Arts & Culture

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.

Rhode Island Marine Archeology Project

This week, we’re exploring Narragansett Bay. It’s the focus of a regular series called “One Square Mile,” where we dive deep into a particular area of Rhode Island. We’re taking a look at the people and places who make the bay so vital to the Ocean State.

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.

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.