Arts & Culture

Photo by Julieta Cervantes

For serious jazz fans, A Love Supreme, by saxophonist John Coltrane needs no introduction.  A Love Supreme was recorded in one day at the end of 1964, and released 51 years ago this month, in February of 1965. It’s since been recognized as one of the all-time great jazz masterworks.

On Saturday, Urban Bush Women, a group of African American dancers out of Brooklyn, bring their unique interpretation of Coltrane’s achievement to the Vets, in Providence. For this month’s Rhode Island Artscape, RIPR's Chuck Hinman reports on the psychology of Coltrane and jazz improvisation.

Mark Turek / Trinity Rep

The latest offering at Trinity Rep is “The Hunchback of Seville.'' Rhode Island Public Radio’s Bill Gale was unconvinced at first, but this bright and bold, silly and crude production won him over.

Yes, and you can add wacky and wild and sometimes sophomoric in the extreme. Written by Brown University graduate Charise Castro Smith this play looks in on lots of things, from feminism to the Spanish inquisition and the gross side of the development of the New World. It's filled with explosive imagination, and the romp of youth.

Mark Turek / Ocean State Theatre

“Break A Leg” is a well-known (if rarely seriously used) phrase to encourage an actor before he or she goes on stage. Now, Warwick's Ocean State Theatre presents “Breaking Legs,” a highly farcical comedy combining the theater world and the mafia. Bill Gale went to see it anyway.

The production, directed by Trinity Rep's Fred Sullivan Jr., turns out to be an overdone, over silly piece that somehow manages to be pretty darn funny.

Maggie Hall / Wilbury Theatre Group

Providence’s Wilbury Theatre Group is staging another provocative drama, filled with humor and music. Rhode Island Public Radio’s theater critic Bill Gale, says the show has something to say.

Despite that somewhat sophomoric title, this work eventually turns out to make a point or two. In a snap-fire three act production, in about 2 hours, it manages to take a look at a group of arts-world folks. It peels away the covering, lets us in the audience see their troubles, exterior and internal. And perhaps even offers us a chance to think about our own lives.

Chuck Hinman

At the Atrium Gallery at One Capitol Hill in Providence, there is a show called “Pawtucket: A Different Perspective.” It features 520 photos from Pawtucket’s 17th Annual Photo Contest. Contestants were told to hit the streets of the city in search of their particular vision of Pawtucket. 

Peter Goldberg / Gamm Theatre

Remember Sarah Palin? Of course you do. Who could forget?

Well, the political career of Ms. Palin is the jumping off point for “Grizzly Mama” by George Brant, the author of the high-flying  “Grounded” done at the Gamm last year.

But “Grizzly Mama” is a very different piece of theater. It takes off and goes way beyond the blue yonder, into a world of familial atmosphere, good and bad, loving and hating.

RIPR file photo

From Westerly to Woonsocket, there's no shortage of ways to ring in the New Year. If you’ve yet to decide on where to sing Auld Lyne Syne, here are a few options you may have overlooked.

The Indian Association of Rhode Island hosts a party at the Crowne Plaza in Warwick, where traditional Indian food and drink will be served to the sounds of Bollywood music.

For families with kids, The Providence Children’s Museum will provide materials to build noisemakers and musical instruments for an early New Year’s Eve celebration in the afternoon.

Chuck Hinman

Providence resident Joseph Aaron Segal was a contestant on Season 11 of "Project Runway," the Lifetime show that pits clothing designers against one another in the search for a top designer. So what's real life like after reality TV? RIPR's Chuck Hinman stopped by Segal's Providence studio to find out.

Andrea Hansen / Redwood Library

Newport’s historic Redwood Library is about to start charging entrance fees for the first time in its 269-year history. The private library was founded in 1747 and has been funded through a combination of membership fees, donations and grants. 

But this year the library has fallen short of expenses. Spokeswoman Gretchen Markert said starting next month they will charge a $10 entrance fee for all non-members who visit the library collection.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Islanders hail from all over the world, and so too do the dishes and traditions we practice during the holidays. To sample some of this season’s international flavors, Rhode Island Public Radio sent reporters into several communities. Kristin Gourlay begins our story at a Liberian restaurant. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison and producer Nate Mooney also contributed to this piece.          

If you who still have people on your holiday shopping list, don’t panic! We have book picks from the chair of RISD's Department of Literary Arts and Studies. Associate Professor Nicole Merola sat down with Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison.

Mark Turek / Trinity Rep

In 1989, playwright Wendy Wasserstein’s “The Heidi Chronicles” won a Tony Award and a Pulitzer Prize. Now, Trinity Rep in Providence has revived this very personal play. Rhode Island Public Radio Theater Critic Bill Gale says maybe they should have left well enough alone.

Chuck Hinman / RIPR

We’re taking a look at the local music scene in Rhode Island, with an eye toward gift giving this holiday season.  Our music consultant is Tom Weyman, of the Columbus Cooperative -- which operates the Columbus Theatre in Providence.

Steven Somerstein

A rare collection of photos of the 1965 civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama are now on display at the Providence Public Library.

On Wednesday the photographer, Steven Somerstein, will deliver a talk about his experience taking the photos, witnessing the march, and interacting with influential black leaders of the time including, Martin Luther King Jr, James Baldwin, and Rosa Parks.

RIPR FILE

Tickets for the Newport Folk Festival go on sale Wednesday, about six months before the event. As usual, no artists have yet been announced for the 2016 festival. In previous years, a limited number of early-bird tickets were sold first. This year, all tickets will be released at the same time, (though the first ten percent sold will be discounted.)

Organizers expect tickets to go quickly, as the event has sold out in recent years. The Folk Festival is limited to about 10,000 people per day, making it smaller than many other high-profile music festivals.

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