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Hello, Friend.

It's me, Matthew, with some news for you.
Well, it's less news and more a newsletter.

It's March! The start of spring. Spring is for beginnings! I am starting a new project and you are one of the first few people to hear about it.

This still-untitled project is a Providence/Rhode Island events listing that will be delivered to your inbox each Monday morning. It will contain a to-do list—one item per day—of interesting events taking place over the following seven days. Art, music, movies, theatre, and books will be in there. Other things, too, probably. It's a small undertaking, sort of, and in another way it's not. I have ideas. Not big ideas, but mid-sized ideas. I can see this growing over time, in other words, especially since this is the final season for Not About The Buildings. (Congratulations, you're the first to hear that, too.)

The website, whatever it's called, will launch later this spring, but while I work on that I'll be sending this one weekly email.

Scroll down to the brightly colored headers to see this week's events list, or else read on while I ramble out a sort of mission statement.

This list has three purposes:

1. To let you now what's happening. It's not easy finding out what's going on locally. There are a plethora of online calendars and most of them are annoying to navigate and boring to sift through. Some people put posters around town and some people don't. I hate using the word curated, so I won't, but this list will present what I personally feel are the best options for what to do on any given day. I will only tell you about things that I myself would go to.

2. To give actual press to people who deserve it. If you produce events, you know how important media coverage can be. And around here there's not all that much media coverage! We live in an extremely well-educated city that prides itself on its creative clout, but there's hardly any intelligent writing out there when it comes to what's happening in town. We can do better! (The daily listings will be archived on the website once it goes live in the spring.)

3. To tell you my opinions. With the shuttering of the Phoenix last fall, the city lost an art writer, a music writer, a film critic, a theatre critic, a restaurant reviewer, a beer reviewer, and an events column that did more or less what I'm planning to do, only in print form. While I hardly plan to fill all of those shoes, I am going to give you what I hope are reasonable explanations of what's good and w;s not good. (Mostly what's good!) I go out a lot and have strong opinions, so I think I'm the right person for this.

I signed you up—I hope that's okay—because I know you and value your opinions and trust you to give honest feedback. I welcome feedback! Just reply to this email with thoughts and suggestions.*

For now the list is invite only, but you're welcome to invite your friends. Over the next ten weeks, I'll be gradually adding names to the list, and if all goes according to plan the site will officially launch in the spring.

Now, onward with the first eight days of March.

*If your inbox is already too full—believe me, I understand if it is—you're welcome to unsubscribe with no hard feelings.

Sunday · 3:55PM

The Big Lebowski
Avon Cinema, 260 Thayer Street
$8.50

Julianne Moore's Oscar has been due for what, two decades now? Think back to her performances in Short Cuts (1993), Vanya on 42nd Street (1994) or Safe (1995). Not to mention her roles in Boogie Nights (1997) and The Hours (2003), both of which scored her Oscar nominations. (She lost to Kim Basinger and Catherine Zeta Jones, respectively.) Moore even stole the show as Maude, the "strongly vaginal" painter in The Big Lebowski, which is screening at the Avon this weekend. It's not the greatest Coen Brothers movie, or even the funniest. Thanks to Kingpin, it's not even the best bowling movie of the nineties. But even middling Coen Brothers is worth seeing, and Lebowski also features nineties personalities Steve Buscemi, John Turturro and Tara Reid.

Monday · 9:00AM

Synchronized Skiing
186 Carpenter Street

Printmaker Beth Brandon's A HEX is up at 186 Carpenter through March 14th, but the artist is opening the gallery for unique viewing opportunities along the way. Like the chance for you to ski together on a NordicTrack while watching old horror movies! That's the sort of random, sort of awesome idea behind Synchronized Skiing, which Brandon is hosting today (and on the following two Saturdays). The gallery has two NordicTracks, so you can have a twenty-minute one-on-one ski session with the artist. At 9am on a Monday, you might not even have to wait.

Tuesday · 4:30PM

Abuse of Weakness
Cable Car Cinema, 204 South Main Street
$8.25

Catherine Breillat's The Last Mistress screened at the French Film Festival in 2008, and the reception was so frosty that a good chunk of the audience booed when the credits rolled. How French! Breillat based Abus de faiblesse (Abuse of Weakness) on her own experience; it deals with a French director, recovering from a stroke, who sees a con man on television and decides to cast him in her next film. The film stars the great Isabelle Huppert and opened last year to fairly positive reviews, but now comes to Providence for the first time.

Wednesday · 7:30PM

Timber!
Roberts Hall, Rhode Island College
$35

Flash back to 2010, when Vancouver hosted the Winter Olympics. All the prominent Canadians—well, except Celine Dion—were there. Donald Sutherland! Nelly Furtado! Wayne Gretzky! kd lang singing a Leonard Cohen song! If you've spend the past five years wishing for more athletic spectacles celebrating Canadiana then you're in luck: Québécois performance troupe Cirque Alfonse [pictured above] heads to Rhode Island College to present Timber!, an evening of axe-throwing, log rolling, banjo playing fun. Expect step dancing, long underwear, and a lady in a bear costume.

Thursday · 7:00PM

House of Blue Leaves
Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre
172 Exchange Street, Pawtucket
$30

Bravo used to be a great TV network. Nobody watched it, but it was the only non-premium cable network that aired movies without commercials. Good ones! They showed R-rated movies at night without censoring them and aired shorts in-between the features. They also endlessly re-ran a videotaped stage production of House of Blue Leaves, starring John Mahoney (Frasier's dad!) as a determined but awful songwriter, Swoosie Kurtz as his schizophrenic wife Bananas, and a young Ben Stiller as their terrorist son. Christine Baranski was there, too. The play was written nearly a half-century ago by John Guare, the playwright best known for Six Degrees of Separation. Revived on Broadway a few years back, the play debuts tonight at the Gamm.

Friday · 7:30PM

Road House: The Musical
The Wilbury Group, 393 Broad Street

$15

The Wilbury Group's New Works series invites audiences to see plays in process, and this is the company's second public presentation of Road House: The Musical, based on the cult Patrick Swayze film from 1989. Writer/star Brian Leng has spent the last year working on the show—which, oddly, is not the first musical adaptation of Road House—adding songs and new characters along the way. It's a small production of the Patrick Swayziest story, with four cast members performing double duty as the roadhouse band.

Saturday · 12:00PM

Vintage Book Sale
Knight Memorial Library, 275 Elmwood Avenue

Lovers of used and rare texts—and records, let's not forget the records—should head over to the grand Knight Memorial Library, where the library friends group is holding one of their periodic Vintage Book Sales. Antiquarian book appraiser Ray Rickman will also be on hand for part of the afternoon, so bring up to three of your own books to find out their value, from noon until one thirty. Money from the sale will go to support the Friends of Knight Memorial Library, a group that was recently recognized by the statewide Coalition of Library Advocates for its fundraising and outreach efforts.

Sunday · 8:00PM

Jenny Hval
Lupos Heartbreak Hotel, Washington Street

$25 / $30

PJ Harvey's To Bring You My Love turned 20 last week, and that album's creepy eroticism lives on today in the music of Jenny Hval. The Norwegian musician's songs can occasionally read like a women's studies thesis project, but at her best she stares listeners down, daring them to enjoy her frank, bare-bones takes on female sexuality in the twenty-first century. Listen to the title track from her 2013 album Innocence Is Kinky to get an idea. Hval's new album Apocalypse, Girl won't be out until June, but she makes two Rhode Island appearances this month. She's opening for Perfume Genius at the Columbus on the 21st, but see her on the big Lupos stage instead with St. Vincent, who's fresh off her Grammy win for Best Rock Album.

Give Feedback / Invite Friends

Click here to send friends an invite to the list. And send feedback and ideas to matthewrlawrence@gmail.com
Copyright © 2015 matthew lawrence, All rights reserved.


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