Seven things that are happening this week.
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Coop Himmelblau, Super Spaces [detail], 1969 - on view now at the RISD Museum

What's Happening This Week

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Monday - 7:00PM

The Boys In The Band
The Arctic Playhouse
117 Washington Street, West Warwick

On Friday the United States became the 21st country to legalize same-sex marriage, so it seems like an especially fitting time to peek back into gay lives immediately before the Stonewall Riots. Depending on your mood (or your social circle), this staged reading could feel like a quaint artifact from history, or maybe like a sign that things really haven’t changed much at all since Mart Crowley’s play was first produced in 1968. Nine men convene in an Upper East Side apartment for a birthday party, and each brings enough baggage that no emotional stone is left unturned.


The Wolfpack
Cable Car Cinema, 204 South Main Street
$8.25 / $9.75

The New York Times calls Crystal Moselle’s debut documentary warm and disarmingly optimistic, but be warned: The Wolfpack is grim. The film profiles the Angulos, six brothers (and one sister) locked in a Lower East Side tenement for months at a time by a paranoid, drunken father and a mother so helpless that she doesn’t even have her own keys to the apartment. The Wolfpack won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, presumably because movie nerds appreciated the boys’ ability to recreate line-by-line retellings of Tarantino movies,. Moselle respects her subjects enough that she keeps all underlying traumas off camera. Still, it’s tough to look beyond the film’s visual and thematic bleakness.


Drawing Ambience
RISD Museum, 20 North Main Street

If you haven’t already, block out some time with the RISD Museum’s heady Drawing Ambience, which looks at two decades of work associated with the UK’s oldest independent design school. As head of London's Architectural Association from 1971-1990, Alvin Boyarsky stressed architectural drawing as an end in itself. The work in the show ranges from Nigel Coates’ busy pastel Ski Station to Franco Raggi’s little pen drawing of a columned building atop a very large mattress. Early, unbuilt work by big names (Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas) emphasize the school’s ongoing influence. (As a side note, museum visits are $12 during the week for adults, but museum memberships are free in 2015 for Rhode Island artists and designers.)

Thursday - 6:00PM

Paul Tremblay
Symposium Books, 240 Westminster Street

A teenaged girl displaying schizophrenic behavior, an unemployed father at the end of his rope, and a priest who unexpectedly thrusts the family into a national spotlight by signing them up for a reality show about exorcism. That’s the premise behind A Head Full of Ghosts, the recently released novel by Boston-based horror writer Paul Tremblay. Publishers Weekly calls it “a work of deviously subtle horror,” and even the New York Times says it’s terrific. (Movie rights have already been snapped up, too, so the book might one to pick up before the hype kicks in.)

Friday - 9:00PM

AS220, 115 Empire Street

It’s pretty easy to get sucked in by the fuzzy psychedelia of Boston’s Skyjelly, whether it’s the brooding garage pop of “The 6 Is Silent," the hippie-ish noodling of the two-minute “Astral,” or the more droney "Providence." It began as a one-man band comprised of someone calling himself Skyjelly Jones, but the official roster has since expanded. Mr. Jones and company appear on AS220's main stage along with Josh Kemp, Deep Likes, Dan Talbot, and fellow Bostonian JarvaLand. 

Saturday - 12:30PM

Jane Pickens Theater
49 Touro Street, Newport

On the eve of America’s bicentennial, commerce battles common sense in a New England resort town. Close the beach on the Fourth of July? Just because of one deadly shark? Jaws was released just one week after Robert Altman’s Nashville, during an especially gloomy period in cinematic history. (That year’s top grossing movies included Dog Day Afternoon and One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.) Jaws is more fun than those other movies, but it’s no less critical of American economic systems. It’s screening all over the place this season, but for optimal terror head to a seaside resort town to see it on the 4th proper at Jane Pickens.

Sunday - 5:00PM

Opera In The Park
Hopkins Square (Branch Avenue and Charles Street)

Opera Providence has lain dormant since their unfortunate production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s widely loathed Mikado last August. The company is hopefully on the path to redemption; later in the summer they’re producing two one-act operas by Puccini and Leoncavallo. In the meantime, they’re kicking summer off with three consecutive Sundays of operatic concerts in Hopkins Square, that triangle of land across from the Spike’s on Branch Avenue. Who knows why it's happening there specifically, but as I recently mentioned on Twitter, pretty much anything in a park can be fun if it's nice out.

And One Other Thing...

A New Arts and Culture Magazine for New England

For those of you that are interested in arts and culture beyond the immediate Providence area, there's a new print publication launching that you might find interesting. It's called The Take, and it features profiles of artists and artisans throughout New England. I’ve got stories in the first two issues (as well as a few on their website, which is already live.) If you get a one-year Charter Subscription before July 8th, you’ll also receive three extra issues.
Copyright © 2015 matthew lawrence, All rights reserved.

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