local feature

Richard W. Dionne, Jr. / 2nd Story Theatre

“Sons of the Prophet” comes to Rhode Island with a pretty darn good reputation. Brown University graduate Stephan Karam’s play was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in 2012 and did win several awards that year. It was a favorite of Manhattan’s downtown theater crowd, too.

So, what happened?

At 2nd Story this work, which the author calls “a comedy about a guy coping with chronic pain” seems pretty much weak-kneed. Its “comedy” never really clicks; its philosophy, which seems to be that coping with the unspeakable can be nourishing, doesn’t seem real, or true.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Achievement First is a brand new charter school in Providence that also operates schools in Connecticut and New York.  Critics fought hard to keep it from opening in Rhode Island, arguing that among other problems, it would take money away from other public schools. But supporters and organizers from Achievement First say they are offering an alternative to public schools that are struggling. Rhode Island Public Radio's Education Reporter Elisabeth Harrison took a tour of the Providence school.


The Boston Red Sox, New England’s most beloved sports team, are the world champions of baseball. Rhode Island Public Radio's political analyst Scott MacKay wonders what we can learn from these men who played a boys game with joy.

Fifty years ago, the French-born cultural historian Jacques Barzun wrote a lyrical paean to baseball. His most noted passage was that ``whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball, the rules, and reality of the game.’’

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for a weekly business segment we're calling "The Bottom Line." Each Friday they look at business news and themes that affect local business and the public.

John Bender / RIPR

For the last twenty years Brown University’s organist Mark Steinbach has been playing a concert on Halloween at midnight.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender, went out to the University to learn more about the spooky tradition, and what makes a piece of music scary.

That’s Mark Steinbach, the University Organist at Brown.  He’s practicing for his annual organ recital which happens at midnight on Halloween.

“Technically it starts at 11:59 pm, so that people know which day to come,” said Steinbach.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

As a 10-year-old child, Howard Phillips Lovecraft would tuck himself into his grandfather’s library and read. Lovecraft’s father had gone mad and his mother eventually would too, making his wealthy grandfather – and all of those books –the center of Lovecraft’s world. Then his world fell apart. Lovecraft’s grandfather died and the estate was badly managed, wiping away his comfortable life in Providence. To earn much needed income Lovecraft, at 13-years-old, carefully crafted astronomy pamphlets and sold them, essentially starting his career as a published writer.

Festival Ballet's Up Close Is One Of Its Best

Oct 30, 2013
A. Cemal Ekin

Widely varied, indeed.

This latest “Up Close” offers dances from the 19th century to world premieres. Topics range from a smartly funny, and goofy, piece called “Tea Time” to a heart-rending vision of the end of life. The music? Well, that goes from Igor Stravinsky and Gustav Mahler to Ray Charles and Jacques Brel.

The dancing by Festival’s best is, generally, at a high level. And, of course, in that rehearsal room the dancers are right there in front of you.

John F. Kennedy put it eloquently in his 1961 inaugural address: ``Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans.’’

The Ocean State elections promise to turn friend into foe, but that happens every two years in our insular political culture. What is becoming notable as the parade forms for the 2014 is the changing of the generational guard.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Democratic candidate for general treasurer Seth Magaziner joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss his campaign; the debate between Angel Taveras and Gina Raimondo over third-party spending; divesting the state pension fund from gun-related companies; and other issues.

Democratic Treasurer candidate Seth Magaziner joins Bonus Q+A to talk about his campaign a host of other issues, including pension management, hedge funds, using the treasurer's office to create jobs, and whether being 30 is an advantage or a disadvantage as a candidate.

Rhode Island Developer Baccari Indicted

Oct 23, 2013

Noted Rhode Island developer Richard Baccari has been indicted by a federal grand jury on one count of conspiracy and one count of bribery, the U.S. Attorney’s office announced Wednesday.

The federal prosecutors allege that Baccari paid $50,000 in bribes to North Providence political leaders to purchase their votes to win a town zoning change to clear the path for development of a Stop & Shop supermarket.

Rhode Island Public Radio political analyst Scott MacKay sat down with Dave Fallon to dissect the charges against Baccari.


The Boston Red Sox kick off their World Series battle against the St.Louis Cardinals tonight at Fenway Park.

Here at Rhode Island Public Radio we have a couple of Red Sox fanatics who also cover politics; so we asked them to take off their political hats for a moment, and put on their baseball caps.

Morning Edition host Elisabeth Harrison sits down with our political team Ian Donnis and Scott MacKay, to talk about the exciting series.

John Bender / RIPR

The newly elected chair of the Rhode Island Democratic Party is our guest on Political Roundtable this week.  David Caprio weighs in on his problems with organized labor, a potentially fractious gubernatorial primary and his goals for the party that dominates Rhode Island politics. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Flo Jonic is filling in for Ian Donnis as moderator.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you. news@ripr.org

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

It’s October, and that means students across Rhode Island are filling in bubbles on standardized tests. The annual use of testing in math and English has become a controversial tool for rating schools, and making decisions about high school diplomas, and it will soon be part of teacher evaluations too. One researcher who started out supporting standardized testing now says its part of the problem in public schools. Diane Ravitch has become one of the strongest voices in the national debate and she spoke at the University of Rhode Island last night.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Tracy Breton worked her final day on the job at the Providence Journal last Friday after covering courts and trials for 40 years. Breton was part of the investigative team that won a 1994 Pulitzer Prize for the ProJo, and she covered the downfall of two Rhode Island Supreme Court chief justices, Joseph Bevilacqua and Thomas Fay. Breton sat down to talk about her four decades of covering the courts and her future plans.