ON BROADWAY – If you’ve been to the Wagon Wheel Theatre in the last couple of years, you might remember an actress by the name of McKenzie Kurtz.

In the July 2017 production of “The Crucible,” she played Abigail Williams, the niece of the Rev. Samuel Parris, who had an affair with John Proctor.

She also was Inga in the stellar “Young Frankenstein” in 2017 and the rebellious Ariel Moore in “Footloose.”

Now we’ve learned – from Playbill.com – that beginning Feb. 18, Kurtz and Ciara Renée will be Anna and Elsa in the hit musical “Frozen” at the St. James Theatre. The Broadway production’s original stars, Patti Murin and Caissie Levy, depart the Disney musical Feb. 16.

“Frozen” is Kurtz’s Broadway debut.

“Frozen” opened at Broadway’s St. James in March 2018, earning Tony Award nominations for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book.

MLK REMINDER – The 32nd annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day community event is Monday at the Manahan Orthopedic Capital Center on the Grace College campus. Doors open at 11 a.m., and the program is scheduled to run from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The previously announced speaker is Kondo Simfukwe, lead pastor at Mission Point Community Church.

The event is free to attend and is intended for people of all ages. There will be free lunches provided for the first 300 people.

STATE OF THE STATE – After Republican Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb gave his state of the state address Tuesday, reactions from various other elected officials swiftly came in via email.

Republican Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Jennifer McCormick said, “While I appreciate the governor including the teacher compensation crisis in the State of the State Address, I am disappointed Indiana continues to delay necessary action. Insufficient school funding resulting in inadequate teacher compensation impacts 1.1 million students, 78,000 Hoosier educators and the future of our great state. Students cannot afford to lose more great educators while Indiana decides if we can afford them.”

Dr. Woody Myers, a Democrat candidate for governor, said, in part, “The state of our state presented tonight was a lot rosier than the one I’ve heard about from Hoosiers who struggle to make a living wage, access affordable health care and ensure their children receive a quality education.

“It took thousands of teachers rallying at the Statehouse saying, ‘Enough is enough’ for the governor to acknowledge that Indiana has failed our teachers and students. When adjusted for inflation, average Indiana teacher salaries have dropped 15% since 2000 and a third of new Indiana teachers leave their jobs within five years. ... As a state, we must do more this year to show these educated and well-trained professionals how much we value their contributions.”

Meanwhile, Republican State Sen. Ryan Mishler (R-Bremen) released this statement: “During the 2019 legislative session, I worked with my colleagues to pass our state’s next two-year budget, which featured an increase of $763 million toward K-12 education, including $150 million to pay down schools’ pension liabilities.

“This evening in his State of the State address, Gov. Holcomb recommended that in Indiana’s next budget, the General Assembly allocate an additional $250 million from our state’s surplus and put it toward teacher retirement funds.

“This would generate $50 million a year that can be redirected to teacher pay, and I commend Gov. Holcomb’s fiscally responsible idea to pay down our state’s pension liability.

KCSWCD Annual Meeting – Featured speaker at the Kosciusko County Soil and Water Conservation District annual meeting will be Dawn Slack, The Nature Conservancy. The meeting is at 6 p.m. Feb. 18 at Wyndham Garden Hotel Ballroom, Warsaw.