theater

Theater Reviews
4:10 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Wilbury Group’s “An Iliad” Packs A Real Punch

Matthew Fraza as the Poet in Wilbury Theater Group's one-man production 'An Illiad.'
Credit Wilbury Theater Group

Ah, yes, ahh, “The Iliad.” By Homer. We all know that. Helen of Troy. Achilles Agamemnon. Lots of battles, murders and . . . Well, you know truth is that a lot of folks, myself certainly included, pretty much slept through any course we ever took on “The Iliad.” We ended up with not a whole lot more than the ability to say, “Oh, yes, the Iliad. By Homer.” Haven’t looked at that in years.”

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Theater Reviews
6:01 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

The Gamm’s “The Big Meal” Is Satisfying

Wendy Overly, Richard Donelly, Steve Kidd, Emeline Easton in Gamm's production of The Big Meal.
Credit Peter Goldberg / The Gamm Theatre

In an interview concerning the New York production of “The Big Meal” the 33- year-old author, Dan LeFranc, makes a point of saying that his own growing up saw, quote, “lots of support but also a ton of friction and fear.”  And that was “critical in making me the kind of writer and person I am today,” he added.

Well, that would be a guy who has sharp instincts both for the jugular and the heart. “The Big Meal” checks out those eight folks in all kinds of ways.

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Theater Reviews
2:12 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Trinity Rep’s “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” Wild, Almost Wooly

Vanya (Brian McEleney), Masha (Phyllis Kay), Cassandra (Tangela Large) and Spike (Mark Larson) in "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" by Christopher Durang.
Credit Mark Turek / Trinity Rep

Ah, yes. Good old Chris Durang. What’s he gotten into now? Over the years he’s been known for such ideosyncratic shows as “Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You, “The Marriage of Bette and Boo” and, of course, “The Idiots Kasamazov.”

But Durang’s nicely into his 60’s now. Perhaps he’s calmed down a bit?

Well, no. “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” concerns Bucks County, PA., Snow White, licking postage stamps, movie stars, the theatuh, voodoo, pricks, getting old and the significance of the blue heron. Among many other things.

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Theater Reviews
4:35 am
Fri November 15, 2013

At Ocean State Theatre Lombardi Is Played With Dark Vigor

Jennifer Byrne, Robert Ierardi and Joel Kipper in the New England premiere of "Lombardi."
Credit Mark Turek / Ocean State Theatre

Ah yes, the late Vince Lombardi. I can see him now, back in the black and white TV era of the 1960s. He’s standing like a statue on the sidelines on the tundra that is a Green Bay football field. Legs apart, polo coat covering his broad shoulders, absurd fedora on his head. And most of all there’s his shouting, bellowing, at anyone nearby. The refs, his own players, his assistant coaches, were all fair game, targets of his single minded drive.

He was the Bill Belichick of his time, the best-known coach in all of football. Only louder, tougher, harder to deal with.

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Theater Reviews
2:27 am
Mon September 23, 2013

The Gamm’s Season Opener is a Clunker

Credit Peter Goldberg / The Gamm TheatreCasey Seymour Kim and Alexander Platt in "Far Away" by Caryl Churchill, directed by Tony Estrella.Edit | Remove

For decades, English playwright Caryl Churchill has been accorded Goddess stature in the upper reaches of play writing circles. Fiercely political, strongly on the left, Churchill made her mark with plays of attitude and insight.

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Theater Reviews
2:42 am
Wed September 18, 2013

2nd Story Theatre’s “Lobby Hero” is a Tough, Snappy Play

Valerie Westgate as Dawn and Jeff Church as Jeff in 2nd Story Theatre's “Lobby Hero.”
Credit Richard W. Dionne, Jr. / 2nd Story Theatre

2nd Story Theatre debuts its new 70-seat performing space this week with a play called “Lobby Hero” by New York writer Kenneth Lonergan.

Yeah, well, you see “hero” is not exactly the right word. On the other hand, maybe it is. Or it is sometimes. You get what I mean?

No, huh? Well, the strength of this very funny, charming, tough and potty-mouthed snappy play is that nothing is exactly as it seems. But it might be. Irony prevails in “Lobby Hero.”

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Arts & Culture
8:52 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Artscape: Trinity Rep, a Rhode Island Theater at 50

Curt Columbus has been the artistic director of Trinity Repertory Company since 2006.
Credit John Bender / RIPR

This year, the Providence based Theater Company, Trinity Rep will celebrate its 50th year in Rhode Island, a remarkable feat for any non-profit arts organization.

For this month’s Artscape, Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender found out more about their upcoming season, and how the theater company made it to fifty.

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Theater Reviews
2:38 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Theatre by the Sea’s “La Cage” is a Winner

Peter Reardon (Georges) in Theatre By The Sea's production of La Cage Aux Folles.
Credit Steven Richard Photography / Theatre by the Sea

Okay, full disclosure. I have a major soft spot for “La Cage.” Ever since I was one of the many who stood and cheered at the end of the 1983 pre-Broadway tryout at Boston’s Colonial Theatre I’ve wanted “La Cage” to succeed wherever it plays.

And it’s not just the crisp score by Jerry Herman or the pungent humor of Harvey Fierstein’s lyrics. It is truly the message of becoming a decent human being and knowing who you are, and why, that’s allowed me to love “La Cage” over the years.

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Arts & Culture
9:10 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Courthouse Center Stage hopes to re-open in 6 months

Financial pressures have forced the temporary closure of the Courthouse Center Stage in West Kingston.   The popular theater will be mothballed for six months as it mounts a $100K capital drive, according to board member Anna Prager. "Yes, I am extremely disappointed but at the same time I am hopeful that if we suspend programming and concentrate on fundraising we can start in new and better shape."
 
Prager says they cut back staff so much they realized it was impossible to mount productions, raise money and tend to an aging, historic building all at the same time.

Arts & Culture
1:00 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Ocean State Theatre's "Fools" is not one of Neil Simon's best

Stacey Geer, Matthew Rickard, and Alexander Cook star in Neil Simon’s highly comic play Fools
Credit Mark Turek

With their very fine new performing space (excellent sight lines, comfortable seats, good facilities) it seems a shame that Ocean State has picked a weak-at-the-knees Neil Simon play to officially open Rhode Island’s newest theater.

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