Friday, June 27, 2003

It's a Girl!

My brother and his wife had a little baby girl this morning!

Welcome to the world, Anna Brook Gertsacov!
(8 lbs, 12 oz) !

Also born on this day:
27Jun 1869: Emma Goldman, anarchist, feminist, anit-militarist,
27Jun 1880: Helen Keller
27Jun 1905: IWW formed.
27Jun 1927: Bob "Captain Kangaroo" Keeshan.
27Jun 1930: H. Ross Perot
27Jun 1951: Julia Duffy
27Jun 1975: Tobey Maguire.

(And countless other people!)

Thursday, June 26, 2003


If you are hankering to hang 10, but don't feel up to making the trek to the beach, you should check out the cityside skate park in Downtown's Fleet Skating Center, an obstacle filled arena where you can practice 360's, Ollie's, Kickflip's, Endover's, and other cool tricks.

The cost is not so bad--$25 for the season if you are a Providence resident, $30 if not (to become a member) and then it's between $6-$12 per session The Park is open 10 am -8 pm Mon-Thurs, 10-10 Fri and Sat, and 12-6 on Sundays. They allow boards, blades, BMX, and Scooters (but BMX and Scooters are at separate times - Tuesday & Thursday only!)

Helmets are absolutely required, and can be rented.

To find out more, Visit the website or call 401-331-5544

To find out how to do some cool skateboarding tricks, look here!

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Saigon Water Puppets! June 26-29
"A truly amazing sight. . . graceful and mesmerizing storytelling." - Chicago Sun-Times

Thursday, June 26:10:30am, 1:30pm, 8pm
Friday, June 27: 10:30am, 1:30pm, 4pm, 8pm
Saturday, June 28:10:30am, 1:30pm, 4pm, 8pm
Sunday, June 29: 10:30am, 1:30pm, 4pm

PRICES: $15 (10:30am, 1:30pm, 4pm), $20 (8pm)

The Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts
539 Tremont Street, Boston
General Admission
For tickets, call World Music/CRASHarts (617) 876-4275 Mon. - Fri., 9am - 5pm
All phone orders are subject to a $3.00 handling fee per ticket. World Music/CRASHarts members are exempt from handling fees for 4 tickets per concert.

An amazing parade of puppets springs to life: multicolored phoenixes and copper turtles, fantastical jumping fish, pirouetting dragons that breathe real fire and spout water. This is the thousand-year-old tradition of puppetry on water, found only in Vietnam. It is a magical performance, rich in tradition, folklore and fun. The engaging stories, dazzling visuals, exotic musical accompaniment and pure technical wizardry make for a splashy theatrical spectacle that will delight children and adults alike.

See the Website!

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Butterfly Pavilion Extended.

The Butterfly Pavilion at the Roger Wiliams Park Botanical Garden has been extended through July 27, 2003. Go on down and see what it's like to live in a large environment with a whole bunch of butterflies! It's beautiful and warm and oh so pretty!


Botanical Gardens Education Greenhouses. Follow Park directional signs. (Please note: Exhibit is not held in Zoo)


9:00am - 4:00pm Daily


$5 per adult
$4 per senior
$2 per child (ages 3-12)
Under 3 free

  • Hand stamp will be provided
  • Cash and checks accepted only
  • Greenhouse tours, which are regularly free to the public, will not be offered. Admission must be paid to enter exhibit

Exhibit Details:

  • 2500 square feet of native butterflies, butterflies, butterflies!
  • Strolling pathways lead you through butterfly garden
  • See butterflies as they emerge and are released
  • Learn how to attract butterflies into your garden

Exhibit Designers:

Mary Ellen Flanagan, Design Director and Robert Chabot, Horticultural Director

More Information:

Call 401-785-9450 ext. 210 or 206 (Monday - Friday between 8:30am - 4:30pm), ext. 250 weekends. Please note that there is no live operator on weekends. Or visit the website!

Monday, June 23, 2003

My Professor won
a Pell Award!

(and so did Maurice Sendak)

ÊLeft to Right: Brown/Trinity Consortium's Stephen Berenson (and another professor of mine), actress Angela Williams, Distinguished Service to the Arts Award recipient P. William Hutchinson and Tony Award-winning actress Viola Davis

On this past Saturday, my former theatre professor P. William Hutchinson was Awarded the Distiniguished Service to the Arts Award. He helped to found (along with David Eliet) the Trinity Rep/Rhode Island College M.A. Program (of which I am a graduate!) Brown recently got into the act to offer an MFA with Trinity, thus displacing Rhode Island College.

Previous winners of the Distinguished Service Award include Chris Van Allsburg, Paula Vogel, David Macaulay, Rose Weaver, Richard Cumming, Denny Moers and Tim Philbrick.

Also honored by a Pell Award was Maurice Sendak, famed children's artist and author of the book Where the Wild Things Are If you don't know the book, you should get a copy!

Find out more about Maurice Sendak

Read the Press Release about the Pell Awards

Thursday, June 19, 2003

2nd Annual Coventry Pride Days Festival

Thu Jun 19, 2003 to Sun Jun 22, 2003
12:00 PM to 10:30 PM
Adjacent to Coventry Town Hall
1650 Flat River Road, Coventry

The people of Coventry RI think it's a great place to live-- so they are celebrating their pride with an old fashioned carnival. This is the second annual festival, and I'm sure it will be a lot of fun!

Lots of entertainment will be on hand, including The Swanhurst Chorus Chamber Singers, Karate Demonstrations, A Wrestling show, a Beatlemania show, and even The Ocean State Follies get into the act.. There will also be Balloon Rides (Saturday and Sunday), lots of food stands, and even opening and closing night fireworks!

Have a lot of fun, eat some cotton candy or a caramel apple, but don't touch anything until you wash your hands-- you don't want to get everything sticky!

To find out more, check out the website:

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Granite Theatre-Westerly, RI

The Granite Theatre is a restored Greek Revival Church that sits at the foot of Granite Street in downtown Westerly, Rhode Island. Year round, the Granite Theatre puts on all different kinds of entertainment including Broadway plays, children's plays, lecture programs, cabaret acts, and more. The theatre is air-conditioned for your viewing entertainment and comfort

They've recently announced their schedule of plays Next up is the British farce Out of Order by Ray Cooney. I've never seen the show, but it's by all accounts quite funny.

To find out more about the theatre, or for directions or tickets, check out the Granite Theatre website or call the box office at (401) 596-2341 .

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Jonathan Richman and Burlesque!

Don't mean to push Lupo's again, but I was there last night, and it was a load of fun!

Last night I went to see Jonathan Richman at The Met Cafe-- along with a group of burlesque dancers from Boston called "Through The Keyhole"

The burlesque show was a lot of fun-- there were three dancers -- Miss Firecracker, Scarlett Fever, and Tallulah Skylight, and they each did two numbers. Before each number a Masked Devil character would silently introduce the dancer with a placard sign

My favorite act was a "Prissy girl into Wonderwoman" act, complete with Red White and Blue knee high boots. I also really liked an audience participation piece where an audience member would roll the dice, and the dancer would take off that piece of clothing.

Other numbers included a Turning Japanese number, a race car number (complete with twirling scented pine tree/air fresheners!) and a very funny number about breasts with a million bras and a sign that says "Will Work For Augmentation" It was the first time I've seen the Keyholes, but it won't be the last.

The only thing I can complain about was the lighting. Jonathan had done his sound check previously, and his microphones occupied the center stage where the light was. As a result, often the dancing was done outside of the light. It would be ideal if they could move the microphones, and have the full stage for dancing. (Or at least in the light!)

After the dancing, Jonathan came out and played for about 1.5 hours. He was charming as usual, and played quite a few songs I'd never heard. Jonathan appears with just himself, his acoustic guitar, and a drummer. There were probably about 120 people at the concert, and there were some quiet moments where you could hear a pin drop as people listened to Jonathan play something sweet.

I realized during the show that I've seen Jonathan about 9 times over the last 20 years. That's a long career of playing guitar in bars! Doing a little web research, I discovered that Jonathan has 20 albums! No wonder I didn't recognize some of the songs!

Jonathan and the Keyhole Girls are playing tonight as well at the Met Cafe (which is next to Lupo's), and I highly recommend going to see the show!

Tickets are $12 and are available at the door. Call 401-861-2142 or see their website

Monday, June 16, 2003


On June 18, the National DVD and CD Release Party for A Call For Action will happen at Lupo's. Doors open at 6 pm

In case you didn't know, it's a benefit for the victims of the Station Fire.

A diverse group of eight bands will be on hand, representing the wide variety of local music featured on the A CALL FOR ACTION DVD and CD.Ê Featured at the release party will be the following:

The PsycadsÊÊ: Mark Cutler and The Schemers : Mr. Lincoln : Jon Tierney and The Truth : Ricky Valente : Fungus Amungus : The Stereobirds: and Green Tea.

Also on hand will be local funnyman Charlie HallÊ with a live auction to benefit Station Nightclub Fire Relief Fund

ÊAdmission is $10 at the door.Ê

For more information on the event, or if you want to volunteer, you should call for action Call for Action at (401) 861-4756 or Visit their Website

Friday, June 13, 2003

The Newport International Film Festival is in full swing. This is the last weekend of it, so if you've a hankering to see some amazing new films, take advantage of the dreary weather and stay inside!

Tickets for the Newport International Film Festival are on sale at the Festival Box Office, located at 6 West Marlborough Street, Newport. Box office hours are from 10 am until the screening time of the last film of the day. Films are either at the Jane Pickens Theatre or at the Opera House, both in Newport.

See The Daily Schedule!

Or give the box office a call (401) 619-1126

Thursday, June 12, 2003

Gaspee Days!

Anyone who's read my book knows that in Rhode Island, G stands for "Gaspee." And with good reason!

In June of 1772 over 50 brave colonists from Rhode Island burned the British revenue schooner, HMS Gaspee, in what has become recognized as the first overt action leading to the American Revolutionary War. The village of Pawtuxet, RI has been celebrating this first blow for Freedom for over 40 years. This weekend, the party is humongous, including fireworks on Friday, June 13, a historical muster, a roadrace, a parade, and on Sunday a ceremonial re-enactment of the burning of the Gaspee. Don't miss it!

Digital Photo Collage courtesy R. Joanne Johnson

See the Schedule of Events

Find out more about the historical Gaspee

Find out more about Pawtuxet Village


One of the many things you can do at India Point Park is take sailing lessons! The Community Boating Center based at India Point Park offers classes in sailing for adults, kids, and everyone in between. CBC started in 1994 when a group of local sailors wanted to share their passion for sailing with others. They felt (and feel!) that the joy, freedom, and responsibility of sailing should be available to everyone, regardless of income or background. They now have a fleet of over 30 boats, a new boathouse, and a dedicated membership. And they've taught over 1800 kids to sail!

The next set of adult classes begins on June 23. The next set of kid's classes begins on June 30. Classes range from $85-$200. To find out more, Visit their website or give them a call at 401-454-SAIL (7245)

Wednesday, June 11, 2003


The Friends of India Point Park are on a mission to raise 6.5 million dollars to bury the powerlines at India Point Park. They make some compelling arguments...

1) It's now or never. If we don't bury them now, we'll be stuck with them for a century.
2) While the cost is expensive (6.5 million more than stringing them overland) it's a drop in the bucket compared to the overall cost of moving the highway (part of the project)
3) Our waterfront is our tourism heritage. Do we really want Powerlines intruding on our beautiful shoreline?

You can read others at their website. There will also be a meeting TONIGHT (Wednesday , June 11) at the Vartan Gregorian School to discuss this subject. The meeting is at 7 pm Your presence is critical if you want to bury the powerlines. (If a lot of people don't show up, they won't consider it, and it then becomes a moot point.

Save our Park! See you at the meeting!

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Established under the will of Mabel Norman Cerio in 1950, the Norman Bird Sanctuary constitutes the largest area of preserved open space in Newport County. A wildlife refuge encompassing over 450 acres and 7 miles of trails that wind through a diversity of habitats. Nearly 30 acres are maintained as hay fields. Woodlands are the most prominent plant community and four ridges provide spectacular views of the surrounding ocean and ponds. Visitors check in at the visitor center in their 19th century barn, and then can go through the trails. The Sanctuary's barn also offers educational trailside exhibits and a gift shop for browsing. (Rhode Island A to Z is sold at the store!)

The Norman Bird Sanctuary is facing a unique challenge-- they have until July to raise the funds to purchase 23 acres of Sakonnet River frontage and beach. The property was slated to be sold to a Massachusetts developer. The Norman Bird Sanctuary exercised its option to match his offer, and must raise $3,687,500 by July 14, 2003.

You can help save some of Newport from the evils of developers by donating online . Your dollars will be matched through a challenge grant.

You can also phone them at 401-846-2577.

Monday, June 09, 2003

Sorry folks for the delay. has been down for the last few days, so it hasn't been possible to post to the website.

This is the downside of using free technology to publish stuff. Anyway, it seems like it's back, and I'm back, so the Rhode Island Blog can continue!

I turned down a ghost-writing job today. Someone in the family is writing a tell-all about self-aggrandizing philanthropist Alan Shawn Feinstein. While the money might have been good, it just seemed like too much of a family squabble to get involved with. That, and although I do believe that ASF has a little too much name recognition for his philanthropic mission (there's the Feinstein Imax Theatre, the Sandra Feinstein Gamm Theatre, and like 3 or 4 Feinstein schools in Providence, just to name a few) nonetheless, the guy does some pretty good works with his cash, which is more than can be said about other people with an equal amount of money.