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Mixed Magic's 'The House In Providence'
As someone says toward the end of this intriguing social-study kitchen-sink drama, it’s easy to get along with people you don’t deal with every day, who don’t know you inside out and can make you feel terrible with just a look.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  June 18, 2013


Upstairs, downstairs

Trinity Rep's 'House & Garden' doubles your pleasure
What a clever idea. Use the same cast and adjacent sets, and develop characters and their stories into two plays that stand alone but also offer the bonus of familiarity to audience members who see them both.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  June 12, 2013


Unsettling slices of life

 Anne Pasquale gets under 'BOB''s skin
' BOB: Blessed Be the Dysfunction That Binds ' is about Anne Pasquale’s experiences growing up with a “special needs person” with schizophrenic tendencies, a balancing act of love and trepidation. Bob, you see, could be violent.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  June 11, 2013


And justice for all?

 2nd Story and Mixed Magic's 'The Exonerated'
Don't ever get arrested for a serious crime. That's one of the infuriating lessons learned from ' The Exonerated ,' a drama of justice delayed written by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  June 04, 2013


Swimming with sharks

The Wilbury Group's 'Threepenny Opera'
Despite its scathing critique of the excesses of capitalism, The Threepenny Opera has fascinated even investment bankers since its creation in 1928. Perhaps especially investment bankers, seeing that it centers around a dark "hero" with the morals of an alley cat and the luck of one with nine lives.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  May 29, 2013


No method to this madness

Epic's 'Alice in Wonderland'
Clever idea, setting Lewis Carroll's surreal Alice books in an insane asylum. But like many simple creative notions that are roiling with complexity under the surface, it can be woefully difficult to pull off.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  May 29, 2013


Review: El Rancho Grande

¡Muy authentico!
Having a yen Mexican food and limiting yourself to tacos and burritos is like craving French food and choosing french fries.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  May 21, 2013


Remixing Shakespeare

Brown/Trinity Rep MFA's 'Romeo and Juliet'
From music to costumes to inserted interludes of dance and mad poetry, this staging is vivacious.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  May 13, 2013


A close encounter

Mixed Magic's absorbing 'Zoo Story'
The set-up couldn't be more straightforward: two strangers are having a conversation in New York's Central Park. Correspondingly, the set couldn't be more simple: a park bench in front of tall color photographs of its bucolic backdrop.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  May 13, 2013


Review: Trattoria Longo

Every dish done just right
Preparing most Italian dishes doesn't require the complexity of organic chemistry. Fresh ingredients, a good recipe, well-timed cooking, and ecco! Benissimo!
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  May 13, 2013


Sour and dour souls

The Gamm's 'Beauty Queen of Leenane'
Some people are brittle and dry as tinder, but they don't have the sense to not play with matches. The two women at the dangerous center of Martin McDonagh's The Beauty Queen of Leenane could blaze up at any moment, and we know that one or both will by the end. Each is filled with so much pent-up hatred that spontaneous combustion seems a distinct possibility.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  May 07, 2013


Fools in love

Tennessee Williams's 'The Rose Tattoo' at 2nd Story
Taking place on the hot Louisiana Gulf Coast, Tennessee Williams's The Rose Tattoo is steamy in more than one way, as human passions boil off repressed emotions.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  May 07, 2013


Clandestine couplings

Epic stages Pinter's time-twisting 'Betrayal'
Although prolific British playwright Harold Pinter directed much of his professional attention to the outer world of political affairs, he focused it most narrowly in a little play about more intimate affairs. ' Betrayal' charts the gradual emotional changes of three people as they go through their dances of deception over several years.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  May 01, 2013


Something about 'Nothing'

Shakespeare's 'Much Ado' at URI
The University of Rhode Island Theatre is putting some of the Bard's favorite characters through their paces with determined affection. We get villainy as well as heroics, and wordplay instead of swordplay.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  April 23, 2013


Convent-ional wisdom

'Sister Act' rattles the rafters at PPAC
For all the fun we had along with Whoopi Goldberg in the movie ' Sister Act ,' the musical version is a delight all its own, as the show touring through Providence Performing Arts Center is demonstrating.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  April 10, 2013


Review: Adesso On the Hill

As special as ever
Adesso is now "On the Hill," as opposed to off of Thayer Street, where the marvelous restaurant was located until closing in 2005.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  April 09, 2013


A case of black and white

Ocean State plays Mamet's 'Race' card
It's inarguable that to some extent racism in America is a disease that the civil rights era did not completely inoculate this country against. The argument is about exactly what that extent has been, and David Mamet's provocative play Race explores that matter with fulminating energy and some insight.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  April 02, 2013


The Wilbury Group's 'Body Awareness'

Eye of the beholder
The male gaze. Men can think of it as merely admiring, complimentary. Woman may consider it creepy. Such is the annoying conflict between the two sub-species that Wilbury Group is examining with Annie Baker's 'Body Awareness.'
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  March 27, 2013


Trinity Rep's half-baked 'Social Creatures'

Appetite for destruction
'Social Creatures,' by Jackie Sibblies Drury, is getting a valiant effort to bring it to life, thanks to a talented cast and brave-hearted direction by Curt Columbus. But, as with the zombie menace it depicts, that would be quite a tall order.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  March 26, 2013


2nd Story’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Square peg, round hole
Ken Kesey's 1962 novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest was such a dramatic indictment of the culture of the time that it was made into a play the very next year, adapted by Dale Wasserman.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  March 20, 2013


The Gamm’s absorbing The Real Thing

Words of love
How many words do the Inuit have for snow?
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  March 20, 2013

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