That's entertainment: Remembering Novembers past

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20 years ago

Russell Crowe and Al Pacino starred in a good thriller, “The Insider,” while John Cusack and Cameron Diaz starred in the quirky comedy “Being John Malkovich.” Denzel Washington starred in the chilling thriller “The Bone Collector.”

The first Pokémon movie hit the big screen. My then 11-year-old grandson loved it.

Michael Farrelly and Ashley Ferranti of Cranston starred in the Community Players production of “Fiddler on the Roof.”

Public skating at the Cranston Ice Rink cost $3 for adults and $2 for seniors and children under 12.

Larry Rachleff led the Rhode Island Philharmonic in a sensational, sold-out concert.
Fred Sullivan Jr. directed Sam Babbitt and Nigel Gore in “The Dresser” at Gamm, which was then housed in an old garage on Elbow Street in Providence’s Jewelry District – and where the sounds of the dog pound next door often drowned out the actors.

Tony-Award winning musical “Titanic” was at PPAC.

Cecelia Rodi was the featured soprano soloist at the Tollgate High School orchestra’s annual holiday concert, under the direction of their new conductor, Kristen Pellegrino.

40 years ago

“We have not been sold and we are not for sale” was the sign on the Twin Oaks door, putting to rest rumors that had been flying around Cranston.

Dionne Warwick sang at the first anniversary celebration of the Ocean State Performing Arts Center. “Jesus Christ, Superstar” followed.
The Academy Players, then in their 24th season, did “Guys and Dolls.”

Styx was at the Providence Civic Center. Tickets were $8.50 and $9.50.

Timothy Crowe, Howard London, George Martin, and Tom Griffin starred in “Sly Fox” at Trinity.

I reviewed Anthony’s Pier 4 in Boston soon after the Peter Stuyvesant sank in Boston Harbor and the prices “rose” to $7.95 for their famous Fisherman’s Platter.

Cranstonian Jean Rossi wrote a moving first novel, “The Matriarch,” about the Italian-American struggle.

Richard Gere, William Devane and Vanessa Redgrave starred in “Yanks.”

The Warwick Players held tryouts for Neil Simon’s “California Suite.”

The best vampire movie, “Nosferatu,” starring Klaus Kinski, was coming to Midland Cinema.
Alvaro Casuto debuted as conductor of the Rhode Island Philharmonic.

Ocean State director Ted Stevens remarked negatively about the lack of support from the East Side and college community, stating that a good portion of the audiences come from Cranston and Warwick.

The Roger Williams Zoo had been closed for renovations for two years.

The Grateful Dead was at the Providence Civic Center. Tickets were $8.50.

Mummenshanz, the fabulous Swiss mime group, was at RIC. Tickets were $5.50.

Remember The Helm in Warwick? They had the best marinated mushrooms in the world.

Corrections, clarifications and comments

Panera Bread: In my review of Panera Bread, I gave its Cranston location as Chapel Hill. It should have been Chapel View. The folks from Panera asked me to remind our readers that they have many locations across Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts, all serving their new dinner menu.

JQA at Gamm: I should have paid closer attention in history class, but that was decades ago, and I reversed the dates on Adams’ and Washington’s presidencies. Don’t know much about history, but I do know a great play when I see it. Don’t miss “JQA.”

Movie reviews: We’ve been reviewing movies for over 42 years, and used to review an average of 3½ movies a week.

With the price of movies so high, and only the Avon still providing a critic’s pass, in addition to so many lousy movies out there, Joyce and I have been more selective in our choices. While we sometimes took pleasure in trashing bad movies, many readers have told us that they have become very selective when shelling out their hard-earned money.

Friends and relatives call to ask our recommendations (I tell them to buy the paper), so we will be limiting our reviews to those that we believe are worthy of your time and money. We don’t expect you to always agree, and look forward to your opinions.

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