Arts & Culture

John Bender / RIPR

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage month, Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender profiled Warwick musician Lydia Perez. 

Originally from Puerto Rico, Perez has been performing throughout Rhode Island since the mid-nineties.

With her group, Yoruba 2 she has toured throughout the region, teaching and performing the traditional music and dance of Puerto Rico.

“Well my name is Lydia Perez, I’m a traditional artist in the state of Rhode Island.”

“My name is Yidell Rivera.  I am Lydia’s oldest daughter, and I’ve worked with her since, well, my childhood.”

Taste Trekkers Descend On Providence

Sep 23, 2013
Flo Jonic / RIPR

Providence restaurants did a brisk business this weekend as a convention of foodies descended on the capital city.

For the uninitiated, a taste trekker is a person who plans their vacations around food.  Over the weekend some 150 of these people visited Providence for the first Taste Trekkers Convention.  They listened to top chefs, heard lectures on subjects as obscure as Memphis barbecue and chocolate from Madagascar, and of course they ate.  Matt Bowie came from Somerville, Massachusetts.

Credit Peter Goldberg / The Gamm TheatreCasey Seymour Kim and Alexander Platt in "Far Away" by Caryl Churchill, directed by Tony Estrella.Edit | Remove

For decades, English playwright Caryl Churchill has been accorded Goddess stature in the upper reaches of play writing circles. Fiercely political, strongly on the left, Churchill made her mark with plays of attitude and insight.

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

2nd Story Theatre debuts its new 70-seat performing space this week with a play called “Lobby Hero” by New York writer Kenneth Lonergan.

Yeah, well, you see “hero” is not exactly the right word. On the other hand, maybe it is. Or it is sometimes. You get what I mean?

No, huh? Well, the strength of this very funny, charming, tough and potty-mouthed snappy play is that nothing is exactly as it seems. But it might be. Irony prevails in “Lobby Hero.”

On this edition of All Songs Considered, hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton share a brand new song from Beck. The new cut, called "Gimme," is the third single he's released since June and by far the strangest (i.e., best) of the bunch. None of the songs will be on the new full-length record Beck hopes to release before the end of the year.

Mark Turek / Trinity Rep

Let’s just say it right up front. Directed with bold assertion by Brian McEleney, on a kooky set that somehow works by designer Michael McGarty, “The Grapes of Wrath” is mesmerizing theater. With its quicksilver pace, its heartfelt performing and all-American drive, this production ranks among the best in Trinity’s history of taking on big deals and making them individual, and accessible.

Courtesy RISCA

The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts is taking submissions from local artists for gallery space at TF Green and the Block Island airport.

An airport might not be the first venue that comes to mind when one thinks of an art gallery. But both the Block Island Airport and TF Green have set aside space to highlight the work of Rhode Island artists. Now the state’s arts council is looking for work to fill those spaces next year.

Artscape: Trinity Rep, a Rhode Island Theater at 50

Aug 29, 2013
John Bender / RIPR

This year, the Providence based Theater Company, Trinity Rep will celebrate its 50th year in Rhode Island, a remarkable feat for any non-profit arts organization.

For this month’s Artscape, Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender found out more about their upcoming season, and how the theater company made it to fifty.

Rhode Island Historical Society

Some 1,000 fans of author HP Lovecraft are converging on Providence for a gathering starting Thursday and running through the weekend.

The event, called NecronomiCon,  is designed to celebrate the life and works of the author who crossed science fiction with horror stories.

Steven Richard Photography / Theatre by the Sea

Okay, full disclosure. I have a major soft spot for “La Cage.” Ever since I was one of the many who stood and cheered at the end of the 1983 pre-Broadway tryout at Boston’s Colonial Theatre I’ve wanted “La Cage” to succeed wherever it plays.

And it’s not just the crisp score by Jerry Herman or the pungent humor of Harvey Fierstein’s lyrics. It is truly the message of becoming a decent human being and knowing who you are, and why, that’s allowed me to love “La Cage” over the years.

Flo Jonic / RIPR

There's a commonly held misconception in Rhode Island that the jewelry industry is washed up, kaput, a victim of the ravaged manufacturing sector. But according to the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, we have the highest concentration of jobs in the jewelry industry in the United States. This morning as we continue our 'Made in Rhode Island' series, Rhode Island Public Radio's Flo Jonic delves into the jewelry industry through the eyes of three of its players:

Wikimedia Commons

The Rhode Island International Film Festival is underway.  One movie highlights the loan program named for the late Senator Claiborne Pell.

A documentary about Pell Grants will receive its world premiere in Providence as part of the week-long film festival.

The movie follows the battle Senator Claiborne Pell fought in Congress to pass the grant program in the seventies.

It was written and directed by Steven Feinberg, who’s also the executive director of the Rhode Island Film and Television Office.

Adam Kissick / NPR

We were happy to be a part of the Newport Jazz Festival this weekend. Our tent was right next to the stage, so Chief Engineer, Aaron Read set up a camera looking out over the crowd and captured this time-lapse video. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to say "Hi!"

Steven Richard Photography / Theatre-by-the-Sea

Ah, yes. “The sun’ll come out tomorrow/Bet your bottom dollar.” Most of us remember that lyric. And you know, when “Annie,” after trying out at the Goodspeed Opera House, opened on Broadway in 1977 it definitely earned a lot more than a buck. With its bouncy music and improbable but oh-so-charming, very American narrative the show was up for 18 Tony Awards, and won 14, including “Best Musical.”

The show then traveled from Boston to Bangkok as Annie and her dog Sandy, and her multi-millionaire benefactor Daddy Warbucks, made the sun shine once again around the world.

James Baird

A mural commissioned to mark Rhode Island Hospital’s 150th anniversary was unveiled Tuesday morning in Providence.

Dolphins, whales, harbor seals and an octopus mingle among the blue and violet waves that roll down the walls of the Eddy Street underpass. Artist Kenn Speiser says the waves are meant to have a calming effect on drivers as they buzz by.

Speiser and his team painted during the day for about three weeks, getting plenty of feedback along the way.