Bills Coach Sean Mcdermott Buoyed By Offseason Upgrades

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) Photo: NFLBUFFALO — Sean McDermott didn’t mind being put on the spot when asked whether the Buffalo Bills have a roster that’s built to win now.“You’re beautiful, man,” McDermott said, referring to a reporter during a video conference call Thursday. “Throw the fastball high and inside. Chin music.”And yet, he wasn’t ready to swing away in addressing the media for the first time since the Bills upgraded their roster in free agency and acquired receiver Stefon Diggs in a trade with Minnesota in March, before shoring up secondary needs in the NFL draft last weekend.McDermott would only go so far in acknowledging the Bills’ current roster is the deepest it’s been since taking over the job three years ago. “Listen, we’re definitely further along than where we were when I got here,” he said. “And that’s part of the goal, you want to be able to say that.”The proof, however, is still months away given the challenges he and the rest of the NFL faces in wondering when teams will be allowed to begin practicing because of the coronavirus pandemic. And there are still games to be played.What’s not in question, on paper at least, is the Bills finally resembling a contender based on a variety of factors for a team coming off its second playoff appearance in three years.Buffalo’s roster features continuity, with all but four regulars returning from last season. And whatever holes there might have been, were shored up through a series of offseason additions, including defensive end Mario Addison, defensive tackle Vernon Butler, linebacker A.J. Klein and cornerback Josh Norman.It’s enough for some to regard the Bills as the chic pick to supplant the New England Patriots atop the AFC East standings following Tom Brady’s departure.Diggs’ acquisition alone was important because it has the potential of improving a Josh Allen-led offense that had difficulty scoring. Buffalo failed to top 21 points 11 times last season, including a 21-18 overtime wild-card playoff loss to Houston, in which the Bills squandered a 16-0 third-quarter lead.“We need to score points, and that’s been an emphasis and a theme that we’ve talked about since the end of the season,” he said of a team which had 10 games decided by seven points or fewer.“I would love to take a seat on the bench in the fourth quarter of one of these games and maybe eat an orange slice or drink a Gatorade instead of having my heart go a million miles an hour,” McDermott added.Concerns still abound, with one of his biggest involving the lack of practice time to develop Buffalo’s passing game.McDermott said the offense spends about 70% of their spring practices working on passes, with the focus turning to the running attack once players are allowed to wear pads. He also wondered how long it might take for Allen to build chemistry with Diggs.“I am concerned about it, but I guess not worried at this point,” McDermott said, noting every team faces its share of challenges. “What you do is try to adjust and adapt, and like we said before, our theme this offseason has been: `Find a way.’”McDermott has a track record of overcoming adversity in Buffalo.During his first season, the Bills overcame a patchwork roster in transition — Buffalo traded three starters, receiver Sammy Watkins, defensive tackle Marcell Dareus and cornerback Ronald Darby — to finish 9-7 and end a 17-year playoff drought. Last season, the Bills made the playoffs despite an offense that featured eight new starters.Though players are working out remotely on their own, McDermott is reintroducing his annual offseason team-bonding sessions by once again having newcomers introduce themselves by sharing their backgrounds during team sessions.last_img

JCC Calls Off Fall Intercollegiate Sports Over Pandemic Fears

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) JAMESTOWN — Jamestown Community College has cancelled all fall intercollegiate athletic competition in light of complications from the coronavirus pandemic.“JCC is cancelling all fall intercollegiate athletics — volleyball, men’s and women’s soccer, and cross-country — for the fall 2020 semester due to recommended regulations associated with the COVID-19 pandemic,” said George Sisson, athletics and recreation director.“It was a hard and sad decision to make but we must protect the health and welfare of our student-athletes, staff, and community,” Sisson emphasized, noting that coaches and athletes had been preparing during the off-season for a return to sports.JCC’s decision was made after all but five of the 21 colleges in the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Region III had cancelled their fall athletics programs. “Although the plan to initiate a new cross-country program at our Cattaraugus County Campus is impacted for the fall, we will move ahead with establishing a cross-country team once athletic competitions are restarted,” Sisson noted.The winter athletics schedule remains under consideration with a decision pending on July 17. JCC’s winter athletics schedule includes men’s and women’s basketball, wrestling, and swimming and diving.last_img read more

Cuomo Slams CDC’s Reversal On COVID-19 Testing Guidance: ‘It Makes No Sense’

first_imgImage by Darren McGee / Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.ALBANY — Wednesday marked the 179th day since the Coronavirus arrived in New York and Governor Andrew Cuomo says the data continues to trend in the right direction statewide.Across New York, 71,189 COVID-19 tests were conducted Tuesday with 566 coming back positive — an infection rate of .79%. It was the 19th straight day of an infection rate less than 1%. The governor said three New Yorkers died Tuesday and 492 New Yorkers remain hospitalized with the virus.“Situation was good all across the state, but we still have a caution flag in Western New York, which was at 1.4%,” Gov. Cuomo said. “It’s better today than where it was, but not where it should be.”The governor questioned the CDC’s new guidelines which say that if someone is in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, they don’t need to get tested. “The CDC reversed their guidance, saying that ‘if you’re in close contact with someone who has COVID you don’t need a test,” Gov. Cuomo said. “I’ve spoken with medical experts, this makes no sense. It’s the president’s policy of denying the problem.The CDC changed the recommendations on its website Monday in a surprise move.The site now says: “If you have been in close contact (within 6 feet) of a person with a COVID-19 infection for at least 15 minutes but do not have symptoms, you do not necessarily need a test unless you are a vulnerable individual or your health care provider or State or local public health officials recommend you take one.”“Shame on the people of the CDC,” Gov. Cuomo said. “This will not look well in the scope of the history. What plausible rationale would say, ‘if you’re in close contact with a person who has COVID, you don’t need a test.’”“This is indefensible from a public health standpoint,” said New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. “It makes no sense. I’ve talked to CDC scientists and they say this is all political.”Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and public health professor at George Washington University, agrees with Dr. Zucker, telling CNN that the changes make no sense.“These are exactly the people who should be tested … I’m concerned that these recommendations suggest someone who has had substantial exposure to a person with Covid-19 now doesn’t need to get tested,” Dr. Wen said.The governor was also critical of President Donald Trump’s nomination of Chad Wolf, acting Homeland Security Secretary, to take over the role on a more permanent basis. Gov. Cuomo blamed Wolf for his role with the Trusted Traveler Program dispute with the federal government, spurred by the Green Light Law in New York state.The governor called Wolf a political operative and said he isn’t qualified for the position. He previously called on the Department of Justice to investigate Homeland Security over the incident. 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

Real Housewives of New Jersey’s Kim Pirrella Returns to My Big Gay Italian Wedding & Funeral

first_imgShe’s ba-ack! Kim Pirrella, sister of Real Housewives of New Jersey star Melissa Gorga, is returning for another walk down the aisle in My Big Gay Italian Wedding and My Big Gay Italian Funeral. Pirella will play Lucia Fuccio on January 25 and 26 and February 15 and 16, filling in for current star Liz Gerecitano. Both shows play in repertory at off-Broadway’s St. Luke’s Theatre. Show Closed This production ended its run on Aug. 22, 2015 Related Shows In addition to Wilkinson and Pirrella, Wedding and Funeral both star Hugh Hysell, Donna Castellano, Marissa Perry, Debra Toscano, Meagan Robar, Erik Ransom, Chad Kessler and Brandon Goins. Wedding also stars Joe Scanio, Drew Little, Rocco DeFinis and Paul Moon. Funeral also stars David Demato, Mustafa Gatollari and Beth Dzuricky. Marie Fontaine and Jonathan Wiener round out the ensemble. My Big Gay Italian Weddingcenter_img Pirrella, a food blogger who posts instructional videos about healthy cooking, makes guest appearances on Real Housewives of New jersey. She made her off-Broadway debut in My Big Gay Italian Wedding and Funeral in October 2013. View Comments Starring and written by Anthony Wilkinson, My Big Gay Italian Wedding and My Big Gay Italian Funeral are both loosely based on his own wacky Italian family. Wedding tells the story of Anthony Pinnunziato (Wilkinson), a gay Italian-American who wants to marry his boyfriend Andrew in a traditional wedding ceremony. Funeral centers on the came family, who is mourning the death of Anthony’s father. In both plays, Pirrella plays Lucia, a lipstick lesbian from New Jersey.last_img read more

Lessons of the Week from Ramin Karimloo, Kelli O’Hara and More!

first_img View Comments It’s Friday, and you know what that means… The Vampire Diaries are on! Oh, and it’s also time to revisit all of the crazy things our favorite Broadway stars have taught us over the last seven days. From Kelli O’Hara’s secret life as an architect to Andy Karl’s dreams of becoming an exercise mogul, check out everything we’ve learned below!Ramin Karimloo Dreamed of JusticeWhen Les Miz producer Cameron Mackintosh approached Ramin Karimloo about playing Jean Valjean, he initially said he wanted to play Javert instead. Wow, Ramin—why don’t you just play Fantine and Marius too? Or do your own one-man Les Miz? (Seriously. Please do this.)The Gentleman’s Gents Need Spit GuardsAfter receiving complaints that they spit too much during the show, A Gentleman’s Guide stars Jefferson Mays and Bryce Pinkham decided to try rehearsing with giant plastic dog cones around their heads. At last, we can finally focus on the show without getting distracted!Audra McDonald Gets Drunk For ResearchBefore she takes the stage as Billie Holiday in Broadway’s Lady Day, the 50 gagillion-time Tony winner says she’s going to drink a bunch of gin to prepare for the role. And we have just the drinking buddy for her to do all of that, um, research with. Queen Lesli, you busy tonight?The Valentina Bros Have Body IssuesWhat do the cross-dressing dudes of Casa Valentina all have in common? They’re all surprised by how terrible they look in drag. Oh boys, don’t be so hard on yourselves—being pretty isn’t everything. You is smart, you is kind, you is important!Andy Karl Wants to Be Richard SimmonsNow that Andy Karl is one of the buffest dudes on Broadway, he’s ready to take his Broadway body to your living room! The Rocky hunk told us he wants to create his own home workout video…that we will definitely use for working out, not just for staring at abs and arms.James Franco Needs a NapRehearsing for a Broadway show is a huge commitment—but for multitasker James Franco, his debut in Of Mice and Men is just another item on this week’s to-do list. Poetry book? Check. New movie? Check. Workout video with Andy Karl? Please be a check.Kelli O’Hara Is a Champion Bridge BuilderIn this week’s WTF news, The Bridges of Madison County headliner Kelli O’Hara revealed to her co-star Steven Pasquale on “Ask a Star” that she actually won first prize for building a cantilevered, fully balanced model of a bridge. Overachiever.Christopher Sieber Is CursedHe was ready to play Miss Trunchbull in Matilda, but due to a hand injury, Christopher Sieber is stuck on the sidelines. Looks like the Curse of the Trunchbull has been passed on from Craig Bierko, who had to step down last year due to a shoulder injury. No more hammer throwing for you, ladies.No One Cares How Pippin’s Hair LooksWhile preparing to step into the title role in Pippin, vlogger Kyle Dean Massey consulted the hair department about what Pippin’s coif should look like. And to his disappointment, the prince is so low-maintenance, hair just doesn’t matter. It matters to us, Kyle Dean! It matters to us.Norm Lewis Will Make Broadway HistoryYou heard it here first, folks: Norm Lewis will fulfill his dream of becoming the first black man to play the title role in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. Now he can finally put away his Opera Populaire vision board. Help him make the Music of the Noorrrmmmm!last_img read more

John Lithgow on the ‘Sparkly Brilliance’ of A Delicate Balance

first_img Do you any more theatrical mountains to climb? Maybe another musical? I have no idea. Other people think more creatively about me than I think about myself. All my best work has been work I never dreamed I could do until people pushed me into it. So hopefully they’ll keep thinking. A Delicate Balance [which debuted in 1966] has aged so well, but it seems like a deceptively tricky play to perform. Extremely tricky. First of all, you have to acquaint people with this isolated and arcane world. I went to Harvard, and a lot of my classmates were the children of Tobias and Agnes—America’s patrician class of the New England variety. Edward insisted that we update [the revival] to the present day, but you don’t have any sense of that. These people don’t change much. The trick of Albee is that his writing is so elusive. The dialogue has a kind of sparkly brilliance and yet it’s a veneer. As a playwright, he’s a great puzzle master. The characters keep the audience guessing, and Edward takes a devilish pleasure in that. Two big plays, three cool movies: How does it feel to be in demand? I live in constant fear that people will get sick and tired of me because I’m actually growing sick and tired of myself [laughs]. Seniority is a great thing in the acting profession. It’s not quite so kind to women, but you age into wonderful roles at the same time other people drop out of the business. Obviously, you’re the opposite of Tobias. You aren’t sitting around mixing martinis and going to the club. Right. I felt restless in rehearsal because I’m accustomed to being a far more active participant. Albee himself described Tobias as “a retired man” in every sense of the word. My own feeling is that his life is shot through with regret and melancholy. He’s watchful and reactive, and then he’s forced to be proactive when all these crises descend upon him and Agnes [Glenn Close]. He has a lot in common with George in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, a part I have also played… What’s the key to performing these huge roles with such stamina? I don’t know. It’s the only thing I can do right anymore! [Laughs.]. When I did King Lear, I conserved all my energy for those three hours every night. I didn’t talk to anybody. I didn’t work out. And I learned the entire role before the first day of rehearsal, which I have never done. I knew that those four weeks were going to be about building my stamina for it. By the time I was performing it start to finish, I knew exactly where I was going to take every breath. Related Shows Can you believe more than 30 years have passed since you and Glenn Close got Oscar nods for The World According to Garp? [Close played Garp’s mom, Jenny Fields; Lithgow was transsexual ex-football player Roberta Muldoon.] And she is completely unchanged! I’ve changed back into a male, of course. It’s wonderful to have that history, because Agnes and Tobias have a long, long history. I also worked with Bob Balaban in 1985 [in the film 2010] and we’re now playing men with a friendship of 40 years. Everybody in this cast has been on the same page from the get-go, and we all like each other enormously. Playing King Lear in Central Park would be enough career excitement for most actors on the cusp of their 69th birthday, but it was only the start of an action-packed season for John Lithgow. The two-time Tony winner jumped from Lear to Edward Albee’s uber-WASP Tobias opposite Glenn Close in the current Broadway revival of A Delicate Balance and is featured in three well-reviewed movies: a touching star turn as Alfred Molina’s husband in Love Is Strange and smaller roles as Matthew McConaughey’s father-in-law in Interstellar and a frontier preacher in The Homesman, directed by and starring his college pal Tommy Lee Jones. The down-to-earth Lithgow reflected on his busy schedule in a recent chat with View Comments Star Files King Lear was your first American production of Shakespeare in more than 40 years. Did it live up your expectations? It outstripped them. I loved the role, and Central Park was the perfect atmosphere for the play. We only did it 24 times, but if we’d done it 25, it would have killed me. …Directed by Edward Albee! What was that like? It was a period when he had grown frustrated with directors messing around with his plays, and he insisted on directing them himself. Glenda Jackson and I did it in Los Angeles [in 1989], and Edward… as a director, he’s a brilliant playwright [laughs]. I’ll say no more. Thank goodness he found some marvelous interpreters, like Pam MacKinnon. She treats his plays as sacred texts. How does Broadway today compare to the ’70s, when you got started? Broadway has become a sort of theme park with well-known actors in almost every project, which is safer economically but more challenging artistically. A Delicate Balance is one of the rare shows where Scott Rudin put together a high-powered cast who are right for their roles. Back in the ’70s, Broadway, like New York, was in terrible shape. Only half the theaters were full, but when I debuted in The Changing Room, across the street was That Championship Season, down the street was Pippin and down Shubert Alley was A Little Night Music. These were extraordinary, daring new works, none of which featured a movie star. See John Lithgow in A Delicate Balance at the Golden Theatre. Let’s talk about your trio of movies. They are terrific in different ways. In the case of [The Homesman], Tommy Lee Jones, who is an old friend, called, and I said, “Of course! I’ll do anything you want.” Love Is Strange is the best role I’ve ever had a movie. Alfred Molina, a wonderful man and a great acting partner, had already been cast, so I knew it was going to work like a dream. Amazingly enough, I thought I had to make a choice between Love Is Strange and Interstellar, a big part in a little movie or a little part in a big Chris Nolan movie. I was going to pick Love Is Strange, but my agent pulled off a miracle and I was able to do both. A Delicate Balance Were you able to rest after King Lear before starting A Delicate Balance? I only had three weeks in between. It’s crazy to do two such huge roles in succession, but these are offers you can’t refuse. Show Closed This production ended its run on Feb. 22, 2015 John Lithgowlast_img read more

Laura Osnes to Lead Workshop of Broadway-Bound Somewhere in Time

first_img View Comments Laura Osnes Tony nominee and Audience Choice Award winner Laura Osnes will star in an upcoming workshop presentation of Somewhere in Time, the Broadway-bound musical based on the Richard Matheson novel and film of the same name. The tuner features music by Doug Katsaros, lyrics by Amanda Yesnowitz and a book by Ken Davenport. Dan Knechtges will direct and choreograph. The workshop performances are set to take place on February 13, 2015.Osnes made her Broadway debut in Grease, and has since starred in South Pacific, Anything Goes, Bonnie and Clyde and Cinderella. She also appeared in the off-Broadway revival of The Threepenny Opera and the Encores! concert production of Faust earlier this year. Additional casting will be announced later.Somewhere in Time follows Richard Collier, a young playwright who has an encounter with a mysterious old woman on the opening night of his earliest success. Several years later, he checks in to a storied hotel from his youth. But his stay turns into a journey of a lifetime as he unravels history to discover a powerful (but perhaps impossible) love with Elise McKenna (Osnes), an elusive and captivating actress from the early twentieth century.The musical received its world premiere in May of 2013 at Oregon’s Portland Center Stage. The Scott Schwartz-helmed production starred Andrew Samonsky, Hannah Elless, Marc Kudisch and David Cryer.center_img Star Fileslast_img read more

Wolf Hall Parts One & Two Open Officially on Broadway

first_img Wolf Hall Part One Show Closed This production ended its run on July 5, 2015 Mike Poulton’s Wolf Hall Parts One and Two open officially on Broadway on April 9 at the Winter Garden Theatre. The dramas, based on Hilary Mantel’s acclaimed novels, feature a whole lot of British history, period costumes and a cast that’s Tu-dor for. The Royal Shakespeare Company production is helmed by Jeremy Herrin. In honor of the plays’ big day, resident artist Justin “Squigs” Robertson penned this sketch of the royal crew.The whole gang is present; the portrait features Ben Miles as Thomas Cromwell, Nathaniel Parker as King Henry VIII and Lydia Leonard as Anne Boleyn, along with Paul Jesson as Cardinal Wolsey, Lucy Briers as Katherine, Leah Brotherhead as Jane Seymour, Olivia Darnley as Lizzie Wykys, Pierro Niel-Mee as Christophe, Daniel Fraser as Gregory Cromwell, Joshua Silver as Rafe Sadler, Giles Taylor as Thomas Cranmer, and John Ramm as Thomas More.Happy opening to the cast of Wolf Hall. Stay focused, and keep your head screwed on tight. Especially you, Anne Boleyn. Too soon? View Commentscenter_img About the Artist: With a desire to celebrate the magic of live theater and those who create it, and with a deep reverence for such touchstones as the work of Al Hirschfeld and the wall at Sardi’s, Squigs is happy and grateful to be among those carrying on the traditions where theater and caricature meet. He was born and raised in Oregon, lived in Los Angeles for quite a long time and now calls New York City his home. Related Showslast_img read more

Meet Tony-Nominated Hand to God Star Geneva Carr!

first_img Hand to God View Comments Age: 44Hometown: Jackson, MSCurrent Role: A Tony-nominated Broadway debut as Margery, a barely-keeping-it-together widowed mother whose son’s sock puppet might be possessed by the devil in Robert Askins’ Hand to God.Stage & Screen Cred: Carr has starred in Hand to God since the play’s first reading. She’s appeared off-Broadway in Rose’s Dilemma and The Vagina Monolgues and on screen in Love and Other Drugs, It’s Complicated, Younger and The Leftovers.”The Tony nomination is crazy! Talk about an underdog. The night before, I said to my husband, ‘These are gossip columns and wish lists. It’s not going to happen. Let’s go to bed. The dream is over.’ The next morning, we were watching and screaming!””I’ve lived in 11 states, but I’m not an Army brat. My father couldn’t hold a job, so every six months, we’d move. I’m sort of a Southerner because those are my roots, but my parents are from Iowa. So, I kind of sound Midwestern, but if I have a drink I sound southern.””My husband and I met on OKCupid. We went out on our little coffee date and I knew right away he was my husband. He’s a handsome, smarty-pants architect from Tokyo. On our first date, I said, ‘I wake up like this. I’m Pollyanna Sunshine and I’m not for everyone.’””I don’t come from an artistic family, so I didn’t know what theater was. I was working on Wall Street in the ’90s, and I went to see Appointment With a High-Wire Lady at Ensemble Studio Theatre, and it affected me so deeply. It changed everything I thought about the arts. I quit banking and became an actor.””The best thing about being the ‘Rollover Mom’ from the AT&T commercials is that no one recognizes me! I’ve been in a hundred commercials and no one ever recognizes me. Listen, I live in the apartment that AT&T built—let’s not lie.””I’ve had more sex with underage boys on stage and film in the last five years than most women do in a lifetime [laughs]. Rob [Askins] has let me run in this role and he’s written every secret fantasy I have. I get to be angry and speak my mind and go all out. Luckily, our teen is played by a 30-year-old.” Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 3, 2016 Related Showslast_img read more

Miss Saigon’s Eva Noblezada & More Set for West End Les Miz

first_img View Comments From “The Last Night of the World” to “One Day More”? Eva Noblezada, following her star turn in Miss Saigon, will play Eponine in Les Miserables in the West End. She begins performances on April 4.Before Noblezada assumes the role, The Wizard of Oz star Danielle Hope (winner of the BBC series Over the Rainbow) will play Eponine, taking over for Carrie Hope Fletcher. Fletcher plays her final performance on February 13; Hope will begin on February 15.Joining Hope on that day are Les Miz alums Patrice Tipoki as Fantine (Rachelle Ann Go plays her final performance on January 30 before returning on May 9) and Craig Mather as Marius.Noblezada is also set to reprise her performance as Kim when the revival of Miss Saigon heads to Broadway in 2017. Hope returns to Les Miz after playing Eponine in 2012; she recently starred as Maria in the U.K. tour of The Sound of Music. Tipoki is currently playing Fantine in the Australian tour. Mather’s additional credits include Sweeney Todd and Tonight’s the Night.The West End production also stars Peter Lockyer as Jean Valjean, Jeremy Secomb as Javert, Zoë Doano as Cosette, Bradley Jaden as Enjolras and Phil Daniels and Katy Secombe as the Thénardiers.last_img read more