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Review: RWU's rollicking Lucky Stiff

Life's rich pageant
If Lucky Stiff were any funnier, doctors would have to be standing by to attend all the knees being overenthusiastically slapped. The farcical musical is playing at Roger Williams University Theatre through March 5, and the production doesn't waste many opportunities for hilarity.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  March 01, 2011

Review: CTC's minimalist Romeo and Juliet

An amusing tragedy
Ah, young love. So sweet, so unguarded, so unwise. Parents can caution the younger of their teenagers all they want, but William Shakespeare has undermined their efforts by promoting the blissful aspect in Romeo and Juliet . Yes, it's a tragedy and they die at the end, but that's a minor annoyance next to their joy.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  February 23, 2011

Review: Noodles 102

Simply delicious
Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity — life is frittered away by too-fancy restaurants, to paraphrase Harry Thoreau if he were famished and looking for a good, quick meal.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  February 23, 2011

Review: Le Central

Cherchez la lunch
Their slogan is "Where the East Bay meets the Left Bank," and Le Central, in the middle of Bristol, usually does a fine job fulfilling the claim with more than good french fries. Gone are the days when the town had to settle for a Café La France on the spot.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  February 15, 2011

Review: Mirth and murder in Clue: The Musical

Games people play
The board game Clue has been entertaining families since the end of World War II, when people were especially eager for distractions.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  February 15, 2011


Review: Trinity Rep’s Crucible is potent

Hidden agendas
The Crucible is a profoundly moving story, especially when inhabited by the talents at Trinity Repertory Company. This is the third time the group has taken on Arthur Miller's masterwork of American theater, the last a quarter-century ago.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  February 17, 2011


Review: The Lion King inspires at PPAC

A roaring success
The Lion King is roaring at the Providence Performing Arts Center through February 20, and the theatergoing denizens of this urban jungle are happy.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  February 10, 2011

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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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