Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Providence - a theatre capital?

I'm shaking my head in disbelief at the results of this survey conducted by Travel + Leisure magazine. The magazine's readers ranked 35 U.S. cities on their culture, shopping, restaurants, nightlife.

According to visitors, Providence was rated second, just behind New York, in the theatre/performance art category. Chicago, San Francisco and Minneapolis-St. Paul rounded out the top five. Residents ranked Providence third, behind New York and Minneapolis-St. Paul. Chicago and Houston were fourth and fifth.

Ahead of Chicago? Ahead of Boston? Really? (To be fair, those cities do outrank Providence in the overall culture category.)

Sure, we have some fine local theatre companies, like Providence's Tony-winning Trinity Rep and the Gamm Theatre next door, in Pawtucket. And there's the Providence Performing Arts Center that brings in touring productions of Broadway shows.

But seriously, here's this week's theatre section from Time Out Chicago. And here are the theatre listings from The Boston Globe.

I'm sorry, but you can't compare Providence's offerings to either of those much larger cities. (I have nothing against high school, college or amateur theatricals but we're talking pro or semipro here.)

There's hardly enough theatre in Providence to fill one weekend a month. I wish there were more!

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