Seven things that are happening this week.
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What's Happening This Week

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Monday - 6:00PM

Gregory Pardlo
Ada Books, 717 Westminster Street

The poet Gregory Pardlo stunned many this spring when his book Digest was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. A largely personal work, Digest draws on the poet's experiences with fatherhood, neighborhood gentrification, and the language of academia. (He's following it up with a book of essays about an air traffic controllers' strike.) The Brooklyn based writer’s work has been described in the New York Times as "deliberately inelegant in a modernist kind of way." Pardlo is joined for this reading by climate anxiety counselor Kate Schapira and Brown MFA student Desiree Bailey.

Tuesday - 7:00PM

Kinky Boots
Providence Performing Arts Center
220 Weybosset Street

The British excel at cheery comedies about factory closures. Dating back to The Full Monty (at least), every few years there’s a lighthearted romp about laid-off townspeople banding together against all odds to stay employed. In the 2006 film Kinky Boots, Chiwetel Ejiofor played the enterprising drag queen who steps up to save Joel Edgerton’s failing shoe factory. How and why Harvey Fierstein and Cyndi Lauper thought this needed to go on Broadway I have no idea, but Kinky Boots won six Tonys, including Best Musical. The touring production arrives this week, fresh off the road from Grand Rapids.

Wednesday - 7:00PM

Remembered As A Chair
186 Carpenter Street

Shaker inspired chairs hang from the gallery walls in S. Hollis Mickey's Remembered As A Chair, a delicate but expansive mixed media collection that includes aprons, deer bones, feathers, and an aluminum cast of the artist’s hands. Subtitled "actions and objects of small but crucial uncertainties," the show also includes chapbooks of poetry which can be heard on cassette tapes installed in old-timey school desks. Gallery hours are irregular, but the space is open for a music performance by Neil C. Jackson, Sakiko + Scott, and James (Kuo) and Jenna (Legualt). The artist will also be reading a handful of poems.

Thursday - 9:00PM

Tropical Trash
Dusk, 301 Harris Avenue

Loud and dumb, the title track from Tropical Trash’s new UFO Rot is sneering, energetic, and dripping with the sort of scorn that sounds imported from 1994. I love it. (Something about the vocal delivery also reminds me specifically of Yo La Tengo's "Styles of the Times,” in a way I can’t exactly put my finger on.) The Louisville trio’s album gets louder (“Heehaw Collider”) before an abrupt shift in the home stretch: the doomy final two songs last longer than the seven that precede them. The band, signed to Providence’s Load Records, play with Bugs & Rats, Dogs, and Feedback Psychosis.

Friday - 6:00PM

Writers Behaving Badly!
Aurora, 276 Westminster Street

I'm not exactly sure what's going to happen at Writers Behaving Badly!, a literary game show presented by the nascent literary events collective Goat Hill. But here's a general idea: four contestants — a playwright, a musician, a slam poet and a YA novelist — will face one another in three rounds of competition. They will be judged by comics artist/seat belt safety expert Walker Mettling, local drag legend Miss Kitty Litter, and radio talk show host Robin Kall. One contestant gets knocked out in each round until there's only one writer standing. It should be fun?

Saturday - 4:00PM

AV Club
The Stable, 195 Washington Street

If you live in Rhode Island and leave your house, there is a pretty good chance you will trip over one of the roughly 3,276,472 interesting (and mostly free) events happening in Rhode Island today. So let me first tell you about the one that I'm co-organizing, and then I'll give you an itinerary for the remainder of the day. AV Club, presented by Headmaster, is a video installation at The Stable (a gay video bar) featuring eight non-narrative videos projected silently in the otherwise normally functioning bar. Except not that normally! From 4-7pm my Headmaster co-editor and I will celebrate the release of the magazine's new Field Trip Issue, which features projects inspired by (among other things) gay Trekkies, the Vancouver SkyTrain, and a visit to the New Bedford Whaling Museum.

As for the rest of the day...

Begin your day on the East Side at 9AM at the Books Through Bars yard sale (65 University Avenue). Then jump in the river and swim down to see the Mummers mumming in the semicentennial Gaspee Days Parade in Pawtuxet Village. Have an Uber waiting to take you to Charlestown to catch the caber tossing at the Rhode Island Scottish Highland Festival, then bike to Newport for "live cryogenics and sheep-shearing demonstrations" at the Swiss Village. Jump in your teleporter thing and hop back in time a few hours to make the Providence Preservation Society's Festival of Historic Houses in Fox Point. Run, don't walk, to the West Side Block Party, pausing briefly along the way to shop at the Rock and Roll Yard Sale and a gallery exhibit presented by the Providence Biennial for Contemporary Art. (Who knew?) Also the Headmaster party! Don't forget that one. Walk east for the huge choir on the steps of city hall at 5:30, then hail a pedicab for the 7:30 reprise of Everett's The Freedom Project in the park. After dark, bop around downtown in the hopes of seeing Angelique Kidjo in Kennedy Plaza at 9, followed by either Malportado Kids and Ed Schrader's Music Beat at Aurora, or Landing and Working at AS220. Totally your call.

Sunday - 2:00PM

Epic Theatre Company
50 Rolfe Square, Cranston


In the April 26th newsletter I mistakenly referred to Zoe Kazan's Absalom as the final play in Epic Theatre Company's 2014-2015 season. Whoops! It turns out that they're also doing Orlando, Sarah Ruhl's adaptation of the 1922 Virginia Woolf novel. The title character is a gender fluid Briton who doesn't age for four centuries, which makes it a rather tricky play to stage. On top of that, it's hard to erase the memory of Tilda Swinton, at her all time best in Sally Potter's 1992 film adaptation of the novel. But Sarah Ruhl is all the rage this season — it's Epic's second production of her work since April, and right now Trinity is also doing Melancholy Play: The Musical.
Copyright © 2015 matthew lawrence, All rights reserved.

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