Raise the curtain

From classic to contemporary
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  December 28, 2011

THEATER_ComeFlyAway_main
SIMPLY SINATRA PPAC will host Come Fly Away.

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.

At the anchor theater, Trinity Repertory Company, we're getting a typical mix. Shakespeare's THE MERCHANT OF VENICE will be staged February 3-March 4, and three plays will be performed in repertory: SPARROW GRASS, Curt Columbus's adaptation of Racine's tragedy PHAEDRA (February 16-May 13); LOVE ALONE, by resident playwright Deborah Salem Smith (February 28-May 27); and George Brant's THE MOURNERS' BENCH (March 7-May 24).

At the Gamm, they're starting their year with the New England premiere of FESTEN (January 12-February 12), by British playwright David Eldridge. A hit on both the London and Broadway stages, it centers around the sudden revelation of a Danish family's dark secret.

In Warren, 2nd Story Theatre presents TAKE ME OUT, by Richard Greenberg (January 13-February 12) and AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY, by Tracy Letts (March 2-April 1). The first is set in the locker room of a professional baseball team, where the banter of the all-male cast gets into everything from homophobia to the definition of masculinity. The Letts play, a 2008 Pulitzer Prize winner, is a dark comedy set in an Oklahoma household and involves a dying poet, a brazenly alcoholic husband, and a Native American caregiver.

At the schools, Rhode Island College will present Hugh Whitemore's intriguing BREAKING THE CODE (February 15-19). The profile of British mathematician Alan Turing shows him cracking the Nazi's supposedly unbreakable Enigma code and explores his conflicted life in the closet.

Brown University Brownbrokers is staging the original musical WE CAN REBUILD HIM, with music and book by Deepali Gupta (March 1-11). And the Brown/Trinity Rep MFA program will present two productions in rotating repertory: VENUS, by Suzan Lori Parks, and Samuel Beckett's WAITING FOR GODOT (March 1-18).

Speaking of existentialist classics, Roger Williams University is doing Jean-Paul Sartre's NO EXIT (February 3-4) and Beckett's ENDGAME (March 23-24). For comic relief between them, they will stage THE BEAUX' STRATEGEM, by George Farquhar, adapted by Thornton Wilder and Ken Ludwig (February 23-March 3).

In Cranston, Burbage Theatre Company is doing Eugene Ionesco's THE LESSON, plus an original play written in tribute to the recently deceased Vaclav Havel, at William Hall Library (March 15-24).

The absurdist trend is kicked off by Wilbury Group Theatre's take on Eugène Ianesco's EXIT THE KING (January 5-15) at 95 Empire Street. The 1962 drama is the third part of the playwright's Berenger Cycle, the others being The Killer (1958) Rhinoceros (1959), and A Stroll In the Air (1963). In Exit the King, Berenger is an angry and narcissistic monarch.

At the University of Rhode Island, one of Molière's most popular farces, TARTUFFE, is on for February 23-March 4. Providence College is staging the lighthearted LEND ME A TENOR, by Ken Ludwig (January 27-February 5), and contrasting that with the drama POOR MURDERER, by Pavel Kohout (March 30-April 15). Czech-born Kohout, expelled as a Prague Spring dissident in the 1970s, set the play in a Russian hospital, the St. Elizabeth Institute for Nervous Disasters, in which an actor who has played Hamlet thinks he really did kill Polonius.

1  |  2  |   next >
  Topics: Theater , Curt Columbus, Racine, The Merchant of Venice,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY BILL RODRIGUEZ
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   MEN AT WORK  |  April 16, 2014
    The Pulitzer Prize Board, which likes to honor theatrical gems of Americana, may have been remiss in not nominating David Rabe’s 1984 ' Hurlyburly .'
  •   SEARCHING FOR CLUES  |  April 09, 2014
    A "girl detective" makes her  world premiere.
  •   ROSE-COLORED MEMORIES  |  April 09, 2014
    Incessant media accounts of horrific events can prompt compassion fatigue.
  •   MENTAL SHRAPNEL  |  April 02, 2014
    Brave or foolhardy? The Wilbury Theatre Group is presenting Sarah Kane’s controversial Blasted , a 1995 play that at the time was decried as juvenile, taken to the woodshed by critics, and flayed to shreds.
  •   A ROWDY ROMP  |  March 26, 2014
    In his time, Georges Feydeau was to theater what McDonald’s is to cuisine — cheap, easy to consume, and wildly popular.

 See all articles by: BILL RODRIGUEZ