Arts & Culture

Ocean State Theater Company

  The Ocean State Theatre in Warwick has come up with a relatively unknown musical concerning a guy, a gal and a novel way of telling their story. Bill Gale says the production is a good try, at least.

"The Last Five Years” continues at the Ocean State Theatre through March 15th. Bill Gale reviews the performing arts for Rhode Island Public Radio. 

John Bender / RIPR

World renowned composer and performer Philip Glass is in Rhode Island.  He performed at Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Providence Wednesday as part of a program put on by local arts non-profit First Works. He continues his visit Thursday, to work with students at the Jacqueline Walsh School for the performing arts in Pawtucket.  For this month’s Artscape, Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender examines the draw of Philip Glass’ music, and why it endures.


New details are emerging about a major arts festival scheduled in Providence this summer. The event is part of Mayor Jorge Elorza’s plan to develop the city into an artistic tourist destination. 



RIPR's Chuck Hinman talks with Teja Arboleda and Deb Farrar-Parkman, producers of the innovative comedy show You've Crossed the Line: Comedy, Diversity and Freedom of Speech. At Salve Regina University in Newport, Wednesday night, Feb. 25th, 7pm. Free and open to the public.

James Baumgartener / RIPR

Fans of more esoteric pop music, and perhaps of a certain age, may be familiar with the 60's psychedelic rock band Autosalvage.  Former guitarist Rick Turner is a small piece of rock history, and an alumnus of Moses Brown School in Providence.  In addition he's a master guitar maker.

Turner has returned to his alma mater, to teach a course in ukulele making.  Rhode Island Public Radio's weekend host, Chuck Hinman sat down with Turner to talk about his music, life after the band, and returning to teach at his old school.





Courtesy Festival Ballet

Festival Ballet's Up Close On Hope series usually presents a plethora of short pieces ranging from classical ballet to comedic devices. This time around things are different. Bill Gale says the change works.

“Up Close on Hope” will be shown at Festival Ballet in Providence through February 14th. Bill Gale reviews the performing arts for Rhode Island Public Radio.

Mark Turek / Ocean State Theatre

February being Black History Month the Ocean State Theater in Warwick has brought back a 1987 play, “The Meeting.” African-American playwright and screenwriter Jeff Stetson brings together two major leaders who had very different ideas about improving the life and times of their fellow black Americans.

Dr. King, of course, developed a non-violent strategy. A minister with a Boston University PhD, he aimed to confront racism and violence strongly but without turbulence.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

The International Writers Project at Brown University presents a 2-day festival of Cuban writing and music on Feb. 4th and 5th. Called "Cuba In Splinters:  New Fiction from Generation Zero," it honors the Cuban writer and blogger Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo. Rhode Island Public Radio's Chuck Hinman spoke to Orlando Luis about the festival and contemporary Cuban literature. 

Mark Turek / Trinity Rep

Near the end of a rather long first act, “Middletown” suddenly shifts from its small town peek at local cops, librarians, neer-do-wells. With superb surprise, Trinity's downstairs Dowling Theater suddenly becomes the universe.

John Bender / RIPR

Mama Kim’s is a well-known food truck in the Providence area specializing in Korean Barbeque.  It’s just opened its very first brick-and-mortar sit-down restaurant in Cranston.


For this month’s Rhode Island Artscape, Rhode Island public radio’s John Bender stopped by the new Cranston space to talk with owner Don Fecher about the business, the transition from the truck, and, of course, the food.


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Richard W. Dionne, Jr. / 2nd Story Theatre

Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Donald Margulies once said that he loves “. . .smart, complicated women. . .” 

Well, in just two hours (with an intermission) he lets us look in on two females who meet that criteria, and more. “Collected Stories” takes place entirely in the Greenwich Village apartment of one Ruth Steiner, an award-winning author/professor. She's sharp as a whip, tight as a drum and both prissy and provocative. Lives alone and likes it. Or at least thinks she does.

Full Lineup Announced For 2015 Newport Jazz Fest

Jan 13, 2015
Aaron Read / RIPR

The full musical lineup is out for the 2015 Jazz Festival.  And as Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender reports, it’s the festival’s 61st anniversary.

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza held his inaugural celebration this past Monday night at the Cranston Street Armory, an enormous castle of yellow brick whose turrets rise majestically and a bit improbably over the West End neighborhood where it sits. 

Newport Folk Festival Tickets Go On Sale Thursday

Jan 8, 2015
Weekly Dig / Wikimedia Commons

Tickets for the Newport Folk Festival go on sale at 10 o’clock Thursday morning.  The music lineup has yet to be announced.

That’s been the norm for the past several years, but it hasn’t stopped the festival from selling thousands of tickets.   Last year, for the first time in its history, the complete three-day festival completely sold out.  Three-day, two-day, and single passes will all go on sale.  Ten percent of the three-day passes will be available at a special ‘early-bird rate.’

Cade Tompkins Projects

Former Gov. Lincoln Chafee said he likes his official portrait. An image of the painting was released online, but the artist has yet to officially present it to the state.

The painting shows a somber Chafee in a jacket and tie looking off to the side against a dark background. Chafee said he and artist Julie Gearan met about four times, she took picture of him, and they looked at other portraits from across the country.

“Well the main thing I said to the artist is just something different from the many that are up there,” said Chafee.