Bill Gale http://ripr.org en 2nd Story’s “Hay Fever” Is An Overdone Shouting Contest http://ripr.org/post/2nd-story-s-hay-fever-overdone-shouting-contest <p></p><p>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.”</p><p>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.</p><p></p> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 06:47:00 +0000 Bill Gale 37169 at http://ripr.org 2nd Story’s “Hay Fever” Is An Overdone Shouting Contest Ocean State's "Guys and Dolls" Is Hit And Miss http://ripr.org/post/ocean-states-guys-and-dolls-hit-and-miss <p></p><p>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.</p><p></p> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 08:10:00 +0000 Bill Gale 36717 at http://ripr.org Ocean State's "Guys and Dolls" Is Hit And Miss 2nd Story’s “Freud’s Last Session” Is Quick And Sharp http://ripr.org/post/2nd-story-s-freud-s-last-session-quick-and-sharp <p></p><p>It’s September, 1939 and the carnage of World War II is just beginning. Germany has invaded Poland. The British and their allies are preparing to fight. The world is on edge.</p><p>And, frankly, so are Dr. Freud and Professor Lewis, two of the great intellectuals of their time who are meeting in Freud’s office in England. But it’s not the Nazi war machine or the reluctant answer of its provocations by the British that’s under debate.</p><p></p> Thu, 12 Jun 2014 08:05:00 +0000 Bill Gale 35009 at http://ripr.org 2nd Story’s “Freud’s Last Session” Is Quick And Sharp The Gamm's "Blackbird" Takes A Tough Look At Molestation http://ripr.org/post/gamms-blackbird-takes-tough-look-molestation <p></p><p>Yes, “Blackbird,” by Scottish author David Harrower, is a toughie. There’s no way around but to say that it focuses intimately, deeply on child molestation. It considers who was involved. It asks if whether both of its main characters – a middle aged man and a 12-year-old girl -- did not each suffer greatly. And, most tellingly, it offers no solutions.</p> Wed, 07 May 2014 08:17:00 +0000 Bill Gale 33160 at http://ripr.org The Gamm's "Blackbird" Takes A Tough Look At Molestation 2nd Story’s “Sylvia” Is One Of The Very Best This Season http://ripr.org/post/2nd-story-s-sylvia-one-very-best-season <p></p><p>First I’d like to say that “Sylvia” is an absolute true charmer of a play. It’s laugh out loud funny and can prompt small smiles, too. At 2nd Story, director Pat Hegnauer has given it force and speed and reached to its serious undercurrent, too. This is one of the very best productions of the current theater season. Don’t miss it.</p><p></p><p>Okay, about explaining it all. Playwright A.R. Gurney, best known for “Love Letters” and “The Dinner Party,” has set it up simply. A middle-aged couple with</p> Thu, 01 May 2014 08:15:00 +0000 Bill Gale 32857 at http://ripr.org 2nd Story’s “Sylvia” Is One Of The Very Best This Season The Gamm’s Macbeth Is A Big Bang Production http://ripr.org/post/gamm-s-macbeth-big-bang-production <p></p><p>Well, that’s right. Filled with shouting, drumming and blood, blood, blood, this Macbeth is a fearsome production. Director Fred Sullivan Jr. has missed no chance to put a point right under your nose, and into your ears.&nbsp; Drums pound, soldiers shout and women weep.</p> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 10:35:00 +0000 Bill Gale 31503 at http://ripr.org The Gamm’s Macbeth Is A Big Bang Production Brown 250: Playwright Lynn Nottage On The Future Of Theater http://ripr.org/post/brown-250-playwright-lynn-nottage-future-theater <p>All this week we're marking Brown University's 250th with a series of conversations with graduates, leaders and historians. Thursday we're focusing on the arts. Rhode Island Public Radio's Bill Gale sat down with alum and playwright Lynn Nottage about her work and the future of the theater.</p><p></p><p></p> Thu, 06 Mar 2014 14:20:38 +0000 Bill Gale 30043 at http://ripr.org Brown 250: Playwright Lynn Nottage On The Future Of Theater Trinity Rep's "Oliver!" Is A Solid Winner http://ripr.org/post/trinity-reps-oliver-solid-winner <p></p><p style="margin-bottom: 0in">&nbsp;</p><p style="margin-bottom: 0in"><font color="#1e1e1e"><font face="Times-Roman, serif"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">It certainly is. With a book, and music and lyrics, by the era’s one-time </font></font></font></p><p style="margin-bottom: 0in"><font color="#1e1e1e"><font face="Times-Roman, serif"><font size="3" style="font-size: 13pt">wunderkind, Lionel Bart, “Oliver!” received 23 curtain calls opening night and </font></font></font></p> Wed, 26 Feb 2014 09:24:00 +0000 Bill Gale 29657 at http://ripr.org Trinity Rep's "Oliver!" Is A Solid Winner Trinity Rep’s “Intimate Apparel” Is Worth Seeing And Thinking About http://ripr.org/post/trinity-rep-s-intimate-apparel-worth-seeing-and-thinking-about <p></p><p>That is for sure. Playwright Lynn Nottage, a Brown graduate, has called “Intimate Apparel” a “meditation on loneliness.” Surely that is a more exact, more piercing description of this lovely, incisive and heartbreaking work at Trinity Rep.</p><p>“Intimate Apparel” is one of those plays that will have you confused sometimes, a little bored perhaps, and then will suddenly strike, make you fall for the people involved and for the ideas being put forth. It’s a play most worth seeing, and thinking about.</p> Mon, 10 Feb 2014 09:17:00 +0000 Bill Gale 28830 at http://ripr.org Trinity Rep’s “Intimate Apparel” Is Worth Seeing And Thinking About 2nd Story’s “Seven Keys To Baldpate” Is Quick & Bright http://ripr.org/post/2nd-story-s-seven-keys-baldpate-quick-bright <p></p><p>Right-o. Let me say it up front. “Seven Keys to Baldpate” at 2nd Story is nothing less than a charmer. It’ll tickle your funny bone and warm your heart in the middle of this obstreperous winter of our discontent.</p><p>Okay, that’s enough of 1913-type hyperbole. But there’s no question that the Providence-born Cohan knew what he was doing. He adapted “Baldpate” from a novel by the author of the Charlie Chan film series. He said the play is both a farce and a melodrama. He was right on both counts.</p><p></p> Fri, 07 Feb 2014 08:15:00 +0000 Bill Gale 28731 at http://ripr.org 2nd Story’s “Seven Keys To Baldpate” Is Quick & Bright