Arts & Culture

Brian Gagnon / Wilbury Theatre Group

Using the same theater on Broad Street in Providence where Trinity Rep began in the 1960s, the adventurous Wilbury Group is currently staging a work about the life and times, and death, of Walt Disney. Bill Gale has this review.

“A Public Reading of An Unproduced Screenplay About the Death of Walt Disney” continues at the Wilbury Group in Providence through November 22. Bill Gale reviews the performing arts for Rhode Island Public Radio.

Aaron Read / RIPR

Tickets for the Newport Jazz Festival go on sale today. This will be the 61st year for the annual Newport Jazz Fest.

Though the music doesn’t start until July 31st, the public will be able to purchase tickets for the historic festival 10 o’clock this morning.  Last year, for the sixtieth anniversary, the Jazz fest added a third day to its typical two-day lineup.  It’s holding onto the three day schedule this year. The festival is introducing a new cheaper one-day ticket, allowing visitors to choose whether they want to go on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.


Veterans are more complete citizens, I think.  We hold our country closer,  and we know our country better for having gotten on the bus and gone to boot camp and earned the right to train and fight, get scared and get drunk with the richest mix of Americans to be found anywhere.

I remember the farm kids and the ghetto kids and the kids gone to the Marines instead of prison.  I remember the kids like me who wanted to break from college-bred predictability and take a mad leap into the unknown.   Some of us were looking for our hard side and found we didn’t have one.

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.