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

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Monday - 7:30PM

Virusse / Valise / RONiia / Liz Isenberg
186 Carpenter Street
$5-10 (suggested)

There's a swoon-worthy charm to the dark melodies of Virusse, Rhode Island native Mindy Stock's current solo project. It’s pleasantly lo-fi, bedroom electronic music. Hints of industrial and darkwave bubble up now and again, like the military snares on the recent "Salt”, while vocally Stock sometimes channels the languid Hope Sandoval (on the low end) and the Cocteau Twins’ Elizabeth Fraser (when things get a little more flowery.) Last year’s Running From Fate album is highly recommended. Virusse shares the bill with three other solo performers: Valise, RONiia, and Liz Isenberg.


Sook Jin Jo
Bannister Gallery, Rhode Island College
800 Mount Pleasant Avenue

It's the last week for Transformations, a retrospective of work by New York artist Sook Jin Jo, who assembles pieces from found, often broken materials. Incorporating branches and broken folding chairs,  Jo’s best work looms solemnly, each a meditation on mortality in dark, woody tones. Clarinet music sets an effective tone, though its source (a small corner featuring two video pieces) makes one weep for the state of arts funding in Rhode Island. Still, it’s worth watching the videos of a performance in Brazil, where Jo built (and then removed) a series of memorials in the water.

Wednesday - 7:00PM

The Sound of Music
Showcase Cinemas, Providence Place & Warwick Mall

A problematic nun plays nanny to a litter of Austrians, spreading cheer wherever she goes despite the fuddy-duddy patriarch and the onset of World War II. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical has polarized critics and audiences alike since its 1965 release. It’s sappy and three hours long and for some reason almost every song is sung at least twice. I love it. It was also a huge hit, the first movie to ever clear $100 million at the box office, and it won five Oscars. In honor of its golden anniversary it’s back on the big screen, but only for two days.

Thursday - 7:30PM

Mathewson Street Theater, 134 Mathewson Street

Seating is extremely limited for OUT LOUD Theatre's production of Rhinoceros, which begins as a fast-talking farce and ends as a horrific allegory about fascism. That’s because the large, young cast actually wheel the audience around the theater in a minimal, inventive staging of Eugène Ionesco's 1961 drama. The occupants of a small French town start turning into horned perissodactyls. At first it’s just another conversation topic for the villagers, but soon they start transforming into rhinos themselves. The opening is a little rocky, but the actors get comfortable once the misplaced funk music stops. Marc Tiberiis II and especially Aubrey Dion are great as the last two humans standing.

Friday - 8:00PM

Demons Literary Fest
Dirt Palace

Xander Marro's Demons Press released two anthologies, Witch Fingers and Trouble, and they're both chock full of writing and visual work by dozens of talented locals. (I've got a story in Trouble.) There's a belated release event with seventeen performers stretching over two nights. Friday's lineup includes Jim Frain, Rudy Cheeks, and Shey Rivera, while Saturday's includes V Manuscript, Walker Mettling, and literary power couple Matthew Derby and Mary-Kim Arnold.

Saturday - 9:30PM

Ex Hex
The Parlour, 1119 North Main Street

I wasn’t really into Rips, the debut album by glammy power-pop trio Ex Hex, when it was released late last year. Maybe it was the weather? The glossy “Waterfall” could have fallen off the Clueless soundtrack, and the whole album screams summer fun even though power pop hasn’t been in season since, what, 1998? And while Mary Timony spent the nineties living in Boston and singing about wizards, there’s little musical resemblance for those (like me) who lost track of her career after Helium broke up. Ex Hex head to The Parlour, a venue that I didn’t fully realize even had a stage. Koruma and Littlefoot open.

Sunday - 2:00PM

The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant
Pell Chafee Performance Center, 87 Empire Street

A pink mannequin resting in a bathtub watching a montage of scenes from Mannequin. An all-female play, cast half in drag. A trampoline, a vibrator. Many, many cans of Tab. The audience stands around Petra’s bedroom, except for the grouches who sit in the corner. Jessica Ko has fun as Petra, a vapid socialite fixated on someone younger but no less vapid. Petra’s got some issues with her maid but those are mostly unexplained. Petra’s daughter is played by a man in a leather harness, bow tie, and white toreador pants. For some reason a Perfume Genius song is incorporated into her entrance. Heavily concepted and largely soulless, which might be the point.

Copyright © 2015 matthew lawrence, All rights reserved.

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