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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

tom list

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

dirty list

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

harvey list

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

hugging list

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

dog list

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


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


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

you can't list

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


The glory of Blaze

Sabrina shines at Theatre by the Sea's cabaret
Anyone who likes musicals has to love cabarets, which are Whitman's samplers of humming-in-the-shower favorites. So if you end up taking in one of the shows this summer at Theater by the Sea in Matunuck, you also might be interested in catching the post-show Bistro by the Sea Cabaret.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  July 07, 2009

cirque list

Beyond the big top

Cirque du Soliel's acrobatic theater
Calling Cirque du Soleil a circus is like calling Cinderella's splendiferous carriage a pumpkin. They're starting their 25th anniversary tour at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence (July 2 through 5) and, compared to Cirque, an ordinary circus appears vegetative, indeed.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  July 01, 2009

Rosinha's Restaurant

The traditional taste of Portugal
The latest eatery at Pawtucket's Hope Artiste Village is Rosinha's Restaurant, offering Portuguese cuisine — Cape Verdean, to be specific. Not wanting to give the wrong impression — music hipper and hoppier than fado sometimes reverberates from the Blackstone down the entrance corridor — a kind of manifesto stands at the door.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  July 01, 2009

Use your delusion

RWU'S Fool for Love hits emotional high notes
Fool for Love is pure Sam Shepard, as the playwright packs in an explosive blend of myth and Eros, ambiguity and knee-in-the-gut certitude, boiling it all down into less than an hour of existential essence. The current rendition at Roger Williams University Barn Summer Playhouse will impress even demanding theatergoers with its emotional confidence and finesse.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  June 23, 2009

crazy list

Gershwin done right

Crazy For You's delightful musical mayhem
Crazy for You , the 1992 homage to the Gershwin brothers' 1930 musical Girl Crazy , is rockin' the rafters at Theatre By the Sea (through July 11). Building inspectors are going to have to check out the Matunuck summer barn theater for damage after every show, if the opening night musical mayhem is going to continue.
By: BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  June 24, 2009

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