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Best things to do in Rhode Island this week: April 21-28

Justin Collette (Beetlejuice) and the Tour Company of “Beetlejuice,” a musical comedy based on the Tim Burton classic, will hit the Providence Performing Arts Center April 25, running through April 30.Matthew Murphy, 2022

What a week, Rhody. We can watch foodie films, celebrate Earth Day with Bill Harley, laugh with Kevin Hart, rock out with Joan Osborne and a Wu-Tang member, feast on quahogs and meet alpacas named after Rhode Island towns. Alpaca the car — let’s go. (Gotta love dad jokes.)


Newport’s Restaurant Week rolls on through April 23 with prix fixe menus and sweet deals. Bonus: Restaurant week collabs with the JPT Film + Event Center for the 2nd Foodie Film Fest.

I love that they’re showing “The Menu” — if you’ve already seen it, don’t spoil the plot-twist — April 21 at 4:30. (Now I want to see it again.)


It’s followed by “The Irish Pub,” at  7:30 p.m. and a pre-movie concert from local Irish band Turas at 6:30 p.m.

“Breaking Bread” screens April 22 at 2 p.m. The winner of Napa Valley Film Festival’s Audience Award for “Favorite Culinary Cinema Film,” it follows Arab and Jewish chefs in Israel as they collaborate in the kitchen.

Then at 4:30 p.m., catch food “silent shorts” like “The Rink (1916) starring Charlie Chaplin, and “The Cook “(1918,  with Fatty Arbuckle and Buster Keaton) set to a live score, followed by a Q&A.

The finale: “100 Foot Journey” starring Hellen Mirren, with a complimentary dessert April 22 at 7:30 p.m. Film fest details here.

As for where to eat? See our guide here.


You might know him from his Netflix stand-up, “Get Hard,” the newer “Jumanji” movies, “Scary Movie”... I’ll stop there. You know him. Kevin Hart brings his “Reality Tour” to PVD’s AMP April 22 at 7 p.m. Note it’s a phone-free experience. From $39. 1 LaSalle Square, Providence. Details here.



I repeat: GZA in PVD. Aaaand the Wu-Tang fans have already stopped reading. They’re now standing in line at The Strand. April 22, doors 9 p.m. 18+. $30 advance, $40 door. 79 Washington St., Providence. Details here.


She’s covered Bob Dylan. She was tapped to take over Jerry Garcia’s vocals for The Dead’s 2003 tour. And if you grew up in the ‘90s, you know her radio staples “One of Us” and “St. Theresa” by heart. Seven-time Grammy nominee Joan Osborne, with a  2022 album “Radio Waves” and 2020 album “Trouble and Strife,” plays Greenwich Odeum April 22. From $54. Doors 7 p.m., show 8 p.m. 59 Main St., East Greenwich. Details here.


It’s the collab we all knew we needed: Norman Bird Sanctuary x Bill Harley in an Earth Week Extravaganza. Earth Day is April 22 and the sanctuary celebrates with nature crafts, guided hikes, a “native seeding celebration,” and the Rhode Island Music Hall of Famer’s classic songs and stories. 4-6 p.m. Kids $12, adults $25. 583 3rd Beach Road, Middletown. Details here. Read our interview with Harley here.


Cranston’s Buttonwoods Brewery hosts an Earth Day Fest that looks epic: gourmet empanadas from The Perfect Empanada, some 20 artisan vendors, and a plant-based tie-dye class ($30) that I need to take. Free. April 22, noon to 4 p.m 530 Wellington Ave. Details here.


Honestly, there’s no better way to appreciate the beauty of nature than by walking a beach. Two Earth Day options:


The Watch Hill Conservancy hosts a free beach walk in the Napatree Point Conservation Area. April 22, 9:30 a.m. Fort Road, Westerly. Details here.

BYO binoculars to look for sandpipers, eiders, buffleheads, and more in a Shorebird Stroll with naturalists from Norman Bird Sanctuary, 583 3rd Beach Road, Middletown. April 22, 8 a.m. Details here.


You can’t not smile while looking at an alpaca. Fact. Get your grin on at Little Compton’s Hope Alpaca Farm’s Open Farm Weekend April 22-23. I love this: alpacas born on the farm are given Rhode Island town names. Meet Providence, Richmond, Kingston, Warren, Bristol and the gang. (Prudence looks like a real character.) Free. 134 Maple Avenue. Details here and here.


It’s a “Family Guy” reference for a reason — Rhody loves quahogs. Foodies, keep your engines revved after Newport’s Restaurant Week: We dive straight into Quahog Week April 23-29. The week “highlights the many restaurants, markets, fishermen, and food-based businesses committed to growing Rhode Island’s local food economy, with special emphasis on quahogs,” according to billing. Details here. Some highlights:

Find quahog deals at markets like Andrade’s Catch in Bristol, American Mussel Harvesters, or Dave’s Fresh Marketplace.

Find quahog menu specials. For example Avvio in Cranston serves a quahog & sweet corn chowder with fresh dill, and focaccia crisp; Diego’s in Providence serves up a quahog roll with fried quahogs, chorizo crumble, pico, lemon, Tabasco aioli. Trio in Narragansett offers quahog carbonara, while PVD’s Pizza Marvin serves up Chowdah Pie, baked clams, and raw littlenecks.


April 26 is Quahog Night at The Guild Warren. Local harvesters shuck and serve complimentary little necks. Plus, small bites via Blount Clam Shack & Market and Matunuck Oyster Bar. Free admission, all ages.

April 27 is Quahog Night at Narragansett Beer Brewery. Local harvesters shuck and serve complimentary little necks, and bites via Dave’s Fresh Marketplace and Matunuck Oyster Bar. Free admission, 21+.


Newport Preservation Society is inviting Newport County residents to “be our guest” — and yes, I’m absolutely picturing dancing dishes, forks and a singing candlestick and teapot right now — April 22 and 23, with free visits to the Breakers, Marble House, The Elms and Green Animals Topiary Gardens.  See the inspiration for HBO’s “Gilded Age,” then picnic among 80 green animals, 6,000 tulips, and some 22,000 daffodils. Offer is for residents of Newport, Jamestown, Middletown, Portsmouth, Tiverton and Little Compton. Proof of residency is required. Details here.


I’m a lifelong book lover and want to spread the Ocean State literary love. I’ve started a little subsection of this column, “Rhode Reads.” If you’re a local author or a bookstore hosting a local signing, hit me up and you just might get featured.

In this week’s Rhody Reading News …

South Kingstown’s best-selling crime novelist Don Winslow returns with book two in his trilogy that started with 2022′s “City on Fire” — think “Goodfellas” with more sex, set in 1986 Providence. “City of Dreams,” set in California, hit shelves this week. Winslow reads, signs and has As to your Qs at an event at Barrington Public Library, hosted by Barrington Books, April 22 at 6:30 p.m. 281 County Road. Details here and here.


I’m thrilled that Sara Novic’s brilliant “True Biz” is the 2023 Reading Across Rhode Island book pick. This Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick is a must-read, and will hit home for fans of “CODA.” Don’t miss this event at the Rhode Island School for the Deaf April 27 at 7 p.m. ASL interpreters will be present. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. 1 Corliss Park, Providence. Details here and here.


PVD’s Askew turns 5 this weekend and celebrates with ticketed concerts and a free three-hour afternoon concert of Dead tunes a la Rhody’s tribute band Violin River. April 23, 1-4 p.m. Details here. 150 Chestnut St.


… Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice! Sorry, had to say it three times. Who says you have to wait until Halloween to enjoy ghosts? “Beetlejuice,” a musical comedy based on the Tim Burton classic, hits PPAC April 25, running through April 30. I can’t be the only one who remembers waking up to watch the Saturday morning “Beetlejuice” cartoon. Ah, the timeless tale of a goth girl and her crude, pin-stripped pal. From $72. 220 Weybosset St., Providence. Details here.


The Gamm Theatre closes out its season with “The Children,” a play by Lucy Kirwood, April 27 to May 14. According to the billing: In a remote English cottage by the sea, Hazel and Robin, two retired nuclear scientists, are trying to live normally in the wake of a nuclear disaster. But when Rose, a former colleague, suddenly turns up, she disrupts everything. Rose is determined to fix the world for the next generation, even if it means certain death. From $26. 1245 Jefferson Blvd., Warwick. Details here.

Until next week, Rhody: Keep rockin.’

Lauren Daley can be reached at ldaley33@gmail.com. Follow her on Twitter @laurendaley1.