Wednesday, December 22, 2004


Festival teams with Whole Foods Market to

"Turn a Can of Food into a Night on the Town"

PROVIDENCE, RI, December 22th, 2004 - Thanks to an innovative partnership, shoppers at Whole Foods stores in Providence have an opportunity to donate to the Rhode Island Food Bank while saving money on a great night of entertainment. Bright Night Providence has joined with Whole Foods to institute a food drive program that offers shoppers a dollar off a Bright Night ticket if they donate a can of food at the time they buy their passes.

"In discussing our project with Jewel Gregson at Whole Foods, we realized that we had the opportunity to create a real win-win partnership for everybody involved, " said Adam Gertsacov, director of Bright Night Providence. "We are doing well by doing good, and it feels great."

Whole Foods is one of the many places that Rhode Islanders can buy tickets to Bright Night, but it is the only one offering the discount and collecting cans for the Food Bank. The grocery chain, with two locations on the East Side of Providence, is optimistic that the program will have a large benefit for the Food Bank.

"We are happy to support Providence's own New Year's Eve Celebration," said Jewel Gregson, Metro-Marketing Team Leader for Whole Foods in Providence. "Whole Foods Market is a company with a conscience. We believe passionately in supporting the communities we serve. Offering discounted tickets to customers who donate a canned good to the RI Community Food Bank is truly a win-win for everyone".

Tickets to Bright Night, which includes admission to see over 40 performances at venues throughout Providence, are $10 before the discount. Family four packs will be sold for $35. Tickets are available at the following locations:

  • All Bank RI locations
  • Whole Foods Markets ($9 ticket with donated canned food, family 4 packs not available.)
  • The Cash Place (at the Arcade)
  • The Providence Children's Museum
  • Providence Performing Arts Center (December 31 only)
  • Online through or by phone at 401-621-6123.

    For other sale locations and event schedule, visit our website: For more information about Whole Foods Market, visit their website


    Bright Night was founded in 2003 after Providence's long-running New Year's Eve festival, First Night, was cancelled. Organized in less than three months, the event drew over 12,000 people to downtown Providence, making Bright Night the largest New Year's Eve party in the state. The festival features local artists and performers at venues throughout downtown Providence, and provides a fun, vibrant atmosphere for the people of Rhode Island. The festival's director, Adam Gertsacov, is an actor, director, and clown based in Providence, RI. He wears many hats, including that of a flea circus impresario, a local author, and many others. He became the Festival director of Bright Night Providence last year, when a group of local artists (himself included) didn't want to see the city go dark on New Year's Eve.

  • Friday, December 10, 2004

    Duke Robillard to Perform at Bright Night

    Legendary Local Bluesman to join local artists in New Year's Eve Celebration.

    Will Play at the "Bright Night Blues Bash" with Two Other Acts

    PROVIDENCE, RI, December 13th, 2004 - Bright Night Providence announced today that blues guitarist Duke Robillard has joined the festival's extensive New Years Eve lineup. He'll be playing as part of the Bright Night Blues Bash at the First Universalist Church.  Also on the bill will be Dave Howard and the High Rollers and swing trio Black & White. Black and White will take the stage from 8-9 pm, Dave Howard from 9-10 pm and Duke Robillard 10-11:30 pm.

    "We're so excited to be adding Duke Robillard to our lineup," said Adam Gertsacov, director of Bright Night Providence. "We were lucky that he became available, and we jumped at the chance. Along with our other two acts, Duke will make our Blues Bash one of the highlights of Bright Night. We hope it's the start of a great tradition."

    Duke Robillard has been thrilling audiences world-wide for three decades. From his conception of Roomful of Blues in 1967 to his current Duke Robillard Band, consisting of top-line players in their own right, Duke continues his ever-busy recording and touring schedules. In 1999 Duke was awarded the International Guitarist of the Year award by the French Blues Association. In 2000 & 2001,he received the W.C. Handy Guitarist of the Year trophy. More information about Duke Robillard is available at

    Tickets to Bright Night, which includes admission to see Toxic Audio, Duke Robillard,  and over 40 other performances at venues throughout Providence, are $10. Family four packs will be sold for $35. A complete schedule is available at

    Tickets are NOW AVAILABLE at the following locations:

  • All Bank RI locations
  • Whole Foods Markets ($9 ticket with donation of a can of food)
  • The Cash Place (at the Arcade)
  • The Providence Children's Museum (after December 15)
  • Providence Performing Arts Center (December 31 only)
  • Online through or by phone at 401-621-6123.
    For other sale locations, visit our website:

    Anyone interested in sponsoring Bright Night should contact Adam Gertsacov at (401) 351-2596, or visit

    About Bright Night

    Bright Night was founded in 2003 after Providence1s long-running New Year's Eve festival, First Night, was cancelled. Organized in less than three months, the event drew over 12,000 people to downtown Providence, making Bright Night the largest New Year's Eve party in the state. The festival features local artists and performers at venues throughout downtown Providence, and provides a fun, vibrant atmosphere for the people of Rhode Island.

    The festival's director, Adam Gertsacov, is an actor, director, and clown based in Providence, RI.  He wears many hats, including that of a flea circus impresario, a local author, the esteemed hat of the Clown Laureate of Greenbelt, Maryland, and many others.  He became the Festival director of Bright Night Providence last year, when a group of local artists (himself included) didn't want to see the city go dark on New Year's Eve.
  • Monday, December 06, 2004

    Bright Night Providence Announces Headlining Act


    Music and Comedy Group Brings its Award-Winning Show to Providence

    PROVIDENCE, RI, December 1, 2004 - Bright Night Providence announced today that it has secured Toxic Audio to be the headlining act for its annual New Years Eve festival. The group will perform three shows, at 6, 8, and 10 p.m. at the Providence Performing Arts Center.

    "This is a real coup for Providence," said Adam Gertsacov, director of Bright Night Providence. "Toxic Audio is a fantastic, family friendly show and highly entertaining.  They were an award-winning hit Off Broadway, and now, through special arrangement with their manager Castle Talent Inc, we are able to bring the show to Providence audiences for just $10.  And you get to see over 40 other great shows too!"

    Rated Number One by a recent WALL STREET JOURNAL/ZAGAT THEATER survey, Toxic Audio has been showcasing their unique vocal, comedic and improvisational skills at the John Houseman Theater since April. By May, the show had won a Drama Desk Award for "Outstanding Unique Theatrical Experience." The five vocalists of Toxic Audio use no instruments but the human voice to create a rich musical experience, performing contemporary pop songs, timeless classics, jazz-scat and original compositions.  More information about Toxic Audio is available at

    Tickets to Bright Night, which includes admission to see Toxic Audio and over 40 other performances at venues throughout Providence, are $10. Family four packs will be sold for $35.

    Tickets will be available in early December at the following locations:
  • All Bank RI locations
  • Whole Foods Markets ($9 ticket with donation of a can of food)
  • The Cash Place (at the Arcade)
  • Providence Performing Arts Center (December 31 only)
  • Online through or by phone at 401-621-6123.
    For other sale locations, visit our website:

    Anyone interested in sponsoring Bright Night should contact Adam Gertsacov at (401) 351-2596, or visit

    About Bright Night

    Bright Night was founded in 2003 after Providence's long-running New Year1s Eve festival, First Night, was cancelled. Organized in less than three months, the event drew over 12,000 people to downtown Providence, making Bright Night the largest New Year's Eve party in the state. The festival features local artists and performers at venues throughout downtown Providence, and provides a fun, vibrant atmosphere for the people of Rhode Island.

    The festival's director, Adam Gertsacov, is an actor, director, and clown based in Providence, RI.  He wears many hats, including that of a flea circus impresario, a local author, the esteemed hat of the Clown Laureate of Greenbelt, Maryland, and many others.  He became the Festival director of Bright Night Providence last year, when a group of local artists (himself included) didn't want to see the city go dark on New Year's Eve.

  • Thursday, October 28, 2004

    Twelfth Annual Women's Playwriting Festival

    Perishable Theatre’s 12th Annual
    Women’s Playwriting Festival


    Holly Hildebrand (Katy, TX) for The Dog
    JC Samuels (San Francisco, CA) for How High the Moon?
    Jennifer Haley (Providence, RI) for Gone With the Window

    Thursday, October 28 at 7pm
    Friday, October 29 at 8pm
    Saturday, October 30 at 8pm

    Tickets on sale now at ArtTix!
    General Admission: $20
    Students & Seniors: $15
    Call 401-621-6123 or order online at artTix

    Snappy Dance Workshops in Providence

    Providence Circus School will present Boston-based Snappy Dance Theater teaching a series of creativity and partnering workshops entitled "Trust Me!" These workshops are open to beginning and experienced dancers.

    These workshops introduce tools for generating ideas and promote a fun-filled atmosphere to enhance creativity. Company members will introduce theater and vocal exercises as well as basic concepts of partnering and weight sharing. Participants will then create their own dances in small groups.

    Snappy company members will teach two-session workshops on Saturdays November 6 and 20, 2004. Workshop I, 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. both Saturdays, will be for children ages 8 to 13. Workshop II, 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m. both Saturdays,
    is open to teens and adults. These workshops will be held in the Perishable Theatre dance studio at 95 Empire Street, Providence. Tuition is $75.00 for each workshop (two 2-hour sessions). Early-bird tuition is $60.00 if sent by November 2.

    To register for a "Trust Me!" workshop, call Providence Circus School at 401-351-9211 for a registration form, or use the registration form posted at the Providence Circus School website

    Snappy Dance Theater presented their imaginative piece The Temperamental Wobble in June 2004, as part of the FleetBoston Celebrity Series. FleetBoston President and Executive Director Martha H. Jones said of the troupe: "The choreography of Snappy Dance Theater is an intriguing mix of athleticism, imagination, and humor that has captured the hearts and minds of Boston audiences." In addition to performing, Snappy has taught many dance workshops in the Boston area. Snappy Artistic Director Martha Mason and company member Tim Gallagher will teach the November workshops in Providence.

    Providence Circus School is a project of the non-profit Rhode Island arts corporation, the What Cheer Art Company. Since 1998 Providence Circus School has taught children juggling, clowning, acrobatics, and balance skills. In 2004 the School expanded to offer static trapeze, and classes for adults. The School's performing troupe, Lub-dub, gave seven shows in neighborhood parks as part of the City of Providence's Summer 2004 Neighborhood Performing Arts Initiative.

    Wednesday, October 27, 2004

    VOTE NO ON QUESTION 3-- An editorial

    My good friend Tom Sgouros recently wrote a response to an editorial in the Providence Journal-- it probably won't see the light of day, so I decided to put it on my web log...

    Tom is the editor, publisher, and of theRhode Island Policy Reporter.

    If you want thoughtful analysis of what's going on in terms of policy in Rhode Island, you should probably subscribe!


    A reply to an editorial.

    In a recent Projo op-ed, James Capaldi, the director of our state
    Department of Transportation claims that all road construction in
    Rhode Island depends on passage of the transportation bonds on
    Question 3 this November. But he is being slightly disingenuous.
    Road construction will not halt if the $66 million in bonds are not
    approved; the construction lobby employs too many people around here,
    and too many of them have friends in the administration and in the
    legislature. But what will happen if approval is not granted is that
    the state may have to come up with a more sensible way to fund road

    DOT has been funding routine construction with bonds for years, which
    makes it seem normal. But it's not. Among all the states, we are the
    exception, not the rule in the matter of debt. Lots of states borrow
    for this or that big road or bridge project, but we borrow $30 million
    every year, except for the years in which we borrow much much more
    (like this one). Projections have us borrowing the same amount each
    year into the foreseeable future.

    The question is why? If we're borrowing $30 million every year, then
    there's no need to amortize, it's already amortized, at $30 million a
    year, and we should just budget for that. Roads are a kind of
    investment, but not one with returns--especially not roads built to
    replace existing ones, which is what most of the next decade's cost is
    for. Constant borrowing like this is a perfectly common financial
    strategy, but one that often ends in bankruptcy court.

    The history of DOT's debt is a long one, started probably in the
    Garrahy administration, when a resort to borrowing was an easy way to
    avoid facing the true cost of the department. But successive
    Governors have made the problem much worse through malign neglect.

    In the past ten years, DOT has dropped over 100 employees, and the
    amount of money it spends on construction has gone up very little:
    from $95 million in 1994 to $102 million in 2005. Maintenance
    activities over that same period have only gone from $26 million to
    $39 million. During that same time, federal highway funds, though
    they vary a lot from one year to the next, have roughly tracked
    inflation, going from $149 million to $207 million. But state dollars
    (DOT's budget minus the federal dollars, minus the money they pass
    along to RIPTA) going into the department have skyrocketed, going from
    $56 million to $104 million. We're getting a lot less for our money
    than we used to.

    There are lots of little reasons for this--inflation, health care
    costs, pension adjustments--but the biggest reason is that DOT's
    budget is struggling under around $50 million in debt service, roughly
    double the $27 million from 1994. (Part of the debt service is
    accounted in the Department of Administration, but it's DOT's debt and
    is paid with gas tax money.) That is, at least half of the increase
    in state money applied to DOT goes to debt service. It would be much
    more, but for the serendipity of the tobacco settlement money, much of
    which was spent paying off DOT debt.

    Mr. Capaldi will object that the amount of construction has actually
    gone way up, since last year we sold $216 million in GARVEE bonds, to
    be paid off with future federal highway money. This is the money
    going to build the access highway and freight rail to Quonset, the new
    Providence River bridge for I-195, and the new Sakonnet River bridge
    for Rt. 24. In one sense he would be correct. But construction on
    those projects doesn't do much for the bridge rotting away down the
    street from me or the intersection that needs signs near you. Nor
    does it do anything for the projects Mr. Capaldi lists as "likely" to
    be scheduled. The GARVEE bonds planned will require that one-third of
    the federal highway money we receive each year goes to their debt
    service for the next fourteen years. The DOT situation is like a
    family that's bought a house slightly too expensive for them: At best,
    they won't be eating a lot of steak in the next few years. At worst,
    they won't keep the house. We may finish those four projects, but all
    other construction is at risk for the next several years.

    Six years ago, 36% of the gas tax collected went into the general
    fund, to fund state services like local education aid and protecting
    the environment. Today less than 7% goes to the general fund, a drop
    of more than $40 million in today's dollars. That sure would have
    been useful in last year's budget battles.

    Mr. Capaldi knows all of this. In fact he was the one who explained
    it to me several years ago. But that was before he was running the
    department. It's not his fault that the Governor and the Legislature
    won't allocate the money necesary to fund necessary road construction,
    but he knows full well that debt isn't the only way to fund DOT, it's
    just the worst way.

    Vote no on question 3, for saner state spending.

    Tom Sgouros,
    Wickford, RI

    Thursday, October 14, 2004

    Arts In Academics

    My mom is a retired art teacher. She recently started a scholarship/endowment to help integrate the arts into Academics in the State of Rhode Island.Here's the basic information about it. (from the RI Foundation press release)

    New Rhode Island Foundation endowment seeks projects that incorporate the arts into core academics

    Idea comes from retired arts teacher’s experience

    Hoping that teachers of such ‘core’ academic subjects as math, English, and science will utilize the arts to help students learn, retired art educator Karel Greenblatt Gertsacov of Narragansett has established a permanent endowment at The Rhode Island Foundation to meet that goal.

    "The arts are integral to the learning process," said Mrs. Gertsacov, who taught in the Cranston schools for more than 30 years. "When the arts are woven into the learning experience, they provide not only skill acquirement and application, but they enhance education by promoting curiosity, discovery, inquiry, experimentation, persistence, inventiveness,
    exploration, critical thought, and creative problem solving."

    Foundation staff have announced a November 1 deadline for grants that meet the above criteria. Any K-12 public or charter school teacher, artist, or nonprofit organization is eligible to apply, but the proposed project
    must benefit Rhode Island schoolchildren, noted Foundation Program Officer Kris Hermanns.

    "We will grant $2,000 total for projects to take place between January and June 2005," she said, citing as examples a field trip to the zoo for a mathematics class studying symmetrical patterns or a core subject teacher taking a workshop or course in critical/creative problem solving.

    Applications are available at the Foundation website or by calling Libby Monahan at the Foundation, 401-274-4564.

    "I hope the passion I have for the arts and for integrating those into other disciplines will inspire others as well, "Mrs. Gertsacov concluded.

    Tuesday, October 05, 2004

    Vote For Mr. Punch on October 15 at the Perishable Theatre

    A Puppet Runs For President: (Stranger Things Have Happened!)

    The 2004 election may seem a little weird, but nothing like this.

    Mr. Punch, the traditional English puppet with the hooked nose, the hideous laugh, and the penchant for beating his wife with a slapstick, decides to run for President. He is counseled by the Devil, his wife Judy, and three ghosts of Presidents past: George Washington, Richard Nixon, and Millard Fillmore . He ends up in a big debate with incumbent puppet Mr. Shrub, and the audience gets to vote right there and then on who they think should be president. And that's when the voting scandal begins.

    This untraditional (but not so unlikely) scenario is the heart of a new 15 minute show which will appear in Providence, RI, just three weeks before the actual election. And, just like the actual election, it will have a surprise ending.

    "I wanted to create a show to get both kids and adults excited about voting," says Adam Gertsacov, the Rhode Island based clown, actor, and puppeteer who has written, directed, and will perform the 15 minute show. "The election process is something that effects everyone, yet amazingly, voter turnout is low. I'm hoping to use humor to get people interested in participating in the process."

    Gertsacov has been creating and performing solo shows since 1989. Other shows include a Victorian style flea circus, a "Barbie" doll Oedipus Rex, and a historical impersonation of P.T. Barnum. He has performed all over the country,and in various parts of the world. Gertsacov's resume touts him as the Clown Laureate of Greenbelt Maryland and "the most educated clown in America, barring certain elected officials." He is also the festival and executive director of Bright Night Providence, an artist-run New Year's Eve Celebration in Rhode Island's capital city.

    Gertsacov says his influences and inspirations are many and various. "The show is kind of a hodgepodge of many different ideas, finely blended and cooked at a 350 degree heat," he says. " I'm mixing in traditional Punch and Judy with presidential facts, Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, current events, and even a little South Park. "

    Gertsacov received a grant from the Rhode Island State Council On The Arts to help complete the show. "That really gave me the encouragement to go on," Gertsacov says. " The Arts Council seemed to get that humor is a great way to get people interested and involved in important issues."

    WHAT: Punch and Judy Election Show (part of a larger show "Blood From A Turnip-- Late Night Puppet Salon")

    WHEN: Friday, October 15, 2004 at 10:30 pm.

    WHERE: Perishable Theatre, 95 Empire Street, Providence

    COST: $5 (no reservations are available) Show up early!

    MORE INFO: 401-331-2695 (theatre) or visit

    Thursday, September 09, 2004

    Street Painting Festival

    In just four years, the Providence Street Painting Festival has become one of the Ocean State’s most highly visible artistic events. With hundreds of participating artists, the Providence Street Painting Festival draws over 20,000 appreciative viewers to the downtown Providence area — not just from Rhode Island, but from all over New England. They come to watch as hundreds of talented artists of all ages transform asphalt squares into colorful artistic masterpieces.

    The event raises funds for awards and scholarships for young people to pursue further studies in the fine arts and in the graphics arts fields.

    The festival happens all throughout downtown Providence on Saturday, September 11. Call (401) 621-8523 to find out how, where, and all other information.

    Circus School Open House

    The Providence Circus School will have an open house at their studio. Included will be a LubDub Circus show, trapeze demos, plate-spinning, juggling practice, and even unicycles. Lubdub is the professional circus troupe formed from students and faculty of the Circus School.

    WHEN: Sunday, September 12 from 1-4 pm

    WHERE: 560 Mineral Spring Ave in Pawtucket.

    MORE INFO: 401-351-9211 or visit the LubDub Website or The Circus School website

    Hula Workshop...


    Hula Workshop of Southern New England

    Hula teacher and former professional dancer Carol Anne Buckley is offering a four-week intensive introduction to hula for dancers and performers of other genres.

    The class has been designed to demystify hula, and is offered for seasoned dancers of any genre as well as other performing artists including storytellers, actors and choreographers. It features intensive practice on basics, four authentic choreographies, and in-depth explanations designed to take students "inside" this Native American dance form, providing an experience they can take back to their own performance arts.

    The class is taught by Carol Anne Buckley, a former Hawaii resident and the long-time student of hula masters. She has an MA in Polynesian Linguistics from the University of Hawaii. Carol has danced professionally and managed a Polynesian dance troupe. She is an instructional designer specializing in adult education and has taught hula for over 20 years. Recently relocated to Rhode Island, she is now offering classes and workshops in hula throughout Southern New England.

    WHEN: Fridays, September 17 ? October 8, 2004 from 6:30-8:30 pm

    WHERE: Providence Tango, 99 South Bend St., Pawtucket, RI.

    COST: Fee for the series is $89.

    MORE INFO: call 401-467-1993 or email

    For some great photos of Hula Dancers, check out this archive

    Tuesday, August 31, 2004

    30 Years of India Point Park!

    On Saturday, September 18. The Friends of India Point Park will celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the creation of the park with a party!. Festivities will include the dedication of a tile mural that focuses on Rhode Island maritime history (currently being installed) Other festivities will include a tree-planting (at 12:30) kid's games, refreshments, face-painting, and music.
    Legendary folk singer Pete Seeger will be in attendance.

    WHAT:Celebration of the 30th Anniversary of India Point Park

    WHERE:India Point Park, at the foot of Gano street

    WHEN:1-3 PM, Saturday, September 18

    COST: Free!!!

    Additional questions, email Judy Blackadar

    You can also visit the Friends of India Point Park Website

    Tuesday, August 24, 2004

    Problems In the Parks Department...

    I must have crawled under a rock or something--- I just found out about all of the problems in the Providence Parks Department! (and I only found out because I was surfing channels, and ended up watching a cable access interview with the new director of the Parks Dept. It turned out that there was an audit of the department that turned up some interesting problems, nclude the following:

  • embezzlement of $58,000 by an employee

  • no interest loans to the director of the Museum

  • shoddy, incorrect, and faulty book-keeping

  • I knew that dealing with the Parks department was never a piece of cake, but who knew about all of that stuff?

    You can find out more than you want to know about it by checking out the following links:

    Cicilline says zoo could be handed over to private group
    WLNE-TV (ABC6), RI - Aug 16, 2004
    ... He tells The Providence Journal he can't rule out the society's assuming much greater responsibility ... The audit came after a city Parks Department employee ...

    Providence weighs ceding zoo control
    Boston Globe, MA - Aug 15, 2004
    PROVIDENCE -- The city is in talks that could result in it ceding control ... A forensic audit ordered after an employee in the Parks Department admitted ...

    City Considers Ceding Control Over Zoo
    Turn to, RI - Aug 15, 2004
    PROVIDENCE -- The city is in talks that could result in it ceding control ... A forensic audit ordered after an employee in the Parks Department admitted ...

    City ready to give zoo up to Society
    Providence Journal (subscription), RI - Aug 14, 2004
    ... PROVIDENCE -- As the dust continues to fly from a financial scandal in the city Parks Department, talks are under ... A forensic audit of wrongdoing in the Parks ...

    Parks audit finds conflicts of interest, poor controls
    Providence Journal (subscription), RI - Aug 6, 2004
    ... PROVIDENCE -- Former city Parks Supt ... and suffered from poor financial controls that left her operation vulnerable to fraud and waste, a forensic audit shows ...

    Parks Dept. audit reveals missing funds, records
    Providence Journal (subscription), RI - Aug 6, 2004
    ... Alix Ogden, the newly appointed superintendent of the Providence Parks Department, called the audit findings "disturbing," but said she's hopeful that under ...

    Providence mayor announces conclusions of Parks Department audit
    WLNE-TV (ABC6), RI - Aug 6, 2004
    PROVIDENCE, RI (AP) - Providence Mayor David Cicilline says an independent financial firm has completed a forensic audit of the troubled city Parks Department. ...

    Parks Department Audit Shows Missing Funds
    Turn to, RI - Aug 6, 2004
    ... night in a closed meeting, The Providence Journal reported. An audit remains active and the apparent loss ... in the office of former Parks Superintendent Nancy ...

    Parks Dept. audit shows thousands missing
    Providence Journal (subscription), RI - Aug 5, 2004
    ... PROVIDENCE -- After a year of investigating the finances of the Parks Department, forensic auditors ... An audit remains active and the apparent loss could grow ...

    Finance adviser resigns amid parks audit
    Providence Journal (subscription), RI - Jul 20, 2004
    ... forensic audit of irregularities in Parks Department accounts, adviser Raymond A. DeStefanis is reportedly pressured to quit. BY GREGORY SMITH. PROVIDENCE -- ...

    Thursday, August 12, 2004

    Drum Circle in Session Saturday August 14

    The Drums are In Session at the Free Spirit Massage Therapy & Healing Center
    420 Main Street, Warren RI

    WHEN: 8pm to 11:30pm on Saturday, August 14

    Come join the circle and your hosts, Alan and Jamie.
    Bring your own drum or use one of theirs, including the 48" pow-wow drum.
    You'll have the chance to Improvise, dance, express yourself in the time-honored tradition of spirit and sound.

    Water is provided. Feel free to bring any other refreshment your body needs.
    Suggested donation $4

    This circle meets every 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month.

    For More Info: call (401) 245-7979 or (401) 274-4293

    Friday, August 06, 2004

    50th Newport Jazz Festival opens with Providence Chorus (& Dave Brubeck!)

    One of New England's top choruses, the  Providence Singers will be playing with legendary jazz pianist Dave Brubeck! They're opening the 5-day JVC Newport Jazz Festival- with Brubeck's large-scale work, "Gates of Justice," on Wednesday, August 11.

    The concert is dedicated to the 40th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Bill. Written in 1969, "Gates of Justice" draws from Biblical texts, speeches by Martin Luther King Jr., Negro spirituals, and the writings of the Jewish sage Hillel. Mr. Brubeck and the Providence Singers share the stage with tenor/cantor Alberto Mizrahi; Kevin Deas, an African-American baritone; the Dave Brubeck Quartet; and a 13-piece orchestra.

    The brainchild of Boston nightclub owner George Wein and Newport socialites Louis and Elaine Lorillard, the Newport Jazz Festival has been gathering jazz musicians and enthusiasts together in the summer playground of America's aristocratic class for 50 years.

    WHEN: August 11, 2004 - 7:30 pm

    WHAT: Dave Brubeck's "Gates of Justice"

    WHERE: Rogers High School, 15 Wickham Rd, Newport

    COST: $35 general admission; tickets available through the Festival Office, 401-847-3700

    MORE INFO:401-847-3700 or read more on the web

    MORE ABOUT THE PROVIDENCE SINGERS[note: the Providence Singers website is currently down. Check the link in a day or so.]


    Tuesday, August 03, 2004

    Put an End to Bush (Using HTML! )

    I'm hoping that the power of HTML will be put to good use. I've started a store to help put Bush out of office. 50% of all the profits from the store will go to the Kerry campaign The other 50% will be used to pay for my trips to swing states to help work on the election.

    If you'd like to help defeat Bush, get the message out and buy some cool merch!

    Wednesday, July 28, 2004

    Central Falls Summer Sunday Concerts

    Nestled between the city of Pawtucket and the towns of Cumberland and Lincoln, Central Falls' history dates back to 1731 and the early history of the town of Smithfield. This tiny city with 1.5 square miles and over 18,000 residents proudly boasts its distinction as recorded in "Ripley's Believe It Or Not" as the smallest most densely populated city, not only in Rhode Island, but?in the Nation.?Central Falls holds free concerts every Sunday during the summer.
    All concerts are free and are held at Jenks Park at the Broad Street Gazebo
    Everyone is Welcome !

    Learn more about the city and the concerts by visiting the city website.

    Summer Music Schedule:

    AUG. 1: WISDOM (Classical Oldies)
    AUG.15: PORKY COHEN ( Jazz)
    AUG.22:TOM CASSO (Oldies)

    Monday, July 26, 2004


    While it's not related exactly to Rhode Island, it's less than 50 miles away, and it's the biggest thing in the news right now. The Democratic Convention.

    Dave Winer has put together a great site of all the people blogging the DNC .
    I'd hoped to possibly be one of those guys, at the DNC as a performing artist with my Punch and Judy Election show , but managed not to get it together. The best laid plans of mice and men, etc., etc., etc.

    I'll have to do it in 4 years!

    Friday, July 23, 2004

    Cross Genres Music Festival July 23, 24

    SOUND SESSION '04, JULY 23-24

    The Providence Black Rep and The City of Providence's Department of Art, Culture & Tourism have collaborated to create a new cross-genre music festival called Sound Session '04that will grace the stages and parks of Providence on July 23rd and 24th, 2004.

    Curated to transcend musical genres, the performers selected for Sound Session '04 cross boundaries in their work - and for this festival Jazz, Hip Hop, Reggae, House, Latin, Afrobeat, Funk and Classic Soul will grace stages across the City of Providence. The connecting fabric of the festival is excellence. Donald King, Artistic Director of the Providence Black Repertory Company, said of Sound Session '04, "In planning this festival we picked acts the way a good DJ picks his tracks, making selections that excite, educate, surprise and inspire the crowd. It's in the mix - in the combination of cultures and genres - that artistic excellence stands out. The juxtaposition of a legend like Ron Carter , who attracts the jazz aficionados, and underground dance floor sensations 3 Generations Walking, who bring in the discriminating hipsters, allows musicianship to be in the foreground. Truly great sound stands out in the mix."

    Sound Session '04 is free and open to the public. For more information and for the schedule, visit the Black Rep website

    Wednesday, July 21, 2004


    New Theatre In Providence presents Laramie Project July 22-August 1

    The People's Theatre is the newest "Off-Trinity" Theatre in Providence. The founders are primarily staff members of the Trinity Rep Company.

    Their first show is Moises Kaufmann's The Laramie Project, which is the story of the murder of Mathew Shepard, a University of Wyoming student who was brutally kidnapped, beaten and left to die (and he did) In 1998. Moisés Kaufman and fellow members of the Tectonic Theater Project made six trips to Laramie over the course of a year and a half in the aftermath of the beating and during the trial of the two young men accused of killing Shepard. They conducted more than 200 interviews with the people of the town. Some people interviewed were directly connected to the case, and others were citizens of Laramie, and the breadth of their reactions to the crime is astonishing.


    WHEN: July 22-24 at 8pm, July 29-31 at 8pm, July 25 2pm, August 1st 2pm

    WHERE: Bell Street Chapel, 5 Bell Street, Providence

    COST: $10 for adults, $8, students and seniors

    MORE INFO: Call (401) 339-9658 or visit their website

    Monday, July 19, 2004

    All That Matters Holistic Colloquium

    Fri: July 30 6:30pm - 9:30pm

    Sat: July 31 9:00am - 6:00pm

    Deadline for registration is July 23.
    Call them at 401-782-2126 or visit them online.

    A special event born out of the Wakefield holistic health center All That Matter’s prime mission: to work together with a group of talented people to educate, inspire and support each other and the community to continually grow toward and maintain optimal health and well being. Join recognized leaders, authors and likeminded friends for a time of insight, discussion and networking that will inspire you to live more consciously and with purpose

    Some of the speakers and performers include:

    BetheAnne DeLuca-Verley, M.D. the founder of Waking Dreams & Warrior Women.

    Bradley Grove Hyson executive director of the Apeiron Institute for Environmental Living.

    Vandita Kate Marchesiello director of the Kripalu Yoga Teachers Association

    Tracy LeRoux , CEO & Creative Director for the Link Agency in Providence, RI.
    Snowden McFall , president of 20 year old Brightwork Advertising & Training, and Fired Up, her 8 year old corporate training business.

    Alan Seale , a life coach and author of INTUITIVE LIVING:A SACRED PATH,

    Becky Williams a singer-songwriter and performer.

    Wednesday, July 14, 2004

    When Running is an Act of Bravery.



    My Friend Mark Binder is Running For Congress!

    It's a very brave act. He's running against Congressman Patrick Kennedy, who is as clear a juggernaut as ever there was in Rhode Island politics. Kennedy is the incumbent, he's well-financed, and most importantly, he's a Kennedy!

    Mark is unhappy with how things are, and he's striving to change them.

    Mark is a great guy, and one of the hardest working guys I know, and a great friend (I'm the God-father to his daughter) and he's smart, and I think if he were elected, he'd make a good congressman, and he'd work towards making the country a better place.

    Still, with the odds stacked so heavily against him, It seems like a fool's mission. But change has to happen somewhere, and I'm proud of Mark for standing up and trying to make that change. And I'll vote for him. (Actually, he's not in my district, so I can't actually vote for him. But if he were, I would.)

    To find out more about his campaign, visit And if you want to support independent politicians, or want to volunteer to help, you should do it sooner rather than later!

    Monday, July 12, 2004

    Crescent Park Carousel


    Yesterday, I spent a delightful day going to one of my favorite places-- the Crescent Park Carousel.
    It's featured in my book, and I'm always amazed when I go and ride the ride how well this 105 year old piece of machinery works. The mechanism goes VERY fast, the music is great, and a 4 minute ride is 75 cents. (I've included the coloring image from the book below, as well as a couple of links to articles and information about the Carousel. But the best thing to do is just go and see it for yourself! .

    It's now operated by the city of East Providence, and it is open from Easter through Columbus Day on Saturdays and Sundays. Additional days are added during the summer. The carousel can be rented for parties, weddings, and other functions, with special children's birthday party packages available. Call them at 401/435-7518 or 401/433-2828.

    Directions: From I-195, exit 4 (Riverside) to Veteran's Memorial Parkway. Continue straight and eventually the road will begin to fork, and the carousel will be right in the fork. (across from a public park, and the water)




    Sunday, July 11, 2004

    Do Your Socks Talk? Providence Puppet Workshops.

    Take a puppet workshop!

    Carl Weiting, one of the chief instigators of the Boston Puppet Slam, is giving two workshops in puppetry this summer at the Perishable Theatre.

    The first is Saturday July 24 from 9 am-1pm, and is geared towards adults.

    The second is Saturday August 21 from 9 am-1 pm and is geared towards teenagers ages 13-18.

    For more information, visit their website or call 401-331-2695 x102.

    Friday, July 09, 2004


    Providence is a hopping musical town. Okay, we're not NYC, but there's a whole lot of music going on: Every week, the Providence Journal puts out a Club Calendar that lists what's going on in the general vicinity: This week, everyone from Youssou N'Dour (Senegalese superstar) to K.D. Lang to Dave Howard and the High Rollers (local swing) to Atwater Donnely (local folk) to Paul Geremia (local blues) to the Village People to the Bozo Porno Circus to the Little German Band to Nathan and Zydeco Cha-Chas are playing. Check out the full listing at (which is updated every Thursday)

    Here are just a few selections from the list for the next few days:

    JULY 9

    --FREE-- Ramatou Diakite, African, Waterplace Park, Memorial Boulevard, Providence. 7:30 pm.

    Dirty Deeds, tribute to AC/DC, Gillary's Tavern, 198 Thames St., Bristol. 253-2012. 9:30 pm.

    The Fabulous Mills Brothers, rock, Lang's Villa, 47 Mendon Ave., Pawtucket. 729-8115. 9 pm.

    Dave Howard and The High Rollers, rhythm and blues, The Room at Waterstreet Cafe, 36 Water St., Fall River. (508) 672-8748. 9 pm. $5.

    k.d. lang, country, FleetBoston Pavilion, 290 Northern Ave., Boston Waterfront, Boston. (617) 228-6000, (617) 679-0810. 8 pm. $35-$62.50 advance; $37-$64.50 day of show. Rain or shine.

    Ronnie Spector, pop rock, Mohegan Sun, Wolf Den, Mohegan Sun Boulevard (exit 79A off Route 395), Uncasville, Conn. (888) 226-7711 ext. 7163. 8 pm. No cover.

    Young Neal and The Vipers, rhythm and blues, Hungry Tiger, 120 Charter Oak Rd., Manchester, Conn. (860) 649-1195. 9 pm.

    JULY 10

    Beyond Blonde, rock, Whaling Festival, Buttonwood Park, Route 140, New Bedford. 9-11 pm.

    Brass Force, pop, The Hi-Hat, 3 Davol Square, Providence. 453-6500. 9 pm-1 am. $5.

    The Calamari Brothers, swing, Rossi's Cafe, Front Room, 1785 Cranston St., Cranston. 943-3196. 9 pm. No cover.

    Jason Crumer, Gamspun, Immaculate:Grotesque, Bereft and Furisubi, rock, AS220, 115 Empire St., Providence. 831-9327. 9 pm. $6. All-ages show.

    Steve Smith and The Nakeds, rhythm and blues, Roy Carpenter's Beach, 240 Card's Pond Rd., South Kingstown. 783-7418. 9 pm.

    The Taran Yelle Band, rhythm and blues, Chelo's Waterfront Bar and Grille, 1 Masthead Drive, Warwick. 884-3000. 7:30-11:30 pm.

    Young Neal and The Vipers, rhythm and blues, Harry's, 700 Main St., Hyannis, Mass. (508) 778-4188. 9 pm.

    JULY 11

    --FREE-- Atwater-Donnelly, folk, Barrington Town Hall lawn, Route 114, Barrington. 257-1925. 6-7 pm. In Middle School if rain.

    Blue Cherry Pie, rock, Deerfield Park, Blackhawk Trail, Smithfield. 4-6 pm.

    Mary Day, folk, Harbourside Lobstermania, outside, Water Street, East Greenwich. 884-6363. 3-5:30 pm.

    Elton Dexter, swing, Cocke 'n' Kettle Restaurant, 5 South Main St. (Route 122), Uxbridge, Mass. (508) 278-5517. 3-7 pm.

    Dion, oldies, Mohegan Sun, Cabaret, Mohegan Sun Boulevard (exit 79A off Route 395), Uncasville, Conn. (800) 477-6849. 3 pm. $45.

    The Killdevils, blues, The Coffee Depot, 501 Main St., Warren. 247-9890. 3-6 pm. No cover.

    The Little German Band, pop and polkas, World War II Park, Social Street, Woonsocket. 6-8 pm.

    Nathan and The Zydeco Cha-Chas, zydeco, Catfish Grill, 1035 West Shore Rd., Warwick. 739-4564. 5-9 pm. $15.

    Nocturne, Bozo Porno Circus, Tung, The Deadites and AbSynthe, rock, The Living Room, 23 Rathbone St., Providence. 521-5200. 8 pm. $10. All-ages show.

    --FREE-- Riverfront Concert Series: Vini Ames and Sh-Bop, oldies, Veterans' Memorial Amphitheater, Roosevelt Avenue, Pawtucket. 6:30-8:30 pm.
    The Village People, disco, Mohegan Sun, Wolf Den, Mohegan Sun Boulevard (exit 79A off Route 395), Uncasville, Conn. (888) 226-7711 ext. 7163. 7 pm. No cover.

    Thursday, July 08, 2004



    Every year the Big Apple Circus comes to Ninigret Park in Charleston RI as the second to last stop on their tour. It's a fun time for the circus performers, as it's close to the beach, there aren't too many shows, and the Rhode Island audiences are pretty fun. Big Apple is one of the top one ring circuses in the country, and a non-profit organization to boot!

    This year the show is July 8-14, and the theme of the show is Carnevale.

    For information about tickets, times, and all that good stuff, visit this website or call the presenters of the show (The Charleston Chamber of Commerce) at (401) 364-0890

    Tall Ships in Newport July 16-19

    JULY 16-19.

    First the event was cancelled, then it was on again, then it was cancelled. And now it is on again! Does this sound like a familiar scenario? (Think First Night/ Bright Night last year)

    I'm glad to report that another group of stalwart citizens was able to rescue another Rhode Island tradition this year, and that the Tall Ships will sail into Newport next weekend (July 16-19)

    Tickets will be $5 for adults, kids under 12 free, and there's all kinds of excitement planned for the event.

    The reason it was cancelled originally was primarily security ($500,000 extra, to comply with the enhanced federal security), and the additional costs are being spread out by various state and city agencies.

    Folr the full scoop, check out the Warwick Beacon article on what happened. You can also check out the Tall Ships Rhode Island website. And an additional website about the Tall Ships, including photos, is available on the Channel 12 website

    Tuesday, July 06, 2004

    Benefit for Jen Swain Theatre Artist, July 24


    Our current health system doesn't work for artists, and (sadly) here is an example.

    Jen Swain is a 27 year old theatre artist based in Providence, RI. She is currently on her fourth chemotherapy treatment, but has no health insurance. She is now more than $45,000 in debt, with no clear way how to get out of debt. A group of artists are taking matters into their own hands, and having a fundraiser to begin to help Jen out. While they probably are not going to raise the full 45K at the Perishable Theatre (at 100 seats, that's an average donation of $450), but hey, it's a start.

    If you'd care to help a young and talented artist through a difficult time, and see some theatre in the process, here's the information:

    WHEN: Saturday, July 24 at 8:00PM

    WHERE: Perishable Theatre 95 Empire Street(click for directions)

    WHAT: Reading of the play: Emma Goldman: A Noise In the Silence written by Tamara Smith in collaboration with Claudia Traub and Deborah Heimann, directed by Jen Swain, and performed by Claudia Traub.
    and Unremembering a dance piece by Melody Ruffin Ward.

    HOW:Call Claudia at 401.246.2439 for reservations.

    COST: Tickets are $15.00 (additional donations accepted)

    For more information, visit the webpage

    Thursday, July 01, 2004

    Artist Pension Trust


    The Artist Pension Trust (APT) is the first retirement trust program created specifically to provide emerging and mid-career visual artists with long-term financial security. Drawing on the traditional structure of mutual assurance societies, a limited series of APTs comprised of 250 artists each will be formed in cities and regions throughout the US.

    Each APT is a non-profit, self-governing entity whose purpose is to provide participating artists with pension benefits. Artist Pension Trust will always seek to carefully balance the long-term career goals of participating artists with professional financial management concerns.

    A region-specific selection committee comprised of individuals who are broadly experienced in working with emerging artists will identify artists to be invited to apply for participation in a Trust. The committee will review each applicant's work and select those who will participate in a Trust. Only self-employed artists may participate inAPT.

    APT is a barter-based program. Rather than cash, participants will contribute works of art to their Trust, investing 20 works over a 20-year period. Artists will start to receive income 20 years after the inception of their APT.

    The New York APT is the first one, but perhaps artists here in Rhode Island can look to starting our own? And if only we could figure out how to make this work for writers and performing artists....

    For more information, or to apply for the New York APT, visit the website:

    Thursday, June 24, 2004

    A Review of Avenue Q


    Saw Avenue Q last night. Herein is my review and thoughts.


    Overall, I thought it was a very clever , witty , and well-done puppet musical. However, I did not love it as much as I hoped I would, as much as I felt I could have and should have, and I have to say that I left with a bit of a lamentation for the play I glimpsed at , but sadly did not see.


    The book is very clever, and the songs are pretty catchy, but not in a particularlly memorable way. The performances were all superb (and I saw the B cast--three of the cast members were not the originals (including John Tartaglia (who plays Princeton and Rod), Jordan Gelber (who plays Brian). The understudies were all excellent, and the main characters (esp. Stephanie D'Abruzzo and Rick Lyons (who also created the puppets) were all very good. Rick Lyons is a great puppeteer and a great singer! And so is Stephanie D’Abruzzo. And the understudy Barrett Foa. In fact, they are all quite good!

    THE NOT SO GOOD STUFF (which was still pretty good)

    I left the play feeling a little dis-satisfied. It wasn't so much the cost (though at $91.25, I could have bought 4-5 months of NetFlix (30-60 movies easy, or an entire subscription to a small theatre in Providence. If I'd paid half price I would have been very pleased with the value ratio. But hey, that's what Broadway costs, and it was not the price that stuck in my craw so much.

    I did not feel that the production lived up to its possibilities, and had a much too narrow scope.

    Perhaps I expected too much from the hype, but I really expected it to explode and expose musical theatre traditions in the way that the Lion King did (and I did not like the Lion Kingeither-- but that's a different discussion.

    The music was catchy, but not in a particularly memorable way.
    The book was very clever and witty, but not astoundingly so.
    The characters were drawn well, but weren't more than foam deep.
    The plot was okay, but rather sacharine, without lots of surprising twists
    . The acting was very well done, but... okay, no buts about it, the acting was just well done! :o)

    I felt that the play does not tie up all all of its loose ends in a satisfying way. There were some very interesting concepts, that didn't get explored as far as they should, and just got kind of left behind.

    In general, I felt the directors/writers/producers went for the lowest and easiest fruits on the theatrical tree, and never got to the really beautiful and tasty fruit up at the top. So in the end, they've produced a filling and satisfying pie, but it was not the most amazing pie in the world. It was a rather ordinary pretty good pie.


    A) The show is loosely based on Sesame Street, and some of the parodic trappings were present. (There is a song based on Schadenfreude (pleasure at the misfortune of others) and two TV monitors do a little Schadenfreunde word dance that's pretty funny) But it could have been used in a much more pointed and caustic way, which would have changed our relationship to the characters and even to the unfolding story.

    B) Another great concept are these two "Bad Idea Bears" who urge Princeton on to make foolish mistakes. They are half in his imagination (a bell rings everytime they come on) They are a device for comedy (which they should be) but only a device for comedy, and oh too clearly-- their come-uppance at the end was not earned (and their presence and the world they represent was not maximized.) Having them do their thing was great-- but I wanted a suitably evil ending for them (which we did not get)

    C) There was one dream sequence where the scale of the puppets is dramatically changed, and you see for one second a gigantic puppet look up and over the whole set. Suddenly the large set is tiny, and the scale of all of our doings is brought into question for that moment. It was a great moment, and I wished that there were 20 or 30 moments of wonder like that (what Daniel Stein would call "Magic Moments"-- flashes of inspiration and virtuosity, where the mind falls in love with the image. But there weren't. Just a lot of funny puppet bits.

    I am sounding rather like a negative nelly about this play. It's good,and worthwhile and funny, and you should go, and you will laugh and have a great time. Probably you won't even notice anything of what I've been talking about. Or completely disagree.

    But when you get a taste of the great wine, the mediocre to good wine you've got in your glass seems a little vinegary and sour.

    I'd love to hear your opinions about it. Feel free to comment in my nifty new "comments section"


    Tuesday, June 22, 2004

    Commedia dell'arte Lecture tonight!

    Masks, Comedy, and Biscotti: A Hysterical History of Italian Comedy

    Adam Gertsacov, international clown of renown and the current Clown Laureate of Greenbelt Maryland (HEY THAT'S ME!), will give a lecture/demonstration on the commedia dell'arte, a form of Italian improvised comedy from the sixteenth century. The demo will take place at the Marian J. Mohr Library in Johnston RI on Tuesday, June 22 at 7 pm. Admission is free and open to the public. For more info, call 401-231-4980. DIRECTIONS TO THE LIBRARY

    Click image for complete press release....

    Wednesday, June 16, 2004


    Bloomsday Centenary is Today!

    For millions of people, June 16 is an extraordinary day. On that day in 1904, Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom each took their epic journeys through Dublin in James Joyce's Ulysses, the world's most highly acclaimed modern novel.

    “Bloomsday”, as it is now known, has become a tradition for Joyce enthusiasts all over the world. From Tokyo to Sydney, San Francisco to Buffalo, Trieste to Paris, dozens of cities around the globe hold their own Bloomsday festivities. As far as I know, Providence has nothing going on for June 16-- Hmmm... Maybe we can change all that?

    The celebrations usually include readings as well as staged re-enactments and street-side improvisations of scenes from the story. Nowhere is Bloomsday more rollicking and exuberant than Dublin, home of Molly and Leopold Bloom, Stephen Dedalus, Buck Mulligan, Gerty McDowell and James Joyce himself. The art of Ulysses becomes the daily life of hundreds of Dubliners and the city’s visitors as they retrace the odyssey each year.

    Here are some books and other literary things if you are interested in finding out more about Ulysses

    Tuesday, June 15, 2004



    The Providence Mandolin Orchestra is hosting the Providence International Plucked String Festival on June 18, 19, 20, 2004 in Providence, RI. This festival celebrates the various world traditions of plucked string music as represented by well-known virtuosi from the New England area.

    Friday evening's performance is being held at The Providence Public Library (Empire Street, downtown) and will feature flamenco music performed by Juanito Pascual on guitar, singer/dancer La Conja and Gonzalo Grau on percussion. This show will begin at 8:00 PM. Tickets are available online or at the door for $10.00.

    Saturday evening the orchestra welcomes classically trained Richard Berberian playing oud, joined by Mal Barsamian on guitar and Jacob Tanoglu playing kanoon. The trio will perform a selection of traditional Middle Eastern and contemporary repertoire. Saturday evening's concert will also feature the virtuoso playing of Tamara Volskaya, internationally acclaimed mandolin and domra soloist, She will be accompanied by her husband Anatoliy Trofimov on 'bayan' (a Russian button accordian. Get ready for an electrifying performance by these acclaimed international competition winners.

    This event is being held at the Egavian Cultural Center at Saints Sahag and Mesrob Armenian Church on 70 Jefferson Street, Providence, RI on Saturday , June 19, 2004 at 8:00 PM. Tickets are available online or at the door for $15.00, $10.00 for seniors and students.

    For more information, visit The PMO's website

    Saturday, June 05, 2004

    Flea Circus Takes Charleston By Storm!

    Flea Circus Takes Charleston By Storm!

    UPDATE: I made the front cover of the Charleston City Paper!

    I'm performing my flea circus at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston.

    One of the interesting things about Charleston is that they have a Johnson & Wales University too! When I drove in, I had an eery sense of deja vu!

    June 2, I had two preview pieces in two different papers appear. It was flea circus day in Charleston! And then the next day, I had a great review appear in the newspaper. (see below)

    My first show was nearly sold out, and the second and third shows were about 75% full.
    We'll see what the rest of the week brings, but I'm hopeful that we can up those numbers. I'm told that a lot of people have heard good things about my show.

    I've seen 5 very good shows so far, and have tickets for 4 more. (That's the best
    part of any festival, is getting to see a lot of other work all at once!)

    I'm performing everyday through June 13, so if you have some friends who
    are in Charleston, Savannah, or surrounding areas, send them on down!

    The Acme Miniature Circus, a Victorian style flea circus starring "Midge and Madge, Trained Fleas Performing Spectacular Circus Stunts As Seen Before (and on top of) the Crowned Heads of Europe" Piccolo Spoleto Festival June 2-13 ( June 2,4,6,8,10, 12 at 5:30 pm, June 3,5,7,9,11 at 8 pm and June 13 at 1 pm )at the Chapel Theatre ,
    172 Calhoun St, Charleston. Tickets are $10-12 and are available through Ticketmaster(call 843-554-6060). For more information, call the Piccolo Spoleto Office 843-724-7305 or visit or No Dogs or Cats will be admitted to the shows.

    Preview articles:

    The Charleston City Paper(local free weekly paper)

    Charleston Post & Courier Preview (article may require registration to read)

    Here's the review in the Charleston Post & Courier.

    (It might expire or require registration, so I've included it below)

    Under the Big Top

    A good-things-come-in-small-packages show REVIEW

    Post and Courier Reviewer
    Caveat emptor: Before attending the Acme Miniature Flea Circus at
    Physicians Auditorium, be aware that the fleas, Midge and Madge, perform in
    the nude!

    You have been warned. On the safe side, however, do not worry about leaving
    with a flea in your ear, because a flea cannot fly -- or is it flea --
    flee? Well, whatever, as they have no wings, they jump. Warnings clearly
    posted all over warn that positively no dogs will be admitted.

    Other notices announce this is "too perversely fascinating to miss." True.
    The fleas, please. Ringmaster A.G. Gertsacov hawks his flea market
    souvenirs before the show begins claiming, "It's a capitalist country and
    I'm just trying to capitalize on it." Half the fun of his show is his
    marketing of the mementos. For example, Gertsacov sells miniature programs
    measuring 2 by 3 inches for 10 cents, then pushes tiny magnifying glasses
    for 25 cents in order to read it. There are other goodies as well.

    During the big sales event, a sign over the stage says, "Shhhh. The fleas
    are sleeping." The Lord of the Fleas is finally ready and completes his
    fashionable flea market, costumed with a flea-bitten mismatched top hat and
    tails. Perfect for what's to come.

    Audience involvement is a must and adds greatly to the frivolity. We get to
    cheer for our favorite flea during a chariot race and "ooh" and "ahh" for
    other events. Midge or was it Madge performed an exquisite ballet. Her tour
    jetes and passer la jambes during La Valse Bleu are magnificent. Pavlova
    would have fled the fleas, envious of such perfection.

    Gertsacov recites poetry too. My favorite: "Fleas. Adam had 'em." He also
    does a scene from "Hamlet." You know, the famous "To flea or not to flea
    ..." Of course, Of-fleala is a part of William Fleashpeare's offering.
    Wednesday had a full house, so without giving away the entire hilarious
    show, flea on over for tickets before it's too late. To see a flea or not
    is something only the audience can decide. It runs -- jumps --through June

    Thursday, May 27, 2004


    RISD Flea For All May 29

    Saturday May 29 (Memorial Day Weekend), I'll be presenting two free shows of my award-winning flea circus at the RISD Museum in Providence. This is a rare local appearance of the show, so if you haven't seen it, now may be a good time. Admission is free, but tickets are limited so call RISD to get your ticket reserved early. Shows are at 1 and 2 pm Phone the RISD Museum at 401-454-6674 to reserve your tickets.

    Do it early, as there are only about 200 seats, and they are expecting 800 people at the museum that day!

    Right after that I am off to Charleston SC, where my show is featured at the
    acclaimed Spoleto USA Festival (I'm part of the Piccolo Spoleto Festival)
    For more information, check out the following URL'S: or

    As a matter of fact, both the Charleston Post & Courier and the Charleston City Paper have picked my show as Critic's Picks of the Festival!

    Tickets for Spoleto are available through ticketmaster
    if you happen to be in the area (or know someone who lives down there!

    Wednesday, May 26, 2004

    YouthFirst--an International Arts Festival for Kids

    June 11 & 12, First Works, the organization formerly known as First Night, will present a Kid's Art Festival. Featured will be the virtuoso of junk music David Knaack, storytellers Len Cabral and Derek Burrows, and the African dance/music troupe Manding Jata. Also on display will be Imagination Market workshops, a Rising Stars Showcase, the Big Nazo Puppets, and lots more. See the whole schedule of events.

    Manding Jata

    Theatre, dance, and musiqe d'Africa

    June 11, 7:30 PM, June 12, 4:00 PM

    RISD Auditorium, tickets at the

    door or at

    "Complex Cultural Circus"

    --Adelaide Adveriser, Australia

    Friday, May 21, 2004



    For tonight Friday, May 21, if you mention the word BFAT at the Kid Simple Box office, you'll get a half price ticket to see the Kid Simple show. Afterwards, if you like, stick around for the 10 pm Blood From A Turnip Puppet Salon-- it will cost you $5 more, but it's quite simply worth it! Great short puppetry bits by some of the top artists in Rhode Island and New England. The lineup includes:

    Marsian, a transdisciplinary visual & performance artist.
    Bonnie Duncan/Snappy Dance Theatre
    Evan O'Television
    Sasha Rubel
    and more more more!

    Don't go without! Quench your puppet thirst!

    And in case you wanted to see some more Blood From A Turnip, here's a great engraving by artist David Gilhooly.

    Click the artist's name above to find out more about him, or view his gallery online.

    Thursday, May 20, 2004




    Our Heroine Journey
    Toward Certain Death to Save the Planet!


    How One Simple Ear Bone
    Can Change the World!


    To the Sound of an
    Uncertain Heart!

    Ends May 29, 2004

    Thursdays @ 7pm

    Fridays & Saturdays @ 8pm

    May 16 & 23 @ 3pm


    Adults: $20      
    Students/Seniors: $15

    Group Rates Available

    Available Through

    Click Here

    By Phone: (401) 621-6123

    In Person at the ArtTix

    1 Kennedy Plaza, Downtown

    Tuesday, May 18, 2004

    BioBlitz 2004 June 18-19


    The state's top biologists,ecologists, naturalists, birdbrains, tree huggers, lichen lovers, swamp stompers, bug people, wild flower watchers, snake charmers, moss minders, and all-around natural enthusiasts are going to join together to have fun and celebrate Rhode Island's amazing and beautiful natural history.

    BioBlitz 2004 will be held on June 18-19 (3:00 p.m. Friday through 3:00 p.m. Saturday) at the URI W. Alton Jones Campus in West Greenwich, one of the state's most beautiful natural areas.

    For a special treat this year, scientists and volunteers will be able to stay overnight (without charge) in the cabins at the Environmental Education Center [EEC] (tenting areas are also an option), and Alton Jones staff will be preparing the meals for a very reasonable cost. Space is limited, so register SOON.

    The deadline for registration for meals is June 1.

    The public component of the BioBlitz will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 19, at the EEC lodge; the schedule of events for that day will be released soon. Organizations are invited to set up displays; the form is available at the web link below.

    Click here to get the registration forms and for more information.

    Join BioBlitz 2004 for 1 hour or for all 24 and help explore and celebrate Rhode
    Island's fascinating biological diversity!

    BioBlitz 2004 is sponsored by:
    The Rhode Island Natural History Survey
    The Nature Conservancy of Rhode Island
    The University of Rhode Island
    Largess Forestry