вторник, 10 июня 2008 г.

American Musicals

American musical theater uses singing, dancing, and music to tell interesting stories in exciting ways. People come from all over the world to see musicals on Broadway, New York City's theater district. Musicals are also staged in many other places. Some musicals start as movies, or are made into movies. A few famous musicals are listed here. The date after the name of the show is the year

Annie (1977), by Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin. Here's how Little Orphan Annie was adopted by Daddy Warbucks. One featured song: "Tomorrow." Tony Award 1977.

Beauty and the Beast (1994), by Alan Menkin, Howard Ashman, and Tim Rice. First it was a story. Then it was a movie in French. Then it became an animated movie musical. Now the tale of Belle and the Beast she came to love is brought to life on a stage.

Cats (1982), by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Based on poems about all kinds of cats written by T.S. Eliot, this play closed in 2000 after a record 7,485 performances. Its best-known song was "Memory." Tony Award 1983.

A Chorus Line (1975), by Marvin Hamlisch and Edward Kleban. The story of dancers whose dream was to be on the musical stage. Tony Award 1976.

Grease (1972), by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey. Teenagers in the 1950s sing and dance their way through high school. Grease was made into a movie starring John Travolta.

The Lion King (1997), by Elton John, Tim Rice, Mark Mancina, Roger Allers, and Irene Meechi. Based on the animated Disney movie, this show uses masks and puppets to tell the story of animals progressing through "The Circle of Life." Tony Award 1998.

Seussical (2000), by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty. The magic of The Cat in the Hat, Horton, and other Dr. Seuss favorites comes to the stage.

West Side Story (1957), by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim. This groundbreaking show used music and dance to update the story of Romeo and Juliet to the West Side of Manhattan in New York City.

Titanic top

Togetherness goes only so far, as five American women ice hockey players at the Winter Olympic Games have found. They helped to win the gold for the US, but their pictures won't appear with the rest of the team on new boxes of Wheaties cereal. They're still students, and rules forbid college athletes' names or likenesses from being used for financial gain.

Speaking of likenesses, remember Lyuben Kovachev, the Bulgarian businessman cited in this space last week who bears a strong resemblance to Saddam Hussein? Iraq's leaders turned down his offer to serve in their new self-defense force. But perhaps they have another use in mind for him.

Another Milepost at the Box Office for 'Titanic' For the 10th weekend in a row, "Titanic" led all other films at box offices across the US and Canada Feb. 20-22, becoming the No. 2 moneymaker in industry history. Its gross revenues to date - $402.5 million - pushed ahead of "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" and now trail only the $461 million earned by "Star Wars." Last weekend's top 10 films and their estimated grosses (in millions of dollars):

1. "Titanic" $21.0 2. "The Wedding Singer" 12.2 3. "Sphere" 7.7 4. "Good Will Hunting" 6.5 5. "Senseless" 5.3 6. "As Good As It Gets" 4.6 7. "The Borrowers" 4.0 8. "Palmetto" 2.9 9. "The Apostle" 2.4 10. "L.A. Confidential" 2.3

More Girls in School, but World Gender Gap Grows

Have you been summoned to jury duty recently? Results of a new study suggest that if you're impaneled for a trial you'll probably disregard the instructions of the judge in the case and vote according to your own attitudes and convictions. The Juror Outlook Survey found more than 1 respondent in every 6 who was likely to feel a bias against makers of tobacco products, asbestos insulation, or breast implants. One in 6 acknowledged a bias against politicians. And almost one-third distrusted any testimony by police officers.

Then there was the juror in Santa Rosa, Calif., whose vote could result in a new trial for an ex-felon found with a gun in his possession. George Mueller had been the only member of the panel who thought the defendant was innocent. But the jury deliberations were dragging the case close to the two-week mark, and Mueller "could not afford to miss any more" days of work. So he ended his holdout and voted to convict. Now the defense is seeking to have the case retried. More Girls in School, but World Gender Gap Grows

Comparing 1985 and 1995 statistics, a Population Action International study indicates 51 countries still have serious educational gender gaps, although others have made striking gains in educating girls. The Washington-based group says there were still 75 million fewer girls than boys in school in 1995, while the number of school-age children was rising. Most progress came in regions with the biggest gender imbalance - the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa. The countries showing the greatest progress in reducing the gender gap:

1. Nepal
2. Oman
3. Algeria
4. Saudi Arabia
5. Togo
6. Lebanon
7. Congo
8. Egypt
9. Iran
10. Malawi

Ranking Nations in Terms Of Christian Persecution

File this one under Random Acts of Kindness. Newly married and not exactly rolling in wealth, Norma Hayduk was passing a park bench in Santa Fe, N.M., when she noticed an envelope sticking out between its slats. She might have continued walking if it hadn't had the words "For You" on the front. Curious, she picked up the envelope and found $100 in cash and a note inside. It said, in part: "Yes, this is for you.... Money comes [easily] in my life, and I am grateful for it. This is my way to express my gratitude. We live in an infinitely abundant universe. There is more than enough for all of us. Enjoy." The Hayduks say they'll put the $100 to good use and hope whoever left the envelope knows how much the gesture is appreciated.

It was, as they say, deja vu all over again when Earl Shaffer trudged out of the woods in northern Maine last week. The York Springs, Pa., resident, you see, is considered the first person to hike the entire 2,150-mile Appalachian Trail - covering it in 99 days in 1948. His 50th anniversary trip took 173 days. Will he try for a third? "Ab-so-lute-ly not!" Ranking Nations in Terms Of Christian Persecution

Saudi Arabia was the nation least tolerant toward Christians last year, a French group said last week. Paris-based Portes Ouvertes International (Open Doors International) is dedicated to protecting persecuted religious minorities. It rates countries annually on tolerance, using such criteria as attitudes of authorities toward Christians, the church's freedom to play a role in society, and relative level of discrimination. The 10 ranked least tolerant in 1997:

1. Saudi Arabia
2. Sudan
3. Somalia
4. Yemen
5. North Korea
6. Iran
7. Laos
8. Morocco
9. Vietnam
10. China

States With Most Firms On Fastest-Growing List

OK, you fancy yourself quite a movie buff. You've seen hundreds of releases, if not more. What would you say is the most memorable line of dialogue uttered on celluloid? If the decision of the compilers of the "Guinness Book of Films" counts for anything, it's "Bond - James Bond," by Sean Connery in the 1962 hit, "Dr. No." A close second, according to the publisher: Humphrey Bogart's "Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine" - from, of course, the 1942 classic, "Casablanca."

There are lawbreakers who delight in taunting the police, and then there's the inmate who escaped from Norway's Bastoey Prison one night last week. The facility is on an island in Oslo Fjord, so to make it to freedom on the mainland he had to steal the prison's rowboat. Once in the clear, he phoned back to report that he'd been successful. And then he complained that the boat was too heavy. States With Most Firms On Fastest-Growing List

California has nurtured more of the nation's 500 fastest-growing private companies than any other state, according to an annual survey by Inc. magazine. To qualify, firms had to have been independent and privately held through 1997. They had to have generated revenue for at least half of 1993 and reached $200,000 in sales in 1997. States with the most companies on Inc.'s top-500 list and the number listed for each:

1. California 83
2. Texas 44
3. Massachusetts 31
4. Virginia 26
5. New York 24
6. Florida 22 (tie) Illinois 22
8. New Jersey 20
9. Pennsylvania 19
10. Georgia 17
11. Maryland 16
12. Ohio 14
13. Colorado 13 (tie) Michigan 13
15. Missouri 12

'Antz' Is Proving Tough To Dislodge at Box Office

Strike another blow against the notion that all professional athletes are self-absorbed. Earlier this week, eight-year National Hockey League veteran Sheldon Kennedy rolled - literally - into Vancouver, British Columbia, and promptly threw a free party for the city's children, complete with a live band. A nice gesture. But there's more to the story. Kennedy had just completed a 136-day cross-Canada trip on in-line skates to raise money for a ranch he wants to build. A victim of child abuse, he plans the facility as a retreat for newer victims and their families.

The ferry system linking the Hebrides Islands with Scotland is reconsidering its tariff policy. Why? In April, the company offered round-trip discounts to farmers taking their livestock to market on the mainland. All summer, crews watched as families drove aboard with sheep in their cars - only to bring them back two weeks later, claiming there were no buyers. It seems the animals had been left at cooperating Scottish farms while the islanders vacationed elsewhere. The ferry system calculates it lost well into the hundreds of dollars. 'Antz' Is Proving Tough To Dislodge at Box Office

The novelty film "Antz" remained the most popular at theaters in the US and Canada for the second straight week. At the same time, industry analysts were calling Eddie Murphy's heavily promoted "Holy Man" a major disappointment, with only a fifth-place finish in its debut weekend. The top-grossing titles Oct. 9-11, in millions of dollars:

1. "Antz" $14.7
2. "Rush Hour" 11.1
3. "What Dreams May Come" 10.9
4. "A Night at the Roxbury" 6.1
5. "Holy Man" 5.1
6. "Urban Legend" 4.8
7. "Ronin" 4.7
8. "There's Something About Mary" 2.8
9. "One True Thing", 1.9 10. "Saving Private Ryan" 1.3

Domain reselling!!!

Apparently a million dollars doesn't go as far as it used to. While it would still buy a lifetime supply of Diet Pepsi and dozens of Honda Civics, a cool million is now only good enough for a pair of top-level gay-oriented websites. In early November, the www.Gays.Com domain sold through Sedo's online marketplace for $500,000, making an interesting story about what the future holds for a company like Franchise Management International (OTC: FMII). Franchise is pending closure of a binding letter of intent with Netadventures, Inc to acquire the www.GayTravel.Com website in addition to a dozen other similar domain names. Upon closing the deal, Franchise would apparently join a short list of gay-friendly companies like PlanetOut (NASDAQ: LGBT), which currently trades on the Nasdaq, and Triangle Multimedia (OTC: QBID), a pinksheet startup which saw its gay and lesbian television network terminate its signal in May of 2006 due to financial problems.

Interestingly, despite the large gay market and relative scarcity of gay and lesbian public companies, Franchise's stock has remained quiet over the past few weeks. After an initial surge to over $.015 on the announcement of the binding letter of intent, the stock was bidding at $.0028 (less than 1/3 of a penny) on Wednesday afternoon with virtually no public interest. With a believed public market of less than 150M outstanding shares, Franchise is ironically valued about $80,000 less than the single www.Gays.Com website was sold for.

According to data on its website, www.GayTravel.Com had booked over 2.5M visits and over 26M hits from a period of 2003-2004. As claimed, they do appear to have the top �organic' search ranking through informal testing done on Google and Yahoo!.

Franchise trades on the loosely-regulated PinkSheets Quotation Service, and does not file periodic reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission. While this is fairly typical of small companies with a limited operating history, it certainly requires a larger burden on the individual investor. According to language in the Franchise press release announcing the binding letter of intent, the acquisition should close by early February.

About Franchise Management International

Franchise Management International, Inc is a premier provider of public charter and transportation services. The company has recently announced a binding letter of intent to acquire the www.GayTravel.Com website and other assets of NetAdventures, Inc.

On Wednesday, the company traded at $.0028, up 12%, on 25,000 shares traded.

About Triangle Multimedia

Triangle Multimedia was the former operator of the Q-Television Network, which terminated its signal in May of 2006. For more information, visit http://www.cinemaxpictures.com.

On Wednesday, the company traded at $.0001, no change, on 1,600,000 shares traded.

About PlanetOut Inc

PlanetOut Inc. is the leading global media and entertainment company exclusively serving the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

PlanetOut's digital media brands include Gay.com, PlanetOut.com, Advocate.com, Out.com, OutTraveler.com and HIVPlusMag.com, as well as localized versions of the Gay.com site in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. PlanetOut print media brands, published by LPI, include The Advocate, Out, The Out Traveler and HIVPlus, as well as SpecPub, Inc. titles. Transaction services brands include e-commerce Web sites Kleptomaniac.com and BuyGay.com, travel and events marketer RSVP Vacations, book publisher Alyson Publications, and direct marketer Triangle Marketing Services, among others.

PlanetOut, based in San Francisco with additional offices in New York, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, London and Buenos Aires, offers Global 1000 and local advertisers access to what it believes to be the most extensive multi-channel, multi-platform network of gay and lesbian people in the world. For more information, please visit www.planetoutinc.com .

On Wednesday, the company traded at $4.25, down 4%, on 66,932 shares traded.

Important Disclosures and Other Information

THIS IS NOT AN OPINION TO BUY OR SELL SECURITIES. PQL Research, its affiliates, and its members, may hold various positions in Franchise Management International and/or Triangle Multi-Media and/or PlanetOut acquired in the open market at prevailing prices. It should be understood that these entities have intent to sell their holdings in Franchise Management International and/or Triangle Multi-Media and/or PlanetOut, whether for a profit or a loss, at any time, and for any reason. PQL Research editor Tim Fostik does not currently hold shares of Triangle Multi-Media or PlanetOut. PQL Research has been compensated 220,000 free-trading shares of Franchise Management International, Inc by a third-party to the company (Undiscovered Equities), to provide this report and subsequent coverage of Franchise Management International on PQL Research websites. PQL Research intends to sell this position into the open market, but as of the date of this publication PQL Research has not yet done so. PQL Research and its editors have not been compensated by Triangle Multi-Media or PlanetOut in any fashion for this release or coverage on any PQL Research website or service. PQL Research makes clear that its coverage(s) of securities are in no way expected to be �impartial' and often omit information that it may consider undesirable. Except factual information disclosed in company filings and/or press releases, all information cited in this release is to be considered speculative. PQL Research and Editor Tim Fostik are not licensed investment analysts, brokers, or dealers, and therefore, are not qualified to render investment advice. Investors are encouraged to seek qualified investment advice from licensed professionals as well as the many resources on the US Securities & Exchange Commission website at www.sec.gov.