Sunday, December 28, 2008

Bright Night Article in the Projo

Got everything right, except at one point says about our celebration that you buy your First Night tickets. Ah well, can't win them all!

The article in the paper had some great photos of the event.

To make it easier to forward, I created a tinyurl of the article:

Fewer stars and fireworks, but New Year celebrations will go on

01:00 AM EST on Sunday, December 28, 2008
By Richard Salit

Journal Staff Writer

Performers converged Tuesday on Providence City Hall for the mayor’s announcement of Bright Night festivities. Among them, Big Nazo, Snow Queen (Clare Vadeboncoeur), Mark Kohler and Marvelous Marvin Novogrodsky. In front is Bright Night director Adam Gertsacov.

The Providence Journal / Sandor Bodo

The Scrooge-like economy may be forcing some communities to scale back their New Year’s Eve celebrations, but revelers in Providence, Newport, Fall River and Westerly will still be treated to everything from fireworks to the Friars, music to magicians and storytellers to sword swallowers.

Budget shortages threatened to snuff out Newport’s annual pyrotechnics display and the rest of the City-by-the-Sea’s celebration, but First Night Newport survived and will go off as planned, complete with fireworks over the harbor.

While Bright Night Providence had to cancel its fireworks — out of safety concerns, not financial problems — the city will replace it with a laser show. In addition, for the second year in a row, the festival has teamed up with the Providence College Friars men’s basketball squad, which will be playing Big East rival St. John’s University at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center during Bright Night festivities.

“The big thing is for everyone to gather together and ring in the New Year right,” said Adam Gertsacov, director of Bright Night Providence, the artist-run, nonprofit group that has organized the New Year’s Eve celebration in the capital city for the past six years.

While Bright Night’s budget this year is “slightly smaller,” Gertsacov said it will still feature close to 160 performers in 22 venues.

“The big focus of our event has always been the performers. We want to celebrate Rhode Island’s most important asset — its performers,” Gertsacov said.

Every year, Bright Night selects a different act to take center stage in the event. This year, the featured group is the Nerveless Nocks, a family of daredevil circus acrobats. The ninth generation family, which was formed in Switzerland and used to perform during the summers at the now-defunct Rocky Point Amusement Park, will give three shows at Rhode Island Convention Center.

In one act, Michelangelo Nock will climb a 20-foot-tall tower of chairs and do handstands on top. The troupe will also use a pendulum to perform leaps and somersaults.

“You definitely don’t want to miss this, but you definitely don’t want to try it at home,” said Gertsacov. “These guys are courageous and virtuosos at what they do. They’ve performed for kings and queens, on television and for the Super Bowl.”

Admission to the Nerveless Nocks is guaranteed with the purchase of a First Night wristband, which designates which of the three shows, either 6, 8 or 10 p.m., its holder may attend.

Wristbands, which provide free admission to all of the Bright Night venues, cost $10 in advance and $15 on the day of the event (when a family four-pack may be purchased for $50). They are for sale at BankRI locations, OOP! Stores, the East Side Marketplace and ArtTixRI, 155 Westminster St. They may also be bought online at or by calling (401) 621-6123.

The first 3,000 people with wristbands to go to the Dunkin’ Donuts center will get free tickets to see the Friars game. Tip-off is at 4 p.m.

Like the fireworks display (which fire officials said could not continue for lack of a safe location to shoot them off), the laser show will begin at midnight. It will last nearly 20 minutes and feature music.

“That’s one thing we were never able to do with the fireworks was coordinate sound and music,” Gertsacov said.

Among the other performers are the Big Nazo Puppets, bebop artist Greg Abate and Grammy winning storyteller and singer Bill Harley.

In Newport, the grand event of the family-oriented New Year festivities is a fireworks display that you don’t have to wait until midnight to see. The pyrotechnics begin at 9:15, shortly after a parade from Thompson Middle School, on Broadway, ends at the harbor.

The Brazilian Capoeira Dancers will give three 45-minute shows––at 6, 7 and 8 p.m.—in the cafeteria of the middle school. Downstairs, in the gym, there will also be face painting, balloon sculpture, a kids bounce and slide, a clown, a magician and dancing for kids.

Next door, at City Hall, folk performers will turn the council chambers into a concert venue featuring Ed McGuirl and Mike Fischmen, The Remnants and Leroy White. Bluegrass music will be played live at the Florence Murray Judicial Complex.

Other venues include the Newport Marriott, the Gateway Visitors Center, and the Jane Pickens Theater.

Buttons cost $10 and may be purchased online at Children under age 5 may enter venues at no charge. Buttons may also be purchased at the Gateway Visitors Center and the Music Box, 160 Thames St., in Jamestown at Baker’s Pharmacy, in Portsmouth at Clements’ Marketplace and in Middletown at AAA of Southern New England.

Fireworks will also be shot off as part of First Night Westerly. In the past, there would be one pyrotechnics display early in the evening and one at midnight. This year, however, there will be just one show, at 9 p.m., a time meant to accommodate families, and that will conclude the evening.

“It’s a simpler event,” said organizer Ray Jones, pastor of the Lighthouse Community Baptist Church. “Basically what we did was we looked at the economy and we looked at our community and we just decided we were going to tailor our event to young families and just make it really cost-effective.”

Last year for example, American Idol contestant Chris Sligh First Night Westerly. This year, there will be no such headliner and there will be fewer venues for a shorter period of time. The price is $5, down from $13 last year.

But children’s activities will abound. At the library and YMCA, there will be arts and crafts, a mime, face painting and inflatable toys, while teen activities will take place at the Armory. Jazz and big band drummer Bobby Selvidio will perform on High Street. The best place to watch the fireworks will be from the YMCA parking lot, Jones said.

“It’s a nice wholesome time for people with their kids and teens. What our event is tailored around is providing a substance-free New Year’s Eve,” he said.

Buttons for First Night Westerly may be purchased on the day of the event at theYMCA or in advance at NewportFed and Washington Trust. For more information, go to

Fall River also has downsized its celebration. The city announced that it would not be able to finance another First Night Fall River, but then community activists stepped up and produced a more modest replacement event, which they have dubbed “Back to Main Street: New Year’s Eve in the Neighborhood.”

“It’s an old-fashioned block party,” said Patrice Cloutier, the city’s director of cultural development and tourism, who with businessman Jerry Donovan, led the effort to rescue Fall River’s celebration .

The event, as always, will be free. It will feature horse and carriage rides as well as trolley tours, in addition to a variety of street performers, including jugglers and stilt walkers. A children’s venue, with arts and crafts, will be set up in a vacant storefront at 25 North Main St.

One of the highlights of the event will be a 7:30 p.m. performance by the Chinese Folk Troupe at the Eagle Performing Arts Center, 33 North Main St. There will be a dragon dance, a lion dance, umbrella dancing and drumming, said Cloutier. Seating for the nearly 1 ½-hour performance will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Bonaparte, a Boston magician, will take the stage afterward.

In the past, Fall River would bring in the New Year with the dropping of a ball from the Armory. This year, with the events taking place in just a one-block area, the ball will be dropped at midnight from Government Center.

“It’s really a community event put together with a lot of heart and private donations,” Cloutier said. “It really brings you back to Main Street. It’s about quality and simplicity at the same time.”

For more information, go to

Great article about Friday Night Live performer and Shakespeare tough kid

This is a great story in the projo about art helping out people's lives:

Update 2008: Shakespeare winner has eyes on BU

01:00 AM EST on Sunday, December 28, 2008

Ari Brisbon has said that performing in the theater has saved his life.

The Providence Journal / Andrew Dickerman

PROVIDENCE — For Ari Brisbon, winner of last year's state Shakespeare contest, being a college student has been his most challenging role so far.

Brisbon, a tough street kid who said that the theater saved his life, went to New York City in April to compete in the English Speaking Union's National Shakespeare Competition, the winner of which spent two weeks at the British American Drama Academy in London last summer.

Brisbon didn't win the big prize but he did graduate from Hope High School in June, a nail-biter up until the last minute. After a very promising tryout at Boston University's prestigious School of Theater, Brisbon recognized that he had to bring up his grades before BU would accept him, and so he enrolled at Community of College of Rhode Island in September.

Dorothy Jungels, his mentor and second mom, said Brisbon has struggled to deal with the freedom and responsibility that go along with being a college freshman. But she said that Ari is determined to stay in school and re-apply to Boston University, where assistant professor Mark Cohen called him one of the most talented kids in Brown University's summer acting program.

In the meantime, Brisbon is performing regularly at Everett Dance Theater's Friday Night Live improvisation program and he is preparing another Shakespeare monologue, this time from Hamlet, for the monthly open mike session in January.

— Journal staff writer Linda Borg

Friday, November 21, 2008

Great New blog

There's a great new blog (well, new to me) featuring insightful reviews of  shows in and around Providence.  It also talks about food.

It's authored by John Rogers,

Check it out!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

FW: Community Giving

This is a great article about places that need help during the holidays in RI.

In general Kidoinfo is really well done, so you should know about it anyway. It's a well-done blog/parent resource, and it's well worth subscribing to and reading everyday-- they often have great articles such as this one.

In terms of other places that need help, I've added Bright Night Providence in the comments-- are you affiliated with an organization that might need help? Add it in the comments!

URL to article:

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fwd: See TARTUFFE in Boston Oct. 25

Dell'Arte Company presents TARTUFFE at Emerson College in Boston, Saturday, Oct. 25 at 8pm

"Staged by Perrone as a cornucopia of physical gags and played to hilarious perfection"
- Rob Hurwitt, San Francisco Chronicle

Cutler Majestic Theatre, Emerson College, Boston
8pm, Tickets $45

Boisterous characters, lavish comedy and the trademark physicality of the Dell'Arte ensemble combine with the finely crafted satire of Moliere for an evening of masks, music and laughter.
In Tartuffe, a religious charlatan takes over a family's life until the tables are turned by virtue of his own excesses. One of Moliere's most acclaimed plays, this work has a clear contemporary resonance for our times in a visually spectacular production the whole family will enjoy.

Visit the Cutler Majestic Theatre website for more information and to buy tickets.
You can also call 1-800-233-3123 for tickets.
The Culter Majestic Theatre is located at Emerson College in the Heart of Boston's Historic Theatre District, 219 Tremont Street.


Michael Fields  | Tartuffe
Deborah Taylor Barrera  | Elmire
Adrian Mejia | Orgon, Flipotte
Andrew Phoenix  | Cleante
Barbara Geary | Pernelle, Carina
David Ferney | Valere
Jackie Dandeneau | Mariane
Keight Gleason | Dorine
Giulio Cesare Perrone | Director
Kristen Schumaker  | Stage Manager
Bruce Marrs | Mask Designer
Tim Gray | Sound Designer

ABOUT DELL'ARTE: Dell'Arte International is the North American center for theatre training, research, and performance of the actor-creator. We are a committed community of artists who model and share in a sustained ensemble artistic practice. International in scope, grounded in the natural living world, inspired by our non-urban setting, Dell'Arte International explores theatre making, theatre practice and theatre training for ourselves, the world and the future.
For more information, visit

Friday, October 03, 2008

SHOW: Providence, RI: Credo Theatre Oct 4.

Part of the Firstworks festival, two Bulgarian clowns use puppetry and magic to create a fantastic show.

It's supposed to be great (although I haven't seen it) 

It's in Providence, RI on Saturday, October 4, 8pm

RISD Auditorium

Credo Theatre,
Daddy's Always Right


Consummate theatrical clowns transform a bare stage into a winter fairyland complete with drifts of dazzling snow in a moving story for adults which remind us of the true value of simple things. With stunning puppet techniques and a little bit of magic, Nina Dimitrova and Vassil Vassilev-Zuek created this performance for the worldwide celebration of the 200th anniversary of Hans Christian Anderson's birth. Credo performances have toured the globe, including the London stage of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Appropriate for adults and families – ages 10 and up. Waterfire traffic and parking advisory for Saturday, Oct. 4: Please allow extra time.

Evening JumpStart pre-show performance, 7:15pm


   "One of the best art events of the festival"
Edinburgh Festival

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Guest Artist Jobs at URI this year.

I worked at URI last year, teaching a class in physical comedy-- they recently sent me this, looking for some technical people.

Most of them have no benefits or travel, but might be fun if you are already in or nearby RI.



The University of Rhode Island, Department of Theatre
is seeking applications for Guest Artists for the upcoming 2008-2009
Season.  The positions we anticipate being able to fill are as follows:

Properties Master
    •assist in the design, construction and procurement of  properties
for four (4) major productions between September 2008-May 2009.
Supervise student crews in prop organization and maintenance.  Must
have experience in theatrical properties.  Part-time, limited, no benefits or travel.

Technical Director
    •assume primary responsibility for a 500 proscenium seat theatre and two blackbox theatres with flexible seating that annually produces four mainstage, two student directing projects and 20 Intro to Theatre
mini productions in-house as well as outside use of the facilities by the community-at-large.   Translate designer's plans into working drawings, construct and supervise construction and maintenance of
scenery.  Supervision of ATD, carpenters and students.   Must be able to work with allotted production budgets within the state purchasing system.  Full-time, limited, with benefits.  Start Date: 

Assistant Technical Director
    •assist in operation of scene shop, maintain inventory, shop cleanliness and safety, some supervision of workstudy and stagecraft
students.  Help with tool/equipment maintenance and assist in scenery construction.  Applicants should be familiar with basic carpentry,
operation of power tools and have some experience in operation of a
theatrical scene shop.   Part-time, limited, no benefits or travel.

Sound Designer
    •wanted for one or more major productions.  Responsible for
sound design and sound effects, including mics, for production season.
Must have previous theatrical sound experience.  Possibility of combining ME and Lighting Designer work with this position.  Guest
Artist, limited, no benefits or travel.

Master Electrician
    •wanted for production season (4 major productions) between September and May.  Responsible for ME design work.  Must
have previous theatrical electrical experience.  Possibility of combining
ME and Lighting Designer work with this position.  Guest Artist, limited, no benefits, or travel.

Master Carpenter
    •function as master carpenter for production season (4 major productions) between September and April.  Must have previous theatrical carpentry experience.

    •assist in construction, painting and installation of stage scenery, and stage machinery.  Must be able to read and interpret design and technical drawings.  Must have knowledge of basic scenic construction techniques using wood, steel, foams, fabrics and working knowledge of standard tools and welding equipment.  Skill in the use of power and hand tools required.  Knowledge in the operation of a counter-weight and proscenium theatrical rigging system a plus.  Ability to work effectively in a team-based environment.  Guest Artist, limited, no benefits, no travel.

    •function as carpenter for production season (4 major productions) between September and April.  Must have knowledge of basic scenic construction techniques using wood, steel, foams, fabrics and working knowledge of standard tools.  Knowledge in the operation of a counter-weight and proscenium theatrical rigging system a plus.
Ability to work effectively in a team-based environment.  Guest Artist,
limited, part-time, no benefits or travel.  10 hrs per week.
URI/Theatre/Job Openings/page 3

    •experience in full scale stage costume construction to alterations.  Requires strong organizational skills and ability to work with wide range of expertise from student workers to professional artistic staff and faculty.  Must have the ability to work with varied timetables.
Approximately 100 hours per semester.  Guest Artist, part-time, no benefits or travel.

    •Approximate dates:  September-November, 2008 and January 19-April, 2009.  No scheduled work between December 20, 2008-January 19, 2009 or between March 16-22, 2009 (spring break).


    •Small Tragedy
        October 9-12 & 16-19, 2008
        November 13-16 and 20-23, 2008
    •The Foreigner
        February  26-March 1 and March 5-8, 2009
    •The Merchant of Venice
        April 16-19 & 23-26, 2009

TO APPLY:  Send a letter and resume to:  Paula McGlasson, Chair, University of Rhode Island, Department of Theatre, 105 Upper College Road, Suite 3, Kingston, RI  02881 or email to AND
Call 401-874-2712 or 401-874-5922 to indicate interest in one or more of the aforementioned positions.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

But for the Grace... at FringeNYC 2008

Bob Jaffe in
46 Walker Street, NYC
(Broadway & Church St.)

Friday, August 8th @ 7:15pm
Sunday, August 10th @ 9:15pm
Thursday, August 14th @ 9:45pm
Friday, August 15th @ 5:15pm
Sunday, August 17th @ 2:30pm

      SUBWAY:   A, C, E, N, R, Q, W, 6 to Canal
                         1 to Franklin
       BUS:          M1 or M6 to B'way & Walker Sts
       PARKING: Central Parking Systems
                          411 Broadway at Lispenard


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Ada Bookstore in Providence

Wanted to mention a great independent used bookstore that I found about 6 months ago. It's a great independent bookstore focusing on literary works-- it's a labor of love, it's got lots of great books. And it's on Dean Street! And they play kickball! What more can you ask for?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Reminder to RI non-profits- File 2008 Annual Report!

The state of RI requires all non-profits to file a 2008 Annual Report with the Secretary of State during the month of June.

To obtain your 2008 annual report visit, click Corporations Forms link, and choose Annual Report option.

The cost is $20 per year.

Failure to file by July 30 will result in a penalty fee of $25.

Questions? Call 401-222-3040 or visit

It's also possible that you will be able to file online, depending on legislation recently enacted.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Sam Hill Music Group May 22

Sam Hill will perform on Thursday May 22, 7-9pm at the Rochambeau Library. Free Admission. Kid friendly.

Cathy Clasper-Torch: violin, chinese fiddle
Seth Gruenwald: cello
Catherine Hawkes: harp, recorder, cornemuse
Steve Jobe: viola, hurdy-gurdy, vocals
Ellen Santaniello: vocals, percussion, accordion

Traditional melodies arranged by Steve Jobe, Cathy Clasper-Torch and Will Ayton.
Original music by Steve Jobe,
and introducing the new arrangement of We Sing Hallelujah by Richard Thompson.

Please come if you can. Should be a good time, and we'd love to see you.

The Sam Hill Folk

Friday, May 02, 2008

Manton Avenue Big Top May 19! (Benefit)

BIGTOP! A Three-Ring Musicale

Local Celebrities Bring the Circus To Town in a Performance for The Manton Avenue Project on Monday, May 19th

Providence, R.I., (March 28, 2008) – Come one, come all to The Manton Avenue Project’s circus themed benefit entitled “BIGTOP! A Three-Ring Musicale” on May 19th at the Pell Chafee Performance Center, Citizens Bank Theater, 87 Empire St. in Providence. The evening will begin with a 6:00 PM cocktail hour, followed by the show at 7:00 PM, and refreshments and a chance to talk to the kids at 7:45 PM.

These eight tiny circus themed plays, each with an even tinier song, will be written by project kids in conjunction with special guest writers, Donald W. King, executive artistic director for Providence Black Repertory Company, Michelle Muscatello, WPRI Meteorologist, Lynne McCormack, Director of the Department of Art, Culture and Tourism, Councilman Cliff Wood, Ward 2 (College Hill), City of Providence and performed by professional actors from Trinity Repertory Company, Providence Black Repertory Company, The Gamm, and 2nd Story Theatre.

It will be directed by Peter Sampieri.

About The Manton Avenue Project

The Manton Avenue Project is a non-profit organization that unites children living in Providence’s Olneyville neighborhood with local theater professionals to create original theater together. The organization’s mission is to increase the self-esteem and unleash the creative voices of these inner-city children.

Tickets for the performance are $100 and must be purchased in advance, as seating is limited. For information or to be mailed an invitation call (401) 331-7007. For directions to Pell Chafee Performance Center, and for more information about The Manton Avenue Project, go to

The Manton Avenue Project’s BIG TOP! A Three Ring Musicale is sponsored by WPRI, Bank of America, Taylor Duane Barton & Gilman LLP, Cornish Associates, International Marketing Advantages and Verizon.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Art Exhibit-- Sunny von Kriegenbergh

Press Release
April 29, 2008
For Immediate Release
Bob Cooper, 401-447-6474 Days/Evenings

Sunny von Kriegenbergh works to go on Exhibit
Providence Gallery chosen for Kriegenbergh Paintings
(Providence, Rhode Island - Westchester, New York, USA) April 29, 2008 - Artist Sunny von Kriegenbergh will attend an exhibition of her work at the Dead Cat Gallery, 669 Elmwood Avenue in Providence on Saturday, May 3rd.
Kriegenbergh, a well traveled Providence artist will be celebrated at a reception and viewing of her paintings which starts at 7pm. Live music will follow at 9pm featuring noted Vermont composer Tinker Lee Taylor (Diane Horstmyer) and Kip McCloud (Carol DeFeciani) with her band, Lucky 57. Other performers expected include the Chris Monti Band and The Oddkingoes.
The Dead Cat Gallery opened in 2005 at the former Hope Brewery Building as a non-profit art gallery & music venue and has been host to numerous artists including painters, screen printers, sculptors, theatrical productions, comedy and live musical performances of all genres.
The public is welcome. For more information contact the Dead Cat Gallery (401) 206-6608 or the Liberty Elm Diner, 777 Elmwood Avenue, Providence, (401) 467-0777 .

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Apartment for Rent in Providence

I've got an apartment in Providence RI for rent. It's a 1200 square foot loft, legal live/work, 13 foot ceilings, 2 parking spaces. It's walking distance from downtown, and I lived, worked, and created shows there for 15 years.

It's available for immediate occupancy.

If you'd like to rent it or want more information, visit the website:

I'll give you a one time $200 discount if you mention this blogpost and then end up renting the apartment.


Friday, February 08, 2008

Indie Arts RI

IndieArts/ri is a collective portal for independent artists and arts organizations who contribute greatly to the Providence art scene. This includes, but is not limited to burlesque, dance, experimental theatre, music, galleries, and independent venues. IndieArts/ri markets upcoming events and gives members the ability to utilize the ArtTix ticketing service and our established customer base. IndieArts/ri is a community where patrons and members can comment on events, upload content (mp3, video), list arts opportunities and pool a collective audience for increased exposure of all the participating members. Indie Arts RI is a splinter group of the Arts and Business Council of RI, which operates Art-Tix.

For more information, visit IndieArts/ri at their website, listed below: