That's entertainment: Twenty years ago

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First Night was still going strong in Rhode Island, with a number of Cranston artists welcoming in 1997.

Edgewood’s Kathleen Pletcher, now the executive director of FirstWorks RI, produced the Ragabash Puppet Theatre’s Imaginatino Market, a fun-filled cluster of workshops and hands-on activities for children at the RI Convention Center.

Saxophonist Greg Abate and his quartet played two sets at Citizens Bank, while students from St. Mathew’s School gave a dramatic performance of “The Secret of the Gifts” at St. Francis Chapel.

The movie year opened with “Beavis and Butt-Head Do American,” meaning that the only way the quality of movies could go was up. “Scream,” a teen horror flick, was almost as bad. There was hope, however, with John Travolta giving a great performance as “Michael,” an angel sent to Earth to show people how to love. Madonna gave a powerhouse performance in the movie version of the Award-winning Musical, “Evita.”

Anthony Estrella “does Hamlet proud” at Alias Stage.

Synergos Theatre left the local scene, while the Odeum emerged as a good spot for entertainment.

Oskar Eustis was still at the helm at Trinity.

Warwick Musical Theatre was still going strong.

Rick Ericson was running Theatre-by-the-Sea.

John Custer was bringing high quality entertainment to the Rhode Island College Arts Series.

Big bargains abounded at local Chinese restaurants, where Cranston’s Silver Palace offered luncheons starting at $3.50, including soup and dessert.

Warwick’s Golden Pacific on Warwick Ave. had a $5.55 luncheon buffet and $7.95 dinner buffet. The Four Flags Buffet on West Shore Road in Warwick had a Chinese, Japanese, Italian and American buffet for the same prices.

If you wanted Italian, Rigatoni’s on Warwick Ave. had luncheon had specials from $3.75 to $5.50. The popular restaurant still has some of the best Italian food and pizza at reasonable prices.

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