Thoughts & Musings

Other Theatre Cities

Other Theatre Cities

Ed Shea, Artistic Director at 2nd Story Theatre

Dear Friends,

It’s time for another installment of “which of these things is not like the others“.

First, a little background:

When I first read Jon Robin Baitz’ Other Desert Cities, I was determined to premiere this sizzling hot, award-winning drama to Rhode Island audiences. After all, my favorite thing to do as a theatre artist is to tell a great story.

And Baitz’ family drama is one of the most compellingly taut stories I’ve ever encountered.

But don’t take my word for it. Critics from major papers across the nation have agreed. Other Desert Cities is one of the most widely produced plays of the last five years. From the West coast to the East coast to points in between, critical acclaim for Baitz’ writing has been pretty much unanimous.

Meanwhile, here in Rhode Island…

Now, on to our quiz:

Read these quotes from various “paper-of-record” reviews of Other Desert Cities – commenting specifically on Baitz’ craftsmanship, not the individual productions – and guess which is the “Other Theatre City”.

New York Times
“…power, passion with blow darts of wit…richly enjoyable…”

Seattle Times
“…expertly crafted…engrossing…”

Chicago Tribune
“…exceedingly juicy and superbly crafted…never a dull moment…”

Washington Post
“…not many plays unfold as temptingly….”

Providence Journal
“…the writing is so cluttered…clunky…I didn’t really care…”

Los Angeles Times
“…grippingly entertaining…scintillatingly witty…”

Boston Globe
“…riveting drama…”

Normally I’d reward correct answers with free popcorn but let’s face it, this one was so easy, I’d probably run out of buckets.


4000 Miles

DownStage / Now thru Mar. 29After suffering a major loss while on a cross-country bike trip, 21 year-old Leo seeks solace from his 91 year-old grandmother in her West Village apartment. Over the course of a single month, these two unlikely roommates infuriate, bewilder, and ultimately, connect. A real gem.

Other Desert Cities

UpStage / Now thru Apr. 12The Rhode Island premier of an acclaimed recent Broadway hit. Returning home after a six-year absence to celebrate Christmas with her family, Brooke Wyeth announces plans to publish a memoir dredging up a pivotal and tragic event in their history – a wound they don’t want reopened. As the play progresses, each emerges as selfish, loving, cruel, compassionate, irritating, charming and ultimately heroic.

What’s this guy talkin’ about?!

And Miss Reardon Drinks A Little
by Paul Zindel

DownStage / April 17 thru May 17A perfect blend of comedy and drama, this biting, touching and often wildly funny play probes deeply into the tortured relationship of three sisters whose lives have reached a point of crisis. It is funny and fierce and absolutely extraordinary. And maybe the best title. Ever!

Entertaining Mr. Sloane
by Joe Orton

UpStage / May 1 thru May 31A “street wise” Noel Coward? Or a “rough trade” Oscar Wilde? Orton’s deliciously kinky, delightfully perverse black comedy about a family with a walk-in closet full of skeletons and a seductive young visitor who unlocks those sordid secrets, promises to shock, intrigue and, ultimately, entertain. While our current in-the-round configuration will bring this molotov cocktail of a play to incendiary life. Exciting stuff!!! Pearl clutchers beware.

(Replaces originally schedule Time of My Life)

Leo’s Ristorante
365 Hope Street, Bristol, RI
(401) 253-9300

Crossroads Restaurant
133 Market Street Warren, RI
(401) 245-9305

Rhode Island State Council on the ArtsFunding provided in part by a grant from The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, through an appropriation by the Rhode Island General Assembly, a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and private funders.

Photography by Rich Dionne / Poster Design by Matt Castigliego & Candis Dixon

2nd Story Theatre  |  28 Market St, Warren, RI 02885  |  Currrent Season  |  401 247 4200

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