By now most of us have probably seen the imaginative “School is Closed” video from Moses Brown that incredibly has now received over three million hits on YouTube. In it, headmaster Matt Glendinning, nattily attired in blue and white scarf, gloves and hat, sings (or at least lip syncs) some hilarious no school advice to his students in a parody of the Disney’s hit Frozen. The YouTube video has been picked up nationally and internationally prompting feedback to the school from places as far flung as Jakarta and Singapore. It’s now also acting as a learning tool for MB students as they calculate first hand the impact of globalized social media. Kudos to Adam Olenn ‘91, the school’s communications director and creator of the video, as well as everyone at MB for thinking out of the box and showing that a good snowstorm rightly brings out the kid in all of us.
In this case, we’re talking about the American composer Philip Glass who will be in town for a chamber music performance at the VETS on Wednesday, February 25 at 7:30pm as part of the always-interesting FirstWorks concert series. Viewed by many as perhaps the most important living late 20th century composer, Glass will perform on piano accompanied by violinist Tim Fain. While unfortunately I can’t claim him as a direct relative, his bio speaks for itself as does his virtuoso performance in the movie Black Swan. Glass has actually written violin solos specifically for Fain. When asked why, Glass simply responded: “Because he’s that good!” Catch them both by calling for tickets at 421-2728. Or, grab tickets here.
For those of us, who still have a thing for that old time rock and roll, two of the golden oldies, one hard rock, one soft, will be coming to Providence in March. George Thorogood (he of “b-b-b-b-ad to the bone”) will be performing at the Park Theatre in Cranston (467-7275) on March 8 while The Fan Favorite of Fenway, Neil Diamond, will be at the Dunk (331-6700) on March 10. But, like the old commercials promise, “Wait, there’s more!” PPAC (421-2787) will be bringing in Jay Leno for a one night stand... or actually stand-up... on March 21. Since he’s a Boston boy by birth, this will also be part of a homecoming of sorts for the late night veteran. Meanwhile check out our calendar for even more good things to do, be you old or young.
With the passing of Lila Sapinsley and more recently Dr. Stanley Aronson, the East Side, Providence and our state have lost two extraordinarily talented individuals, both of who seem to defy age as they continued to make important contributions up until their final
moments. Neither saw the aging process as a time to shut things down, but rather an opportunity to use their time to reflect, to educate, to advise and most important to astound us all with their ability to continue serving the community they so obviously loved well into their 90s. Their legacies remain indelible and hopefully will serve as an inspiration to all of us whose lives they touched.
Congratulations to the gritty little theatre that could, who defied the odds and continues to excel as it celebrates its first 30 years. Under the inspired creative leadership of Tony Estrella, aided by the dedication of its talented actors and the faithful commitment of so many loyal supporters, the theatre continues to take risks and flourish as a result. The Gamm will be holding a special celebratory evening of what they call “fearless theatre” at 6pm on March 30 at the Center by the Blackstone, 175 Main Street in Pawtucket. David Wax will be honored at the event and scenes from many of the group’s most successful plays will be performed by members of their original casts. For more info on the event, call Kate Anderson at 723-4266 ext 16 or email Anderson@gammtheatre.org. The theatre promises plenty of food, drink, auction items, general frivolity and reflection as they take their well deserved bows for 30 years, well done.
In case you missed it, this year’s PPS Annual meeting at the Providence Public Library downtown was a particularly inspiring event. In addition to honoring Clark Schoettle for the wonderful work he does at the helm of the nationally respected Providence Revolving Fund, organizers brought in the charismatic former mayor of Pittsburgh Tom Murphy. Now a senior resident fellow at the Urban Land Institute, Murphy gave a short form recap of some of the principles that guided Pittsburgh’s amazing turnaround from a dying, pollution ridden industrial town (“Hell without a rooftop,” Murphy called it) to a thriving, redesigned, tech-centric hot spot that Forbes magazine now names as one of the most livable cities in America. He offered some suggestions that he thought might be useful to Providence as we try to redefine ourselves with the now available I-195 land. While the event was well attended by preservationists, designers and architects, one group noticeably absent was elected officials. To their credit, new City Council president Luis Aponte and East Side Councilman Sam Zurier were in attendance. We’re told Mayor Elorza was meeting with Murphy for dinner after the event and Gina has already spent hours with him on the phone. Still one wishes more of our local political leadership took advantage of these unique opportunities. Just sayin’.