Bill Gale

Theater Reviews
4:53 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Ocean State’s “Meet Me in St. Louis” Is Worth Seeing

The Smith Family gathers for dinner in the classic family-friendly musical, Meet Me in St. Louis, being presented at Ocean State Theatre in Warwick through December 28.
Credit Mark Turek / Ocean State Theatre

“Meet Me in St. Louis” is a charmer, a sweet, old fashioned, happy- go-lucky musical of the kind we just don't see anymore. It's filled with wonderful, if saccharine sweet, songs. It tells a tale of a family loving, and battling, and always coming through.

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Theater Reviews
12:52 pm
Sun November 9, 2014

Ocean State's "Dial M" Is Lost In A London Fog

Drew Anthony Allen stars as Tony Wendice in Frederick Knott’s thriller, Dial M for Murder, being presented at Ocean State Theatre
Credit Mark Turek / Ocean State Theatre

You know I checked out the history of “Dial M” before I went to see Ocean State's production. Found a 1984 New York Times review which said that the 30 or so years that had passed since its first showing had not dimmed the play's charms. Still crisp and quick, the reviewer maintained.

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Arts & Culture
6:09 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

Festival Ballet’s Up Close: Dark But A Good Thing

"Vilia Putrius in Viktor Plotnikov's Surrender."
Credit Thomas Nola-Rion / Festival Ballet

Being crowded together in tiny seats and dealing with an over-humid atmosphere has never stopped Festival Ballet's audience from filling the company's main rehearsal hall for “Up Close on Hope.” Showing a number of new works, the latest edition began last weekend. Bill Gale was there.

Yes, and I was happy to be there, too. But after seeing nine short numbers – some of them world premieres – I began to wonder if today's rising choreographers aren't a . . . little bit depressed.

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Theater Reviews
4:44 am
Thu October 30, 2014

The Gamm’s Hedda Gabler Sparkles and Delights

Marianna Bassham as Hedda Gabler
Credit Peter Goldberg / The Gamm Theatre

That's it. Last time out, you may remember, the Gamm did “Grounded,” a high altitude look at an American female fighter pilot that was quick and memorable.

This time artistic director Tony Estrella and his crew have moved to Norway for a dog fight with one of the great, groundbreaking plays of all time, Henrik Ibsen's “Hedda  Gabler.”

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Theater Reviews
4:06 am
Thu September 11, 2014

Gamm’s “Grounded:” An Incisive, Powerful Play

Liz Hayes as "The Pilot" in Grounded, playing at The Gamm Theatre in Pawtucket.
Credit Peter Goldberg

Written by a relatively unknown but fast-rising playwright, George Brant, this play flies high in many ways. It begins with our heroine, called “The Pilot,” rhapsodizing about being, well, a pilot. A fighter pilot, that is. A different breed.

Gowned, if that's the word, in a droopy pilot's one piece flight suit rippled with zippers and great big pockets, she appears on stage to the roar of a jet engine and tells you of the wonders of high, blue altitude. She calls her F-16 fighter, “Tiger” and says “he” “can feel the sky in me.”

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Theater Reviews
2:47 am
Thu July 24, 2014

2nd Story’s “Hay Fever” Is An Overdone Shouting Contest

Members of an eccentric family each invite a friend to the family summer home where the hosts proceed to foist each guest off on a different family member, with alarming and delightful results.
Credit Richard W. Dionne, Jr. / 2nd Story Theatre

Ah, yes, “Hay Fever” one of those plays that became known as “a comedy of manners.” But in truth Coward's 1925 hit really ought to be called a “comedy of ill manners.”

It's Coward's view of a famous family being famously, uproariously, ridiculously bad mannered to point of forcing the family's so-called “guests” to split, to sneak out of the house, to take any measures to get away from the family's self-regard, their “I really don't give a hoot for anything or anyone but myself” attitude.

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Theater Reviews
4:05 am
Thu June 12, 2014

2nd Story’s “Freud’s Last Session” Is Quick And Sharp

Ed Shea is Sigmund Freud in Freud’s Last Session by Mark St. Germain.
Credit Richard W. Dionne, Jr.

It’s September, 1939 and the carnage of World War II is just beginning. Germany has invaded Poland. The British and their allies are preparing to fight. The world is on edge.

And, frankly, so are Dr. Freud and Professor Lewis, two of the great intellectuals of their time who are meeting in Freud’s office in England. But it’s not the Nazi war machine or the reluctant answer of its provocations by the British that’s under debate.

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Theater Reviews
4:17 am
Wed May 7, 2014

The Gamm's "Blackbird" Takes A Tough Look At Molestation

Madeleine Lambert as Una, Jim O'Brien as Ray in "Blackbird."
Credit Peter Goldberg / The Gamm Theatre

Yes, “Blackbird,” by Scottish author David Harrower, is a toughie. There’s no way around but to say that it focuses intimately, deeply on child molestation. It considers who was involved. It asks if whether both of its main characters – a middle aged man and a 12-year-old girl -- did not each suffer greatly. And, most tellingly, it offers no solutions.

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Theater Reviews
2:17 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Contemporary Theater Company’s “Cloud Nine” Worth Catching

Ah, yes, welcome back, “Cloud Nine.” Churchill’s play was a hit in certain quarters back there when the world as we knew it seemed to be tumbling onto a landscape that was unclear and wonderful and scary.

The play won an Obie, Off Broadway’s version of the Tony Awards. It was done around the country by risk-taking regional theaters including a crackerjack production in the 1983-84 season at what we then called the Trinity Square Repertory Company in Providence.

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Theater Reviews
6:35 am
Fri April 4, 2014

The Gamm’s Macbeth Is A Big Bang Production

Jeanine Kane as Lady Macbeth in The Gamm Theatre's production of MacBeth.
Credit Peter Goldberg

Well, that’s right. Filled with shouting, drumming and blood, blood, blood, this Macbeth is a fearsome production. Director Fred Sullivan Jr. has missed no chance to put a point right under your nose, and into your ears.  Drums pound, soldiers shout and women weep.

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