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.

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Theater Reviews
4:07 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Trinity Rep’s “Barefoot In The Park” Is Still Very Funny

Stephen Berenson as Victor Velasco, Charlie Thurston as Paul, Phyllis Kay as Mrs. Banks and Rebecca Gibel as Corie in Neil Simon’s Barefoot in the Park at Trinity Rep.
Credit Mark Turek / Trinity Rep

Bill Gale admits that he raised an eyebrow when Trinity Rep announced it would do Neil Simon's 1963 hit “Barefoot in the Park.”  Why do that old joke carnival? he asked. But after seeing Trinity's production our critic has another view.

Yup, I do. Having seen this tight, funny and carefully thought out “Barefoot,” I'm saying, well, why not?”

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Theater Reviews
9:03 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Wilbury Theatre's "Death Of Walt Disney" An OK Play Bolstered By A Strong Cast

Tom Chace (L) and Vince Petronio (R) in A Public Reading Of An Unproduced Screenplay About The Death Of Walt Disney.
Credit 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.

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Theater Reviews
12:52 pm
Sun November 9, 2014

Ocean State's "Dial M" Is Lost In A London Fog

Drew Anthony Allen stars as Tony Wendice in Frederick Knott’s thriller, Dial M for Murder, being presented at Ocean State Theatre
Credit 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.

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Arts & Culture
6:09 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

Festival Ballet’s Up Close: Dark But A Good Thing

"Vilia Putrius in Viktor Plotnikov's Surrender."
Credit 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.

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Theater Reviews
4:44 am
Thu October 30, 2014

The Gamm’s Hedda Gabler Sparkles and Delights

Marianna Bassham as Hedda Gabler
Credit 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.”

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