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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


Les Misérables leads the charge at PPAC

Les Misérables leads the charge at PPAC
I'm not sure whether Les Misérables is defiantly and respectably uncontrite as a melodrama or merely unabashedly so. Does this operatic musical rush with such defiant conviction across the mire of melodrama that it doesn't get stuck?
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  November 02, 2011


Providence College’s Cripple of Inishmaan

Urge for going
Martin McDonagh's The Cripple of Inishmaan , the last of his Aran Islands trilogy, is being served very well by the actors at Providence College Theatre (through November 6). You could say without heated opposition that they are doing a better job than the playwright himself did.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  November 02, 2011


Review: Chopmist Charlie’s

Sea fare and playful decor
Maybe more restaurants should have rich fantasy lives.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  November 02, 2011


Trinity Rep’s poignant Clybourne Park

Walking the color line
It would take a mountain of homage to overshadow the immense chutzpah that playwright Bruce Norris required to ride on the shoulders of an American theater classic like Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In the Sun .
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  October 25, 2011

Review: 15 Point Road

Dishes both inherited and original
How is it that seafood at a restaurant located on the water's edge is more appetizing than at one located inland, even a few blocks up the street? I don't recall ever salivating because a steakhouse was next to a cow pasture.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  October 25, 2011


URI’s Marat/Sade finds pleasure in pain

Musical madness
To compare a crazed society to a madhouse is a trite observation. But it became an astute metaphor and powerful theatrical experience when playwright Peter Weiss created Marat/Sade , as URI Theatre is robustly demonstrating (through October 23).
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  October 18, 2011

Review: Van Ghent Café

More than waffle time
As ethnic cuisines go, most of us would be hard-pressed to anticipate much beyond their eponymous waffles when looking forward to a Belgian restaurant.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  October 18, 2011


Rock of Ages lets its hair down at PPAC

Can’t fight this feeling
Rock of Ages is such an explosive, face-melting jukebox musical that only afterward do we realize it didn't include two hours of skyrocket pyrotechnics — although all the laser beams through fog come close.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  October 05, 2011


2nd Story’s communicating Doors

Ticklish time travel
Slammed-door farces are delightful opportunities to unhinge us with laughter.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  October 05, 2011

Brown examines Oscar Wilde’s Trials

Public images
Oscar Wilde was a late 19th-century wit, wastrel, and brazenly flouncing esthete.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  October 05, 2011

Review: Bayou Smokehouse

Takeout worth waiting for
I don't usually review takeout places, but I had to make an exception this time.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  September 27, 2011


How To Be a Lesbian In 10 Days or Less

Life lessons
We are a complicated species — not as complicated as clown fish or moray eels, which can change genders when their own becomes boring, but complicated enough.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  September 27, 2011


Trinity Rep’s rip-roaring His Girl Friday

The write stuff
There are theatrical adaptations and then there are magnificent transformations, like His Girl Friday . Multiple-Obie Award-winning playwright John Guare has expanded the furious screwball comedy into a historical/social commentary without our losing out on the knee-slapping.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  September 21, 2011


The Gamm’s Circle Mirror Transformation

Real-life role playing
It could be called the water cooler effect: casual contacts among unlike people, repeated often enough, can lead to unlikely friendships.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  September 20, 2011

Review: Thames Street Kitchen

Getting more than the food right
There's a new restaurant in Newport that may very well give the expression "tsk-tsk" new, enthusiastic meaning.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  September 20, 2011


Funny business and tragic figures

Character studies
A reliable laugh-getter, HIS GIRL FRIDAY just opened at Trinity Repertory Company (through October 9).
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  September 14, 2011

Review: Trafford

More than a nice view
Sometimes a beautiful location is as far as a restaurant gets when it sets up shop.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  September 14, 2011

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