on a flight from Los Angeles to New York in 1989. “We were united by a common aesthetic right from the beginning,” Trask told New York magazine. “John was the only other person on the plane who didn’t have his headset on, watching When Harry Met Sally.” Tommy Gnosis was the main character The pair became friends after touching down in New York City, and Mitchell went to see Trask and his band Cheater play at SqueezeBox, a punk-rock drag party at the SoHo club Don Hill’s. Mitchell approached Trask and asked if he would help him compose music for a character named Tommy Gnosis, the son of a general who, like Mitchell, was raised in a strict Catholic household. In 1994, Mitchell brought Tommy to life for the first time, accompanied by Trask and his band. The score is a rock collage As Trask developed Hedwig’s songs into a full-length musical, he was inspired by a variety of different rock musicians. “The Hedwig score is in many ways just one big Lou Reed mash-up,” the composer told Out magazine. The musical namechecks Reed, as well as David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Toni Tennille, Debbie Boone, Anne Murray and many more. The musical also draws inspiration from Plato’s Symposium—the lyrics to the song “Origin of Love” are loosely adapted from the philosophical text. Miss Hedwig became a movie star After the success of the off-Broadway production, Mitchell began working on a screenplay for a movie adaptation of Hedwig. Filmed with a $6 million budget, Mitchell directed the film and reprised the role of Hedwig, with Michael Pitt (Bully, Boardwalk Empire) as Tommy Gnosis. Mitchell and the band opted to record the film’s score live (over a decade before the Les Miserables movie did) to give the songs a grittier, rock concert sound. It paid off—Hedwig took home the Best Director and Audience Awards at the Sundance Film Festival, and Mitchell garnered a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor. Hedwig is based on a real woman The duo continued to play at SqueezeBox, and soon, a character based on Mitchell’s childhood babysitter, a woman named Helga, evolved. “She was a German army wife but also a prostitute,” Mitchell, an army brat whose father was a general, told the BBC. “She provided the visual inspiration for Hedwig.” In real life, Helga was a biological woman, but Mitchell’s Hedwig was an an East German rock singer with a botched sex-change operation and a wild hairdo made from toilet paper rolls wrapped around a synthetic wig. Hedwig quickly became a more popular character than Tommy, and was soon the focal point of the act at SqueezeBox.center_img Show Closed This production ended its run on Sept. 13, 2015 Neil Patrick Harris Related Shows Stars flocked to the show Hedwig and the Angry Inch opened at the Jane Street Theatre on February 14, 1998, and it was both a critical success and a fan favorite. “Parker Posey has seen the show four times, Glenn Close twice,” New York magazine reported. “David Bowie blew off the Grammys for a night with Hedwig, an actress-model on each arm; Danny DeVito scaled six flights of stairs to meet the young phenomenon; Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson made out as Mitchell sang a love song (‘I took it as a compliment,’ he says).” It couldn’t find a theater Hedwig transferred to New York City’s Westbeth Theatre Center in 1997, and was billed as “part Ziggy Stardust concert and part Marlene Dietrich cabaret.” Mitchell, who was now an alum of Broadway’s The Secret Garden and Six Degrees of Separation, played the title role, featuring Trask as the show’s musical director Skszp and Miriam Shor (in drag) as Hedwig’s downtrodden husband Yitzhak. It shuttered after a short run. “We’ve always been sort of the ugly kid on the block,” Mitchell told New York magazine. After briefly considering a transfer to a steakhouse on Wall Street, Mitchell discovered the Hotel Riverview, a hotel with a ballroom that once housed the surviving crew of the Titanic. It was a perfect fit. Hello, New York! 14 years after its final off-Broadway performance, Hedwig is back in New York City, in a newly reimagined production directed by Michael Mayer, featuring Lena Hall as Yitzhak and starring How I Met Your Mother favorite Neil Patrick Harris in the title role. “[Hedwig] is such a left turn from what people have been seeing me do recently, which is an alpha-male womanizing dude on mainstream TV,” Harris told “Hedwig is such a complicated role in almost every way: Physically transformative, emotionally damaged, bizarrely funny and rock-and-roll in a way that I’ve never been. It’s challenging me on a bunch of different levels. And I like challenges.” Star Files Everyone wanted to take a stab Hedwig quickly became the toast of the off-Broadway theater scene, winning an Obie Award and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway musical before closing off-Broadway on April 9, 2000. When Mitchell left the production, actors couldn’t wait to try Hedwig’s inch on for size. Former off-Broadway Hedwigs include Michael Cerveris, Kevin Cahoon, Asa Somers, Donovan Leitch, Ally Sheedy and Matt McGrath. Anthony Rapp, Constantine Maroulis [pictured above] and Jinkx Monsoon also played the role regionally. (Fun fact: Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland once played a concert in full Hedwig drag!)last_img read more

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Pageant Gets a New Host: John Bolton Will Join Cast

first_img View Comments Conceived by Robert Longbottom, Pageant features contestants desperately vying for a glittering tiara. With swimsuit, talent and evening gown competitions, the show includes both the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. Unlike some (though possibly not all) beauty pageants you’ve seen before, the female contestants are all played by men and the audience gets to select the winner each night. The show is penned by two-time Tony nominee Bill Russell and Frank Kelly and features music by Albert Evans. Pageant: The Musical Bolton joins a cast that includes Nick Cearley, Alex Ringler, Marty Thomas, Seth Tucker, Curtis Wiley and Nic Cory. Broadway alum John Bolton will join the cast of Pageant: The Musical off-Broadway. He will assume the role as the host beginning July 6, taking over for Emmy winner Kevin Meaney. Preview performances began on June 29 at the Davenport Theatre, where it will run on Sunday and Monday evenings through September 1. Opening night is set for July 14.center_img Bolton most recently appeared on Broadway in A Christmas Story. His additional credits include Curtains, Spamalot, Contact, Titanic, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Damn Yankees. On screen, he has been seen in TV series including Gossip Girl, The Good Wife and Boardwalk Empire. Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on Oct. 26, 2014last_img read more

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Honeymoon in Vegas Stars Rob McClure & Tony Danza Visit!

first_img Honeymoon in Vegas You know the old adage, “What happens at stays at” Well, we just can’t keep this news to ourselves! Honeymoon in Vegas stars Rob McClure and Tony Danza took a trip to’s New York City headquarters on October 1 to chat about the new musical by Jason Robert Brown and Andrew Bergman with the Group Sales team. Directed by Gary Griffin, the stage adaptation of the 1992 movie tells the story of Jack Singer (McClure), a regular guy with an extreme aversion to marriage who finally asks his girlfriend to marry him—but when smooth-talking gambler Tommy Korman (Danza) falls head over heels for Betsy, things get a little crazy. Honeymoon in Vegas begins performances November 18 at the Nederlander Theatre on Broadway! Star Files View Comments Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on April 5, 2015 Rob McClurelast_img read more

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