View Comments The national tour of Wicked will have two new leading ladies running the Emerald City as Emily Koch and Amanda Jane Cooper take over the roles of Elphaba and Glinda, repectively. The actresses will join the cast on December 9 while the tour is in St. Louis. Newcomers Megan Masako Haley and Sam Seferian also join the cast as Nessarose and Boq, respectively.Koch comes directly from the Broadway company of Wicked, where she was the Elphaba standby and Cooper is returning to Wicked after having played Glinda in the First National Tour. The company also features Wendy Worthington (Madame Morrible), Stuart Zagnit (The Wizard), Jake Boyd (Fiyero), Chad Jennings (Doctor Dillamond) and Mary Kate Morrissey (Elphaba standby).The ensemble includes Allison Bailey, Kerry Blanchard, Beka Burnham, Bridie Carroll, Jordan Casanova, Kennedy Caughell, Michael Di Liberto, Michael Drolet, Kelli Erdmann, Ryan Patrick Farrell, Dominic Giudici, Dan Gleason, Kali Grinder, Lauren Haughton, Ryan Jackson, Kelly Lafarga, Lauren Sambataro, Wayne Schroder, Tregoney Shepherd, Mark Shunkey, Ben Susak, Travis Taber, Jeremy Thompson and Justin Wirick.A vivid reimagining of the classic The Wizard of Oz, Wicked spotlights the untold stories of Oz’s most famous characters: the Wicked Witch of the West and her unlikely friend, Glinda the Good. The show follows the tale of green-skinned Elphaba through the life-changing events that eventually label her “wicked.” Fun for the whole family, Wicked is a tale about love, friendship and trust that reveals that there are two sides to every story. The Grammy-winning score by Stephen Schwartz (and book by Winnie Holzman) features the songs “The Wizard and I,” “Popular” and “Defying Gravity.”
Guyana’s two major private sector bodies, the Private Sector Commission (PSC) and the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), are now going after each other following the appointment of Ms Allison Butters-Grant as the business representative on the University of Guyana Council.The Private Sector Commission, on Friday last, issued a statement expressing disappointment and dissatisfaction with the appointment of the businessGCCI President, Deodat Indarrepresentative on the Council of the University of Guyana. The PSC claimed receiving correspondence from the Education Ministry’s Permanent Secretary requesting a nominee to serve on the Council of the University of Guyana, and in response nominated the head of the Consultative Association of Guyanese Industry, Samuel Goolsarran, to sit on the new council.However, the PSC’s nominee was not so placed, the Education Ministry instead appointing Ms Butters-Grant as the business representative. The PSC is accordingly calling for this to be rectified forthwith.In response to this development, the GCCI on Monday said it wishes to publicly support the appointment of Ms Butters-Grant.“The GCCI has taken note of recent negative press regarding the appointment ofAllison Butters-GrantMs Butters-Grant to the University of Guyana Council. Ms Butters-Grant is the immediate past secretary of the Chamber, and has laboured for the chamber in this capacity, as well as (being) a past Councillor. She has served the Chamber in a positive way, and has distinguished herself as a member of the Chamber. As such, we have full confidence in her ability to discharge the duties of a Councillor of the University of Guyana,” the GCCI said in a statement.The University of Guyana Act 1963, Section 13, subsection 2 (j) speaks to ‘four (4) persons to be nominated by such non-governmental organisations as in the opinion of the Minister are most representative of the interests of Women, Farmers, Amerindians and Business. The GCCI said it was based on the current law that Education Minister Nicolette Henry saw Butters-Grant as fit to serve, and appointed her as the business community’s representative.“Hence the statement emanating from the Private Sector Commission (PSC) was unwarranted,” the GCCI statement concluded.Following that statement, the PSC issued another statement on Monday, saying it has since written Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, asking that the exclusion of its nominee be corrected.The PSC also expressed its concern publicly in a press release issued on March 9, 2018. The press release raised no objection to the nomination of any person onPSC Chairman Eddie Boyerthe Council, but emphasised disappointment that the PSC nominee had not been considered. It pointed out that this has been custom and practice over the last twenty-five years, and it is important that the business community’s voice be represented on the Council, as is required by the Constitution of the University. “The PSC stands by that position,” the statement read.The PSC additionally said it is unfortunate and regrettable that its statement was interpreted as an objection to any person on the University’s Council.