Showing posts from February, 2016

Shop local ~ Newport Jerky Company

Newport Jerky Company
424 Thames St.
Newport, Rhode Island

I've seen the Newport Jerky Company's booth at just about every convention or fest that I've gone to, including the recent Brew Fest. A few times, I've bought one of the sample bundles with the intention of reviewing them. The sight of that brown cylinder with the alligator logo delights my grandchildren.
Despite my New Year's Resolution to give up ground and/or processed meats (farewell meatball pizza... subs... hotdogs...), I picked up a variety pack of jerky. It was a real hardship (sarcasm).
The sampler comes with ten flavors: Alligator, Ostrich, Reindeer, Venison, Maple Duck, Ostrich, Buffalo, Elk, Boar, and Kangaroo.

Most are the general shape and size of a slim jim, and do taste different from each other, not only as a result of the different meats, but the spices used as well. Your own tastes will point you to your favorite.

Newport Jerky Company has two locations in the state. One is on Thames, and…

Family Fun ~ Breaktime Bowl & Bar ~ Pawtucket

Breaktime Bowl & Bar
Hope Artiste Village
999 Main St.
Suite 1330
Pawtucket, Rhode Island

My granddaughter's birthday was earlier this month, and we took her, her siblings, and some friends to Breaktime Bowl & Bar for duckpin bowling and pizza.

Breaktime is a bowling alley from the 1910s-20s that was installed in the then-active Hope Webbing Mill. The six original alleys are still there, along with human pin-setters, and ball returns by gravity. Unless you're three, and your ball doesn't quite make it down the lane. Then the pin-setter person will bring it back to you.

Now, this is duckpin bowling. The pins and balls are smaller than regular tenpin bowling, and you get three tries at the pins. The scoring is pretty much the same.

The bar is located on the third floor of Hope Artiste Village, on the side of the mill that houses Blaze Kitchen.

The staff didn't bat an eye at half a dozen nine and unders scooting around the two alleys we booked. They were completel…

Artists ~ Amelia Onorato ~ Providence

Artist’s name: Amelia Onorato
Shop name: Amelia Makes Comics (online only:
Twitter: @thesnowybiscuit

1. Tell us about your work
I write and draw long- and short-form comic books, usually geared toward YA audiences, and always based on history or folklore in some way. So far I've done a story about an Irish selkie at the turn of the last century (ROCKALL), played with classic fairy tale tropes in a fictional 1800s European-inspired kingdom (Fortes Fortuna), visited a Roman civil engineer shipwrecked on the Outer Hebrides in the year 300 (Ultima Thule), and I've got an ongoing story about human sacrifice and architecture in an alternate universe version of 1920s New York City (Burn the Bridges of Arta).

2. Is there a story behind the name of your business?
I am Amelia and I do, in fact, make comics, haha!

3. How did you come to be a professional artist/crafter/designer?
My parents are probably …

Rhody Bloggers ~ Stacey and Eric

Bloggers' names: Stacey and Eric
Blog name: Tonight’s Better Together
Twitter: @bettertgthrblog
Facebook: Tonights Better Together
Pinterest: Better Together Blog
Instagram: @BetterTogetherBlog

1. Tell us about your blog.
Moving from San Diego to Providence has been quite an adventure for us. We document our trials and triumphs through local restaurants reviews, recipes that are perfect for date nights, creative date ideas and various lessons we’ve learned along the way in marriage. Our main goal is to help other couples keep their relationship interesting and fall more in love everyday.

2. Is there a story behind the name of your blog?
There’s not really a story behind the name of our blog but more so the meaning of it. We started this crazy journey one week after our honeymoon. We trekked across the nation and made a new life with each other here in Rhode Island. Everything that we’ve done and accomplished together has certainly been better together.

3. How did you get started?

Performing arts ~ Pippin at PPAC ~ Providence

Providence Performing Arts Center
220 Weybosset St.
Providence, Rhode Island

If you know Pippin from either the original Broadway play or the 2000 movie starring William Katz, you know it's a play about a young man's search for Meaning in a world filled with light, color and noise.

The play starts off with a bang, with the Lead Player (Gabrielle McClinton) inviting the audience to "come and waste an hour or two" on the story of Pippin, son of Charlemagne. A troupe of acrobats performs with her, promising magic, miracles and a finale we'll never forget. The stunts are fun and energetic and get the audience pumped for the story.

Newly returned from school, Pippin* (Brian Flores) tells his father Charles "Charlemagne" that he wants to do great things. He wants to find Meaning.

Charles is played by John Rubinstein. I first saw him perform in the original Broadway cast of Children of a Lesser God. Before that, he originated the role of Pippin on Broadw…

Artists ~ Liz Sauco ~ West Warwick

Artist’s name: Liz Sauco
Shop name: Llamagurumi

1. Tell us about your work
I make amigurumi, which means I crochet plushies! Usually pokemon and pokemon-related paraphernalia, but I also crochet Disney princesses, dolls dressed in kimono, and cute animals like owls and turtles.

2. Is there a story behind the name of your business?
My nickname among my friends is "Llama", and when I was first starting out I was struggling to find a name. I asked around for ideas, and a friend recommended "Llamagurumi", since I was Llama, who makes amigurumi. I liked it, and it's been the name ever since.

3. How did you come to be a professional artist/crafter/designer?
Well, I had decided to watch all 19 season of the Power Rangers, and needed something to do with my hands. I had recently picked up a book called "Yummy Crochet" - it had instruct…

Press Release ~ Tickets now on sale for Rhode Island Comic Con

Contact: Susan Soares
Telephone 401-633-5428
PROVIDENCE, RI, February 5, 2016 – Celebrating its fifth anniversary as Rhode Island's Biggest Show in the Smallest State, Rhode Island Comic Con 2016 tickets officially go on sale today.

Available through Ticketmaster and the Dunkin Donuts Center Box Office, ticket prices are as follows: a 3-day pass to the show running November 11 through 13 is $75 for adults and $30 for kids between the ages of 6 and 12. Daily admission is $30 for Friday, $45 for Saturday, and $40 for Sunday. Daily admission for kids is also available, as well as a VIP admission for $139. Attendees are strongly encouraged to buy their tickets in advance.

Rhode Island Comic Con is held at the Rhode Island Convention Center and the Dunkin Donuts Center. Preliminary guests announced include Kristin Bauer from Once Upon a Time and Tru…

Press Release ~ Liberty or Loyalty Interactive Living History Event ~ Newport


Liberty or Loyalty An Interactive Living History Event
Newport, RI – What was it like to live in a once thriving colonial seaport in February 1775 on the eve of the American Revolution? The Newport Historical Society will host costumed interpreters from the Middling Sort, a living history group, who will represent personas from colonial Newport on Saturday February 20, 2016 from 10am-2pm during Liberty or Loyalty.

During this interactive program patriots and loyalists will discuss the city’s tense political climate and how remaining loyal to the crown or declaring liberty effects their daily lives. Watch Daughters of Liberty sew homespun fabric. Listen to Crown supporters debate if they should return to England and the consequences to their families, businesses and property. Visitors will be invited to take a stance and decide if they choose Liberty or Loyalty.

Liberty or Loyalty takes place at the 1739 Colony House on Washington Square. Admission is free, donations …

Press release ~ Ocean State Theater Announces two Tony Award Winners for its 2016 Summer Season

Ocean State Theatre

February 8, 2016 
(401) 921-1777 x112
(401) 245-1426

WARWICK, RI – Ocean State Theatre Company (OSTC), currently celebrating its fourth season in its state-of-the-art theatre in Warwick is thrilled to announce their 2016 Summer Season – the robust Tony® Award winning musical comedy, Damn Yankeesand the Triple Crown (Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book) Tony® Award-winner, Avenue Q.

“This summer is going to sizzle at Ocean State Theatre,” said Producing Artistic Director, Amiee Turner. “Damn Yankees has been on our short list for years and I can’t wait to bring this baseball musical to Rhode Island to kick off our summer! With songs we already know and love, it is no doubt going to be an OSTC favorite for the whole family. In direct contrast with this family friendly musical, is the somewhat naughty Avenue Q, which has been suggest…

Dining ~ Antonio's Pizza by the Slice ~ Pawtucket

Antonio's Pizza
727 East Ave.
Pawtucket, Rhode Island

So... wow. Had a really strange experience at Antonio's Pizza.

I took my daughter, son-in-law and four grandchildren out for pizza. We were a large party, seven in all, with the four kids all under age nine.

The service was strangely spotty. Our server may have been new. Every visit to our table was like dealing with a different person. She seemed put upon to be servicing our table, then doted on the baby, then seemed confused that we'd want to place our dinner order, then solicitous about our experience.

We ordered appetizers of nachos and mozzarella bites, both of which were big hits, especially with the children. The guacamole was very good.

The kids ordered slices of cheese or pepperoni pizza from the children's menu. My son-in-law got sausage pizza, and I asked for a chicken parm calzone.

The kids seemed happy with their meals.

My son-in-law didn't care for the cut-up sausage on his pizza. He prefers loose …

Eat local ~ Food Accelerator Launch at Social Enterprise Greenhouse ~ Providence

Social Enterprise Greenhouse
10 Davol Square
Providence, Rhode Island

From their website:
Social Enterprise Greenhouse creates positive social and economic impacts by supporting social entrepreneurs and enterprises with the tools and networks they need to thrive. We are a network of business and community leaders who contribute time, expertise and money to create jobs and support positive change through social enterprise. Last night they launched their Food Accelerator Program, wherein twelve local startup food business owners will participate in 12 weeks of training with a mentor to help them acquire the acumen to sustain and expand their businesses.

In general, the social enterprise aspect for all these businesses is healthy, local food.

Agraria Farm & Edibles Bellicchi's Best Fox Point Pickling Company Glenwood Garden The Humble Pie Company Laughing Gull Chocolates Leah's Recipe Mesa Fresca Newport Cooks Ocean State Smoked Fish Company Savory Fare SecondsFirst

The launch was a ch…

Artists ~ Jason Freedman ~ Cumberland

Artist’s name: Jason Freedman
Shop name: Uncle J's Monsters
February promotion exclusively for I{heart}Rhody readers!
Save $5.00 on Wall Art and Home Decor with this special code: MXMFDX
Valid for online orders through 2/29/2016

1. Tell us about your work:
I draw Monsters who don't know they're monsters.

Currently I'm offering limited edition prints and prints mounted on wood panels of over sixty Uncle J's Monsters monsters, plus open editions of:
- framed/matted prints
- prints on metal and canvas
- 25 designs on men's, women's and kid's tee-shirts and onesies for infants
- cell phone cases
- throw pillows
- shower curtains...because, y'know, shower curtains.

2. Is there a story behind the name of your business?
I’m a stay-at-home dad. Among other parental duties, it’s my job to get our kids ready and off to school e…

Events ~ Eat Drink RI Festival ~ Providence

Now in it’s fifth year, the Eat Drink RI Festival i
s expanding to be an even bigger, better and more delicious 
showcase of the culinary world  in Rhode Island.

The 2016 Festival kicks off Thursday, April 28th with the fifth installment of Dinner by Dames, a unique experience bringing together some of Rhode Island’s most talented female chefs & bartenders for a multi-course dining event.

On Friday evening, it’s the return of the Truck Stop to benefit the Rhode Island Community Food Bank showcasing the excellence and variety of Rhode Island’s mobile restaurants. The Truck Stop features local musicians, and also benefits an organization dedicated to ending hunger, held at the ALEX AND ANI City Center in Kennedy Plaza.

Saturday’s Grand Tasting features samplings of locally produced beer, wine & spirits, as well as an abundance of local food artisans at the Rhode Island Convention Center. During the Tasting there will be three Culinary Demonstrations featuring Rhode Island’s top che…

Performing Arts ~ The Hunchback of Seville at Trinity Rep ~ Providence

Trinity Repertory Company
201 Washington St.
Providence, Rhode Island
(401) 351-4242

People with any kind of literary background (e.g., they paid attention in high school English class) might expect The Hunchback of Seville to be a mash-up of The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Barber of Seville.


This is the story of an actual (fictional) woman, Maxima Teriblé Segunda, with an actual hunchback (they were still using 'hunchback' in 1504 Spain) who lives in enforced seclusion in actual Seville.

Hunchback is a farcical fictional retelling of the impending death of Queen Isabella of Castile (funder of Columbus, uniter of Spain, founder of the Inquisition), and the scramble to find a successor. Her daughter, Juana (an actual person in history known as Juana la Loca, or Joanna the Crazy), is clearly unfit to rule.

Most of the play takes place in Maxima's rooms, in a well-appointed set. The action moves into the aisles, and the fourth wall is thrown out the window, which cle…

Artists ~ Jan Cal ~ Providence

Artist's Name: Jan Cal
Shop Name: Yesterday Gets Better

1. Tell us about your work:
About my work: I design and make one-of-a-kind jewelry. Unique mixed-media pieces handcrafted one by one with any combination of natural stones, freshwater pearls, precious metals, silk velvet, as well as mint-condition vintage jewels and ornaments from Rhode Island's history as "Costume Jewelry Capital of the World," along with my own chainmaille, wirewrapping and beadwork.

2. Is there a story behind the name of your business?
The name of my business, Yesterday Gets Better, comes from a Charlie Brown cartoon I saw decades ago. I only remember that in the final panel Charlie responds he is still waiting for yesterday to get better, and that idea both tickled and intrigued me. It is well-suited for my work, which often combines new and old, and frequently looks "vintage."

3. How did you come…

Drink local ~ Rhode Island Brewfest ~ Pawtucket

Rhode Island Brew Fest
Pawtucket Armory Arts Center
172 Exchange St.
Pawtucket, Rhode Island

Let's get this out of the way straight off: I really don't like beer. I don't have a moral objection to beer, I just never got a taste for it. But I love Rhode Island, and supporting Rhode Island makers. That's why I went to the 4th Annual RI Brew Fest.

I'm unlikely to buy beer for myself, but I did want to try local breweries. This is the perfect opportunity to sample small amounts without committing to a glass, can or bottle. My dad enjoys trying new microbrews. Since he's in Long Island, anything I bring him is new to him, and it's become a tradition that I bring him a local brew when we visit.

Of course I was mostly interested in Rhode Island brewers for my trip, although there were labels from as far away as Colorado. You can see the full line-up here.

I tried a lot of beer. These are just a few examples.

My dad, who wasn't with me for BrewFest, but has sam…