theater

Maggie Hall / Wilbury Theatre Group

Providence's Wilbury Theatre Group has never avoided doing the controversial.  Rhode Island Public Radio's Bill Gale says their current play, “Straight White Men” definitely fits into that catalog.

Epic Theater

Rhode Island is currently enjoying a theatrical surge. New theater companies have arrived, often with plays – and ideas – that are far from the usual. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Bill Gale has checked in on a couple now performing works that you are not going to see everywhere.

The Flu Season” continues at the Burbage Theater through December 3rd. James Franco and Me continues at the Epic Theater through November 27. Bill Gale reviews the performing arts for Rhode Island Public Radio.

Mark Turek / Trinity Rep

“Appropriate” is both brilliant and bitter, overdone and incisive. At times, it seems to be right on, an American original, both hilarious and heartbreaking. Other times it has you asking just what are these people on stage doing, for heaven’s sake?

For two hours forty-five minutes (including two intermissions) it is a play of rage and regret, of lives ruined, hope gone.

Andrew Iacovelli/Burbage Theatre Company

Rhode Island's booming theater scene is in full pulse these days Which has lead Rhode Island Public Radio's  Bill Gale to double up.

Mark Turek/Trinity Rep

Trinity Rep opens the theater season with a musical called "Beowolf. A Thousand Years of Baggage." Rhode Island Public Radio Theater Critic Bill Gale says "baggage" is not the word he would use, but whip-smart theater filled with great rock music and talented performers pretty much sums it up.

John Bender / RIPR

Trinity Repertory Company is touring a new production of Romeo and Juliet this summer. The production is a first for the company; it’s being performed in both English and Spanish.  

Mark Turek/Trinity Rep.

“Arnie Louis and Bob” checks out three old timers, brothers ranging from their late-60s to mid-70s. All three could be called wanderers, guys who spend considerable amounts of time looking for things they can't have.

Arnie cuts grass and plows snow. Makes a living at it too, more or less. Louis is depressed, beaten down, and barely in touch with reality. Bob runs an ice-making  Zamboni machine -- when he's not longing for even a glimpse of Taylor Swift, that is.

Peter Goldberg / Gamm Theatre

Pawtucket's Gamm Theatre is currently doing the Irish play “A Skull in Connemara.” It's a work infrequently done, certainly not as often as playwright Martin McDonagh's best, “The Beauty Queen of Leenane.” Bill Gale thinks he knows the reason why.

Mark Turek / Trinity Rep

The latest offering at Trinity Rep is “The Hunchback of Seville.'' Rhode Island Public Radio’s Bill Gale was unconvinced at first, but this bright and bold, silly and crude production won him over.

Yes, and you can add wacky and wild and sometimes sophomoric in the extreme. Written by Brown University graduate Charise Castro Smith this play looks in on lots of things, from feminism to the Spanish inquisition and the gross side of the development of the New World. It's filled with explosive imagination, and the romp of youth.

Mark Turek / Trinity Rep

As we know, Christmas comes but once a year. And this time around Trinity Rep is presenting its evergreen production of “A Christmas Carol” earlier than usual. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Bill Gale says that’s a good thing, for several reasons.

“A Christmas Carol” continues at Trinity Rep through December 31st. Bill Gale reviews the performing arts for Rhode Island Public Radio

One of Rhode Island’s only Spanish-language theater companies is getting its own home. The ECAS Theatre in Providence has been operating for nearly two decades. (ECAS stands for Educational Center for the Arts and Sciences.)

ECAS began in 1997, producing plays in both English and Spanish. Up to now, the group has rented space, but organizers have found a permanent home in Providence’s South Side.

The group mainly stages plays from Hispanic countries. Artistic Director Francis Parra said they provide a glimpse into the national cultures of many Rhode Island residents.

Trinity Repertory Company

A performance of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol might be part of your family’s holiday tradition. But for some families with autistic children, the bright lights and loud noises of a typical performance make that tradition nearly impossible. 

Maggie Hall / Ocean State Theatre

Warwick’s Ocean State Theatre opens the season with a mixture of music and dark humor. Rhode Island Public Radio theatre critic Bill Gale was mostly won over by The Addams Family: The Musical.

The Addams Family: The Musical runs through October 25th at Ocean State Theatre in Warwick. Bill Gale reviews the performing arts for Rhode Island Public Radio.

Trinity Repertory Company

Rhode Island's theater community said a final farewell this week to longtime Trinity Repertory Company member Barbara Meek. The Detroit native passed away on Saturday. She was 81-years-old.

Meek acted in more than 100 plays at Trinity Rep., including the current production  of "Julius Caesar," which had her on stage up until the week before she died. Over her decades-long career, she also had roles on Broadway and television.

Rhode Island Public Radio arts critic Bill Gale shared his memories of Meek, both on and off the stage, in this audio postcard.

2nd Story Theatre

Ed Shea, artistic director of Warren's 2nd Story Theatre, had to ring up theater folk in London for permission to do “Dangerous Corner,” a mostly forgotten 1930s play by J.B. Priestley. Bill Gale says the result is, somewhat mixed.

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