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Review: Trinity's Steel Magnolias is fun and poignant

Both sides now
The first thing you need to know is that over the course of watching Steel Magnolias , which is getting a no-laffs-barred production by Trinity Repertory Company (through May 15), all my testosterone drained out and pooled at my feet.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  April 27, 2011


Review: A winning West Side Story at PPAC

When Tony met Maria
Regarding Shakespearean tragedies, it's hard to think of another Broadway adaptation that could earn the box office appeal that this musical drew out of Romeo and Juliet .
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  April 27, 2011


Review: Downcity

Gordon would approve
As much as restaurants want to provide a calming atmosphere, with bird twitters or whatever in the background, the mood behind the scenes can be lethal.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  April 27, 2011


Review: Perishable's emotionally transfixing 1:23

Crimes of the heart
Two things about Carson Kreitzer's 1:23 , which is getting a phenomenal production at Perishable Theatre (through May 7).
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  April 19, 2011

Review: RWU's muddled Patch of Earth

War crimes
You are ordered to shoot civilians who are trembling before you, and told that if you refuse you will join them.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  April 19, 2011


Review: Brown's Talk is true to its name

The art of conversation
Everyone does it, to varying degrees of success or defeat. The ancient Greeks did it to lofty philosophical purpose, although their reward for their most prominent proponent was a goblet of poison.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  April 13, 2011

Review: Contemporary's uninspired Composition

A lack of creativity
There is an interesting metaphorical framing device for this tale and a few pleasant music interludes, but by and large Composition , an original play by the Contemporary Theater Company, is a case study in loosey-goosey storytelling (through April 17).
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  April 12, 2011

Review: Pal's Restaurant

Good ingredients, well-prepared, can't lose
The logo for Pal's is a cartoon of two smiling men in high-collar period suits.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  April 14, 2011


Review: The enduring pleasures of Gypsy

Gotta sing! Gotta dance!
There are stage mothers and then there is Rose in the musical Gypsy , who is to the rest of the lot what Godzilla is to geckos.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  April 06, 2011


Review: Daydream's Buster Keaton: Fade To Black

Laugh to keep from crying
In his time — the silent film era — he was more popular than Charlie Chaplin. Buster Keaton: Fade to Black does a fascinating job making clear to us why that was so, as Daydream Theatre Company presents it at Bell Street Chapel through April 16.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  April 05, 2011

Review: The Fish Market

Already has its sea legs
The first encouraging sign was that the two men greeting us beaming broadly were the host and, we later learned, the executive chef. These guys were clearly happy. Business must be doing well.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  April 14, 2011


Review: The Gamm's Paul examines the power of faith

True believer
Looking at Christianity objectively, historically, can appear to be critical, since religion is a matter of faith.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  March 30, 2011


Review: 2nd Story's uproarious The Good Doctor

When Neil met Anton
Neil Simon may not be the most subtle of playwrights, too often tempted beyond endurance to go for the gag at the expense of motivation.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  March 30, 2011


Review: Andreas

Greek (and American) classics
The Greek community in Providence isn't as large as, say Italian or Portuguese, so Greek restaurants are scarce, unless you count pizzerias. (Feta hasn't replaced mozzarella yet, but just you wait.)
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  March 30, 2011


Review: Next to Normal is part-musical, part-drama

Ordinary people
Musicals have been made about everything from finicky felines to a wheel-chaired victim pushed overboard by terrorists. So Next to Normal 's focus on bipolar disorder is hardly an eyebrow-raiser these days. An impressive touring production is at the Providence Performing Arts Center through March 27.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  March 23, 2011


Festival Ballet's latest 'up CLOSE on HOPE'

Natural grace
Watching a ballet or modern dance from eighth row center is a pretty privileged experience, but an "up CLOSE on HOPE" performance makes that seem like peanut gallery seating. Festival Ballet Providence is presenting nine company premieres through March 27 in their intimate Black Box Theater.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  March 24, 2011


Review: Cactus Grille

Mexican with an American accent
Longevity for a non-ethnic Mexican restaurant around here sometimes has less to do with quality than with the Americanization of tastes.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  March 22, 2011


Review: Tina's Jamaican Caribbean Restaurant

Fine fare with a tropical accent
Fed up with winter? Couple of options. Hit the web and book an impulse flight to some palm-tree-bedecked island. Or drive to Tina's Jamaican Caribbean Restaurant, bask in the colorful ambience, and prepare yourself to be fed as well as any Rastaman who strolls in.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  March 15, 2011


Review: Trinity's Yellowman gets beneath the surface

Pride and prejudice
With its usual acting prowess, distilled into two characters, Trinity Repertory Company is presenting an affecting drama about black-on-black prejudice, Dael Orlandersmith's Yellowman .
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  March 08, 2011

Review: Brown's As You Like It turns the tables

Role reversal
There can be too much of a good thing, as Rosalind in As You Like It brings up in the course of things, thereby introducing the phrase to the English language. In a related caution, familiarity breeds contempt, as an Aesop's fable had it.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  March 08, 2011

Review: Ebisu

Ingenuity instead of sushi
If you like Japanese food but you’re sick of sushi, then you’ll probably love Ebisu. Named after one of the Seven Gods of Fortune, who brings luck to fishermen and merchants, the place doesn’t even serve sushi, as if the offering would be too boringly obvious.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  March 09, 2011

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