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Wilbury’s darkly humorous Exit the King

The reign man
Playwright Eugene Ionesco, a progenitor of Theater of the Absurd along with Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter, put a lot of himself into Exit the King instead of keeping his usual ironic or satiric distance.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  January 11, 2012


Review: Ralph’s Bull & Claw Tavern

So much more than pub food
Time was, a place that called itself a tavern purveyed meals as well as drinks to weary travelers. Nowadays at most such places you might snag some buffalo chicken wings at best.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  January 10, 2012


Shrek the Musical charms at PPAC

'Toon time
Talk about your franchises.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  January 04, 2012


Review: El Tapatio

Transported to the border
Although El Tapatio is a full-fledged Mexican restaurant, with distinct Tex-Mex and Cal-Mex accents, it has certainly adapted to one Rhode Island tradition: bountiful portions.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  January 03, 2012


Raise the curtain

From classic to contemporary
There's plenty of theater to keep us warm in Rhode Island through the winter. From the professional companies to the colleges, there are shows for every taste and mood.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  December 28, 2011


A decidedly dramatic year (with a bit of comic relief)

This has been a good year for theater around here, from the reprise of a "Were you there when . . .?" rendition of a Shakespeare classic to a sprinkling of notable original productions.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  December 21, 2011


Review: Eleven Forty-Nine

In a line of fine restaurants
Four years ago, it was no surprise when a new restaurant opened in the space where Jason's had closed.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  December 21, 2011


Trinity Rep’s It’s a Wonderful Life

More comfort and joy
For theatergoers not sufficiently uplifted this holiday season by Trinity Repertory Company's production of A Christmas Carol , the troupe is presenting a second annual feel-good offering, It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play , in the downstairs theater through December 31.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  December 14, 2011


Cirque Dreams gets seasonal at PPAC

An acrobatic Holidaze
There is plenty of color and spectacle for the little ones and dexterous skill for the big kids (aka adults), as Cirque Dreams Holidaze dazzles at the Providence Performing Arts Center through December 18.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  December 14, 2011


Brown/Trinity Rep Consortium’s Parade

An unfortunate man
Parade might be the best musical, as well as the most unlikely one, that you've never seen. Its one-line plot description isn't exactly alluring.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  December 07, 2011


Review: Mosaic

A Latin American tapestry
With all the pan-Asian restaurants around, it only makes sense that there would be a pan-Latin restaurant thriving in Providence. Mosaic, a Latin American bistro, is doing a good job of it on the outerskirts of Olneyville.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  December 07, 2011


URI stages Chekhov’s head-spinning Seagull

Writing what he knows
A loves B but marries C because B loves D, who loves E but eventually returns to B. Meanwhile, K, L, and M . . . . It's that sort of plot.  
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  December 07, 2011


2nd Story serves a pair of frisky farces

French ticklers
How generous. With its latest production, 2nd Story Theatre is giving us a hilarious double feature.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  November 30, 2011


Trinity’s compelling Christmas Carol

Comfort and joy
The more things stay the same, the more they change. At least that's the way they've been having it with Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol at Trinity Repertory Company for 35 years.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  November 30, 2011

Review: Simply Thai

Plain and fancy
The restaurant is named Simply Thai, but the food you can expect to get there is not so simple at all. It's set up like a fast food place but it serves flavorful, complex Thai dishes I wanted to linger over.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  November 30, 2011


2nd Story’s inspiring Little Women

Timeless acts of kindness
Louisa May Alcott's Little Women is so beloved a morsel of American literary optimism that it would be hard to do badly with an adaptation of the 1868 novel. And there have been numerous ones, from films to an opera and a musical.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  November 21, 2011

Come You Back at Roger Williams University

Bloody lessons
Those who can, do; those who can't, teach. And those who can do both do so with enthusiasm, as professor of theater Peter Wright is proving with the well-acted Come You Back , which he wrote and directed. It's at Roger Williams University Theatre through December 3.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  November 21, 2011


Review: Clarke Cooke House

A meal for every mood
Although it looks a lot more welcome in the middle of Newport's Bannister Wharf than the proverbial blind man's elephant, depending on where you sit in this sprawling 18th-century building, the dining atmosphere can impress you as fun or formal or in-between.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  November 15, 2011

Mixed Magic’s muddled Life’s a Dream

A sword, but no sorcery
'Tis a lumbering theatrical beast to try to chain, but billing the old Spanish war horse Life Is a Dream as Life's a Dream is not enough to tame it for modern theatergoers. Mixed Magic Theatre is staging the 1635 classic by Pedro Calderón de la Barca, directed by Jonathan Jacobs (through November 27).
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  November 15, 2011


The Gamm’s entrancing Hamlet

The stuff of greatness
For many years, Tony Estrella is perhaps the strongest off-Trinity actor around here. One performance in particular — his 1997 Hamlet title role for Alias Stage — has had devoted theatergoers talking about it ever since.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  November 08, 2011

A feisty Lady Windermere’s Fan at Brown

Social insecurity
Late 19th-century England may have imprisoned, ostracized, and fatally broke the health of Oscar Wilde, but not before he took up his pen and successfully dueled with British hypocrisy in several successful social satires.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  November 08, 2011

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