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BILL RODRIGUEZ

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Both new and old classics

Life on the boards
The Gamm certainly has come a long way in the quarter-century leading up to this its 25th anniversary season. The evolution of its name alone is quite a trip.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  September 16, 2009

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Berlin calling

A ‘very Trinity’ take on Cabaret
If you ask someone whether they've seen Cabaret , odds are the answer will be yes. Ask Curt Columbus, and the answer is likely to be: Which one? Sitting in the upstairs theater of Trinity Repertory Company, where their production runs through October 11, the artistic director rattled off a chronology as lengthy as a convoluted German sentence.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  September 15, 2009

Face off

Doubt explores the quicksand of certainty
If you were an ordinary Catholic boy in parochial school, giving nuns as hard a time as you were getting, you probably ended up with the usual stories of ruler-rapped knuckles. If you grew up to be talented playwright John Patrick Shanley, you ended up writing Doubt: A Parable , a fascinating exploration of the quicksand of certainty.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  September 15, 2009

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Embracing humanness

Stevie Jay's Life is a work in progress
Don't go listen to Stevie Jay if you want demure talk about sex, less than X-rated language about relationships, or polite, unemotional monologues about anything else he cares to tell you about.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  September 08, 2009

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The Empire strikes back

AS220's loose and lively revue
The Empire Revue is a monthly event at AS220, happening every first Sunday at 8 pm, as predictably as political malfeasance and as reliably funny, only without the urge to strangle the perpetrators. It's only eight bucks, which is still cheaper than a movie, they like to remind us, and way cheaper than a trip to the Borscht Belt, they might add.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  September 02, 2009

Christie's

A Thames Street institution
With the same name but new owners, the 60-year restaurant institution Christie's has been back in Newport for about three years, this time with a classy, upscale persona and yet an affordable, downscale menu. It's downstairs from the uber-posh Forty 1 North and certainly can hold its head up, chichi-wise, under that shadow.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  September 02, 2009



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Tom Sgouros is skeptical about Rhode Island

Is there a ny hope?
Tom Sgouros's recently published Ten Things You Don't Know about Rhode Island (Light Publications, $14) is subtitled "A Skeptical Look at Government, Economics, and Recent History in One Lively Little State." The operational word is skeptical — a constitutional aversion to sheepishness prevents wool being pulled over the author's eyes.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  September 14, 2009

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A royal scam

TBTS' terrific Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Admit it — we are all a little perverse. How else to explain the difficulty, unless you are comatose, in not laughing heartily at Dirty Rotten Scoundrels , the tale of two con men plying their criminal trade on the French Riviera.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  August 25, 2009

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Imagine that

2nd Story's Harvey is simply delightful.
Mister Rogers is dead. Long live Elwood P. Dowd!
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  August 18, 2009

The Pirate Girl

Shiver me stuffies!
The economic downturn is such that we may eventually see pirate ships showing off the Jolly Roger around Narragansett Bay. When they do, you can bet that their favorite place to unwind after a long day Yo-ho-ho -ing will be a friendly fisherman's bar and restaurant on a quiet road off the main strip in Galilee.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  August 18, 2009

Mixed and mismatched

Errors are still comical in the bucket
Oh those Elizabethans, those cutups, those bawdy scamps. If we had only William Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors to go by, we'd wonder how the Brits ever built an empire between all the misidentifications and panicked confusions.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  August 18, 2009



The farce within

CTC'S Noises Off is a laff riot 
Farces have been keeping audiences slapping their knees ever since cavemen learned to trip into the fire on purpose. A case can be made that the most exquisitely funny farce ever devised is Michael Frayn's Noises Off .
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  August 11, 2009

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No direction home

Hugging the Shoulder spins its wheels
The intense Hugging the Shoulder , by Jerrod Bogard, is the latest play presented by Theater of Thought (through August 8), actor and director Amber Kelly's vehicle for boiling-pot relationship dramas in inventively appropriate settings.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  August 04, 2009

Shakespeare for dummies

The Bard (abridged) at CTC
No, it's not sponsored by CliffsNotes. But The Complete Works William Shakespeare (Abridged) , as ably demonstrated by the Contemporary Theater Company (through August 14), shows that the bane of phys-ed majors can be more fun than a barrel of bodkins.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  August 04, 2009

Spice Thai

Exceptional and ridiculously inexpensive
If I tried, I think I could work up a tear recalling the '70s, when there were no Thai restaurants in Rhode Island — a dark age largely devoid of the culinary spice of life. Thank goodness there was Szechuan.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  August 04, 2009

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Three-ring circus

The Brown/Trinity Playwrights' seriously funny fare
This is the fifth season of the Brown/Trinity Playwrights Repertory Theater, and the three productions are quite a delightful array of comedies-in-the-works, all dealing with social survival. The plays being workshopped include an existential examination from a canine point of view.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  July 29, 2009



Reeling

Get ready for RIIFF's 13th Filmapalooza
If the Rhode Island International Film Festival were a monster movie, it would be something like The Blob That Engulfed Delaware . Like its dozen predecessors, the 13th annual event will be taking over the state.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  July 29, 2009

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Always Always Land

Theatre by The Sea’s Peter Pan soars
The much loved tale of Peter Pan gets a revival on Broadway at least every generation for good reason. Not just because it appeals to kids, which goes without saying, but because it gives grownups a respectable excuse to see it themselves with their own kids.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  July 21, 2009

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Laugh to keep from crying

Timeless optimism in You Can't Take It With You
Rarely did a play arrive with better timing than You Can't Take It With You , the joyfully optimistic paean to the American spirit that earned its Pulitzer in 1936, when the country was licking the wounds of collective Depression.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  July 15, 2009

Bob & Timmy's

World-class pizza in your own backyard
Okay, technically Bob & Timmy's, but actually Rick & José's. I thought that food writer Alan Richman was joking on MSNBC when he renamed the Providence pizza institution, but nope. José Sanchez and Rick Remeika bought the place two years ago, after having worked there for 15 and 10 years, respectively, starting out as dishwasher and busboy.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  July 15, 2009

Still feeling pretty

Timeless romance in West Side Story  
It's hard to not be charmed by a production of West Side Story that doesn't get in the way of its heartfelt, bittersweet romance. The current production by Center Stage, in West Kingston through July 26, not only lets the youthful idealism pour through, it delivers enjoyable song and dance.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  July 15, 2009


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