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BILL RODRIGUEZ

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Review: Doherty's East Avenue Irish Pub

Beer, burgers, ball games, and much more
Doherty's East Ave Irish Pub is an old-fashioned gem: an informal eatery where you can chow down on wonderful food over a brew or a few: there are 157 on tap and in bottles, at last count.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  February 09, 2011

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Review: Elemental's hit-and-miss 'Go.Go Plays'

Finding the funny
Elemental Theatre Collective's "Go.Go Plays" have been an imaginative grab bag of one-acts since 2007, and the fifth annual event is no exception.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  February 08, 2011

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Review: 2nd Story's Becky Shaw is engaging

Emotional evolution
It's fascinating to watch what people put themselves through to insulate themselves from what they put themselves through through other people. Got that?
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  February 02, 2011

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Preview: Trinity Rep takes The Crucible to the streets

Truth and consequences
Arthur Miller's The Crucible was a seminal work of American theater, taking a shameful passage of history — the Salem witch trials of the late 17th century — and melding it in the audience's consciousness with a contemporary parallel — the Red Scare hearings of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, which prompted a Hollywood blacklist of suspects.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  February 02, 2011

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Festival Ballet's emotional, sensual Carmen

Gypsy woman
Although the gypsy girl Carmen is most familiar from the 1875 opera of that name by Georges Bizet, local audiences have also become acquainted with the Carmen performed by Festival Ballet, which was commissioned by them and first appreciated in the 2003-04 season.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  January 25, 2011

Review: Louis Family Restaurant

Just like Mama tried to make
There are no Greek columns outside or marble steps, but make no mistake: Louis Family Restaurant is an institution in Providence.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  January 25, 2011



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Review: The Gamm's masterful Doll's House

A matter of trust
There have been other plays well worth seeing this season, but nothing like this masterpiece at the Gamm. And I don't mainly mean the classic by Henrik Ibsen itself, since A Doll's House in shaky hands can come across as shrill and lesson-laden.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  January 26, 2011

Review: Local 121

Sincerely tethered
Local 121 isn't a locabore about their commitment to "locally harvested food and drink." The restaurant just places a list of some of their "local resources" at the bottom of their menu: Matunuck Oyster Farm, Prima Pasta, Sakonnet Vineyards, and so on.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  January 18, 2011

Theater_becky-shaw_list

Gina Gionfriddo on the art of playwriting

Character studies
Although playwright Gina Gionfriddo was raised in Washington, D.C., Rhode Island has also made its contributions, since she polished her writing skills at Brown University, where in the late 1990s she sought out eventual Pulitzer winner Paula Vogel and her MFA playwriting program, attracted by the kind of dark comedy Vogel was coming up with.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  January 18, 2011

Review: The Murder Trial of John Gordon at the Park Theatre

Trial from another era
Who knew? Everybody knows about that frisky, independent start by Roger Williams, and the first bloodshed of the American Revolution with the burning of the Gaspee , but who knows about the dispute between the lowly immigrant Gordon family and the prestigious Spragues, which resulted in the last state execution in Rhode Island, back in 1845?
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  January 18, 2011

Review: Bluebird Café

From bacon and eggs to fried catfish
How easy it is to take your favorite local places for granted. The Bluebird Café is my regular weekly lunch spot and a shortlist contender for taking out-of-town guests to breakfast, but I've shamefully neglected its once-a-week dinners.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  January 11, 2011



Review: Lieutenant of Inishmore is the cat’s me-oww!

Gore and guffaws
Hysterical laughter — of both the pathological and the funny sort — has its place as stopgap comfort when things seemingly can't get worse. Written in 2001 and set in 1993, Martin McDonagh's The Lieutenant of Inishmore treats the terrorist Troubles in Ireland with gravely black humor.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  January 11, 2011

Review: Narragansett Grill

A visit to the latest resident
Over the years, restaurants have come and restaurants have gone at the remote 1200 Ocean Road in Narragansett: Wiley's, the Drunken Clam, the Ugly Old Toad, 1200 Ocean Grill, and so on.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  January 04, 2011

Theater_Dolls_House_list

Winter theatre preview: From the Bard to Becky Shaw

Gionfriddo, Synge, Ibsen, and more
From the latest Pulitzer winner for drama to a musical adaptation of a popular board game, and from the Bard to Becky Shaw, Rhode Island theaters are certainly starting 2011 with varied offerings.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  December 29, 2010

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Theatre that ran the emotional gamut in 2010

The human condition
We laugh, we cry, we stifle annoyance and look at our watches. Theater performances vary widely in what they attempt and how well they accomplish it.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  December 22, 2010

Review: W.B. Cody's

Buffalo Bill BBQ
There aren't any theme parks close by, but a drive down to Westerly will get you to a close approximation with bells on. Well, with chaps and spurs on. W.B. Cody's is a barbecue specialist — local, not a chain — with a Western theme clearly inspired by the showmanship of its namesake.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  December 22, 2010



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Trinity Rep's uplifting It's A Wonderful Life

The road taken
Who says you can't have it both ways? Trinity Repertory Company is presenting the sentimental movie classic It's a Wonderful Life as "A Live Radio Play" (through January 2) and they've managed to make it an absorbing — and theatrical — experience.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  December 15, 2010

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Review: The Gamm's Child's Christmas in Wales

Thomas's tales
The Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre is presenting Dylan Thomas's A Child's Christmas in Wales , always a good idea at this time of year. This expanded version of the 2003 adaptation by artistic director Tony Estrella incorporates fragments of other works by the Welsh poet, even a complete short story, and continues in a short run through December 26.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  December 15, 2010

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Review: Tennessee Williams's self-indulgent Vieux Carré

Only the lonely
Tennessee Williams scholars and melodrama buffs will be quick-marching over to the Brown/Trinity Rep performance of his early Vieux Carré (at the Pell Chafee Performance Center through December 19).
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  December 15, 2010

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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