Dame Julie Andrews to direct production of My Fair Lady

Dame Julie Andrews – the original star of My Fair Lady – will direct a 60th anniversary production of the musical at the Sydney Opera House next year.
The British actress played the lead role of Eliza Doolittle in a 1956 Broadway production.
The show helped to launch her acclaimed theatre, movie and television career.
Dame Julie said she was “thrilled to have been asked” and will be visiting Australia in November to cast the production.
“I look forward to… beginning the process of bringing this great musical to life once again,” she said.
Based on George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, My Fair Lady tells the story of Cockney flower girl Doolittle who is transformed into an upper-class lady by linguistics professor Henry Higgins.
The stage production features music by Frederick Loewe and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, and includes classic numbers such as Wouldn’t It Be Loverly? and I Could Have Danced All Night.
Audrey Hepburn starred in the 1964 film adaptation alongside Rex Harrison.
The movie won eight Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director.
The new theatre production will premiere in August 2016 as part of Opera Australia’s 60th birthday celebrations.
Dame Julie will be working alongside Tony-award winning choreographer Christopher Gattelli (The King and I, South Pacific), Opera Australia’s artistic director Lyndon Terrancini, and producer John Frost.
“To think that Broadway’s original Eliza Doolittle, Julie Andrews, will direct our new production at the Sydney Opera House 60 years later will, I’m sure, excite both Australian and international audiences,” Frost said.

Sri Lanka tourist arrivals up by 31 percent

Sri Lanka’s tourist arrivals reached a record highest rising 31.2 percent in July this year compared to the same period last year, the data released by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) showed.
The month recorded 175,804 tourists arriving in the country compared to the 133,971 arrived in July 2014.

In the first seven months of this year 1,005,855 tourists visited the island, an increase of 16.8 percent compared to the 861,324 recorded for the same period in 2014.

Arrivals from North America increased 12.8 percent to 8,158 in July. Arrivals from US were up 19.1 percent to 4,161 while arrivals from Canada increased 6.8 percent to 3,997 during the month. For the year arrivals from North America increased 15.2 percent.

Tourist arrivals from Western Europe increased 18.3 percent in July with the arrival of 64,905 tourists, compared to the 54,857 tourists arrived in the same month last year. Most of the tourist arrivals from Western Europe were from the UK recording 23.7 percent increase in the month.

Arrivals from Eastern Europe increased 16.7 percent with the arrival of 7,378 tourists in July 2015 compared to the 6,323 arrived in July 2014. However, tourist arrivals from Eastern Europe declined this year by 9.5 percent due to the economic recession in Russia and the crisis in Ukraine.

Arrivals from Middle East declined significantly by 167.6 percent with 16,053 visitors arriving in July 2015 compared to the 5,998 arrived a year ago.

Tourist arrivals from East Asia increased 37.8 percent as 35,572 visited the country compared to the 25,810 visited in July 2014. Arrivals from China compared to last year increased 65.5 percent with the arrival of 25,120 visitors while arrivals from Japan declined 12.7 percent.

Arrivals from South Asia increased by 36.3 percent as 36,360 tourists visited the island in July 2015. Of those arrived from South Asia, 24,681 were from India corresponding to an increase of 28.0 percent.

Happy Birthday Geri Halliwell!

Pop singer who was known as Ginger Spice while performing with the Spice Girls, known for hits like “Wannabe.”

She was a glamour model as well as a night club dancer before her career in music went mainstream.

She launched her solo career in 1998 with her debut album Schizophonic, featuring “Bag It Up” and “Look at Me.”

She is the youngest of her siblings, with a half-brother named Paul, a half-sister named Karen, a brother named Max, and a sister named Natalie. In 2014, she got engaged to race car driver Christian Horner.

She was part of the Spice Girls alongside Victoria Beckham, Melanie Janine Brown, Emma Lee Bunton and Melanie Jayne Chisholm.

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