Worker Participation Committee issues official recommendations

first_imgAnnmarie Soller University Executive Vice President John Affleck-Graves speaksduring a previous forum at McKenna Auditorium on Jan. 26.For the first time since 2001, products licensed by Notre Dame may soon bear the label “Made in China.” The University’s Worker Participation Committee announced its official recommendation to conduct two one-year pilot programs in Chinese manufacturing factories at a public forum Monday.University Executive Vice President John Affleck-Graves, a member of the Worker Participation Committee, said the committee formulated its finalized set of recommendations after two years of careful research and deliberation.According to the website of the Office of the Executive Vice President, University President Emeritus Fr. Edward “Monk” Malloy appointed a Task Force on Anti-Sweatshop Initiatives in 1999. As a result of the task force’s research and recommendations, in 2001 the University released a list of 11 countries, including China, in which manufacturers were prohibited from producing Notre Dame-licensed products.In 2013, Affleck-Graves appointed a committee to review Notre Dame’s Licensing Code of Conducts due to an increasing frequency of interactions between the University and China, according to the website of the Office of the Executive Vice President.The committee chose Verité, a non-profit organization, as its partner during the process of assessing worker participation in Chinese factories, Affleck-Graves said.“We chose China because it was a country that we didn’t produce in at the moment, and it was a country where we could get some cooperation from some of our manufacturers,” Affleck-Graves said. “Although they were making do in other countries, [our manufacturers] were very eager for us to consider China.”He said Verité designed a set of criteria with which it would assess six Chinese factories based upon workers’ rights to freedom of participation. Verité then puts the factories into subcategories based upon their levels of worker participation.The assessment concluded two of the six factories met the standards that the University would require for it to allow for production, and some committee members visited the Chinese factories to meet with the workers and managers after receiving Verité’s assessment, he said.“We like the Verité process,” Affleck-Graves said. “We like the people at Verité. But we felt it was important that we also visit the factories so we could get a sense of whether Verité’s assessment correctly or adequately reflected the views we would have of the conditions in those factories.”Affleck-Graves said the Workers Participation Committee recommends conducting a year-long pilot program in the two Chinese manufacturing plants that received good assessments from Verité. The companies would be reassessed regularly over the course of the year.“This is to determine whether workers’ rights have improved to the extent that factories meet and, more importantly, can sustain over time and under review a standard of performance acceptable to the University of Notre Dame,” Affleck-Graves said.Affleck-Graves said the committee also offers three additional recommendations based off of feedback from a public forum held in January. The committee selected eight factories currently manufacturing products licensed by Notre Dame in Bangladesh, India, El Salvador and Guatemala to assess and compare to the two factories in China.“People asked how we can compare these working conditions in China with other factories … and encouraged us to go to other countries where we commonly do production and use the same assessment tool to see if standards are being met,” Affleck-Graves said.Affleck-Graves said the committee will also use the pilot programs to broaden their assessment criteria to include more issues than worker participation.“There are lots of other issues that are very important in both China and the rest of the world,” Affleck-Graves said. “Things regarding safety, health conditions … what the proposal means is to take the assessment that Verité has done and broaden it to cover all these other issues as well.”The committee’s fourth recommendation is to continue to provide regular opportunities to update the campus community and listen to feedback while the pilot programs are implemented, he said.The Worker Participation Committee is exploring the possibility of assessing all factories producing Notre Dame-licensed products, Affleck-Graves said. He estimated 400 to 500 factories currently produce Notre Dame-licensed products and evaluating each one could take several years.“We’re hoping to take this pilot program and assist the feasibility of … a factory centric policy,” Affleck-Graves said. “We have an instrument that we can take into any factory that allows us to do a rigorous assessment of that factory and on the basis of that assessment to determine whether its appropriate or not to manufacture Notre Dame logo material in that factory.”Affleck-Graves said the committee hopes to provide a model for other universities and companies to follow.“One of Notre Dame’s missions is to be a source for good in the world,” Affleck-Graves said. “There’s a huge amount of manufacturing that goes on in China whether we like it or not. So we can stay out of it and we can influence people by not being in it … but it doesn’t make any difference to those people in China.”Affleck-Graves said University President Fr. John Jenkins reviewed the recommendations before Monday’s forum and said he is comfortable with them. He will likely approve them in the coming weeks, according to Affleck-Graves, after which the recommendations can be enacted.Tags: Chinese manufacturing, John Affleck-Graves, Worker Participation Committeelast_img read more

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ROTC units host vigil to honor veterans

first_imgChris Collins | The Observer In observance of Veteran’s Day, the Notre Dame ROTC units stood vigil for 24 hours at the Clarke Memorial Fountain, known popularly as “Stonehenge,” to honor the men and women who have served.The celebration of Veteran’s Day began at 5 p.m. on Nov. 10, when a 24-hour vigil at the Clarke Memorial Fountain, known by students as “Stonehenge,” began. According to a University press release, cadets and midshipmen from all three ROTC units stood guard at the four corners of the fountain during the vigil. This 24-hour vigil is a traditional event that Notre Dame ROTC units hold each year, according to the release.The vigil concluded with a ceremony on the quad on Nov. 11, exactly 24-hours after the guarding of the memorial began. Cadets and midshipmen filled the quad, standing in rank to show respect for all the living and deceased men and women who served before them.The ceremony began with the introduction of the official party, which included Fr. Pete McCormick, director of Campus Ministry; James Wagenbach, former U.S. solider and Vietnam veteran; Lt. Col. Christopher Pratt, commanding officer of Notre Dame Army ROTC and professor of military science; Cmrd. Frederick Landau, executive officer of Notre Dame Naval ROTC and professor of naval science; and Col. Frank Rossi, commanding officer of Notre Dame Air Force ROTC and professor of aerospace studies.The introduction was followed by a playing of the national anthem, a prayer led by McCormick and a brief history of Veteran’s Day.“By guarding the memorial, we are showing reverence and respect for the veterans and the fallen heroes,” Cadet Maj. Robert Szabo said. “We are remembering what those men did in those wars.”All cadets and midshipman who guarded the memorial were honored during the ceremony.“The 24-hour vigil they just completed is not only a tribute to veterans, but a testament to [the cadets’ and midshipmen’s] commitment, strength and character,” Col. Pratt said in a speech during the ceremony. “Although most have yet to serve, they represent the best and the brightest of our country. They chose a path of service to this great nation that less than one half of 1 percent choose these days.”Pratt then introduced Wagenbach, the keynote speaker. In his introduction, Pratt noted that Wagenbach was both a Notre Dame alum and veteran. According to Pratt, Wagenbach served as a recon platoon leader and armored cavalry troop commander in Vietnam. He was medically discharged for wounds received in combat and decorated with a Silver Star Medal, the third highest military decoration for valor, awarded for gallantry and action against the enemy.Wagenbach spoke about a Notre Dame very different than the one students know today. In his speech, Wagenbach said during his time at Notre Dame in the 1960s, there were 6,000 total undergraduate students, 4,000 of which participated in ROTC.“James Wagenbach is both an American treasure and hero, and we are honored to have him with us,” Pratt said.The ceremony concluded as veterans in attendance were asked to stand and be recognized. Finally, taps was played to honor those veterans who passed.“To honor the men and women who have served is of the utmost importance,” Szabo said. “Holding a 24-hour vigil for Veteran’s Day, culminating in the ceremony on the quad, is a great way to show the importance of Veteran’s Day on campus.”Tags: Air Force ROTC, Army ROTC, Clarke Memorial Fountain, Naval ROTC, ROTC, Veterans Day God. Country. Notre Dame.On Nov. 11, this traditional Notre Dame motto took on an even deeper significance as Veteran’s Day was observed on North Quad by Notre Dame’s Army, Navy and Air Force ROTC units.last_img read more

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Professor emeritus records with Cuban National Symphony

first_imgPhoto courtesy of Jeffrey Jacob When President Obama announced his plan to reestablish diplomatic relations with Cuba, allowing for more Americans to travel to the island, he opened the door to give Jeffrey Jacob a unique opportunity: to play with the Cuban National Symphony and record an original piece for piano and orchestra titled “Awakening.” Jacob, a professor emeritus of music at Saint Mary’s, was selected from 300 submissions to travel to Cuba for a week in April.Jacob said his interest in music stems from his parents, both of whom played the piano. He began piano lessons at five years old and went on to complete a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from the University of Cincinnati, a master’s degree from the Julliard School and a doctorate degree from Johns Hopkins University.Jacob said a U.S.-based recording company, PARMA Recordings, negotiated with the Cuban government to allow American composers and musicians to come to Cuba.“[PARMA] issued a call for scores,” he said. “I thought, ‘There’s no chance,’ but I had the score, and I was going to just send it out to orchestras to see if anyone would be interested.”Americans have not been able to travel to Cuba freely since the early 1960s, so the call for scores posed an unique opportunity for American composers, Jacob said.“At a very preliminary stage, I thought, ‘If this is selected, I’ll be piano soloist and composer with the Cuban National Symphony, and that will mean that I’m the first North American pianist in 50 years to perform and record my music with the Cuban National Symphony,’” he said.Jacob said the process for choosing the pieces began with PARMA, which sent selected pieces to Cuba for the musicians to choose from.“Nobody was more surprised,” Jacob said. “Nobody was more surprised than I was when I got the word. It was an email followed immediately by a phone call. My very first thought — and I didn’t say this to anyone — was, ‘This must be some sort of scam.’”But it was not a scam, and on April 16, Jacob flew to Cuba. He said he had played a festival for contemporary music in Cuba 29 years ago, but his experience this time around was widely different.Because Fidel Castro opened hotels targeted toward European tourists and relaxed laws about free enterprise, the Cuban economy has improved the standard of living for Cubans and has helped the country become more prosperous, though the Cuban people still largely struggle with poverty, Jacob said.“Things have changed enormously,” he said.Although Cuba and America did not have diplomatic relations for decades, Jacob said Cuban people are largely interested in having a relationship with Americans.“They want full access to the U.S.,” he said. “They want to be able to travel here; Cuban businesses desperately want U.S. tourist dollars and in general … there are millions of Cuban immigrants and their families in Miami and Florida and elsewhere in the U.S., so they were just delighted at this possibility of the opening of relations. They hope that it will some day lead to full diplomatic relations where there is freedom for travel and freedom for businesses.”Being in Cuba with music at the center of the trip helped unite the two cultures, Jacob said.“For Cuban musicians, music is really important,” he said. “They were delighted with the opportunity to be exposed to what’s going on. With the embargo, they had no idea what’s going on in the U.S. in terms of contemporary classical music. They were very open to everything.”Jacob, who speaks conversational Spanish, said he was able to talk with the musicians during their time together.“They were very curious about the U.S. and the things being written,” he said. “They were really eager for more exchanges like this.”He was impressed with the musicians’ work ethic and passion, he said.“At the first rehearsal, they had practiced the heck out of the piece,” he said. “They were extremely well prepared.”Jacob said the musicians went through the piece three times, after which he thought they were done, but the musicians insisted on running through it multiple times all day.“They were committed to getting every detail exactly right, every note, every nuance, every phrase,” he said. “That was the highlight.”Tags: Cuba, Cuban National Symphony, Jeffrey Jacoblast_img read more

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Mentors help ease college transition for new Belles

first_imgSaint Mary’s continued to use peer mentors as an integral part of their Belles Beginnings orientation this year, and according to seniors and current peer mentors Katie Frego and Kristie LeBeau, they will continue to play a large role in the first years’ transition throughout the next semester.Through the program, each first year works with an academic advisor based on her intended major, and each advisor picks a current student within the department to act as a peer mentor for the first years, Frego said.“It’s a great way for incoming freshman to meet others within their major and form strong connections,” she said. “These are the girls [they] will be going through classes with for the next four years.”Peer mentors have played a large role in the Belles Beginnings program for several years, and LeBeau said she appreciated the effort her own peer mentor put into making her transition an easy one. LeBeau first felt nervous when she arrived at the College, she said, but her peer mentor helped ease her nerves.“My peer mentor was really helpful in reassuring me that all of those feelings wouldn’t last long,” LeBeau said. “Seeing how much she loved Saint Mary’s made me hold onto the fact that I would get there one day, too. Now, I want to be that source of reassurance to this new class of Belles.”The peer mentors began their job by moving in early for training, Frego said, during which an alumna of the College hosted a workshop with the students.“She taught us how to facilitate small groups and gave us ice-breaker ideas,” Frego said. “She helped us discover our own passions and how to apply those to our groups. She showed us how to get the girls fired up and excited for the next four years.”According to Frego and LeBeau, peer mentors were very involved with their first-year groups from the start of orientation. They introduced them to campus resources such as the Belles Against Violence Office and assisted them with their class schedules.For LeBeau, acting as a peer mentor has been very rewarding.“I really love getting to know this new class of Belles and doing whatever I can to help them fall in love with Saint Mary’s like I did three years ago,” she said.Frego echoed LeBeau and said she is eager to share her passion about Saint Mary’s with the first years.“I’m so passionate about Saint Mary’s,” she said. “I love it, and I want them to feel the same way I do.”The peer mentors’ roles continues past orientation, Frego said, as they assist with the First-Year Common Course, which all first years are required to take. The class is taught by the academic advisors, and the peer mentors also attend and teach two sessions of the class themselves.“The classes are really focused on diving deeper into the history of Saint Mary’s and the history of Holy Cross,” Frego said.There are 10 sessions of the course, and the first years are also required to attend speeches by President Cervelli and Margaret Atwood, an author visiting campus, Frego said. She said the peer mentors are also helping to plan a visit with the first years to Bertrand, Michigan, where the Sisters of the Holy Cross originally lived.Both Frego and LeBeau believe this class of first years shows great potential for success. Frego said her group of first years are both excited and attentive to their studies, and LeBeau said she believes her first years are ready to handle the stresses of college.“This group of girls seems to have the confidence to take on the world,” LeBeau said. “I look at some of the girls from this class and think, ‘Wow, you are ready for this.’ I don’t remember being that confident as a first year. I think that they are all very prepared — whether they know it or not — and will make a strong class of Belles.”Tags: First Year Common Course, first years, peer mentorslast_img read more

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Tri-military celebration honors Veterans Day

first_imgArmy, Navy and Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) units gathered at the Clarke Memorial Fountain on Tuesday to participate in a Veterans Day celebration in honor of all of those who have served in the United States military. From 4:30 p.m. Monday until the ceremony Tuesday, midshipmen and cadets stood vigil at the Clarke Memorial Fountain, known by students as “Stonehenge,” to pay respects to service members. The ceremony began with an introduction of the official party, followed by a benediction by Fr. Peter Rocca and the playing of the national anthem.Lieutenant colonel Christopher Pratt, commanding officer of the Notre Dame Army ROTC and professor of military science, recognized the cadets and midshipmen.“Although most have yet to serve, [the cadets and midshipmen] represent the absolute best and brightest of this country and have chosen a path of service to this great nation that less than one-half of 1 percent of Americans make these days,” Pratt said.Pratt also acknowledged the cadets and midshipmen in regards to their identity as students of Notre Dame.“In addition to their academically rigorous schedules, [the cadets and midshipmen] get up early and stay up late for their military training,” he said. “The 24-hour vigil they just completed is not only a tribute to Veterans Day, but a testament to their commitment, strength and character.” Pratt then introduced the keynote speaker, Major Patrick Gibbons, who is retired Marine Corp and executive director of academic communications. Gibbons began by speaking about the purpose and the importance of celebrating Veterans Day.“Unlike Memorial Day which honors those who gave their life for the country, Veterans Day is designed for all of those who have served or are currently serving around the world, about 20 million Americans,” Gibbons said. Although only a small percentage of Americans comprise the military, Gibbons said, many of them become heroes after serving.Americans do not become heroes just by serving, but many of them achieve a heroic status later in life by changing lives as educators, business people, parents and coaches, Gibbons said.“And I think what causes it is that common bond [the veterans] got in the military, while they were in uniform,” he said. “There was a willingness to serve others; there was a dedication to become better people and better citizens. It was the ability to get along with people from many different backgrounds and the desire to be forces of good in the world.”Gibbons then spoke about the current military conflicts facing the United States.“Today, the nation is involved in its longest war; this is its 14th consecutive year,” he said. “These days it remains unclear what victory would actually look like in this new type of warfare we are fighting, and the war of terrorism we are facing all around.”The nation owes a great debt of gratitude to those who serve or who have served, Gibbons said, as many come home seriously wounded by both visible and invisible damage and also often need jobs and job training in order to assimilate back into their civilian lives.In the divided nation we live in, the military unites us in paying respect and honoring people who have served or who are serving now in the military, Gibbons said.Gibbons closed with a prayer, asking God to watch over the cadets and all serving in the military and their families. He was then presented with a plaque from the staff, cadets and midshipmen of the University tri-military as a thank-you for sharing his experiences and speaking in honor of Veterans Day.Fr. Rocca ended the ceremony with a closing prayer that called for peace in their time.Tags: Clarke Memorial Fountain, ROTC, tri-military, Veterans Daylast_img read more

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Professors share research about metastatic ovarian cancer, mitochondria

first_imgBroad issues relating to the detection of metastatic ovarian cancer and mitochondrial disease were placed under a magnifying glass at the College’s most recent installment of its faculty colloquium series, which took place in Madaleva Hall on Friday.Professor of biology Calli Versagli said metastatic ovarian cancer affects thousands of women in the U.S each year, though it often goes unnoticed until it spreads or intensifies.“What’s kind of the killer of ovarian cancer is that we don’t catch it early enough,” Versagli said. “Really only about 20 percent of those who present the illness are caught in that early stage or what we call stage one. … At stage one, the cancer is still confined to one or both of the ovaries. At stage two, typically the cancer has already spread throughout the pelvic region, and eventually, stage three is more where it’s completely gone to other parts of the abdomen, and finally, at stage four, it’s gone beyond the abdomen to other particular body parts.”Versagli said 17 percent of those who earn an official diagnosis at stage four of the illness survive, highlighting the need for adjustments to both the detection process and the treatment effectiveness.“I tried to understand some of the biological mechanisms behind these cells that are at this late stage, and how we could potentially target them,” she said. “One of the interesting things about this is that these cells, more or less, travel in … what we call the peritoneal fluid to these other areas within the abdominal cavity.”Understanding the movement pattern of these cells can potentially result in advancements regarding treatment, Versagli said.“These cells — typically epithelial cells — remain attached to your organs, and if they were floating around in other places, that really wouldn’t be healthy,” she said. “My question really is … how do epithelial ovarian cancer cells survive in this free-floating environment that they encounter to travel to these secondary sites?”Versagli said she believes antioxidant enzymes, which function within the cell to maintain balance, have a role to play.“These enzymes are increased in expression, meaning that there is a higher abundance of them in higher-grade tumors,” she said. “Their involvement in metastasis and the spreading … hasn’t been studied at all. So that’s really my major objective in my lab.”To achieve this ambition, Versagli said she obtained commercially-available ovarian cancer cells and put them in environments that simulate the free-floating atmosphere they encounter in metastatic ovarian cancer. “One of the first antioxidant enzymes I looked at was catalase,” she said. “I over-expressed catalase in these cells and put them into the soft-agar assay to see how well they survive. Interestingly enough, I found that when you over-express catalase in these ovarian cancer cells, we actually have an increased [number] of colonies that form, really suggesting that these cells seem to have an advantage over others at surviving in this free floating environment.”Conducting this research would not have been nearly as possible or as rewarding without the help of several students, she said. “It’s been a very interesting and exciting road for us,” Versagli said. Assistant professor of chemistry and physics Jennifer Fishovitz said a nuanced understanding of mitochondria’s purpose served as an essential component of her research about mitochondrial diseases.“Most of the cell’s energy that it needs to perform its daily tasks is produced in the mitochondria,” Fishovitz said. “The breakdown of [adenosine triphosphate] in the cell is used to power things like muscle contraction and chemical reactions.”Pollution, drugs, pesticides and other toxins can contribute to mitochondrial dysfunction, Fishovitz said, so studying proteins — particularly enzymes called proteases that break down other proteins — comprised a large portion of her research. “We take a DNA sequence that encodes for the protein that we want to study, and we put it into bacteria, and we take advantage of the machinery within the E.coli to use this DNA and to convert it into many copies of our protein,” she said. “We take that protein and test its activity in a test tube.”Mitochondrial fusion allows for the passage of information between two mitochondria at a point of cleavage, Fishovitz said. “We want to study whether or not this cleavage event … is beneficial for the cell,” she said. “We know it’s cleaved in the cell, but we don’t know what effect it has on the cell.”Identifying the exact site of cleavage will be beneficial in determining whether this transfer has beneficial or adverse implications.“There are various ways that we can do this,” she said. “One of these ways is using fluorescents. We can take this peptide and, on one end, we can put a fluorescent donor. When you put energy on it, it emits fluorescents. On the other end, you put a fluorescent quencher. … When this peptide is in tact, the donor and the quencher are close enough in space that you don’t see any fluorescent emission because it’s all absorbed by the quencher.”In the absence of adenosine triphosphate, Fishovitz said she did not observe any fluorescent emission, and in the presence of adenosine triphosphate, she said she saw an increase of fluorescents over time.“That gives us information about how that enzyme is working,” she said. “It also gives us an experiment to test drugs that could be inhibitors of these proteins. We’re working on getting the enzymes … to a place where we can use this assay.”Tags: faculty colloquium, fluorescent donor, fluorescent quencher, mitochondria, Saint Mary’s department of biologylast_img read more

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New members elected to Notre Dame Board of Fellows

first_imgShayla Keough Rumely and Sara Martinez Tucker were elected fellows of the University by the Notre Dame Board of Trustees on May 3, the University announced in a press release Wednesday. It was also announced that John J. Brennan, the chair of the Board, was elected to a second three-year term and president-elect of the Alumni Association Kevin Buckley would join the Board in an ex officio capacity beginning July 1.As fellows of the University — which consists of six lay peoples and six priests form the Congregation of Holy Cross — Rumely and Martinez Tucker will help elect members of the Board of Trustees and have the ability to “adopt and amend the bylaws” of the University, the release said. The fellows are also responsible for maintaining the Catholic character of the University.Rumely, a graduate of Notre Dame who received her J.D. at Emory University, has served a member of the Board of Trustees since 2002. Rumely practiced law for seven years and has also worked as publisher of the Fulton County Daily Report, a daily newspaper serving the Atlanta legal community. Prior to becoming a fellow, Rumely had served on the Notre Dame Law School Advisory Council for a decade.A graduate of the bachelor’s and master’s programs at the University of Texas at Austin, Martinez Tucker is a former U.S. under secretary of education, which made her the nation’s top higher education official. Martinez Tucker has also served as CEO of the National Math and Science Initiative, CEO and president of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund and chair of the University of Texas System board of regents.Tags: Board of Trustees, Fellows of the University, John Brennanlast_img read more

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Jamestown Man Pleads Guilty To Cocaine Charge, Faces 20 Years In Prison

first_imgBUFFALO – A Jamestown man, who is on parole, has pleaded guilty a cocaine trafficking charge and faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.Shaquelle Coleman, 27, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara to possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 21.Coleman was arrested with another absconding parolee, Earl Stone Jr., on Jan. 23, for violating terms of parole, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Meghan E. Leydecker, who is handling the case.Both were located in the upstairs bedroom of a residence on West 7th Street. During a search of the two defendants, law enforcement officers said they recovered $1,400 in U.S. Currency. They also recovered a quantity of suspected crack cocaine, a digital scale with white residue, and three cellular telephones from the residence. Stone was previously convicted and is awaiting sentencing.The plea is the culmination of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia; the Jamestown Police Department, under the direction of Acting Chief Timothy Jackson; the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, under the direction of under the direction of Acting Commissioner Anthony J. Annucci; and the New York State Police, under the direction Major James Hall. 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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Bullets Over Broadway Star Zach Braff Has a Sundance Hit With Wish I Was Here

first_img Bullets Over Broadway Related Shows Braff previously wrote and directed the 2004 feature film Garden State, which won the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature and a Grammy Award for its kick-ass soundtrack. He also wrote the play All New People, which premiered off-Broadway at Second Stage Theatre in 2011. Written with his brother, Adam Braff, Wish I Was Here stars Braff as a struggling L.A. actor, with Kate Hudson as his wife, Gad as his brother and Patinkin as his estranged, ailing father. The film was funded via a Kickstarter campaign which earned $3.1 million from fans, well over its $2 million goal. View Commentscenter_img While he’s making his Broadway debut as the lead of Bullets Over Broadway, Zach Braff will also be prepping his newest film Wish I Was Here for release. The drama, featuring stage stars like Mandy Patinkin and Josh Gad, has just been purchased by Focus Features for $2.75 million following a debut at the Sundance Film Festival. Braff will start singing and dancing in Bullets Over Broadway on March 11 at the St. James Theatre. Show Closed This production ended its run on Aug. 24, 2014last_img read more

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Mitch Leigh, Tony-Winning Composer of Man of La Mancha, Dies

first_img Leigh’s other Broadway writing credits include writing Cry for Us All in 1970, Home Sweet Homer in 1976, Sarava in 1979, Chu Chem in 1989, and his most recent offering, Ain’t Broadway Grand in 1993. He produced the 1983 production of Mame, starring Angela Lansbury, and was nominated for a Tony Award in 1985 for directing Yul Brynner in The King and I. Leigh continued to work in advertising. His most famous jingle is “Nobody Doesn’t Like Sara Lee.” Leigh is survived by his wife, Abby Kimmelman, and three children, Andy, Rebecca and David. Born Irwin Michnick in Brooklyn on January 30, 1928, Leigh graduated from Yale University in 1951 with a B.A. in music. He went on to get a Master’s degree, and then began his career as a jazz musician and writer of jingles for radio and television. He teamed up with scribe Dale Wasserman and lyricist Joe Darion to adapt Wasserman’s play I, Don Quixote into a musical. The result was the enduring Man of La Mancha, which garnered five Tony Awards, including Best Musical and one for Leigh’s score in 1965. Since then the musical has had four more Broadway outings; the last one was in 2002 and starred Brian Stokes Mitchell. Mitch Leigh, the Tony-winning composer of Man of La Mancha, died in Manhatan on March 16, according to The New York Times. The former commercial jingle writer, who penned the iconic song, “The Impossible Dream,” was 86. View Commentslast_img read more

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