Don Fowler’s 2011 Entertainment Highlights


In spite of the tough economy, 2011 was a good year for entertainment in Rhode Island.

Gamm Theatre had a great artistic season, topped off with a “Hamlet” that Shakespeare would have been proud of.

Trinity Rep ended their fine season with an innovative “A Christmas Carol” set in the '50s.

PPAC brought back some great old musicals, including a stellar 25th anniversary performance of “Les Miserables.”

2nd Story went from the round to a proscenium stage, which proved perfect for a super “master class” production.

Arlene Violet gave us “The Family,” a grand musical at Trinity’s space.

Cranston’s own Park Theatre presented a one-one “The Auerbach Story.”

Comedian Frank O’Donnel wrote and directed a hilarious “Ant’ny Claus” in Woonsocket.

Brown/Trinity Conservatory students showed their talents with a rousing “Parade.”

Theatre-by-the-Sea proved that an old chestnut like “Hairspray” still had lots of life in it.

Cirque du Soliet's “Quidam” wowed the Dunkin Donuts Center audiences with their incredible production.

The Rhode Island Philharmonic had a fabulous year under the continuing leadership of Larry Rachleff.

Festival Ballet still has one of the best shows in town with their “Up Close at Hope.”

FirstWorks continues to bring new and different entertainment to Rhode Island, this year filling PPAC with “Momix.”

The Newport Folk Festival sold out for the first time in recent history, giving us a varied lineup, with the Jazz Festival contining to balance to young and veteran performers.

The arts are alive and well in Rhode Island and continue to deserve are support.

Favorite movies

While we are not big fans of awards shows, we do have our own favorite movies for 2011. In no particular order, they are:

"The Help"
"Midnight in Paris"
"Sarah’s Key"
"My Afternoons With Marguerite"
"The Descendants"
"The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"
"Mission Impossible"
"Water For Elephants"
"J. Edgar"
"The Debt"


We had a chance to review two dozen restaurants. We liked most of them and have added a few to our all-time favorites. They include:

Carousel Grill - Oakland Beach
Razzle - Cranston
7 Moons- North Kingston
Mills Tavern - Providence
Red Stripe - Providence & Narragansett
Elizabeth at Portofino - Warwick
The Deli on Post - Warwick
Vivaldi’s - Edgewood
Nara - Federal Hill
Aruba Steve’s - Providence


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