That’s entertainment: Twenty years ago


Warwick Musical Theatre continued its summer entertainment with the stars of The Lawrence Welk Show, The Neville Brothers, Tammy Wynette, Crosby and Nash, Sawyer Brown, Howie Mandel (with hair), Don Rickles, Patty Loveless, George Carlin, The Captain and Tennile, Tont Bennett, Willie Nelson, Kris Kross, Billy Ray Cyrus and the Four Tops and the Temptations. Closing the month were superstars Natalie Cole and Alabama.

“Miss Saigon” was at the Wang Center in Boston. Tickets ranged from $15-$60.

Spumoni’s Restaurant in Warwick closed. The Pawtucket Spumoni’s is still open and serving those lobster specials.

You could get a 12 oz. Coors draft for 75 cents and a chicken sandwich (with Buddie’s secret recipe) for $3.75 at Buddies Tavern in Airport Plaza.

Warwick’s Golden Pacific restaurant had 28 daily luncheon specials for $2.25, including soup. George’s restaurant on West Shore Rd. had Chicken Cutlet Parmagian with pasta for $5.50.

Who remembers Jamanda’s in West Warwick? Their summer specials for $3.95 and $4.95 included fried clams, liver and onions, broiled scallops, and chicken parmagian.

How about Nino’s on Lake Tiogue in Coventry? Sunday specials included a roast a half chicken for $2.95.

My favorite diner back then was Rose’s Family Restaurant at 465 Warwick Ave., where Joh would cook up a mean meatloaf, American chop suey, baked scrod or liver and onions, all for only $2.99. Our favorite breakfast spot today is Spoonem’s on Broad St. in Edgewood, where Rose’s daughter Pat and her husband Joe make the best breakfasts in the state.

Jason Robards came to Trinity Rep to kick off the Tony Award winning theatre’s 30th birthday celebration, with eight performances as Erie Smith in O’Neill’s “Hughie.”

“The Fugitive” starring Harrison Ford as Dr. Richard Kimball was the hit of the summer. I gave it five stars.

The Newport Folk Festival had an eclectic group of singers, who 20 years ago pushed the definition of “folk.” One example was Tish Hinojosa whose music crossed man boundaries, from her Mexican-American heritage to folk, pop and western.

Sweet Honey in the Rock, a group of African American women from Washington, DC, combined gospel and folk. The Band shook things up with their pounding rock-oriented sound. John Prine was a bit more traditional, as was Brown graduate Mary Chapin Carpenter, Joan Baez and The Indigo Girls.

The Jazz Festival featured great sax players, including Joshua Redman, Grover Washington Jr. and Sonny Rollins. Tito Puente and Syro Gyra made for a great festival.

Warwick magician/comedian Lon Cerel was all over the map that summer, opening for Sharon, Lois and Bram at the Warwick Musical Theatre, performing during Magic Week at the Warwick Mall, playing the Marshfield Fair and Providence Waterfront Festival. He has a new show 20 years later, playing this summer at the Newport Playhouse.


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