Arts & Culture

Arts & Culture
5:00 am
Thu December 25, 2014

Rhode Island Artscape: The Rhode Island Philharmonic Delves Into Handel's Messiah

Final bars of the "Hallelujah" chorus from Handel's manuscript.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

One can usually hear the familiar strains of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah this time of year.  The Rhode Island Philharmonic performed the piece last week, as they do each year around Christmas. 

For this month’s Artscape, Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender sat down with conductor Andy Clark, who led the philharmonic to talk about the famous piece, and how it’s come to be such a beloved holiday tradition.

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Arts & Culture
5:56 am
Thu December 18, 2014

"Eve of Destruction" Chronicles Unrest Of The 1960’s

Fifty years ago Thursday President Lyndon Johnson lit the National Christmas Tree and said quote, ``These are the most hopeful times in all the years since Christ was born in Bethlehem.’’ Those words would come back to haunt him. It’s documented in a book by former Brown University professor James Patterson, Eve of Destruction.

Despite the assassination of President Kennedy a year earlier, Americans were prosperous and optimistic. But in Just a few months, that would all start to erode.

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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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The Bob Kerr Essay
6:05 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Bob Kerr: How The Golden Age Grease Caper Gave Me Hope

The Golden Age Grease Caper gives us hope - at least those of us who are closing in on that rock solid verification of old age, that sure fire boarding pass for the bus to Foxwoods and the complimentary roll of quarters.

The Golden Age Grease caper provides one of those cherished, you’re-never-too-old moments that can be warmly, eagerly embraced as a ringing geezer declaration of independence. 

Personally, I’m taking it as irrefutable proof that 70 is the new 65.        

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Arts & Culture
1:16 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

After 80 years Of Dancing Theresa Landry Hangs Up Her Dance Shoes

Theresa Landry has been giving dance lessons since she was a 10-year-old, selling lessons for a dime to help her family get by.
Credit Lydia Rogers/File / RIPR

For more than 80 years, Theresa Landry has taught Rhode Islanders how to dance. But Landry will hang up her tap shoes and close her studio for good Saturday.

For generations, students have tapped and turned at the Theresa Landry Dance Studio on Dexter Street in Pawtucket. But the building’s been sold, forcing Landry to retire. And at 93 years old, she’s ready. “Well I think God is telling me that it’s time for me to have more time for myself and my family,” she said.

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Theater Reviews
4:07 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Trinity Rep’s “Barefoot In The Park” Is Still Very Funny

Stephen Berenson as Victor Velasco, Charlie Thurston as Paul, Phyllis Kay as Mrs. Banks and Rebecca Gibel as Corie in Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park at Trinity Rep.
Credit Mark Turek / Trinity Rep

Bill Gale admits that he raised an eyebrow when Trinity Rep announced it would do Neil Simon's 1963 hit “Barefoot in the Park.”  Why do that old joke carnival? he asked. But after seeing Trinity's production our critic has another view.

Yup, I do. Having seen this tight, funny and carefully thought out “Barefoot,” I'm saying, well, why not?”

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Arts & Culture
9:07 am
Tue November 25, 2014

Early Wave Of Jazz Festival Tickets Go On Sale

Newport Jazz Fest, 2013
Credit Aaron Read / RIPR

Tickets the Newport Jazz Festival’s Friday shows go on sale at ten o’clock this morning.  It’s the 61st anniversary of the festival.

The Friday concert was added for the jazz festival’s 60th anniversary last year.  Festival organizers decided to offer it again this year.  The lineup will focus on emerging artists and new jazz styles.  Performers include Grammy winner Snarky Puppy, a thirteen piece jazz fusion group, who made their festival debut last year. 

The Friday concerts will be held at Fort Adams State Park in Newport.  The tickets cost $40, and $20 for students.

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Bob Kerr Essay
2:43 am
Tue November 25, 2014

Bob Kerr: I’m Thankful For People Who Stop And Help Others

In late August, the power was shut off at the River United Methodist Church. The church, in the heart of downtown Woonsocket, was about a thousand bucks in arrears on its electric bill.  The guy from National Grid apologized for doing what he had to do.

Church members, who specialize in doing a whole lot with very little, scrambled to do what they always do.   They took food from freezers and refrigerators and headed to a nearby park to feed hungry people. 

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Theater Reviews
4:47 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Trinity Rep’s "A Christmas Carol" Is Filled With Joy And Seriousness

The full cast of A Christmas Carol at Trinity Rep.
Credit Mark Turek / Trinity Rep

Way back in 1843 when Charles Dickens' “A Christmas Carol” was published in London one reviewer called it “. . . a dainty dish to put before a king.” Well, Bill Gale is not entering hyperbole land quite that much. But he does say that this year's on-stage version at Trinity Rep is a winner.

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Theater Reviews
9:03 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Wilbury Theatre's "Death Of Walt Disney" An OK Play Bolstered By A Strong Cast

Tom Chace (L) and Vince Petronio (R) in A Public Reading Of An Unproduced Screenplay About The Death Of Walt Disney.
Credit Brian Gagnon / Wilbury Theatre Group

Using the same theater on Broad Street in Providence where Trinity Rep began in the 1960s, the adventurous Wilbury Group is currently staging a work about the life and times, and death, of Walt Disney. Bill Gale has this review.

“A Public Reading of An Unproduced Screenplay About the Death of Walt Disney” continues at the Wilbury Group in Providence through November 22. Bill Gale reviews the performing arts for Rhode Island Public Radio.

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