If you’re itching to enjoy some theatre or a great classical concert this winter, there’s no need to battle over that last on-street parking spot in downtown Providence amidst the snow drifts and icy puddles. While the staged productions at the Providence Performing Arts Center and Trinity Repertory are certainly worth the drive, give your car (and your sanity) a rest... at least until the snow melts. Check out the artistic performances right here in the Bay, which rival the urban productions at a fraction of the monetary and mental cost. From student art exhibitions to exciting theatrical performances, there’s something to please everyone. Read on to discover the best of the season.
Bristol Art Museum
January 2 is the final day to catch Bon Appetit, an exhibit and art sale centered around food. From January 7 through the end of March, enjoy Around the World. Both exhibits will take place off-site at the Rogers Free Library. Hours for both exhibits are Monday-Thursday from 9am-8pm and Friday- Saturday from 9am-5pm. Rogers Free Library, 525 Hope Street, Bristol. 401-253-2250
Portsmouth Arts Guild
One of the winter exhibits at the Portsmouth Arts Guild, Emerging Artists, is dedicated to high school artists from Portsmouth and surrounding towns. Visit the gallery on January 26-27 or February 2-3 to enjoy the student-based show. The students welcome feedback from visitors and are sometimes on hand to answer questions about their work.
Did you know that Portsmouth was settled in 1638 by a group of religious dissenters from Boston Colony? From March 1-31, visit the Guild to see Town & Country, a themed exhibit to coincide with other Portsmouth 375 anniversary celebrations happening around town. Portsmouth Arts Guild, 2679 East Main Road, Portsmouth. 401-293-5278
Newport Art Museum
The month of January brings a few interesting exhibitions to the Newport Art Museum. First up is Legacies In Paint, which opens on January 12 and runs throughout the season. It’s the culmination of a four-month mentoring project that paired seasoned painters with younger talents. The project resulted in a beautiful collaboration, both between the participants and on their canvases.
January 19 brings the opening of Shelf Life: Paintings by Gerry Perrino. Perrino, a professor and chairman of the art department at Salve Regina University, invites the public to imagine the stories behind his seemingly simple images. Though he has specific meanings in mind for each of the pieces, he welcomes interpretations from the viewing public. Be sure to wear your thinking caps.
To view the state’s largest and most comprehensive exhibition of regional art, check out the Annual Members’ Juried Exhibition. The public is welcome to the opening night reception on February 1 from 5-7pm, and the show continues throughout the winter months. Showcased will be some of the area’s best artists and rising stars. Newport Art Museum, 76 Bellevue Avenue, Newport. 401-848-8200
This pottery studio is run by a mother and her two daughters, so it's only appropriate that Weirdgirl Creations offers Mom and Me Pottery Painting classes every Wednesday from 1:15-2pm. They offer a wide variety of pottery to choose from and lead free, non-toxic paints that will not stain skin or clothing. $12 per piece. Weird Girl Creations, 33 Kent Street, Barrington. 401-247-1397
Mika Seeger Studios
On the third Saturday of every month from 10am-4pm, potter and muralist Mika Seeger invites the public to visit her open studios for free demonstrations, workshops and to view her wood-fired sculpture, tiles and stoneware. Every month she offers something slightly different but equally inspiring. Mika Seeger Studios, 60 Terra Verde, Tiverton. 401-297-9311
Theatre and Film
Barrington Public Library
The Barrington Public Library offers a drop-in Multi-Age Storytime featuring films for young children on Wednesday and Friday mornings through March 15. Your young ones will also enjoy books, finger rhymes and songs; the 30-minute program is perfect for parents with kids of various ages, from birth to six years old. There’s no registration required, so bundle up your pack and head on over. 281 County Road, Barrington. 401-347-1920 x4
Audubon Environmental Education Center
Head to Bristol on Sunday afternoons for the Audubon Center’s Sunday Nature Flicks. Each week, staff members present educational films on a variety of topics. The month of January is all about whales, from IMAX movies to National Geographic productions. The line up for February and March has not been announced yet. Films are appropriate for all ages. Free with admission. Audubon Environmental Education Center, 1401 Hope Street, Bristol. 401-245-7500
Roger Williams University Theatre
The students at RWU kick their 2013 line-up off with Time Stands Still by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Donald Margulies. The story is centered on a young photojournalist who has returned home to Brooklyn after covering the war in Iraq and being injured by a roadside bomb. Her reporter boyfriend struggles with his guilt for leaving her alone. The play runs for just two days, January 25-26.
From March 1-6 you can catch The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later. It’s an interesting revisit to the original The Laramie Project, which explored the murder of Matthew Shepard, the gay University of Wyoming student who was tortured and killed in 1998 as part of an atrocious hate crime. The production runs March 1-6. Roger Williams University Theatre, One Old Ferry Road, Bristol. 401-254-3666
Newport Art Museum
Enjoy a little whodunnit this season at the Murder at the Museum series. On January 19 and 26, participate in A Diamond In the Rough, a family-friendly interactive production that tells the tale of slacker George Griswold’s quest to claim the family fortune. The show plays again on February 16, 21 and 23 and March 9 and 23. Tickets range from $8-$25. 5:30pm. Newport Art Museum, 76 Bellevue Avenue, Newport. 401-848-8200
Salve Regina University
On Friday February 22 from 7-9pm, Salve’s Department of Performing Arts will be hosting their annual Madrigals Cabaret Dinner in the dining room of the fabulous Ochre Court mansion in Newport. The event consists of the Madrigals both serving dinner and performing from popular and music theatre repertoire. $15-$30. 100 Ochre Point Avenue, Newport. 401-341-2295
Barrington Community Theatre
The Barrington Community Theatre presents a Murder Mystery for three shows in February. On February 1 and 4 the play takes place at 7pm while a special brunch and show will occur on February 3, with the exact time still to be determined. Tickets are $27.50, which includes the show, dinner, dessert coffee and tax. The Wharf Tavern, 215 Water Street, Warren. 401-829-8635
Jane Pickens Theatre
For a twist on traditional theatre, head to Newport on January 17 to see Tony Award-winner John Lithgowon on the big screen in The Magistrate. As part of London’s National Theatre Live – “the best of British theatre broadcast live to a cinema near you” – Rhode Islanders can travel across the big pond without ever leaving the state. $15. Jane Pickens Theatre, 49 Tuoro Street, Newport. 401-846-5252
Music and Dance
Arts in the Village
Arts in the Village presents The Boston Trio on January 26 at 7:30pm. The classic music trio features cello, violin and piano. On February 9 visitors can enjoy the sounds of the NYC-based Tempus Continuum Ensemble at 7:30pm. $6-15. Goff Memorial Hall, 124 Bay State Road, Rehoboth. 508-252-5718
Linden Place Museum
Treat your loved one to a romantic evening of music as Linden Place presents a Valentine’s Day Themed Concert by pianist/singer Michael DiMucci. This large-scale event takes place at 7:30pm on February 8 and will feature an array of love songs accompanied by wines and desserts. Tickets range from $12-$20. Linden Place Museum, 500 Hope Street, Bristol. 401-253-0390
Once again, Blithewold is pairing up with Opera Providence for a very special Winter Concert Series of beautiful, classical music. The concert takes place at the mansion on January 25 from 7-10pm. Tickets, which should be purchased in advance, cost $40. To purchase, call Opera Providence at 401-331-6060. Blithewold Mansion, 101 Ferry Road, Bristol. 401-253-2707
Stone Church Coffee House
What happens when you combine a fiddle, flute, bouzouki, concertina, banjo, guitar, whistle and percussion instruments? You get Pendragon, a Celtic-inspired band that recently celebrated their 29th anniversary. Check them out at Bristol’s Stone Church Coffee House on January 26 at 7:30pm. Tickets are $15 for adults, $7.50 for students and free for children under five. Stone Church Coffee House, 300 High Street, Bristol.
Sandywoods Center for the Arts
Music lovers will enjoy a variety of genres all season long. On January 11 internationally renowned fiddler, singer and songwriter April Verch will take the stage at 7pm. Hailing from Canada, Verch – who is also an Irish step dancer – was the first woman in history to win both of her country’s most esteemed fiddle championships. Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door.
Traditional American folk music and dance duo Atwater-Donnelly performs on January 12 at 7pm. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door; kids get in for $10, with those five years and under for free. Feel free to BYOB and food to all shows. A complete lineup of featured musicians can be found online. Sandywoods Center for the Arts, 43 Muse Way, Tiverton. 401-241-7349
Mount Hope Farm
Enjoy live music as you food shop at Mount Hope Farm’s indoor farmer’s market. Each Saturday, from 9am-1pm, head to the farm’s cozy, heated barn for fresh fruits and veggies, delicious baked goods and classic tunes by a rotating array of talented local musicians. Mount Hope Farm, 250 Metacom Avenue, Bristol. 877-254-9300
If you’re the one looking to do some singing, or if you’re eager to dust off that old acoustic guitar and show the world the talent, head to The Coffee Depot in Warren every Friday night for Acoustic Open Mic. Hosted by Manny and Cathy Perry, it’s a welcoming place to perform or to hear some local undiscovered talent. The Coffee Depot, 501 Main Street, Warren. 401-608-2553