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US: Newport, RI – Enjoy a Night Full of Great Food and Entertainment

Looking for a great night out while you are on route…this dinner theatre will fit the bill. At Newport Playhouse and Cabaret Restaurant you can enjoy a great buffet, an entertaining play and a fun-filled cabaret all under the same roof. The air conditioned, handicap accessible theatre is conveniently located at the foot of the Newport Bridge and has plenty of parking.

Their expansive buffet does not skimp on quality or selection. Feast on a large variety of hot and cold foods, main entrees, side dishes, beverages and homemade desserts and everything is prepared on the premises.  Alcohol is available table-side or at the bar.Newport Theater Buffet2017-10-03_12-26-15

After dinner stroll into the theater, where you have reserved seating,  for a delightful comedy. After the play, return to the dining room for a cabaret filled with songs and laughter.

Now Playing: The Crazy Time – A laugh-filled look at the joys and perils of May/December romances. Miles has left his wife Kate for a younger woman whose youthful lifestyle is both exciting and exhausting. Kate has found a way to deal with her loss. Throw in a daughter with her own marital problems and Miles’ scheming business partner Jerry, and you have all the makings of a full-fledged struggle between the sexes, as Kate and Miles deal with what they each have lost and gained.

Newport Theater Crazy Time2017-10-03_12-21-19You have the choice to purchase Dinner Theatre or Theatre only tickets. The Newport Playhouse and Cabaret gives you a lot of bang for your buck, a full night (or afternoon) of entertainment.

Location: Newport Playhouse and Cabaret Restaurant, 102 Connell Highway,
Newport, RI 02840
Dates: Thurs, Oct 12 – Sun, Nov 19, 2017
Times: Matinee or Evening depending on the day
Tel: 401-848-7529
newportplayhouse.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: goprovidence.com

US: Savannah, GA – This Exhibit in Savannah is Going to the Dogs

William Wegman (American, b. 1943) is an internationally-renowned artist with a prolific career spanning five decades. He is well known for his photographs of his beloved Weimaraners, a collaboration that began with his dog, Man Ray, in Los Angeles in 1970.

The exhibition of William Wegman: Improved Photographs at Telfair Museums – Jepson Center for the Arts highlights his use of humor to find unexpected and surprising ideas within everyday objects and scenarios. So much fun to see the dogs all dressed up or in unusual poses all done with incredible artistry.Wegman 05816_Eye On

Included in the exhibition are drawings, paintings, altered photographs, 20 x 24 inch Polaroids and a selection of early videos from the 1970s to present day.  Across all these media, Wegman demonstrates a continual interest in working and reworking his imagery, thus “improving” it with his particular sense of logic and play.

On August 5th,  1 – 4pm,  is William Wegman Free Family Day at the gallery.  Say goodbye to the “dog days” of summer and kick off the start of the school year with a family day devoted to the art of William Wegman. Participate in gallery activities, make your own altered photos and postcards, and find out more about Savannah dogs available for adoption.

Photo Credit: William Wegman Eye-on, 1997 Color Polaroid 24 x 20 inches

Location: Jepson Center for the Arts, 207 West York St., Savannah, 31401
Date: Until Aug 13, 2017
Hours: Sun -Mon 12-5pm. Tues-Sat 10 – 5pm
Tel: 912-790-8800
telfair.org/wegman
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitsavannah.com

US: New Haven, CT – International Festival of Arts & Ideas

What do you get when you assemble authors, scientists, and leading innovators alongside outstanding artists? The International Festival of Arts & Ideas – a 15-day festival of performing arts, lectures; dynamic public programs to captivate, entertain, and motivate a diversity of communities.Arts & Ideas2017-05-05_16-12-09

Each June, the Festival takes over the theaters, open spaces, and courtyards of New Haven, Connecticut with performances and dialogues that tickle the senses, engage the mind, and inspire the soul. More than 80% of festival programs are completely free to the public, including events that feature some of the most influential jazz, classical, dance, and theater artists of our time.

Dancers Arts & Ideas 2017-05-05_16-16-33This year will feature an array of world-premiere theater performances, internationally renowned musicians, modern dance, circus theater, weighty discussions on contemporary issues, food and bicycle tours. Be empowered through the rhythms of BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play, healed through the communal music of (Be)longing, and surprised by international premieres from China, cutting-edge, retro-tech experiences of Manual Cinema, and LEO’s gravity defying theatrics.  In addition, more than a dozen new performances and experiences in ALTAR’d Spaces surrounding the New Haven Green, the Big Read, The Wailers and Rusted Root… the line up is bounteous!

Photo Credits:New Haven Green – Judy Sirota, Pop Up Fair – Haven Anderson

Location: Town Green and various venues throughout the city
Downtown New Haven, CT 06510
Dates: June 3- 24, 2017
Hours: Various
Tel: 203-498-1212
artidea.org/festival
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitnewhaven.com

US: Wilmington, DE – Become a Junior Paleontologist in a Dinosaur Maze

Dinosaur Revolution is a traveling exhibition staged  at the Delaware Museum of Natural History. This is a creative learning experience within a maze setting. The interactive maze is mentally and physically engaging and offers a fun and hands-on way to explore the fascinating prehistoric world of dinosaurs.Dinosaur Revolution

Uncover the facts, fictions, and fossils of Dinosaur Revolution as visitors can experience reptilian role-play activities by LIVING LARGE. Undertake three Mesozoic Missions spanning 150 million years that dinosaurs ruled the Earth and mimic dinosaur behavior; become a junior paleontologist and find evidence of dinosaur doings while learning why dinosaurs are one of the most successful survivors in earth’s history; and unearth a shocking discovery: dinosaurs may not be extinct!

Dinosaur Revolution blends learning and play, inviting visitors to investigate all things dinosaur while challenging your knowledge, presenting new discoveries, and debunking popular myths.

Location: Delaware Museum of Natural History, 4840 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, DE 19807
Dates: until – May 29, 2017
Hours: Mon – Sat: 9:30 – 4:30pm, Sun: Noon – 4:30pm
Tel: 302-658-9111
delmnh.org/event/dinosaur-revolution
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitwilmingtonde.com

US: Providence, RI – Interactive Improv Comedy Show for the Whole Family

Bring Your Own Improv’s Family Friendly Comedy Show is a rarity – a comedy club that you can bring your kids to.BYOI Kids

Bring Your Own Improv (BYOI) is now in its 10th season and family-friendly comedy shows are Fridays at 7pm. This interactive improv show welcomes voluntary audience participation, of all ages.

The format is similar to “Who’s Line is it Anyways” where different games and scenes are set up. The troupe asks for audience input, the actors put their own spin on scenes, and the action changes constantly,  so no two performances are ever the same. They encourage you to participate in one of three ways: Applaud at a scene you like, yell out fantastic suggestions, or if you feel you’re ready,  jump up and get involved with the performers on stage.

So if anyone in your family wants to flex their comic muscles or would just like partake and play along, the clever and creative cast will support you.  No worries, they only choose volunteers with hands up .BYOI Performers

Why not start your weekend off with some laughs, the players are pros and know how to keep the audience entertained.  Sit back and chuckle your cares away with this fun, inexpensive night out with the family. This is a hidden gem if you’re looking for something to do while on a family vacation in the Providence or Newport area. There’s also a Late Night Comedy Show (PG-13) Fridays at 9pm.

For a list of all shows: bringyourownimprov.com/Shows.htm

Location: Warwick Center for the Arts, 3259 Post Rd., Warwick, RI 02886
Dates:  March Family-Friendly Shows –  Fri, Mar 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, 2017
Time: 7 – 8:30pm
Tel: 401-261-7678
bringyourownimprov.com
goprovidence.com/event/bring-your-own-improvs-family-friendly-comedy-show/29118/

For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: goprovidence.com

Canada – Montreal – Bakerfield Mist: Artsy Fartsy Tryst at Centaur

It is really hard to take the boring authenticity-proving side of the modern art world and make it into a delightful audience loving (2 standing ovations on opening night) theatre piece.

Stephen Sachs, the playwright, took on the true story of Terry Horton, a former truck driver who scavenged a painting for $5 at a second-hand shop as a gift for a friend who needed cheering up. Maude Gutman, as she is called in this play, is a lover of kitsch – her trailer is overwhelmed by it (A congratulatory shout out here for the jam-packed shelves created by set and costume designer Pam Johnson, who really needed my Smart Shopping Montreal book to find all that stuff!). At a yard sale, the local art teacher noticed the painting and mentioned it might be a Jackson Pollock; and so begins the tale. Somehow Gutman managed to get a major art house in NYC to send an expert over to check out her claim.

And therein lies this sparring pied-a-deux. A foul-mouthed bourbon drinking trailer park madam vs. the snooty elitist artsy gentleman. Human authenticity versus art authenticity is set to be proven. Nicola Cavendish walks the walk and talks the talk. Her sneaker grounded stalking moves her around the trailer while her expert verbal comedic timing keeps the pace going. She even manages to give the garbage pail “a line”.

Jonathan Monro (Lionel Percy), himself a renaissance man (competitive swimmer, piano prodigy, singer, director, lyricist, actor), glides around her, expertly dodging her verbal and physical attacks. My take-away forever (as a former NYC art teacher) is the exuberant and sexually suggestive way in which Monro teaches us the how and why a Jackson Pollock painting is important – and not just a bunch of paint splashes on a canvas.
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Though Percy always trusts his “first blink”, it is Nicola Cavendish who summed it up brilliantly when she observed Pollock’s paintings, “You can see that what emerges is layers and layers and layers. I think it’s a lesson on how we can learn to look more closely, whether we are talking about a piece of art or whether we’re talking about the woman who lives across the street who’s offensive.” Modern art is beyond the understanding of the ordinary citizen, and this play opens the door a crack as to what it is all about, how it works and doesn’t work. The show makes it all fun and drives Maude’s trailer expertly to the end to find out if she goes from rags to riches.

Location: 453 St-Francois Xavier
corner: Notre-Dame
Tel: 514-288-3161
Dates: Jan 31-Feb 26, 2017
Prices $28- $51
www.centaurtheatre.com
Metro: Place d’Armes

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US: Concord, MA – Good Things Come in Small Packages at Dollhouse Exhibit

 Four centuries of dollhouses are on display in Concord at The Art & Mystery of the Dollhouse exhibit featuring many of the finest representations in both public and private collections. Admirers young and old will appreciate the chance to step into that intriguing miniature universe at the new presentation at the Concord Museum, on view until Jan. 15. art-of-the-dollhouse

Explore tiny worlds that capture life’s detail and the imagination through dollhouses and miniatures from the 17th through early 20th centuries show the evolution of dollhouses from treasures for wealthy adults to colorful playthings for children. This captivating exhibition explores the tiny worlds that capture life’s detail and stimulate the imagination.

Highlights include an extremely rare dollhouse from 1695, and an array of 19th- and 20th-century doll homes from The Strong National Museum of Play,  View “room dollhouses” that celebrate interior design history and play with a hands-on Hape dollhouse. There is even a celebrity doll in attendance — Melissa Shakespeare, the doll of children’s author and illustrator Tasha Tudor. art-of-the-dollhouse2

The Concord Museum will be hosting an array of special programs throughout the exhibition months includes a hands-on room box building workshop, story times with dollhouse-inspired crafts and gallery talks led by specialists in the world of miniatures.

Location: Concord Museum, 200 Lexington Road, Concord, MA 01742
Dates: Until  January 15, 2017
Hours: til December Mon–Sat, 9–5pm; Sun., 12–5pm
January Mon–Sat 11–4pm, Sun. 1–4pm                         Tel: 978-369-9763
concordmuseum.org/art-and-mystery-of-the- dollhouse.php
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions:
concordchamberofcommerce.org/visitor-information

Photo Credit: Photos by Gavin Ashworth
picture 1 – Camden House; England, dated 1838; Private Collection: This house includes all its original furnishings, including a copy of T. Goode’s miniature edition of The History of England (1837). Camden, now part of London proper, was in 1838 a suburb with housing developed for working people. The Cratchet family of Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol (1843) lived in Camden. The house first came to America in 1964.

picture 2 -Georgian House; England, 1720-1730; Private Collection: This oak dollhouse on stand is in the form of an early Georgian country house. When it was owned by pioneering dollhouse collector Vivien Greene, the house included a clockwork (wind-up) ghost. The ghost intrigued the young Prince Charles when he saw the house in the first (1955) major exhibition on the subject of early dollhouses.

US: Portsmouth, NH- Meet Ghosts, See an Equestrian Ballet and Join the Halloween Parade

Brave attendees meet the Ghosts on the Banke at Strawbery Banke’s famous family-friendly Halloween celebration. Long-dead sea captains, 17th century shopkeepers and wayward pirates haunt the streets of Portsmouth’s oldest neighborhood as you trick or treat safely from house to historic house. ghosts-on-the-banke

Trick-or-Treat safely as Jack-O-Lanterns light the way to step over the threshold of time and meet the “Ghosts on the Banke.” Discover pirate treasure, visit with the wacky witch, look into the future with guidance from the gypsy fortune teller. Catch a Ghostly Tale when Community members bring history back to life with spooky plays, skits, and interactive improvisation throughout the evening. Light up the Night and warm weary bones by the bonfire.

Masques on the Banke (Sunday Oct 30 only – 5:30 – 7pm) – Step “Behind the Mask” at this 90 minute event, as the majestic black Friesian horses of Runnymede Farm perform their equestrian ballet. US Premiere of a choreographed equestrian dressage seen only in Europe.  Meet the horses and enjoy a mask-making craft for Halloween.  Special guests include: Wick’d Fire and the Skeleton Crew Theater.
Show off Your Costume (Oct 31st at 7 pm) – March in a New Orleans-style parade, past haunted houses of old, through ghostly lanes full of things that go bump in the night. The Portsmouth Halloween Parade starts at Peirce Island by Prescott Park. It is an all-inclusive celebration of community, creativity and free expression that walks, stalks, dances, trumpets and drums its way through downtown Portsmouth each year – for more info:  portsmouthhalloweenparade.org

Location:  Strawbery Banke Museum, 14 Hancock St., Portsmouth NH 03801
Date: Fri Oct 28 – Sat Oct 29, 2016
Hours: 5:30pm – 8pm
Tel: 603-433-1100
strawberybanke.org/events/ghosts-on-the-banke.cfm
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: goportsmouthnh.com

Canada: Montreal , Quebec – Centaur Theatre’s Last Night at the Gayety

George Bowser and Rick Blue have an amazing way with words. True to the their well-known genre it’s the songs at Centaur’s Last Night at the Gayety, that really “sing”. They are just so darn clever. The play, about Montreal’s infamous years of “Casinos, Bordellos and Booze” (one of the songs) could have been formulaic, but manages to relate a story which not only keeps you interested, but giggling and titillated throughout.

A tale of this era could not be told without the usual suspects: the gangster, nightclub owner, priest and cops (the good and bad). The glue holding it all together is the famous stripper Lili St. Cyr. Julia Juhas is a knockoff, so perfectly cast; she elegantly glides across the stage dressed to kill in early 50’s fashions, yet bumps and grinds so provocatively with those sinuous long legs.

What could be wrong with a night of inside jokes, overacting, silly songs, erotic dancing, love, lust, murder, gangsterism and priestly disgust – all so definitively Montreal. Bowser and Blue make sure to point out, tongue-in-cheek this city was made for burlesque because there’s a main street named Beaver Hall Hill and the crossroads of downtown is after all, called “Peel”. Lili retorts that she prefers Las Vegas because its main street is known as “The Strip” (bada boom).

Centaur's Last Night at the Gayety

Canadian Museum of Nature is Museum of Fun

If you are heading out to Ottawa to enjoy our nation’s capitol, leave some time to explore the Canadian Museum of Nature. It’s the perfect place for all ages of the family to enjoy themselves. The brainy kids (or adults) can soak up extensive details about nature while the playful gang can pull levers or turn knobs in a deep sea sub, IMG_5043learn on many touch screens, or even dance around in front of  the endothermy camera checking out their colorful “hotspots”.

Everyone is awed by the the 19.8-metre blue whale skeleton in the Water Gallery but keeping going further in. All the way in the back are many interactive games for young and old alike: make believe areas for the wee ones, a board game along a wall,  animal jigsaw puzzles on touch screens, word games, etc.  

Gawk at the dinosaur fossils or walk amongst the fleshed-out dinosaur creatures for photo ops with kids. In the Vale Earth Gallery swoon over the 1200 gorgeous minerals, rocks and meteorites. Our 5 1/2-year-old couldn’t get enough of the joystick which controls a huge earth or the button to start the volcano.

Sure there’s a full size mammal gallery but the 11, 8 and 5 1/2 year-olds all stayed longer in the small Nature Live space where they oogled the cases of walking stick bugs in different camouflage colors and thicknesses. How many of you have come face to face with a tarantula? Then they listened intently as a docent showed fossils which were indigenous to Ottawa.

If you have time there are two 3D movies, “Prehistoric Planet 3D and Micro-Monsters 3D” (both too scary for the 5 1/2 -year old) but our gang liked the interactive museum more.IMG_5051

The famous Bird Gallery, with  one of the most extensive collections of Canadian birds in the world re-opened June 1. A special exhibit on now is Ultimate Dinosaurs June 11-September 5 and then upcoming is Reptiles: The Beautiful and the Deadly, October 6-April 2 .

A brand new Arctic Gallery will be unveiled on June 23 which is set to explain how the arctic is changing, including plants, animals and people of the area plus scientific research. Outside, three new ecozones will be shown off on June 17 including a woolly mammoths and an “iceberg”.

I’d like to give a thumbs up to the friendly security guards who answered questions informatively and helped to point out nearby bathrooms and water fountains.

Canadian Museum of Nature, a Beaux Arts building, was our first national museum, completed in 1912. Trivia buffs should note that this building  served as home to Canada’s House of Commons and Senate following the fire that destroyed the Centre Block of Parliament in 1916.

Location: 240 McLeod St., Ottawa
Phone: 613-364-4021
www.nature.ca

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