Arts & Culture

Mark Turek / Ocean State Theatre

It has been a while since a full scale version of “My Fair Lady” – one of the truly superb American musicals – has been done around here. So, thank goodness this Ocean State production is a true winner, super in some ways and just fine in others.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

It’s Latino Heritage Month in Rhode Island.  Through October 15th there will be performances, discussions and readings highlighting Latino culture. For this month’s Artscape, Rhode Island Public Radio’s Catherine Welch caught up with a Dominican percussionist who started feeling the rhythm years before ever touching a drum.

Mark Turek / Trinity Rep

Well, that's true. Written in 10 days when Chekhov, a newly minted physician, was 27, Ivanov has all the elements of the author's later greatness. It looks at an extended family of Russians as they struggle with their lives, their fortunes, their very honor.

The center point is one Nikolai Ivanov, a ne’er-do-well landholder, who felt he could conquer the world and then found himself accused of marrying for money. As middle-age approached he began to learn that he was a failure, and a well-meaning lout, too.

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.”

Bob Kerr's Final Column

Sep 5, 2014
Catherine Welch / RIPR

This week The Providence Journal laid off at least 22 employees as it switched hands from AH Belo Corporation to New Media Investment Group. One of the newsroom staffers let go was columnist Bob Kerr who had worked at the paper for 43 years, spending almost half of that time writing a column that ran three times a week.

Kerr was escorted out the door on Tuesday and wasn’t able to write a final column. So we extended an invitation for him to say good-bye to the Rhode Islanders who read his column week after week, year after year.

Rhode Island Artscape: Finding Brown's Lost Museum

Aug 28, 2014
John Bender / RIPR

In the 1800s, Brown University boasted an impressive natural history museum, curated by one John Whipple Potter Jenks. But 100 years later, the museum had vanished.  Now a group of students from Brown and RISD have done their best to piece it back together.

For this month’s Rhode Island Artscape, Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender went to find out more about the rebuilding of Brown’s lost museum.

The 18th annual Rhode Island International Film Festival is underway.  The festival kicked off Tuesday night with a series of short films at the Providence Performing Arts center.  It's recognized as a launching pad for up-and-coming directors.  Festival director George Marshall said the Rhode Island provides filmmakers with a less crowded place to showcase work.

"You can get a lot more publicity out of Rhode Island than out of New York or Los Angeles, where you tend to get lost.  What do you want to do?  You want to get picked up," said Marshall.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

The Newport Jazz Festival kicks off Friday, this is the 60th anniversary of the festival that was first held at the Newport Casino and along Bellevue Avenue.   The festival survived rock and roll and rowdy crowds.

vincegiordano.com

The 60th annual Newport Jazz Festival kicks off Friday. The three-day line up includes plenty of jazz greats you’ve heard of and many you probably haven’t. You may know the music of one of the festival’s Friday performers, Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, from the HBO television series Boardwalk Empire. Giordano’s band creates the series’ authentic 1920s jazz soundtrack, and won a Grammy for it. He spoke with Rhode Island Public Radio’s Kristin Gourlay about his music and upcoming performance at the Newport Jazz Festival.

Newport Folk Festival Celebrates 55 Years

Jul 25, 2014

The Newport Folk Festival kicks off today.  The 55-year old festival is more popular than ever.

Tickets for the festival sold out even before the full lineup was announced.  A resurgence in the festival’s popularity has been credited to an increasingly diverse collection of artists, and a major social media presence.  The festival is now so popular it’s been expanded to three days.

Deer Tick Held Up En Route To Newport Folk Festival

Jul 24, 2014

The band Deer Tick is heading back home for the Newport Folk Festival, but apparently they got held up en route.

According to the band’s Twitter feed, the musicians were kicked off a U.S. Airways flight for trying to board with a guitar.

To which festival organizers tweeted back, “They messed with the wrong folking band”

The band said they’ve since hitched a ride on the train. Originally based in Providence, Deer Tick has become a staple of the Newport Folk Fest. They’re scheduled to play the festival Saturday.

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.

Great Friends Dance Festival Returns To Newport

Jul 22, 2014
Thomas Palmer

You know it's no easy thing to run a small but professional dance company.  Fund-raising is constant and communication with other companies sometimes almost non-existent. That's why Island Moving's idea to trade locations with other companies is such a good thing. It allows a small but efficient troupe to not only travel the nation but brings dancers, choreographers and administrators together in what can sometimes be a kind of singular business.

Mark Turek

Well, yes it does. At the Ocean State in Warwick “Guys and Dolls” – admittedly one of my all-time favorite musicals – comes across as a bifurcated project. On the one hand there is still that marvelous score by Frank Loesser, songs that can break your heart and make you laugh out loud. Under music director Justin P. Cowan they are handled well by a cast of good singers who know how to offer a song without seeming to force it.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

It’s the summer reading season, and for this month’s Artscape we explore books for young adults starting with what some kids at the Cumberland Public Library plan to read this summer.

Summer Reading Students

Phillip DiDomenico, 10 years old, recommends Frindle by Andrew Clements, which he read during the school year.

Sophia Dauphine, 7 years old, plans to read Diary of A Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

Isabella Dauphine, 9 years old, wants to read Little House on the Prairie, the Laura Ingalls Wilder classic

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