Theatregoers are off to see the wizard

Theatre fans will soon be off to see the wizard in Port Dover.The curtain rises Friday for Lighthouse Festival Theatre’s community show production of the musical The Wizard of Oz.Once a year local amateur actors have the opportunity to perform on the Lighthouse stage, backed by the same tech crew that works on the professional shows in the summer season.Lighthouse’s artistic director, Derek Ritschel, brought back the community show in 2011. There has been an annual show ever since.The community show gives actors that have always wanted to be in a show the opportunity to work closely with the crew to put on a professional-grade performance.“These people came out to auditions, they have a love to perform, a passion to perform. They dedicate maybe hundreds of hours in rehearsals, preparation, and execution of the show,” said director George Araujo.Araujo has directed multiple shows in his past.“I’ve acted in a lot of musical theatre, as well as non-musical theatre. Eventually I saw directing as a way to express myself a little bigger. It encompasses not just one role, but everybody’s role,” said Araujo.None of the actors are considered professional, but some of the performers have done professional shows before.One of the actors that has been in professional shows before is Libby Adams, who will be starring in the lead role as Dorothy Gale.“My cousin is big into theatre, and she asked me to go audition with her. I’ve wanted to audition for a production at the Lighthouse Festival Theatre for a really long time. I told her I’d go with her and I ended up with the role of Dorothy,” said Adams.Adams started acting when she was five after her mom got her an agent in Toronto.She has appeared in commercials, movies, and a production of The Sound of Music at the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto.When she was 18 she decided to take a break from acting, but recently realized she was missing it. That is when she decided to audition for the community show.“I’m just excited for everyone to see the show. It’s going to be amazing, everything is really coming together. I’m excited to be there and to show everyone what we’ve worked so hard on,” said Adams.The production of The Wizard of Oz opens on April 19 and runs until May 5.  Evening performances are Fridays and Saturdays. Matinees are Sundays. Tickets are available on the Lighthouse Festival Theatre website. astaylor@postmedia.com read more

GM sheds money drain gains cash with sale of European unit

by Angela Charlton And Tom Krisher, The Associated Press Posted Mar 5, 2017 11:36 pm MDT Last Updated Mar 6, 2017 at 3:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email DETROIT – By shedding the bulk of its European operations, General Motors is getting rid of a perennial money drain and gaining essential cash that it can use to reward shareholders and invest in future technology such as electric cars and ride-sharing.The Detroit automaker also indicated that it may pull out of more unprofitable markets in the future.GM on Monday sold its European Opel and Vauxhall brands to French carmaker PSA Group for roughly $2.33 billion, retreating from the world’s third-largest auto market after almost two decades of futile efforts to make money. The brands have lost $20 billion in the fiercely competitive region since last making a full-year profit in 1999.“I think they’re ready to cut their losses and move on,” said Morningstar analyst David Whiston. “They’d rather take their time and money and spend it elsewhere on something that has a better return.”The sale, expected to close by the end of the year, also includes GM’s European auto financing arm, which goes to a joint venture between PSA and French bank BNP Paribas. GM has to keep $6.5 billion in unfunded pension obligations. But it unloads any future losses and about $1 billion per year in capital expenditures on new products.Chief Financial Officer Chuck Stevens told reporters that the sale also means GM only has to keep $18 billion on hand to weather an economic downturn, rather than $20 billion. That $2 billion will go to speed up a company commitment to buy back $8 billion worth of stock. GM could repurchase as much as $5 billion this year.The sale also was influenced by stronger European clean-air regulations that will require significant spending on electric-car development, as well as currency issues caused by Britain’s exit from the European Union, GM said.“Increasing regulatory and compliance costs will continue to be a burden for the foreseeable future,” President Dan Ammann said. After the sale, PSA, with a larger scale in Europe, can spread those costs over more vehicles, he said.GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra told analysts that the sale may not be GM’s last. She said the company has work to do on some international businesses and could make a similar deal for them if they don’t make enough money. GM has operations in Asia, South America, the Middle East, North America and elsewhere.GM still will sell small numbers of high-performance Chevrolets and some Cadillacs in Europe. The deal doesn’t include ride-sharing or other mobility ventures in Europe.For PSA, which makes Peugeot and Citroen cars, the acquisition will turn it into Europe’s No. 2 automaker after Volkswagen, capping a remarkable turnaround after it was bailed out just three years ago.PSA will take over 12 Opel and Vauxhall manufacturing facilities that employ about 40,000 people, the companies said, fueling worries that jobs eventually will be cut.Executives insisted that no layoffs are currently foreseen, while analysts say they’re inevitable over the long term. CEO Carlos Tavares said there are ways to contain factory costs other than cutting workers. He said the company would focus on logistics, quality, energy, maintenance and security.Opel and Vauxhall last year sold just under 1.2 million vehicles, amounting to only 5.6 per cent of the European market, according to GM.“Unloading Opel-Vauxhall and the European part of the financing greatly improves GM’s balance sheet, allowing investments in growing markets such as China and India,” said Rebecca Lindland of Kelley Blue Book.Christian Stadler of Warwick Business School warned that job cuts likely will be coming: “PSA has done it before and there is no other way to realistically achieve the cost savings they have in mind.”“The U.K. is definitely in a bad position as Brexit makes it less competitive than Germany and the unions are stronger in Germany,” he said.U.S. investors yawned at the sale. Shares in General Motors Co. slipped about 1 per cent to $37.91 Monday. They’re up 9 per cent since the first of the year, indicating that investors already were anticipating benefits from the deal.___Charlton reported from Paris. GM sheds money drain, gains cash with sale of European unit FILE – In this Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017, file photo, the logo of PSA Group is pictured during the presentation of the company’s 2016 full year results, in Paris. After billions in losses and years of unsuccessful turnaround attempts in Europe, General Motors decided that a foothold in the world’s third-largest auto market isn’t worth the drag on its bottom line. The Detroit automaker on Monday, March 6, 2017, announced that it’s all but getting out of Europe, selling its Opel and Vauxhall units to French automaker PSA Group. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File) read more