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Million Dollar Quartet rocks at PPAC

The Fab Four
A jukebox musical is a pretty low-concept idea, no matter how entertaining the production might turn out.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  January 22, 2013


Review: The Square Peg

From snacks to burgers, less is more
Have you ever opened an elaborate menu at a nice restaurant and, deciding you're not up for a big meal, just pick a snack?
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  January 08, 2013


Jekyll & Hyde at PPAC

The beast within
There is something to admire as well as eye-roll about melodrama, with all its inflated emotions and brake-squealing plot turns.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  January 02, 2013


From Rhinoceros to Metamorphoses to Amadeus

Raise the Curtain
A goofy spoof of King Arthur and his merry men, and an appreciative take on one of the wives of Henry VIII.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  December 26, 2012


Ocean State Theatre Co.’s SantaLand Diaries

Ah, humbug
It takes a brave performer to take on SantaLand Diaries , since it launched the career of David Sedaris when he read a shorter version of this droll account on NPR 20 years ago.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  December 18, 2012


From Venice to Memphis to Avenue Q: Looking back on local theatre in 2012

Curtain call
Let's not fight. You might like only Shakespeare and restoration comedies, and I might take pride in seeing Cats 99 times.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  December 18, 2012


Epic Theatre Company’s Passion Play

Life writ large
Sarah Ruhl's Passion Play has epic scope for such a focused subject — those medieval pageants about the suffering of Jesus Christ.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  December 12, 2012


Brown/Trinity Rep MFA’s Machinal

A tragic trajectory
Staging period plays might be an effective way of presenting a history course, if the inaccuracies in choices like Saint Joan and The Lion In Winter were corrected.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  December 12, 2012


Memphis tears down the house at PPAC

The soul of a city
There are worse concerns in America's history of racial inequities than a white DJ getting eyerolls for playing black music. Nonetheless, the musical Memphis will tick you off about the foolishness anyway.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  December 05, 2012


Trinity Rep’s The How and the Why

Passion and polemics
Judging from the subject matter of The How and the Why , which Trinity Repertory Company is staging through December 30, you'd think that playwright Sarah Treem's successful latest work would be more of feminine than feminist concern, dismissing half of its audience.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  December 05, 2012


2nd Story’s affecting Lost In Yonkers

Not-so-simple Simon
Write about what you know is one of the first admonitions given to rookie writers, and few have heeded it better than Neil Simon.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  November 27, 2012


Review: Federal Hill Pizza

It’s in Warren. Go!
No, Federal Hill Pizza was not driven into Warren exile by the envy of its Italian restaurant competitors on Providence's Federal Hill.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  November 27, 2012


Epic’s unsettling Mr. Marmalade

An act of imagination
Is Mr. Marmalade dark but life-affirming, or life-affirming but dark?
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  November 19, 2012


The Gamm’s illuminating Red

A painter’s passion
Whether or not the actual Mark Rothko was as irascible and violent-tempered as playwright John Logan depicts him in Red , the 1950s American art scene did feel his impact. So will those attending the powerful production at the Gamm Theatre, through December 16.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  November 19, 2012


Review: Jamestown Fish

Doing seafood proud
Seafood on the coast of New England should be no more difficult to find than pebbles on a beach.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  November 13, 2012


2nd Story’s An Inspector Calls

CSI: Bristol
The British drawing room mystery has always been an enjoyable staple of theater, however campy and quaint.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  November 13, 2012


TRIST’s malevolent Richard III

Evil wears the crown
They don't make villains like they used to. When it comes to malevolent malfeasance, Lex Luthor and Dr. No were unworthy to hold the cloak of Richard III as he rolled up his sleeves to dispatch another innocent.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  November 13, 2012


An uplifting Elf The Musical at PPAC

Spirit of the Season
It's about time elves get some credit for contributing to Christmas cheer.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  November 07, 2012


Brown’s Kiss of the Spider Woman

Prison breaks
As novels ripe for musical adaptation go, Kiss of the Spider Woman is no Les Misérables .
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  November 07, 2012


Review: Ella’s

Excellence worth the price
In the Rhode Island tradition, Ella's can be described as the place where Capizzano's Restaurant used to be, prominently located. But Ella's has been earning a name of its own, and a recent visit made clear why.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  October 31, 2012

Courthouse Center for the Arts’ Dracula

There will be blood
We will always have horror films, as long as people will squeal and cling to the arms of their dates.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  October 24, 2012

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