Sonja Morgan to Make Stage Debut Off-Broadway

first_img Related Shows View Comments Sonja Morgan in ‘Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man'(Photo: Allison Stock) It’s time to get tipsy, girl, because a certain International Fashion Lifestyle Brand is heading off-Broadway. Real Housewives of New York’s Sonja Morgan will make her stage debut in Sex Tips for Straight Women from a Gay Man. The 2015 Bravo TV Award winner will play a limited engagement at the 777 Theatre from October 1 through October 22.I am really excited to put my acting skills to the test,” Morgan said in a statement. “I’ve always said the only thing better than making people laugh is making them feel sexy. With this play, I get to do both. I have no doubt my New York stage debut promises to be a climactic affair.” Subtle.Morgan, who takes on the role of Robyn, will join Grant MacDermott and Michael Milton in the play. Matt Murphy’s comedy, inspired by the book by Dan Anderson and Maggie Berman, follows a meet-the-authors event-turned-sex tip seminar.center_img Sex Tips For Straight Women From a Gay Man Show Closed This production ended its run on June 23, 2018last_img read more

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India’s ‘superfood’ jackfruit goes global

first_imgGreen, spiky and with a strong, sweet smell, the bulky jackfruit has morphed from a backyard nuisance in India’s south coast into the meat-substitute darling of vegans and vegetarians in the West.Part of the South Asia’s diet for centuries, jackfruit was so abundant that tons of it went to waste every year.But now India, the world’s biggest producer of jackfruit, is capitalizing on its growing popularity as a “superfood” meat alternative — touted by chefs from San Francisco to London and Delhi for its pork-like texture when unripe. “The jackfruit tacos have been a hit at each and every location. The jackfruit cutlet — every table orders it, it’s one of my favorites!”James Joseph quit his job as a director at Microsoft after spotting Western interest in jackfruit “gaining momentum as a vegan alternative to meat”. “There are a lot of enquiries from abroad… At the international level, the interest in jackfruit has grown manifold,” Varghese Tharakkan tells AFP from his orchard in Kerala’s Thrissur district.The fruit, which weighs five kilograms on average, has a waxy yellow flesh when ripe and is eaten fresh, or used to make cakes, juices, ice creams and crisps. When unripe, it is added to curries or fried, minced and sautéed. In the West, shredded jackfruit has become a popular alternative to pulled pork and is even used as a pizza topping.”People love it,” Anu Bhambri, who owns a chain of restaurants in the US and India, explains.  Jack of all fruits The COVID-19 crisis, Joseph says, has created two spikes in consumer interest. “Coronavirus caused a fear for chicken and people switched to tender jackfruit. In Kerala, lockdown caused a surge in demand for mature green jackfruit and seeds due to shortage of vegetables due to border restrictions,” he explains. Global interest in veganism was already soaring pre-pandemic, buoyed by movements such as Meat Free Mondays and Veganuary, and with it the business of “alternative meats”.Concerns about health and the environment — a 2019 UN report suggested adopting more of a plant-based diet could help mitigate climate change — mean consumers are turning to brands such as Impossible and Beyond Meat for plant-based replications of chicken, beef, and pork. But they are also using substitutes long popular in Asia such as soy-based tofu and tempeh, and wheat derivative seitan, as well as jackfruit.This boom has meant more and more jackfruit orchards have sprung up in the coastal state.”You get a hard bite like meat — that’s what is gaining popularity and like meat it absorbs the spices,” comments Joseph.His firm sells jackfruit flour which can be mixed with or used as an alternative to wheat and rice flour to make anything from burger patties to local classics such as idli.Joseph worked with Sydney University’s Glycemic Index Research Service to establish any health benefits. “When we did a nutritional analysis, we found jackfruit as a meal is better than rice and roti [bread] for an average person who wants to control his blood sugar,” he adds. India has one of the highest diabetes rates in the world and is expected to hit around 100 million cases by 2030, according to a study by The Lancet. center_img ‘Secrets of success’As global warming wreaks havoc on agriculture, food researchers say jackfruit could emerge as a nutritious staple crop as it is drought-resistant and requires little maintenance.Tharakkan has not looked back since he switched from growing rubber to jackfruit on his land, and has a variety that he can cultivate year-round. “When I cut down my rubber trees everyone thought I had gone crazy. But the same people now come and ask me the secret of my success,” he smiles. In Tamil Nadu and Kerala alone, demand for jackfruit is now 100 metric tons every day during the peak season yielding a turnover of $19.8 million a year, says economics professor S. Rajendran of the Gandhigram Rural Institute.But there is rising competition from countries such as Bangladesh and Thailand.Jackfruit’s newfound international fame is a massive turnaround for a plant that while used in local dishes, has long been viewed as a poor man’s fruit.Each tree can yield as 150-250 fruits a season. In Kerala, where it is believed to have originated, deriving its name from local word “chakka”, Tharakkan recalls it was not unusual to see notices in private gardens asking people to take away the fruit for free because they were so plentiful, they would simply rot and attract flies.  And while India’s jackfruit growers — like the wider agriculture sector — have been hit as the nationwide coronavirus lockdown causes a shortage of labor and transport, international demand shows no sign of slowing. Sujan Sarkar, the Palo Alto-based executive chef of Bhambri’s restaurants, believes even meat-eaters are becoming jackfruit converts.He adds: “It’s not only vegetarians or vegans, even the meat-eaters, they just love it.” Topics :last_img read more

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Launch of Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect a ‘watershed moment’

first_imgAs of 17 November, investors will be able to use Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect to invest in almost 600 renminbi-denominated local shares of Shanghai-listed companies – directly and without the need for a license. Until now, investment has been possible only indirectly, and most often through expensive, Hong Kong dollar-denominated H-shares, Van den Brink said.He highlighted the “huge potential” of the Chinese market, “with 100m rich citizens, as well as 250m internal migrants who have been promised education and care in their new residence”.He added: “These migrants are the up-and-coming people with money. But, for the time being, they need the complete selection of Marks & Spencer. Rabobank has estimated that the disposable income of the average Chinese workers will have doubled by 2017 compared with 2009.”In Van den Brink’s opinion, the investment sector is now properly regulated, and the new government has the “political will” to reward shareholders.He said interest rates in China were “attractive”, and that the renminbi was relatively stable and on its way to becoming the world’s third trade currency, which can already be exchanged in London and Frankfurt.However, the Van den Brink – also a former professor of financial markets at Nyenrode Business University – warned against investing in “almost broke” local banks and “weak” state-owned enterprises.PME’s former CIO said China would refrain from introducing a capital gains tax for foreign investors, which will “boost” several investment funds, “as most of them had anticipated a 10% tax rate”.Van den Brink said he expected Chinese equities to become part of the MSCI within two years, and predicted that Chinese bonds and derivatives would, in turn, become available for foreign investors. The launch of the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect on 17 November will be a “watershed moment” and an excellent opportunity for European pension funds to invest in China, according to Roland van den Brink, former CIO at the €38bn Dutch metal scheme PME.“For institutional investors prepared to look thoroughly into the options and build personal relations, there are interesting opportunities,” he said.Since PME invested in local A-shares more than 10 years ago, Van den Brink has been monitoring developments closely, he said.“The climate for foreign investment in China – 8% of the world market – is maturing,” he added.last_img read more

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