Five Can't-Miss Events of the Week: Nov. 19–25
Last Gallery Night, the Polar Express, catastrophic art and more.
Wrapping up its nineteenth season on the nineteenth of November, Gallery Night Providence takes over the Creative Capital this Thursday for the last time in 2015. The citywide exposition of Providence’s art scene features more than twenty hot art spots, including galleries, museums and historic sites. Whether you visit the exhibitions at your own pace or hop on one of the themed bus tours, Gallery Night is the best way to get to know local artists — and indulge in some wine and cheese while you’re at it. Demonstrations, live music, lectures and diverse art will give you a taste of all that Providence has to offer.
The Details: Nov. 19. 5–9 p.m. Free. Tours depart from Regency Plaza, Greene Street, Providence, 401-490-2042, gallerynight.info.
All aboard the Polar Express for a magical journey inspired by the Chris Van Allsburg classic. With the conductor as your guide, jump right into the holiday tale on this three-hour adventure that departs from Station One Depot in Woonsocket. Climb onto the train, have your ticket clipped, sit down to a steaming cup of hot cocoa and a plate of cookies and relax — there’s sure to be a surprise around every bend in the tracks. Expect to see Frosty, Rudolph, Mrs. Claus and even rosy-cheeked Saint Nick, who hopes you’ll hear the jingle of his reindeer bell. Believing and pajama-wearing are highly recommended.
The Details: Nov. 20–Dec. 20. Fri.–Sat. 4 or 7 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m., 1 or 4 p.m. $39–$66. 1 Depot Sq., Woonsocket, 401-724-2200, blackstonevalleypolarexpress.com.
In its East Coast debut, Cloud Eye Control’s Half Life hits the Columbus after premiering at Los Angeles’ REDCAT Theater earlier this year. Combining projected animation, theater and electronic music, Half Life tells the story of how global disasters also trigger more intimate psychological fall outs. The production is based on blog entries of women who endured the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, illustrating the impact that major catastrophes have on our state of mind and sense of security. “Raindrops falling on lily pads can be a beautiful Japanese image,” writes the Los Angeles Times about the production. “But when they fall in Half Life, they bring radiation.”
The Details: Nov. 21. 8 p.m. $10–$30. Columbus Theatre, 270 Broadway, Providence, 401-421-4278, first-works.org.
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, you might be thinking about ways to help the hungry. What if we told you that you can lend a hand by singing along? That’s right: Catch this year’s Sing Away Hunger concert and help support needy local families in the most wonderful way imaginable. Featuring two-time Grammy winner Bill Harley and Parent’s Choice Award winner Keith Munslow, the show will leave their entire audience entertained, both children and parents alike. All proceeds support the Rhode Island Community Food Bank at the start of the high-need season.
The Details: Nov. 21. Shows at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. $10 general admission, $15 reserved seating. Lincoln School Auditorium, 301 Butler Ave., Providence, 401-942-8325, rifoodbank.org.
If your decorating skills are more Scrooge than Santa, make beautiful holiday memories at home in Newport’s Gilded Age mansions (sans the effort and the electric bill). Three of Newport’s historic landmarks — the Breakers, the Elms and Marble House — are packed with the finest yuletide trimmings, including blossoming poinsettias, wreaths, evergreens and a whopping twenty-four Christmas trees to elevate the holiday spirit. Wander through the mansions on guided tours as cheerful music travels the great halls and candles illuminate each room. Be sure to check out the gingerbread mansion replicas and try your best not to sneak a bite.
The Details: Nov. 21–Jan. 3. The Breakers and the Elms 9 a.m.–4 p.m., Marble House 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Three-house winter passport $29.49 for adults, $9 children, younger than six free. Bellevue Avenue, Newport, 401-847-1000, newportmansions.org.