Our Sgt. Schultz society

By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  October 24, 2007

Nixon was what he was
For those of us who raised hell during the Nixon years, we know that you could never be paranoid enough, because what you imagined to be taking place was certainly worse in reality. 
So relive those days of yesteryear, boys and girls. With P+J fave Judith Swift, resident director, at the helm, the Bucket’s Gamm Theatre will present the Russell Lees’s “tragically funny, fact-based fiction” play, Nixon’s Nixon, beginning tonight (October 25) and running through November 18.
Was Ms. Swift a proverbial-stirrer in those days? You judge, from her description of the play to us: “Nixon’s Nixon? Well, it sure is great to work on a play about a moment in history when the president promoted secrecy, plotted escalations of a wrong-minded war, and lied to the American public. When secretaries of state worried about sartorial splendor (Manolo Blahniks as NOLA drowns, anyone?) and were academics with a passion for realpolitik. Rehearsals are a kind of bunting and flag-waving event, all the while breathing easy that we’re past that kind of betrayal of the Office of the President and the electorate. Nixon is history: Mission Accomplished.” None dare call her snarky. 
Be there or be square. The Gamm Theatre is located at 172 Exchange Street in beautiful cosmopolitan Pawtucket, with tickets available by calling 401.723.4266, or at arttixri.com.

Help the kids, at Nick’s
Ali Cabral tells us that this Sunday, October 29 from 2 to 5 pm, there will be a “Rock for Schools” event at Nick-a-Nee’s. There’s an interesting back story on this involving the noted Vo Dilunduh Jim McGetrick, one of the folks behind the popular Bob Dylan birthday parties at Patrick’s Pub.
For the past few years, Jim has been teaching at a “migrant school” in China, in which kids come from the countryside for their only real opportunity for an education. When he first arrived, Jim found the school with some serious infrastructure problems (leaky roof, etc.). By putting on small fundraisers at his favorite neighborhood bars back in the Biggest Little, Jim has been able to get things done. The work continues.
Ken Lyon, godfather of the Rhode Island music scene, the Foreverly Brothers, and Frankie Lee will provide the music. Sunday afternoons at Nick-a-Nee’s are always just like home (except with a vaster variety of food and alcohol, and in this case, great music). Come on down.

Sayonara to a wonderful place
P&J are greatly saddened by the imminent closing of one of our longtime favorite restaurants, the warm and inviting New Japan, which has been a staple in downtown Providence for 30 years.
Yukio Hiyama is closing shop at the end of October — when the building will be converted to (another) hotel. We’re not entirely sure what to make of the recent proliferation of downtown hotel projects, but we do know that there will never be another place like New Japan. When Yukio first opened, there was almost no Japanese cuisine in the state.
There was the Oki Steakhouse chain restaurant, but that was generic stuff. The sushi craze had not yet hit, and New Japan was a wondrous little spot with a small menu of great food and an atmosphere like home. Yukio has been one of the greatest hosts in local history. Jorge remembers accidentally leaving his wallet at home one evening and Yukio (who was much closer to Phillipe) told him, “Oh, just come by next time you’re in the neighborhood. No problem.”
New Japan was a favorite of the Young Adults back in the ’70s, when it was run by Yukio’s predecessor, the equally beloved and diminutive Beatles-song-singing Osaki. The band would often convene there, for a light meal and plenteous sake, before a gig at Lupo’s.
Your superior correspondents had many a fabulous lunch and dinner at New Japan, and we mourn its passing. We send all the best to Yukio, a true prince of a man.

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