Friday, April 30, 2010

ICCR promises performance fit for a "King"

April 29, 2010
Cranston Herald
All text and photos by: Jen Cowart

Immaculate Conception Catholic Regional School is about to christen its new Performing Arts Center with their first dramatic production of “The King and I.”

The show, directed by theater teacher Beverly Hopkins, will kick off on April 30 at 7 p.m. There will be two shows each day on Saturday and Sunday, one at 2:30 and one at 7 p.m.

“I think this is going to be a very good show,” said sixth-grader Max Derderian. “It’s going to be a lot more professional than in other years.”

Derderian explained that open auditions were held, and any student in grades five through eight who tried out was given a part. Younger siblings were given additional parts in order to fulfill the roles of the small children in the production.

On top of learning lines, Hopkins said the students were expected to learn songs and dance routines for the show.

“There’s a lot of choreography. They all had two left feet to start, now they have it all together,” she said. “They all tell me they have the songs stuck in their heads.”

Fifth grade teacher Patrice Beverly noted that the show is very colorful, thanks in large part to the costumes.

Hopkins said some of the costumes were donated from parents and some she found in second-hand stores. For the Civil War era dresses for the lead role of Anna Leonowens – played by Adriana Cancelliere – Hopkins had to do some searching.

Tickets for the show are available through the school. The cost of the tickets is $10 for adults and $5 for kids in the eighth grade and under.

For more information, call Immaculate Conception Catholic Regional School at 942-7245.

Gladstone families celebrate literacy

April 29, 2010
Cranston Herald
All text and photos by: Jen Cowart

Family Reading Night had been a longstanding tradition at Gladstone Elementary School, but this year they decided to expand their celebration to include literacy in all curriculum areas.

As the Scholastic Book Fair took place in the foyer, families filled the school for Family Literacy Night.

The celebration kicked off with a Vocabulary Hat Parade in the auditorium, where the students (and even some staff members) marched across the school’s stage wearing hats that best illustrated a vocabulary word that they’d chosen.

“We read the story ‘Miss Allaneous,’ and the vocabulary words were broken up and given to the students by grade level,” Principal Kristin Hlady explained.

Prizes were given out to recognize the students for their creativity.

Following the hat parade, the students scattered, leading family members to their classrooms where various games would be played, each focusing on a different type of literacy.

In Clara Costa’s room, the students were enhancing their mathematical literacy by playing games such as Roll of the Dice and The Greatest Sum.

Over in Mildred Moreira’s fifth grade classroom, students were playing a memory game, matching words to definitions from both their science and reading books.

“It’s a game they enjoy playing,” said Moreira.

Laughter echoed through the hallways as other students played Math Bingo, Around the World, Swat It and Vocabulary Bingo. Some grade levels even provided passports to their students for the evening, which would be stamped as they completed different activities.

At the end of the evening, all of the students were called into the school cafeteria for refreshments and the awarding of prizes from the Hat Parade.

"This was the first time for this event,” said Hlady. “Hopefully next year it’ll be even bigger. We’ll read a different book.”

As with any event, it would not have been successful without the hard work of many people, the principal pointed out.

"The kids worked hard, the teachers worked hard, and we had a great turn out,” she said.

Bay View takes a bite out of the 'Big Apple'

April 29, 2010
Cranston Herald, Warwick Beacon, Johnston Sunrise
All text and photos by: Jen Cowart

TAKE FIVE: Some of the Bay View Players take a break from rehearsing this year’s Cabaret performance, “Leading Ladies.” Pictured in the back row are Matthew Sullivan of Cranston and Billy Cavanagh of Warwick. Second row from left are Tyler Micheletti and Samuel Boadu Jr. of Johnston, John Dale Ritchie, Erika Pistacchio and Andrew Osmanski of Warwick and Christine Antonelli of Cranston. In the front from left are Adriana Lentrichia of Cranston, Victoria Kacprzak of West Warwick, Lauren Moore, Chandi Zeoli and Robert Prudhomme of Cranston and Mike Desmarais of Warwick.

Each spring, St. Mary’s Academy-Bay View attracts thousands of people to their annual Manhattan at the Bay weekend event. From theater shows and reunions, to street cafes and family festivals, Manhattan at the Bay has it all.

“If you've heard of this event and never come, or haven't been in years, this is the year,” said Warwick resident, Bethany Mascena-Tracy, director of Special Events and a Bay View alumna from the class of 1991.

Now in its 27th year, this year’s event begins on Thursday, April 29 with a 7 p.m. performance of “Leading Ladies.” The cabaret show is directed by an award-winning production team lead by Christine D. Kavanagh, and is performed by the Bay View Players.

The Players include young men and women from all over Rhode Island, including Cranston, Johnston and Warwick.

The eight gentlemen performers in the show hail from La Salle Academy, Bishop Hendricken High School and Cranston High School East. Some have been in the show in the past, but for others, like Tyler Micheletti, a junior at La Salle, it’s a brand new experience.

“I’ve seen it growing up and I really wanted to be a part of it,” Micheletti said. “I only regret not having done it sooner.”

This year’s batch of Players insist that this year’s production has something extra special about it.

“This year’s show has everything: great people, great songs, and great dancers,” said Chandi Zeoli of Cranston.

Senior Erika Pistacchio of Warwick plays Marilyn Monroe in the show. She says that this year’s show has a very different feel to it.

“It’s very inspiring for women and it’s a lively show and I think it’ll be the most well received show we’ve put on in a long time. Maybe I’m biased, but I love this year’s the best,” she said. “It will speak to people because it’s about working really hard, and how we all have to work in this world, especially now in these economic times.”

The show, which highlights the contributions of famous women in history, will run seven times throughout the Manhattan at the Bay weekend. Tickets range from $10 to $25 per person.

Last year, a brand new event was added to the weekend’s menu: Family Fun Day.

Held on Saturday, May 1 from 12 to 4 p.m., Family Fun Day features face painting, arts and crafts, a bounce house, food and more. It’s an affordable way to spend a day, with a cost of just $5 per child. Other vendors, such as Noah’s Ark stuffed animals will be available for a slight additional fee, but there are many activities that are included in the regular ticket price.

This year will add another new feature to the line-up with a Times Square venue, which Mascena-Tracey said, “will be hopping with an 80's and 90's dance party on Friday and Saturday night.”

As people stroll the “streets” of Manhattan at the Bay, they can sample fare from Rhode Island restaurants at city cafes set up along the way. There will be corned beef sandwiches from Flannagon’s Shannon View in Warwick at McAuley’s Irish Pub; chicken skewers from L’Attitude Modern Eatery in Cranston at the Tribeca International CafĂ©; sausage and peppers, chicken wings and baked macaroni from PJ’s Pub in Cranston at the Dug Out Sports Bar; as well as food from TGI Fridays, Outback Steak House, Edible Arrangements and 1149.

The weekend comes to an end with an alumnae mass and brunch on Sunday, May 2, when the awards are given out to two chosen alumnae who have distinguished themselves since their high school graduation.

“Walking around throughout the weekend, I often see groups of friends who are out for the evening together as well as people who have run into old friends, hugging and smiling,” said Mascena-Tracy. “Simply put, it's a great night out.”

Tickets are still available for all shows and events at the door or by logging onto