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Friday, September 11, 2009

Right this way, your table's waiting

Trinity Rep

Several life lessons can be learned in a music hall, and CABARET’s blend of romance and politics has made the musical one of American theater’s ongoing pleasures. When Sally Bowles puts the moves on Cliff Bradshaw in the frenetic forum of what Trinity Rep’s artistic director Curt Columbus deems a beer garden, lots of emotions swirl through the air. He says his production’s setting is more like a “festive carnival midway than a supper club.” Joe Wilson Jr.’s MC offers cool commentary, which offers a glimpse into the mores of the outside world, in song and story. Rachael Warren is Sally; Mauro Hantman is Cliff. The show runs through October 11 at 201 Washington Street, Providence | 401.351.4242 |

Filed under: THEATER

Friday, September 11, 2009

Dance Plus


Some artists let their audiences determine what a piece of work is about. Nikki Carrara tells us straight out: “FACE TO INTERFACE” addresses desperation and hope. The choreographer, one of Perishable Theatre’s resident artists, uses movement, text, video, and still photography to explain her emotions. “I have gleaned inspiration and imagery from many literary sources,” she says, “including 1984 (Orwell), The Handmaiden’s Tale (Atwood), The Jungle (Sinclair), and Art and Lies (Winterson), creating a landscape of dystopian terror and oppression. For a long while, I didn’t know what story would be told in this place; recently I began introducing tangential ideas related to immigration to the United States at various points in history . . . What has evolved, I hope, is an exploration of the human spirit, through the various circumstances, hopes, dreams, experienced by all folks who are looking for something better somewhere else.” The piece will be staged at Perishable, 95 Empire Street, Providence, today and Saturday at 8 pm | $10 | 401.331.2695 x 101 |

Filed under: DANCE
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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Birds of Prey

Environmental Education Center

I watched a trained eagle go through its paces at a Renaissance Faire a few years ago — it was a jaw-dropping experience. The bird’s majesty and grace, the trainer’s expertise and patience — wow. The RAPTOR WEEKEND at the Environmental Education Center, 1401 Hope Street, Bristol, celebrates this relationship and features an array of live flight presentations. Owls, hawks, falcons, and eagles will be on display, and a variety of educational programs and family activities are also being offered. Chat with authorities regarding the birds’ habits and patterns. The event runs today and Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm | $10, $8 for kids, free under 4 | 401.245.7500 |

Filed under: LECTURE

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Man from Merrimac County


Don’t think old guys aren’t invested in carnal notions. TOM RUSH starts off his first CD in a while, the somewhat impressive What I Know (Appleseed), with a lusty little ditty that finds him requesting tight dresses and a full menu of booze. The New Hampshire hero still makes that croak of a voice work for him, and he’s still singing about rivers, railroads, and memories. From Joni to Jackson to Eric Von Schmidt, I’m assuming you know that his songbook is rather strong. He’s also a guy who doesn’t come out and play all that often, so it’s smart to show up when you find out he’s gigging. Hear him roll through his acoustic blues, lonesome tunes, and singer-songwriter poetics at the Narrows Center for the Arts, 16 Anawan Street, Fall River, Massachu-setts, at 8 pm | $35 | 508.324.1926 |

Filed under: MUSIC

Saturday, September 12, 2009

High-flying guitar, Full tilt vocals

Twin River Event Center

Last month I was cleaning the garage and blasting that BUDDY GUY career compilation, Can’t Quit the Blues (Sony Legacy). Man, I forgot just how expressive the guy’s singing is. The 73-year-old made his bones on being the most versatile guitarist to come out of the Chicago blues scene of the ’60s, but his vocals parallel the passion of his ax work. Guy has worked the animated side of the tracks since leaping off tables and chairs while entertaining the crowd in Maxwell Street juke joints a half-century ago. And he has been singing up a storm since cutting the deathless “Stone Crazy.” Someone yell out “Gully Hully” when he hits Twin River Event Center, 100 Twin River Road, Lincoln, at 8 pm | $30.50-$20.50 |

Filed under: MUSIC
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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Rhythem & Roots, Part Deux


The diehards who danced ’til dawn at last week’s Rhythm & Roots Festival will surely be shaking their moneymakers at the NARROWS FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS when BeauSoleil brings things into high gear. With frenzied fiddler Michael Doucet at the helm, the country’s reigning Cajun band has many ways to send a crowd over the edge. Their rhythmic mastery involves an array of steadily shifting beats built on subtlety after subtlety. Also ready to do some damage: Beausoleil’s Louisiana buds, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. The N’awlins kingpins have proven their pliability during the last decade, recording with rockers and pop stars. But at heart they’re the most kicking brass band around, party hounds that come to shake a stage. And check the rest of the lineup: the Hot Club of Cowtown, Seth Walker, Miss Tess and the Bon Ton Parade, Ryan Fitzsimmons, Danielle Miraglia, and Marc Douglas Berardo. The fest also features a kids’ arts and crafts tent and lots of food options. Head to 16 Anawan Street, Fall River, Massachusetts, from 11:30 am to 7 pm | Free | 508.324.1926 |

Filed under: FESTIVAL

Monday, September 14, 2009

Traveling in certain circles

Fine Arts Gallery

Some symbols resonate for ages. When BARBARA PAGH toured Ireland last year, she spent time absorbing the resonance of sites built around stones emblazoned with concentric circles, spi-rals, and other patterns. From Newgrange to Knowth, the ceremonial places were full of “astrological, spiritual, and religious” importance. “Passages,” her new show at the Main Gallery of the University of Rhode Island’s Fine Arts Gallery, 105 Upper College Road, Kingston, is an extrapolation of her findings that asks her viewers to “enter a symbolic passage, created with sus-pended sheets of printed and sewn handmade paper.” The artist writes, “In ‘Passages,’ I am not trying to recreate one of these sites, but use it as a stepping off point to represent the passage of time and create both a mysterious and meditative space.” The show is on view Monday through Saturday from 12 to 4 pm through October 7; the opening reception is on September 15 at 2 pm | 401.874.2775 |

Filed under: ARTS

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Memories and Insights

Alger Hall

What happens when your personal and public worlds suffer collapsing blows? In the course of six or seven years, New York poet MARK DOTY lost his partner to AIDS and lived through 9/11 — that kind of trauma sets a man reeling, and the work that resulted was rather profound. Indeed, many people thought so; Doty’s Dog Years: A Memoir sat on the New York Times best seller list for a while. The author frames the text around the emotional bolstering he received from his two retrievers, Beau and Arden, but as the rather poetic Louise Erdrich has said, while the book is about that relationship, it’s also “about everything we cannot talk about . . . the ‘unsayable’ about our relationships with animals, and about unspeakable times of loss. It’s not a dark book. It is illu-minated from within by gorgeous wonder.” Doty declares that his pets were “the secret heroes of my own vitality.” He’ll come to Rhode Island College’s Alger Hall 110, 600 Mt. Pleasant Avenue, Providence, to read from his work at 7 pm | Free | 401.456.8468

Filed under: POETRY

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Yesterday's Here


Sometimes context is king. For lovers of all things bittersweet, hearing CHAD AND JEREMY wrap their voices around the whispers of “A Summer Song” might be a terrific way to bid adieu to 2009’s fairest season. Boomers will be the core audience at this show, natch. C&J had their string of hits during the splash of the British Invasion. Like Peter & Gordon, they offered folkie soft pop — with a decided Beatlesque flair. See what’s what at the Narrows Center for the Arts, 16 Anawan Street, Fall River, Massachusetts, at 8 pm | $35 | 508.324.1926

Filed under: MUSIC

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Raunch 'N' Roll


Song-wise I always thought THE BLACK CROWES were a little obvious, a little hokey. But there ain’t much you can take away from the band performance-wise. Their weed-tinged assault does justice to the groove aspect of Southern boogie, and as a swaggering front man, singer Chris Robinson knows how to get the job done. Do they still have a sizable following in this modern world of rock ’n’ roll. I’m thinking yes. They’ll take the stage at Lupo’s, 79 Washington Street, Providence, at 9 pm sharp | $50 + $40 |

Filed under: MUSIC

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Been caught stealing

firehouse 13

Monica Shinn’s paintings have a sketchy feel, and whether she’s documenting a pooch or interpreting the greenery of a field, their informality draws you in. Anna Shapiro’s canvases sometimes have a “m1apped” sensibility, dividing up landscapes for myriad esthetic reasons. Along with pieces by Andrew Moon Bain and Angel Quinonez, they’re part of the “4 THIEVES” exhibit at Firehouse 13, 41 Central Street, Providence. “This is a painting show in full color, with poetic and pop-flavored works by people who rock Providence inside out,” explains the Gallery. “There is huge mutual respect between these four artists and a long-standing desire to show work in relationship to one another, as well as to have a big party.” A Gallery Night preview takes place from 5 to 8 pm; the show runs through the 29th | 401.270.1801 |

Filed under: ART

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