Arts & Culture

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.

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.        

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.

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?”

Early Wave Of Jazz Festival Tickets Go On Sale

Nov 25, 2014
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.

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. 

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.

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.

Aaron Read / RIPR

Tickets for the Newport Jazz Festival go on sale today. This will be the 61st year for the annual Newport Jazz Fest.

Though the music doesn’t start until July 31st, the public will be able to purchase tickets for the historic festival 10 o’clock this morning.  Last year, for the sixtieth anniversary, the Jazz fest added a third day to its typical two-day lineup.  It’s holding onto the three day schedule this year. The festival is introducing a new cheaper one-day ticket, allowing visitors to choose whether they want to go on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.

RIPR FILE

Veterans are more complete citizens, I think.  We hold our country closer,  and we know our country better for having gotten on the bus and gone to boot camp and earned the right to train and fight, get scared and get drunk with the richest mix of Americans to be found anywhere.

I remember the farm kids and the ghetto kids and the kids gone to the Marines instead of prison.  I remember the kids like me who wanted to break from college-bred predictability and take a mad leap into the unknown.   Some of us were looking for our hard side and found we didn’t have one.

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.

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.

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.”

John Bender / RIPR

Award winning musician Regina Carter is a genre bending violinist. Though classically trained, she’s made a career recording jazz, folk and fiddle styles. She’s performed around the world, but this week Carter was in Rhode Island spending time with local music students. This was one stop she made in a series of events by FirstWorks, including a concert Saturday night at RISD.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

We’re extending summer just a little longer this week with our series One Square Mile focused on Narragansett Bay. Now we offer a little poetry. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Catherine Welch caught up with Rick Benjamin, the state’s poet laureate, who wrote a poem about the bay for our series.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you. news@ripr.org

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