theater

Theater Reviews
10:33 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Ocean State Theatre's "Last Five Years" Doesn't Quite Land

Credit Ocean State Theater Company

  The Ocean State Theatre in Warwick has come up with a relatively unknown musical concerning a guy, a gal and a novel way of telling their story. Bill Gale says the production is a good try, at least.

"The Last Five Years” continues at the Ocean State Theatre through March 15th. Bill Gale reviews the performing arts for Rhode Island Public Radio. 

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Theater Reviews
4:35 am
Tue January 20, 2015

2nd Story’s “Collected Stories” Is One Not To Miss

Lynne Collinson and Gabby Sherba are featured in "Collected Stories."
Credit Richard W. Dionne, Jr. / 2nd Story Theatre

Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Donald Margulies once said that he loves “. . .smart, complicated women. . .” 

Well, in just two hours (with an intermission) he lets us look in on two females who meet that criteria, and more. “Collected Stories” takes place entirely in the Greenwich Village apartment of one Ruth Steiner, an award-winning author/professor. She's sharp as a whip, tight as a drum and both prissy and provocative. Lives alone and likes it. Or at least thinks she does.

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Theater Reviews
5:27 am
Wed January 7, 2015

The Gamm’s “Morality Play” A Raucous, Roiling Time of Murder and Madness

Jed Hancock Brainerd as Straw, Andrew Iacovelli as Brendan, Elliot Peters as Springer, Steve Kidd as Stephen. Under table: Jesse Hinson as Nicholas Barber in "Morality Play."
Credit Peter Goldberg / The Gamm Theatre

Written by artistic director Tony Estrella, from the award-winning novel by British expatriate Barry Unsworth, “Morality Play” sweeps through a raucous, roiling time of murder and madness, of corruption, of just plain hard times.  It's a tidal wave of provocation and problems. Change is good? Sometimes. And sometimes it's not.

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Theater Reviews
4:53 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Ocean State’s “Meet Me in St. Louis” Is Worth Seeing

The Smith Family gathers for dinner in the classic family-friendly musical, Meet Me in St. Louis, being presented at Ocean State Theatre in Warwick through December 28.
Credit Mark Turek / Ocean State Theatre

“Meet Me in St. Louis” is a charmer, a sweet, old fashioned, happy- go-lucky musical of the kind we just don't see anymore. It's filled with wonderful, if saccharine sweet, songs. It tells a tale of a family loving, and battling, and always coming through.

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Theater Reviews
4:47 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Trinity Rep’s "A Christmas Carol" Is Filled With Joy And Seriousness

The full cast of A Christmas Carol at Trinity Rep.
Credit Mark Turek / Trinity Rep

Way back in 1843 when Charles Dickens' “A Christmas Carol” was published in London one reviewer called it “. . . a dainty dish to put before a king.” Well, Bill Gale is not entering hyperbole land quite that much. But he does say that this year's on-stage version at Trinity Rep is a winner.

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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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Politics
9:56 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Groups Kick Off Push To Promote Arts Referendum

A group of arts organizations from across the state are joining forces to garner support for major arts funding. The money must be approved by voters on a referendum November 4th.

At stake is $35 million in funding.  23 million would go towards matching funds for construction and renovation projects at nine facilities across the state.  Those include Trinity Repertory Company, the Chorus of Westerly, and the Rhode Island Philharmonic and Music School.

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Theater Reviews
2:47 am
Thu July 24, 2014

2nd Story’s “Hay Fever” Is An Overdone Shouting Contest

Members of an eccentric family each invite a friend to the family summer home where the hosts proceed to foist each guest off on a different family member, with alarming and delightful results.
Credit Richard W. Dionne, Jr. / 2nd Story Theatre

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.”

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.

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Theater Reviews
4:10 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Ocean State's "Guys and Dolls" Is Hit And Miss

The cast performs “The Crapshooters Dance” in the musical comedy, Guys and Dolls
Credit Mark Turek

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.

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Theater Reviews
4:05 am
Thu June 12, 2014

2nd Story’s “Freud’s Last Session” Is Quick And Sharp

Ed Shea is Sigmund Freud in Freud’s Last Session by Mark St. Germain.
Credit Richard W. Dionne, Jr.

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.

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.

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