On Stage

Big Personalities

An avant-garde history lesson, a larger-than-life mayor, and a tour of adolescent diaries light up Providence stages


FirstWorks Presents Taylor Mac

Rest assured, there is no one on earth like Taylor Mac, and you will never see a stage performance like this. Taylor’s singular style is partly by design: The singer/actor/monologuist/drag/artist has enraptured audiences across the nation with his interactive multimedia shows, and he openly opposes the bland categorization of his work. Taylor was a 2017 recipient of the MacArthur “Genius Grant,” and he has put that award to good use: He has presented a 24-hour stage production about the less-known history of the United States; collaborated with designer Machine Dazzle to create spectacular avant-garde costumes; and brought innumerable audience members onstage to help him create dramatic scenes.

This is exactly the kind of rising talent that FirstWorks was made for. This month, Taylor will finally arrive at The Vets for a one-night performance. Catch this abridged version of his day-long masterpiece, A 24-Decade History of Popular Music. Be advised: Taylor may invite you to join him in the spotlight, and his shows are famous for their variability. But if you do get called up there, just remember: You’re becoming a part of history. September 14


The Prince of Providence

It was only a matter of time before Buddy Cianci got his own stage play. Based on the book by Mike Stanton, this world premiere chronicles Buddy’s controversial career as mayor of Providence – despite the incredible odds against him, as well as deep personal flaws. In the wake of the Crimetown podcast, Trinity Repertory Company kicks off its 2019-20 season by bringing the bombastic story to life, thanks to a new script by playwright George Brant. It’s hard to predict how this drama will play out, given that Buddy basically ran the city for two separate decades, and a play only lasts so long. But however they tell the story, you can expect tickets to sell out. September 12 - October 20



Suppose you dug out that old diary – the one stored in a deeply buried shoebox. Suppose you reread your sixth grade musings, about best friends and broken hearts and your private-est feelings. Now suppose you read these musings aloud, for a live audience. How would you feel? Mortified! Created by David Nagelberg and Neil Katcher, this storytelling series has entertained and enlightened audiences around the world, and it’s even sparked its own TV series. Mortified will receive its Providence premiere at the Columbus Theatre. With luck, there will be a lot more mortification to follow. September 7


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