theater review

Mark Turek / Courtesy of Trinity Rep

Trinity Rep continues its season with "Skeleton Crew." The play is set in Detroit but could be almost anywhere USA. Rhode Island Public Radio's Bill Gale says it's a production with many strong points and some problems too.


Mark Turek / Courtesy of Trinity Rep

Trinity Rep is opening its season with Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman,” the powerful drama concerning the downside of the American Dream. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Bill Gale has the review.

Maggie Cady / Courtesy of The Contemporary Theater

Homer’s epic poem “The Iliad" spins a tale of combat, warriors and a private vendetta, set during the mythical war between the Greeks and the Trojans. In a production at the Contemporary Theater Company in Wakefield, “The Iliad" gets a somewhat unusual treatment. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Bill Gale says this Iliad will challenge the way you think about war.


Peter Goldberg / Gamm Theatre

The Gamm Theatre is dashing through Oscar Wilde’s ever-popular comedy with a point, “The Importance of Being Earnest” while the Wilbury Group is tangling with Harold Pinter’s “The Caretaker.”   Rhode Island Public Radio’s Bill Gale has seen them both.

Courtesy of Steven Richard Photography

Theatre by the Sea in Matunuck is closing its season with one of Broadway’s biggest hits, “The Producers.”  Rhode Island Public Radio’s Bill Gale says the musical still holds all its charms.

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.

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 / 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.

bradlypjohnson / Creative Commons License

“Wicked” that ultimate prequel to “The Wizard of Oz” is back at the Providence Performing Arts Center. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Bill Gale says it’s a fine Broadway quality production its many fans are going to love.

Mark Turek / Ocean State Theatre

“Anything Goes” is a classic Broadway musical that first appeared in 1934. Now the Ocean State Theatre Company is doing a re-done version from 1987. Bill Gale says the result is pretty darn good – with some reservations.

Let's begin with the good stuff. After all, “Anything Goes” is filled, saturated actually, with the music (and lyrics) of the great Cole Porter. If you are of a certain age, or a person of any age who loves good songs, you get a kick out of this show.

Mark Turek / Ocean State Theatre

“Break A Leg” is a well-known (if rarely seriously used) phrase to encourage an actor before he or she goes on stage. Now, Warwick's Ocean State Theatre presents “Breaking Legs,” a highly farcical comedy combining the theater world and the mafia. Bill Gale went to see it anyway.

The production, directed by Trinity Rep's Fred Sullivan Jr., turns out to be an overdone, over silly piece that somehow manages to be pretty darn funny.

Maggie Hall / Wilbury Theatre Group

Providence’s Wilbury Theatre Group is staging another provocative drama, filled with humor and music. Rhode Island Public Radio’s theater critic Bill Gale, says the show has something to say.

Despite that somewhat sophomoric title, this work eventually turns out to make a point or two. In a snap-fire three act production, in about 2 hours, it manages to take a look at a group of arts-world folks. It peels away the covering, lets us in the audience see their troubles, exterior and internal. And perhaps even offers us a chance to think about our own lives.

Peter Goldberg / Gamm Theatre

Remember Sarah Palin? Of course you do. Who could forget?

Well, the political career of Ms. Palin is the jumping off point for “Grizzly Mama” by George Brant, the author of the high-flying  “Grounded” done at the Gamm last year.

But “Grizzly Mama” is a very different piece of theater. It takes off and goes way beyond the blue yonder, into a world of familial atmosphere, good and bad, loving and hating.

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