Roots Report

Jeff Allen onstage (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

Okee dokee folks… I wish advertisers would go back to a more passive form of advertising. I do understand that advertisers fund the programming that we watch [and the news we read – ed.], but still. They are ruining everything with their in-your-face ad campaigns.

Whenever I want to watch a video on YouTube I have to sit there and wait until some moronic commercial plays just long enough so I can press “SKIP THIS AD.” I look at the time remaining on these commercials and am baffled as to who would actually sit through a two minute commercial so they can watch a three minute and thirty second music video. Does anyone NOT skip the ad? If anything, when I see these types of commercials I add the products to my mental list of things I will never buy. That’s what they get for wasting my time. YouTube is not the only purveyor of this visual garbage, many online sites have “pop-up ads.” These are even worse. When I come across an article that I would like to read and click on the link, if I am immediately assaulted by pop-ups then you can surely know I will just click off the site. Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer when an ad just sits there. I can see it. I don’t need it screaming at me to catch my attention. That is what I like about PRINT. It is passive. You read it. No video plays to get in your way when you want to read, no auto-audio starts playing, it’s just words. Simple. If there are advertisements, they patiently wait alongside the printed words. If an ad interests me, I will explore it further. That is all we need. We live in a world where we can research everything on the internet. No amount of badgering is going to get me to succumb to a purchase. I cannot be sold; I have to organically want it. Online magazines and such should just take the print model to the web. It will annoy fewer people – namely me. And YouTube: maybe just flash a five second still ad that reads, “This video is sponsored by blah, blah, blah.” If we need more, we can find you… really, we can. Read on…


The Stadium Theatre in Woonsocket is a venue that many RI’ers tend to overlook. Though the shows there often do very well, it is often because of folks from just over the border in Mass who fill the seats. I have been to many, many shows at this theatre and always enjoy the experience. It is very easy to get to from PVD, just about 15 min from the capital, and I have never had an issue parking. Those are the two big things that seem to weigh on RI folks’ decisions to try a new place. The Stadium always has a full calendar of music, comedy, theatre, and more. Comedian Jeff Allen will bring his “My Journey from a Messed Up to Meaningful Life” show to the theatre on Saturday, November 25.

Allen’s rapid-fire humor, which centers on marriage and family, is a hit with all ages. A live comedy favorite, Jeff has appeared on Dry Bar Comedy, America’s Got Talent, Netflix, Amazon, PureFlix, Showtime, Comedy Central, VH1, and more. He starred in the critically acclaimed film, Apostles of Comedy; the syndicated comedy series, Bananas; his own one-hour comedy special, Happy Wife, Happy Life; and the Warner Bros. comedy film, Thou Shalt Laugh. His Dry Bar Comedy videos have amassed over 400 million views across platforms, introducing him to tens of millions of new fans worldwide. At times both gutwrenching and hilarious, Jeff’s new tour offers a unique glimpse into his crazy world. Also coming up at the Stadium: Ornament – Trans Siberian Orchestra Tribute, It’s a Wonderful Life Radio Hour, Divas Of Drag, Nutcracker Ballet, Chris Franjola Comedy, Top of The World– Carpenters Tribute Christmas Concert, and so much more!

For the complete schedule, side by each over to:

I must be in a comedy mood tonight so that is what I will continue with. Over at Veterans Memorial Auditorium, comedian Chris Distefano brings his “speshy-weshy” brand of humor to 1 Avenue of the Arts on November 17. I have watched his Netflix comedy special, “Speshy Weshy,” several times, and continue to find it funny with each viewing. Chris quickly rose to success after being named the funniest person on MTV for his show-stopping performances on the “Guy Code/Girl Code” series. Distefano can be seen on ViceTV as the host of Jimmy Kimmel’s “Super Maximum Retro Show.” Also coming up at Vets: Chelsea Handler, The Rock Orchestra – classical musicians, interpreting legendary Rock & Metal tracks with a bit of dark energy, A Drag Queen Christmas, Handel’s Messiah, and much, much more!

To find out what else is happening at The Vets, march over to:

At the United Theatre in Westerly, Marc Douglas Berardo’s shows entitled “Harbor Songs” have become a destination for lovers of the craft of songwriting. On Sunday, November 12 at 6pm, he will host another show in this series. After a set by local songwriter Kala Farnham to open the show, Marc Douglas Berardo joins his guest, Grammynominated singer-songwriter Ari Hest on stage “in the round” for a night of songs and stories. Also coming up: Will Evans; An Evening of Music with Valerie June, Rachael Davis, Thao & Yasmin Williams; Will Evans, and more. •

For the complete schedule, head west-ish to: That’s it for now. Don’t forget you can listen to my podcasts and find my concert photographs at Thanks for reading and listening.