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The Theater Scene in Providence

The Theater Scene in Providence

We frequently jump on the Acela and head for Broadway, where I’ve been seeing plays since I was 17 and someone gave me free tickets. However, this past Friday and Saturday night we remained here in Providence and saw great theater.

On Friday, the GAMM Theater staged Sam Shepard’s True West, one of the playwright’s many explorations into relationships, values, and family. Anthony Goes, playing the dissolute brother, Lee, was worth the price of admission alone, engaged in a tour de force that was powerful, consistent, nuanced, and as good as theater gets.

On Saturday, Trinity Rep’s Little Shop of Horrors was astounding, one of the top five performances I’ve seen there as a 30-year subscriber. Tyler Dobrowsky’s directing was outstanding. We saw the original in 1982 Off Broadway, and this was faithful and creative (for example, the giant plant which is the centerpiece of the play was simply a huge puppet in New York, but here Dobrowsky also had Rachel Warren as the temptress embodiment of the monster). Rebecca Gibel, as Audrey, brought back memories of Ellen Greene singing Somewhere That’s Green. That’s no small accomplishment.

In another week, Festival Ballet Providence performs Swan Lake.

The arts are alive and well in Providence (there is also an excellent symphony), which is astounding for a place of this size (all of Rhode Island has about a million people, and I think many of them are merely myth). And the last foray to New York was to see Network, one of the most overrated, self-absorbed, lousy plays I’ve ever had to pay money for.

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

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