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BILL RODRIGUEZ

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Review: Hemenway's Dockside Dining

Not just a clone of Providence
When a successful restaurant opens another location, the easiest thing is to clone the original, or at least the menu that was its claim to fame.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  December 15, 2010

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URI's lively Rocky Horror Show

A terrific Time Warp
Although more fans know the comical musical from the 1975 film version, if any performance was made for the stage, The Rocky Horror Show is. The current production at URI Theatre is demonstrating this in full fright-wig fervor through December 12.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  December 08, 2010

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An enchanting South Pacific at PPAC

Love and war
History is written by the winners, and there are few good-guy winners in the history of warfare more hallowed and haloed than the American victors of World War II, saviors of Western civilization.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  December 08, 2010

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Review: Trinity Rep gets to the Heart of Scrooge

The inner Ebenezer
The more things stay the same, the more they change; at least that's so regarding Trinity Repertory Company's A Christmas Carol (through December 31). Every year on Washington Street, they task themselves with resurrecting the Charles Dickens tale by breathing new life into it.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  December 01, 2010

Review: Billy's

Philanthropy for foodies
Prominent in Billy's is the sort of plaque and menu notation you expect to see in a tavern that has "Ye Olde" in front of its name, only this one declares "Est. 2009." Optimistic. In a business that has the mortality rate of migrating salmon, it's approaching its second anniversary and appears healthy, as the "Reservations Recommended" suggestion on its website implies.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  December 01, 2010

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Review: 2nd Story's spirited School For Wives

The mating game
With increasing delight, we knew what was ahead for us when Tom Roberts, in whiteface and rosy cheeks, gave the 2nd Story Theatre audience their customary instructions in verse: "If at intermission you phone, text or tweet/ please turn it off when you return to your seat," and such.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  November 24, 2010



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Preview: Trinity charts Ebenezer's emotional journey

The Tao of Scrooge
There are more than 30 different productions of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol being performed at hundreds of theaters around the country, usually in clone versions as identical as re-screened films. Familiarity breeds big box office.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  November 30, 2010

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Review: Fusionworks gets really physical

Mesmerizing movements
The rock/jazz fusion band Bixit will be amping up the energy for collaborative dance concerts with Fusionworks, at Rhode Island College's Sapinsley Hall on November 19 and 20 at 8 pm.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  November 16, 2010

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Review: A Radio City Christmas at PPAC

High-kicking holiday spirit
The Radio City Christmas Spectacular , at the Providence Performing Arts Center through November 28, should be called Santa Claus and the 18 Leggy Showgirls . They could have packed the place with hubbies.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  November 16, 2010

Review: Apsara Palace

For cheapskate food fans
It's more than being loved by our mommy and being safe from barbarians from the North that we take for granted, isn't it? I found myself again and again going to Apsara Palace for lunch when I was in town, kind of a gastronomic migratory impulse, before it occurred to me to review the place and figure out what was so appealing.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  November 17, 2010

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Review: Center Stage's charming Cinderella

Once upon a time
Shiny and sparkly as it is, the fairy tale Cinderella will always be appealing. Most would say that's because our little girls and boys need hope in a discouraging world; others might suggest that the cruel world needs help teaching girls and boys passivity and wishful thinking, to make them compliant citizens.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  November 11, 2010



Review: Wickford Diner

Good food, pure and simple
It doesn't look like a diner from its gray shingled exterior, and it looks like more than a diner from its extended menu, but the folks at the Wickford Diner don't care about appearances — they just want to feed you.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  November 11, 2010

Review: Cafe Longo

Like Mama used to make
I suppose there are braver things to do. Perhaps charging a machine gun nest or serving a loosely wrapped braciole to a Sicilian grandmother. But open yet another Italian restaurant on Federal Hill, as Café Longo did in spring of 2009, sounds like diving off a cliff.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  November 03, 2010

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Review: Festival Ballet celebrates Balanchine

By George
There is a long list of reasons why George Balanchine is regarded as the greatest and most influential choreographer of the 20th century.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  November 02, 2010

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Review: PC updates Ibsen's Hedda Gabler

Queen of mean
Bad girls these days may act out more flamboyantly than the anti-heroine namesake of Henrik Ibsen's Hedda Gabler . But Hedda makes up in shrewdness what she lacks in spectacle.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  November 02, 2010

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Trinity's rollicking Absurd Person Singular

All about Eves
Very strange. It's as though British playwright Alan Ayckbourn had come to Trinity Rep, studied its veteran acting company, laughed heartily at the amusing talent on display, then went home and wrote Absurd Person Singular for six of the actors.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  October 27, 2010



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Gamm's Mauritius gets a stamp of semi-approval

Unsuspended disbelief
The very idea of spinning a tale of suspense and high drama over stamp collecting is comical, so Theresa Rebeck's Mauritius is certainly funny. The Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre is staging it through November 21, directed by Rachel Walshe.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  October 27, 2010

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URI's Spinning Into Butter looks at racism


Interracial harmony, good. Racism, bad. One-to-one, honest communication between people with differences is healthy and necessary.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  October 27, 2010

Review: Basil's of Narragansett

Doing the Continental
Like the rolling surf a stone's throw from Basil's of Narragansett, a fine dining restaurant as reliable as this one never changes when it comes to essentials.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  October 20, 2010

Children of Eden's entertaining Bible stories

Family feuds
The team behind Children of Eden have plenty of creative cred; that's one thing in its favor. And then there's the backhanded compliment that the show isn't likely to turn you into a whooping, fundamentalist Bible-thumper.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  October 19, 2010

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Review: 2nd Story's darkly funny Kimberly Akimbo

Quickly aging here
Ironic, isn't it, how in the theater less can be so much more? Digital derring-do may have turned Brad Pitt into an aging Benjamin Button on film, but that's lazy trickery next to what's accomplished in David Lindsay-Adaire's Kimberly Akimbo , now onstage at 2nd Story Theatre (through October 24).
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  October 12, 2010


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