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Review: Guthrie Theater’s ‘Emma” is no great match

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Review: Guthrie Theater’s ‘Emma” Is No Great Match

What would happen if you combined one of the early-19th-century novels of English author Jane Austen with a screwball film comedy of the 1930s or ’40s?

You might have something like the Guthrie Theater’s production of “Emma,” an adaptation by Kate Hamill that premiered this weekend. But it would probably be a lot more fun if the onstage pace were a little closer to screwball speed.

In terms of tempo, this “Emma” seems to be playing things halfway between a conventional Austen adaptation (see the Guthrie’s 2016 production of Hamill’s “Sense and Sensibility”) and Park Square Theatre’s brisk, brilliant 2019 take on Hamill’s “Pride and Prejudice,” which remains the funniest piece of Twin Cities theater I’ve experienced in the past five years.

So it seems that Hamill and director Meredith McDonough have set out to create a summer frolic with a side order of feminist food for thought. With a late-last-century dance pop soundtrack and characters who regularly remind you that you’re watching a play in a theater in Minneapolis, the production clearly wishes to shake you out of the period comedy mindset.

But I came away wondering if Hamill hadn’t exhausted most of what she wanted to say with the author’s work, and was now just seeking laughter without offering much insight. Hardcore Austen fans will almost certainly be disappointed.

Mind you, it doesn’t diverge significantly from the novel’s plot. Emma Woodhouse is a well-educated, moneyed 20-year-old intent upon finding suitable mates for the women around her, both to bring happiness and because marriage was the only means for women to achieve any kind of economic stability in the England of the era.

So Emma seeks a match for a relatively hapless new friend, Harriet, while dealing with the re-emergence of an old rival and the arrival of a freshly wealthy bachelor. In the meantime, we’re invited to a strawberry-picking party, a ball and to have a bowl of gruel with Emma’s father.

Constantly at the center of the action is Amelia Pedlow’s Emma, who embodies well the spirit of this aspiring Cupid, but, alas, doesn’t enunciate as clearly as one might expect from someone so wealthy and well-educated. (I lost a lot of lines, which I didn’t find true elsewhere in the cast.) Ably playing something of her straight man is Carman Lacivita, a gentlemanly George
Knightley with a dash of petulant child.

In a play about women and their (limited) choices, results vary in how Hamill has drawn these women and how they’re portrayed. As a Harriet over the top in awkwardness, Samantha Steinmetz is entrusted with much of the physical comedy and the play’s key transformation, but is burdened with the same cartoonish approach to characterization that befalls most of the cast.

While there’s too much ice to Christine Weber’s Jane Fairfax, Brenda Withers provides a solid center to the action as Emma’s wise former governess, who ultimately gets to deliver the author’s message when things turn a tad more serious in the second act.

Underlining the tone of shaking up a classic, Lex Liang has designed an ornate picture frame of a proscenium that’s askew and seemingly tumbling forward, a lush hillside full of mansions within it. But this “Emma” occupies a middle ground between what’s great about Austen and what’s great about screwball comedy without giving a strong enough sense of either.

When: Through Aug. 21
Where: Guthrie Theater, 818 Second St. S., Mpls.
Tickets: $80-$26, available at 612-377-2224 or
Capsule: Jane Austen played for laughs and light on the insight.

Rob Hubbard is a Twin Cities arts writer. He can be reached at [email protected]



Stephen A. Smith: Ben Simmons ‘swears he’s ready to go’

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Stephen A. Smith: Ben Simmons ‘Swears He’s Ready To Go’

Nets star Ben Simmons feels good.

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith said he ran into Simmons and had a conversation with the star forward who has yet to play a game in a Nets jersey.

Smith, while on a rant about Kevin Durant’s holdout potential in Brooklyn, said he and Simmons are now on better terms. He also said Simmons told him he’s ready to play – now.

“He’s ready to go,” Smith said Monday morning on ESPN’s First Take. “He swears he’s ready to go.”

This is a positive development for Simmons, whose lingering back troubles required a midseason epidural and ultimately a microdiscectomy procedure this offseason.

Simmons did not play the front half of the season citing mental health issues that kept him off the floor while he forced a trade from the Philadelphia 76ers to the Nets for James Harden. When he arrived in Brooklyn, he continued to cite mental health issues, but while ramping up his conditioning, Simmons aggravated a back injury that dated back to 2020.

A healthy Simmons is critical for the Nets’ chances of assembling a competitive team, regardless of Durant’s status. Durant requested a trade on June 30, then reiterated that request to Nets governor Joe Tsai over the Aug. 7 weekend, issuing Tsai an ultimatum: either trade him, or fire both general manager Sean Marks and head coach Steve Nash.

Tsai responded to reports of the ultimatum with support for both Marks and Nash on Twitter.

“Our front office and coaching staff have my support,” the Alibaba magnate tweeted. “We will make decisions in the best interest of the Brooklyn Nets.”

Getting a healthy Simmons on the floor is in the best interest of the Nets, regardless of whether or not Simmons is more willing to take jump shots. When healthy, he is a top-three perimeter defender in all of basketball, a premier athlete and one of the best playmakers at 6′10″ the NBA has seen.

He can also play multiple positions, and the Nets plan to use him both as a center and point guard.

If Simmons is healthy and ready to go for training camp, the Nets can continue to compete at a high level, especially if Kyrie Irving remains a Net, motivated on a one-year deal. They can also continue to sell Durant on staying in Brooklyn – despite his desire to play elsewhere – because a healthy Simmons gives the Nets a Big Three that can compete for a championship.

Simons has not played since the Atlanta Hawks eliminated his Philadelphia 76ers in the second round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs. Both Doc Rivers and last year’s MVP runner-up Joel Embiid blamed Simmons’ unwillingness to shoot as a chunk of the reason the team came up short. Simmons took just four, six and four shots in Games 5, 6 and 7 of the series


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Family of firefighters: A mother-daughter firefighting duo in Washington state hopes to pave the way for women

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Family Of Firefighters: A Mother-Daughter Firefighting Duo In Washington State Hopes To Pave The Way For Women

WASHINGTON STATE — A mother-daughter duo not only share the same craft and passion, they also hope to pave the way for young girls around the world.

Katie Benitz says she always wanted to be like her mother.

“She was always my biggest idol,” Benitz said. “I always looked up to her and said yes, I want to be like her.”

Captain Bonnie Rogers became her department’s first female firefighter in Washington State in 2010.

After graduating from high school last year, Katie went straight to training as a firefighter.

“Just because it was good for me, I didn’t know if it would be good for her,” Rogers said. “But she absolutely does. She just shines when she talks about fire and EMS.”

Earlier this month, when a forest fire broke out, mother and daughter were called to work.

The two briefly stopped to take a photo to mark the occasion.

They hope to inspire other young girls to take up firefighting.

Copyright © 2022 KGO-TV. All rights reserved.


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Giuliani is the target of an election investigation, his lawyers say – The Denver Post

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Giuliani Is The Target Of An Election Investigation, His Lawyers Say - The Denver Post


ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta prosecutors told lawyers for Rudy Giuliani on Monday he was the target of their criminal investigation into possible unlawful attempts by then-President Donald Trump and others to interfere in the 2020 general election in Georgia, one of Giuliani’s lawyers said. Monday.

Special Prosecutor Nathan Wade alerted Giuliani’s local attorney in Atlanta that the former New York City mayor could face criminal charges, another Giuliani attorney, Bob Costello, said. News of the disclosure was first reported by The New York Times.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis opened the investigation last year and a special grand jury was appointed in May at his request. County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney, who oversees the special grand jury, asked Giuliani to appear before the panel to testify on Wednesday.

Willis’ investigation was spurred by a phone call between Trump and Georgian Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. During that January 2021 conversation, Trump suggested that Raffensperger might “find” the votes needed to undo his short loss in the state.

It has also become clear that the District Attorney is interested in the Georgia Legislative Committee hearings held in December 2020, during which Giuliani appeared and spread false allegations of voter fraud in Fulton County in Atlanta. .

Willis filed petitions last month seeking to compel seven Trump associates and advisers to testify. Because they don’t live in Georgia, she had to use a process that involves asking a judge in the states where they live to order them to appear.

In a petition seeking Giuliani’s testimony, Willis identified him as both Trump’s personal attorney and his campaign’s lead attorney. She wrote that he and others appeared at a state Senate committee meeting and presented a video that Giuliani said showed election officials producing “suitcases” of illegal ballots from sources. unknown, out of sight of election observers.

Within 24 hours of that December 3, 2020 hearing, Raffensperger’s office had debunked the video. But Giuliani continued to make statements to the public and in subsequent legislative hearings alleging widespread voter fraud using the debunked video, Willis wrote.

Evidence shows that Giuliani’s appearance and testimony “was part of a coordinated multi-state plan by the Trump campaign to influence the results of the November 2020 election in Georgia and elsewhere,” the petition states.

Also on Monday, a federal judge ruled US Senator Lindsey Graham was set to testify before a special grand jury in Atlanta investigating whether then-President Donald Trump and his allies broke laws while trying to overturn his defeat in the 2020 general election in the state.

Lawyers for Graham, RS.C., had argued that his position as a U.S. senator afforded him immunity from having to appear before the investigating committee and asked the judge to quash his subpoena. But U.S. District Judge Leigh Martin May wrote in an order Monday that immunities tied to his role as a senator did not protect him from having to testify. Graham’s subpoena orders him to appear before the special grand jury on August 23, but his office said Monday it plans to appeal to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Prosecutors said they want to question Graham about phone calls they allegedly made with Georgian Secretary of State Raffensperger and his staff in the weeks following Trump’s election loss to Democrat Joe Biden.

Graham had argued that a provision of the Constitution provides absolute protection against a senator questioned on legislative acts. But the judge found there are “considerable areas of potential grand jury inquiry” that fall outside the scope of that provision. The judge also rejected Graham’s argument that the principle of “sovereign immunity” protects a senator from being summoned by a district attorney.

Graham also argued that Willis, a Democrat, failed to demonstrate the extraordinary circumstances necessary to compel testimony from a senior official. But the judge disagreed, finding Willis had shown “extraordinary circumstances and a special need” for Graham’s testimony on matters related to an alleged attempt to influence or disrupt the Georgia election.

May, the judge, last month rejected a similar attempt by U.S. Representative Jody Hice, R-Ga., to avoid testifying before the special grand jury. Former New York City Mayor and Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani had argued he couldn’t travel to Atlanta to testify due to health issues, but Fulton County Judge McBurney ordered him to appear on Wednesday.

Graham’s office said in a statement on Monday that the senator disagreed with the judge’s interpretation of the Constitution provision that he said protects him from questioning by a government official. State. His lawyers said he was conducting investigations that were clearly part of his legislative duties, related to certifying the vote and proposing election legislation.

But the judge wrote that this ignores “the fact that interviewees publicly suggested that Senator Graham was not merely engaged in a legislative inquiry, but rather was suggesting or implying that Georgia election officials change their processes or potentially change state results.

In calls made shortly after the 2020 general election, Graham “asked Raffensperger and his team about re-examining certain absentee ballots cast in Georgia to explore the possibility of a more favorable outcome for the ‘former President Donald Trump,’ Willis wrote in a petition.

Graham also “referenced allegations of widespread voter fraud in Georgia’s November 2020 election consistent with public statements made by known Trump campaign affiliates,” she wrote.

Republican and Democratic state election officials across the country, the courts, and even Trump’s attorney general found there was no evidence of voter fraud sufficient to affect the outcome of his defeat in the presidential election of 2020.

Lawmakers allied with Trump planned to challenge the counts of several battleground states when Congress convened on January 6, 2021 to certify the results under the Voter Count Act, but after the attack on the Capitol this that day, Georgia’s tally was never disputed.

Trump denied any wrongdoing and called his appeal to Raffensperger “perfect”.


Associated Press writers Meg Kinnard in Columbia, SC, and Lisa Mascaro in Washington contributed reporting.


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Case filed against bouncers for beating army man, his 2 brothers in Gurugram

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6 Arrested For Threatening Haryana Mps Sent Rs 2.7 Crore To Pakistan, Used Moosewala Murder As Scare Factor: Police

Police had arrested seven defendants, including one official, the following day. (Case)


An army man and his two brothers were allegedly beaten by four bouncers at a Sector 29 club here, police said on Monday.

All three were seriously injured in the incident which happened on Sunday night, they said. They are being treated in a private hospital.

According to reports, the bouncers did not stop beating the three brothers even after a police team arrived on the scene after someone called the 112 helpline.

The police had to call for reinforcements, but by the time they arrived the bouncers had fled.

According to the complaint filed by Rohtak native Naik Sunil Kumar, he and his two brothers, Khajan Singh and Anil Kumar, went to the Friction club late on Sunday night to celebrate a party.

“It was around 11:20 p.m. when we entered the Friction club. We were dancing and having fun. About 20 minutes later the music in the club stopped. My brother Anil made a request to play a song, but two bouncers came and refused the request,” Sunil Kumar said in his complaint, according to police.

“They then started arguing with us and were joined by two other people, and took us outside the bar where they beat us with sticks,” he said.

“They threatened to kill us if we came back to the club,” the army man added.

Following the complaint, a first information report (FIR) was filed against four unidentified Friction club bouncers under Sections 323 (causing injury), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 34 (common intent) of the IPC at the Sector 29 police station.

“An FIR has been registered. We are verifying the facts and action will be taken as required by law,” said Dr. Kavita, Deputy Commissioner of Police, DLF.

This is the second incident in the Cyber ​​City area in a week where bouncers at a club have beaten patrons.

On August 9, a leader of a multinational company (MNC) and his friends were beaten up by private bouncers and managers of the Casa Denza club in Udyog Vihar.

The police had arrested seven defendants, including one responsible, the next day.

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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State Police: Multiple Injured in Winchester Beach Brawl – Boston News, Weather, Sports

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State Police: Multiple Injured In Winchester Beach Brawl - Boston News, Weather, Sports

WINCHESTER, MASS. (WHDH) – Several people were injured in a scuffle at Shannon Beach on Sunday night, according to Massachusetts State Police.

Police say one person was taken to hospital and is expected to undergo surgery, while several people were treated for minor injuries at the scene.

According to state police, five people have been arrested while the incident is still under investigation.

(Copyright (c) 2022 Sunbeam Television. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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UK Government becomes the first in the world to authorize Moderna Omicron Booster

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Uk Government Becomes The First In The World To Authorize Moderna Omicron Booster

LONDON (AP) — British medicines regulators have become the first in the world to authorize an updated version of Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine that aims to protect against the original virus and the omicron variant.

In a statement on Monday, the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency said it had given the green light to Moderna’s “bivalent” combination vaccine, which will be used as a booster for adults.

Each dose of the booster will target both the original COVID-19 virus which was first detected in 2020 and the omicron BA.1 variant which was first detected in November. UK regulators said side effects were similar to those seen for the original Moderna booster and were generally “mild and self-limiting”.

“What this (combined) vaccine gives us is a sharp tool in our arsenal to help protect us against this disease as the virus continues to evolve,” said Dr June Raine, head of the UK health body. regulation of health care and medicines.

Such an approach is used with influenza vaccines, which are adjusted annually based on circulating variants and can protect against four influenza strains.

Stephane Bancel, chief executive of Moderna, said in a statement that this was the first regulatory approval for a vaccine aimed at combating the omicron variant, predicting the recall would have an “important role” to play in protecting people. people against COVID-19 in winter. .

British health officials have yet to decide whether or not the modified vaccine will be used in its fall strategy. In July, the government said everyone aged 50 and over would receive a COVID booster in the fall.

On Friday, Germany’s health minister said the European Medicines Agency could authorize the modified COVID-19 recall next month.

In June, the US Food and Drug Administration told vaccine makers that any modified booster shots for the fall should include protection against the latest omicron variants.

According to the World Health Organization, the latest global outbreak of COVID-19 was caused by the omicron BA.5 subvariant, which is responsible for around 70% of virus samples shared with the largest database. public virus in the world.

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