Sunday afternoon was the grand opening of the Roots Café, the new boîte in the space formerly inhabited by the Black Repertory Company at 276 Westminster Street in the heart of downtown Providence. It was a star-studded event which attracted some of the most familiar faces in Vo Dilun arts and culture circles, as well as luminaries like the Honorable O. Rogeriee Thompson and husband, the Honorable William Clifton, plus the Honorable Edward Clifton accompanied by his ebullient wife Audrey. With so many esteemed jurists in the family, this is easily (both officially and unofficially) the most honorable family in the state.
P&J have reason to believe that this new venture will be a rousing success. We know that arts venues are always risky propositions — especially in an age when fewer people seem to want to “go out” (literally leave the house) for entertainment and socialization. But we think that this is the team and this is the time. If anyone can pull it off, Bud Snead, Len and Ali Cabral, and the tight core of Providence Inner City Arts veterans, can. They have the experience, the creative chops, a full understanding of the local landscape, and (if you’ve spent any time with Len and Ali) a certain magical je ne sais quoi that makes them just the right people for this mission. The selection of young Reza Clifton, the award-winning writer, radio producer, and community leader (and, as Ed and Audrey’s daughter, another “ honorable Clifton”) as artistic director is a stroke of genius — as is the involvement of café manager Leah Reynolds, former owner and head ramrod at the Custom House Tavern and the Everyman Bistro.
Now it’s just a matter of spreading the word about this new place, where there’ll be all sorts of interesting things going on. Expect the eclectic, expect the original, expect that — between the spirit of very special places like AS220 and the Roots Café — the rise of downtown Providence will accelerate.
HEADLINE OF THE WEEK
The “classic headline” is a rare and beautiful thing, much admired in the world of ink-stained wretches. We initially got tipped off to this world-class entry by “Tommy from Queens” but, upon further conversation with Tommy, we found that he had been apprised of this gem by another Tom, someone we’ll call “Admiral Tom,” a man whose reportorial skills in terms of his eye for the odd turn of phrase and quirky detail are legendary.
So it was the “Vo Dilun Tom Tom Club” (with apologies to our friends Chris and Tina) who provided your superior correspondents with this from the online version of the Centre Daily Times of State College, Pennsylvania:
Butts waives hearing in Boob murder case
It appears that one Kermit Butts of Madisonburg, Pennsylvania, waived his right to a court hearing when he was arrested for hindering prosecution and aggravated assault for aiding his “carnival worker” comrade, Ronald Heichel, in the shooting death of one Samuel Boob, purportedly at the request of Mr. Boob’s wife, Mirinda Boob (that would make two Boobs in one story).