Bill Gale

Performing Arts Critic

Bill Gale has had a widely varied career (including a stint as an air traffic controller) before dedicating himself to The Providence Journal for 35 years — 25 of those as the Journal's theater and dance critic. He is the former executive committee chair of the Foundation of the American Theater Critics Association and currently serves on their board.Gale has received a variety of awards including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the New England Theatre Conference. He has taught at Rhode Island College and Roger Williams University, and is currently an Admiral at Hope High School. He is married to clinical social worker Peggy Gale and is the father of two children. And he loves working in radio.

Ways to Connect

Steven Richard Photography. / Theatre By The Sea

“The Music Man” has been an American staple for 60 years. Now it’s at Theatre by the Sea in Matunick. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Bill Gale says it’s well worth seeing, once again.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr/ Creative Commons License

Earlier this month in New York a production of Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” depicted a Caesar complete with fluffy, golden hair and a very long, red, necktie. This obvious nod to President Donald Trump caused anguish and action. Ticket buyers clashed with each other, and major financial promoters withdrew their support.

Seth Jacobson Photography / Courtesy of The Contemporary Theater Company

"Accidental Death Of An Anarchist" is an Italian play written by Dario Fo, a left-leaning playwright, loved by many, disliked by others. The Contemporary Theater in Wakefield has taken it on. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Bill Gale says the production surely has its moments.

Dave Cantelli Photography / Courtesy of Epic Theatre Company

Springtime is a changing time for the theater world.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s Bill Gale says that’s clearly shown by the very different theater pieces "Equus" and "BEEHIVE The '60s Musical." 


Maggie Hall / Courtesy of Wilbury Group

With the summer theater scene about to begin, Providence's Wilbury Group has taken a step back in time. Maybe it's a trend, says Rhode Island Public Radio's Bill Gale.

Mark Turek / Courtesy Trinity Rep

Trinity Rep reaches back 500 years or so to a Spanish play to close the theater season. Critic Bill Gale says it has plenty to say about then and now.

Peter Goldberg / Gamm Theatre

At the Gamm Theatre these nights they are taking a look at events from the 16th century, the days of powerful Kings and Queens, which, it turns out, are not all that different from our times. 

Paul B. Goode / Firstworks and Paul Taylor Dance Company

The Paul Taylor Dance Company is often called America’s finest dance organization. The troupe performed in Providence over the weekend, premiering a brand new dance that will open this week in New York City. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Bill Gale says the performance was well worth watching.


The Wilbury Group

Providence's Wilbury Group is doing Harold Pinter's 1978 play “Betrayal” a drama of many turns, many changes. Rhode Island Public Radio's Bill Gale has the review.

Peter Goldberg / Gamm Theatre

Way back in 1934, Lillian Hellman's “The Children's Hour” was a shocker. Produced in New York,  it was banned in Boston, Chicago and London. Now the Gamm Theatre has revived the drama, and Rhode Island Public Radio's Bill Gale says it's worth it. 

Mark Turek / Trinity Rep

On Martin Luther King Day Trinity Rep opened “The Mountaintop,”  a play that salutes Dr. King. Rhode Island Public Radio's Bill Gale says the show works, to an extent, at least.

Maggie Hall / Wilbury Theatre Group

Providence's Wilbury Theatre Group has never avoided doing the controversial.  Rhode Island Public Radio's Bill Gale says their current play, “Straight White Men” definitely fits into that catalog.

Peter Goldberg / Gamm Theatre

Playwright David Mamet is well known for works such as “Glengarry Glen Ross” and “Speed-The-Plow.” But many think “American Buffalo” is his masterpiece. Bill Gale says the Gamm Theater's production is proof of that.

“American Buffalo” was first done in Chicago way back in 1975, that time – if you can believe it -  of no cell phones , no Facebook.  And Twitter? That was something birds in the trees did.

Mark Turek / Trinity Rep

“Appropriate” is both brilliant and bitter, overdone and incisive. At times, it seems to be right on, an American original, both hilarious and heartbreaking. Other times it has you asking just what are these people on stage doing, for heaven’s sake?

For two hours forty-five minutes (including two intermissions) it is a play of rage and regret, of lives ruined, hope gone.

Andrew Iacovelli/Burbage Theatre Company

Rhode Island's booming theater scene is in full pulse these days Which has lead Rhode Island Public Radio's  Bill Gale to double up.

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