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Theater Reviews
5:29 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Ocean State’s “Laughter on the 23rd Floor” Shows That Comedy Is Not Easy

Think it’s easy to be funny? Is it a joy to tell jokes? To do “physical” fun?

Ah, . . . no folks, not really. 

Comedy, as any actor or comedian will tell you, is hard.

And that’s just the case these nights at Ocean State. The production of “Laughter on the 23rd Floor” finds nine hard-working performers giving it all they’ve got.

Led by Trinity Rep’s leading actor, Fred Sullivan Jr., the cast pounces and pumps.

They jump on every Simon gag. They are happy to be physical throughout.

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Education
4:44 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

NECAP Results Show Nearly 2K Students Diploma At Risk

Education Commissioner Deborah Gist and Education Board Chair Eva-Marie Mancuso roll out the latest NECAP test score results in Providence on Friday.
Credit Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Roughly 20 percent of this year’s high school seniors will have to take the NECAP test a third time, or find another way to meet the state’s new test-linked diploma system. That according to the latest NECAP scores out of the Rhode Island Department of Education.

Education Commissioner Deborah Gist is calling this good news because it represents a significant drop in the number of seniors at risk of not graduating. “So this means in the current senior class, 1,370 students, improved their performance in mathematics or made partial proficiency,” said Gist.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
2:59 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: RI Political-Economic Reality and Myth

What's really to blame for the state of Rhode Island's economy?
Credit Don Boorman / RIPR

Every serious candidate says Rhode Island’s poor economy is the top issue in this year’s governors’ race. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says it’s time for Rhode Island to sort economic myth from reality.

Say hello to any of the five major candidates for governor and you’ll get a marathon run of rhetoric on the need to create jobs in our struggling state.  On the Republican side, Ken Block and Allan Fung have both talked about ushering in a better business climate, lowering taxes and looking for ways to save taxpayer money.

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The Bottom Line
2:02 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

The Bottom Line: PBN Survey Finds More Jobs Will Open Up In 2014

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.

This week Dave and Mark pour over the latest PBN survey of local businesses. PBN has been conducting the survey since 2008, and this one is more optimistic than in years past: it finds more businesses expect to hire in the coming year and capital investment is up.

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Artscape
9:59 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Rhode Island Artscape: In Conversation With RI Author Rosemary Mahoney

Sabriya Tenberken, Rosemary Mahoney, and Scott MacKay
Credit Aaron Read / RIPR

In this month’s Artscape, RI Public Radio’s Scott MacKay speaks with Rhode Island author Rosemary Mahoney.  Mahoney spent time in India and Tibet volunteering at a school for the blind.  Her new book about that experience is entitled `For the Benefit of Those Who See: Dispatches from the World of the Blind.’

She spoke with Scott MacKay in our Providence studios.

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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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Economy
8:51 am
Tue January 28, 2014

What Casinos In Massachusetts Could Mean For RI's Gaming Industry

Casinos in Plainville or Fall River Mass. could spell the end for Twin River in Lincoln or Newport Grand respectively.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Rhode Island’s gaming industry is keeping a sharp eye on what’s happening in Massachusetts as the state’s gambling commission works out where to license up to three resort-style casinos and a slot parlor.

Rhode Island pulls in enough money from Twin River and Newport Grand to make gaming the third largest source of revenue for the state. Casinos in Massachusetts threatens that revenue.

So how close is Massachusetts to having casino gambling? Rhode Island Public Radio's Elisabeth Harrison spoke with The Boston Globe’s Mark Arsenault to find out.

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Pension Overhaul
9:29 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Exploring RI's Closed-Door State Pension Mediation

The two sides in Rhode Island’s ongoing lawsuit over the state’s pension overhaul meet today to update a judge on their efforts to reach a settlement.  The case has been in mediation for about a year now, but

little is known about how the closed door negotiation has been playing out. The outcome could have a major impact on the state’s bottom line, since architects crafted the pension overhaul to reduce the amount of money Rhode Island has to pay to retired state workers.

For more insight, we turn to Rhode Island Public Radio’s Political Analyst Scott MacKay.

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Weekend Arts
9:00 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Weekend Arts: In Conversation With Author John Banville

John Banville
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Rhode Island Public Radio's Chuck Hinman speaks with acclaimed Irish writer John Banville.

Banville was in Rhode Island reading from his works to kick off this year's Contemporary Writer's reading series at Brown University.

Banville is the author of numerous books, including The Sea; for which he was the winner of the Man Booker Prize.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
5:01 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: The Clay Pell Dilemma In RI Governor's Race

Will Clay Pell be sitting in the Governor's office in 2015?
Credit RIPR FILE

Political pundits love to emphasize that campaigns matter.  Clay Pell better hope that adage rings true if he hopes to be Rhode Island’s next governor, says our resident pundit, RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay.

Herbert Claiborne `Clay’ Pell  IV is the grandson of a legendary Rhode Island U.S. Senator, a Harvard University graduate  and at just 32 years old, possessor of a resume that would be the envy of many a decade or two older.

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