A Night of Good Spirits: The 2022 Motif Bartender’s Ball celebrated unsung heroes of happy hour*

The 2022 Motif Bartender’s Ball was truly an event to behold. Taking place at R1 Indoor Karting on August 1, the ceremony was a lively and colorful affair that highlighted the best of the alcoholic arts.

Immediately upon entering, guests were wowed by an unusual sight: aerialists, working with Arielle Extreme, gracefully danced and swung through the air, suspended by hoops and white cloth. It was a show-stopping sight, as the awards soon commenced.

With the room packed to the gills, some attendees socialized or took part in games while others waited in anticipation for each award to be revealed. Some awards were more serious, while many were just for fun, like “Best Social Media Presence,” “Best Bartender as Therapist” and “Best Hair.” Each nominee was loudly applauded by the crowd, whose support for every bartender in the room was palpable. MCs Paul Garcia, disguised as the Mad Hatter ringmaster and Bettysioux Tailor, dressed as … something different every 5 minutes … presided over the festivities while presenters Thea Engst, Tammy Laforest, Mike Delehanty, Crimson Al-Khemia and Corinne Southern kept things rolling along with grace and humor. The big winner of the evening, taking the mantle of “favorite bartender” was Danielle Tellier, primarily of Dusk Providence. Congrats, and thanks to all 1,531 local voters!

In addition to the online voted awards, there were awards for the winners of a series of challenges.

All three challenges showcased enthusiasm, energy and passion for the craft of bartending. The first contest was the Guinness pour. Each contestant stepped up to the tap and painstakingly poured Guinness into the glass, trying to get the level of foam just right. If you’ve seen Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, remember the scene where Indiana Jones has to replace the idol with a bag of sand, but he has to make sure the weight is just right? It was similar to that, though the stakes were arguably lower (and more fun!). The elimination bracket competition ended with a heavyweight pouring bout between Sasquatch of the Galactic Theater in Warren and Steve Sharp of PVD bars like The Sports Tap and Kimi’s Bar. We’d had a few Guinness by then, but we’re pretty Sasquatch took the cup with a quality pour and presentation.

Meanwhile, twenty feet away under the colored lights of R1’s Dart Bar, contestants poured a bottle of wine into eight glasses as quickly and evenly as possible while making the smallest mess. Some were very poised about it, while others attacked the job with reckless abandon, completing the task quickly but drenching the table in wine. No matter how it played out, each attempt was a spectacle. Dominique Laren ultimately outpoured the field, passing Kyara Vargas and Bill Laliberty by just a few drops.

The third and final contest of the night was the gin fizz shake competition. The goal of this challenge was to shake up (not stir) the best drink, with taste and, mostly, performance ratings decided by a panel of judges. Each cocktail, using locally distilled Rhodium gin, was shaken with gusto by everyone who stepped up to try it out, and the fun they were having was fully visible on their faces. First place in the shaking went to Max Prussner of Kimi’s Bar, a crowd favorite for coming in second place in online category after online category, but waiting until the very end of the night to actually take home a trophy cup.

Music added another dimension to the good vibes: The Providence Drum Troupe jammed with the ascending and descending aerialists, while the Dust Ruffles and the extraterrestrials at Big Nazo all brought the noise in the best way possible. And to top everything off, there were snacks by Burrito Bowl and cupcakes from Cakes by Eboni!

The event was sponsored by R1 Indoor Karting, Smoke Lab Vodka, Guinness, High Spirits Liquors, RI Spirits, Mancini Beverage and more

Overall, the Bartender’s Ball was a heart-warming and gullet-warming event that proved that original ideas can thrive, alcohol brings people together, and great  bartenders can truly make a night special.

You can see all the winners here and a video of the event here.

*Note that the phrase “Happy Hour” is actually illegal in RI. But you know what we mean.

Featured Contributor July 2022: Nicole LaBresh

Nicole’s journey with Motif started with an internship in the summer of 2016. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. A time of Pokémon Go and political upheaval. A time of food trucks on rooftops and the existential dread that comes with being a rising senior in college realizing what she wanted to do was not what she had been studying. While Nicole did not set out to become a theater reviewer, she took a stab at it and, well, the rest is history.

By day, Nicole works at Roger Williams Park Zoo, assisting in the management of photography and body art and watching animals all day (the latter is not technically in her job description, but when in a zoo…). By night… well, she often also does that. 

But when not watching animals, it’s all about theater: Viewing it, writing about it and doing it. She was most recently seen on stage being gay, committing crimes and singing sea shanties as Antonio in The Tempest at RISE, a production two years in the making, having been delayed by the ’rona. Since then, she has become involved in a new work: Permanent Solutions, a play about mental health by local talent Cass Caduto (who, incidentally, was her Sebastian in The Tempest). Nicole appeared in a one-night preview at RISE back in April and will be back for future productions, including one at AS220 this fall. 

Nicole can also be found selling tie-dye on Saturday mornings at the Scituate Farmer’s Market for her autistic brother’s business, T’s by B (fb.com/tsbybrendan). 

Interests outside of theater and writing include travel (more in theory than in practice at this point), music, snuggling with her guinea pig, napping and talking about herself in the third person.

Editor Note July 2022

Dear Motif Readers- 

Recently, we witnessed the rollback of the fundamental human right of bodily autonomy. 

I once believed that the Supreme Court, as designed, could remain above politics — but as is now clear, it is a victim of partisanship like all of our systems, and no right that we currently enjoy is sacred. And while I have heard that we should have seen this coming, for me, it was certainly a wake-up call. 

I do take some small amount of solace in the fact that RI’s codification of Roe v. Wade protections reflects my values, and I encourage readers to learn about the proposed Equality in Abortion Coverage Act (EACA) to expand abortion access to those insured by the state as well as Medicaid recipients.  

Know, though, that the worst thing we can do is despair. We have to take the time we need to grieve and lick our wounds, then roll up our sleeves and get involved. If not with federal advocacy, then with state advocacy; if not with state advocacy, then with town or city advocacy; and if not with town or city advocacy, simply expressing your thoughts and feelings for a better world with friends who might not have heard it before. All of these are essential to making our country a more inclusive, better-informed and kinder place.

Consider supporting local abortion and contraceptive care funding providers like Women’s Health and Education Fund, and advocacy groups like The Womxn Project, which have taken the lead on rallying our state around this issue. 

Thanks for reading. 


Get Ready To Celebrate!: PVDFest brings local and international talent to the Creative Capital

If you’re looking to be immersed in a wide variety of live performances in the heart of Providence, PVDFest is definitely the place for you – a rare opportunity to stroll downtown, perhaps with a beverage in hand, without feeling like a target for motorists. Outdoor entertainment can be found around every quirky corner. 

This year, the organizers of PVDFest, including local nonprofit arts organization FirstWorks, have gathered tons of renowned international groups to perform, and entertain attendees. Musicians like the Rebirth Brass Band, Kermit Ruffins from New Orleans, eight-time Grammy-winner Eddie Palmieri & his Salsa Orchestra and Hit La Rosa from Peru are just a few of the amazing, “globe-spanning stars” that will be performing at this year’s festival. PVDFest will also have plenty of local flavors, from PVD schools’ music groups to RI’s Kung Fu and Lion Dance Club, which always inspires the crowd. The locally-curated Burnside Park Stage, which is set up within Kennedy Plaza, will bring a line-up of more local bands and performers, including RISA (the RI Songwriters Association) singer-songwriters, rockers AquaCherry, hip-hop crew #MVTHACROWD and more local favorites including Guess Method, Salem Wolves, No Exit Four, the Benji’s, Vudu Sister and military brass band Coyote Brass.

To make an already impressive festival even better, organizers have brought the Squonk “Hand to Hand” performance to Providence. This performance is a mesmerizing, humorous performance that ties together music and visual arts and features moving hand sculptures the size of small buildings. Kathleen Pletcher, executive director of FirstWorks, is beyond excited to have Squonk in Providence: “PVDFest street spectacles create indelible memories – this year, long-time FirstWorks favorite Squonk will blow us all away with a rock opera featuring animated sculptural hands as big as a house! It is all un-missable!” Squonk brought a rock show with a blimp to PVD in 2012, and has been back with a 40-foot-high “Lady Pneumatica” in 2015 and a bicycle-gymnastics-rock-show hybrid in 2018. This is expected to be their most hands-on performance to date.

To learn more about the festival and its lineup, visit PVDFest.com.

Reel Talk: This summer in film

The film festival: a veritable treasure-trove of aspiring talent looking to gain exposure in one of the hardest industries to crack. 

Traditionally, festivals are designed to celebrate the voices of independent filmmakers, acting as the proverbial catapult to stardom. In reality, the major fests have often leaned towards celebrating the celebrity and, in many cases, left the door closed for truly independent creators. So, that leaves the local festivals to carry the burden of finding that next darling of the cinema firmament. And there are a few happening this summer right here in RI. 

Even before the pandemic, the film fest was becoming a bit of a tough sell. With the pervasiveness of the medium, access to content is easier now more than ever. So, what’s the draw of a live event? What can pry droves of starry-eyed souls off their couches to the local parks and auditoriums to view independent films with hardly any explosions? For a few local groups, the answer lies in creating meaningful programming that relates to their community. 

The folks at FLM FWD, pronounced Film Forward, set out to create festivals that tackle themes that are, according to festival President Lisa Lowenstein, “pressing subjects of our day as well as transversal subjects of interest to many people in our community.”  These issues: empathy and environment, are, according to Lowenstein, “urgent.” Hence the choice to brand the festivals in shorthand and, since their mission is focused heavily on community building, they’ve also removed the “I” from film, “because it is about a community-wide festival. Not an individual initiative.“

The organizers have re-envisioned the area where Barrington’s Town Hall and Library sit to form a temporary “village” that offers food, drink, live music and children’s activities as well as an area of information booths for local organizations to go with the film screenings. This will mark the inaugural year for their Environment Festival, happening June 24 – 26, and the second for their Empathy Festival, Aug 26 – 28. The Empathy Festival will also feature a section devoted to  the military, veterans and their families. 

What’s more?This year we are adding an alcohol-free after-party dance event just after the film screenings, with a DJ behind town hall,” said Lowenstein. “It will be held in the area we call ‘The Boulevard’ that is set up to resemble a European café-lined street with its mood lighting. It should be a blast!”

This is a free event. Follow FLM FWD on social media @flmfwdfestival.

The Block Island Film Festival, founded in 2018, is a non-profit event designed around the Block Island community. Like FLM FWD, BIFF’s organizers are focused on important cultural and environmental issues, as well as opportunities for young filmmakers through their student filmmaker competition. Founder/ Executive Director Cassius ‘Cash’ Shuman is truly excited about this. “The students get to network and learn from other filmmakers at the film festival,” said Shuman. “Education is a central and important part of our mission.”

The fourth BIFF, Sep 7 – 10, features film screenings, spotlight programs, tribute and award ceremonies, question and answer forums and nightly social mixers; most take place in their new venue, the Block Island Maritime Institute.  Shuman said, “It is located right at the edge of the Great Salt Pond, so it should be a spectacular setting for the film festival. We have some terrific documentaries that we are screening, and spotlighting in partnership with BIMI and its mission.”

Shuman is no stranger to Hollywood as, according to the BIFF website, he is an award-winning screenwriter, journalist and filmmaker, but BIFF organizers choose discovery over celebrity, focusing on the quality of the films rather than using energy to attract Hollywood A-listers. Even still, BIFF does attract some attention this year with the Terence Howard, Jeremy Pivens film The Walk.

The organizers are truly about making their community better and it shows. Any proceeds from the festival are donated to an Island nonprofit. Past beneficiaries include Friends of the Island Free Library and NAMI-Block Island, an advocate for those with mental health issues. 

Finally, perhaps the biggest and certainly the longest-running film fest comes from Flickers. Their Rhode Island International Film Festival™ (RIIFF) will take place at venues throughout RI, Aug 8 – 14, and features a hybrid event with a drive-in, outdoor and online screenings, filmmaking workshops, meet-and-greet industry events and seminars. 

Says Festival Director Shawn Quirk, “We make it our goal to highlight films of all shapes and sizes with the goal of appealing to the largest range of audience members possible.  Some will come to discover a collection of international shorts, others will come to support a local filmmaker or see an industry celebrity speak… RIIFF serves as an ideal meeting ground for both the film industry and audience members.”

Quirk is excited to have visiting filmmakers share space again – “RIIFF brings the world to Rhode Island every year, and we’re looking forward to celebrating Flickers’ 40th anniversary with everyone in August.” 

RIIFF also prides itself on connecting future auteurs with established makers. In recent years they’ve showcased films directed by William Fichtner, Karen Allen, Brad Hall, Denis Villeneuve, Bob Balaban and others. Says Quirk, by “placing newly discovered filmmakers in the same context as some of Hollywood’s leading talents, we can empower the next generation of filmmakers. Last year we had the pleasure of featuring the US premiere of You’re Dead Helen. The film was later short-listed for the Oscars and purchased by TriStar Pictures.” A feature version of that film is in the works with Sam Raimi as producer and the original director, Michiel Blanchart, at the helm.  

Learn about this year’s lineup – and the local film night on Wednesday, Aug 10 at Dusk (cosponsored by Motif, Dusk and R1 Entertainment Center) – at film-festival.org

Motif Event Picks for June 22 – 28

Motif is trying something new, where our team selects a handful of events we find particularly interesting or cool for the upcoming week. Check out our favorite events in the area between June 22 and 28!

WED 22

Girls Night Out The Show: Revisiting classic fantasies and steamy exotic temptations. Features some of the most physically perfect male dancers that artistically capture a wide range of female desires, delighting audiences with a series of disarmingly sexy, yet tasteful, dance numbers and exciting routines with one goal in mind: the pleasure of women! 8pm, Fête Music Hall, 103 Dike St, PVD. fetemusic.com

FRI 24 & SAT 25

Ocean State BBQ Festival: Help define what good BBQ is in RI with the inaugural Ocean State BBQ Festival highlighting RI-based BBQ joints, restaurants, enthusiasts and backyarders! Two days of culinary competitions and live music. The Steel Yard, 27 Sims Ave, PVD. thesteelyard.org

FRI 24+

Social Security: The domestic tranquility of a pair of married art dealers is shattered upon the arrival of the wife’s goody-goody nerd of a sister, her uptight CPA husband and her archetypal Jewish mother. They are there to try to save their college student daughter from the horrors of living only for sex. The comic sparks really begin to fly when the mother hits it off with the elderly artist who is the art dealer’s best client! Granite Theater, 1 Granite St, Westerly. granitetheatre.com Runs Jun 24 – Jul 24

SUN 26

RI Food Fights 5th Annual Incredible Ice Cream Throwdown: The biggest ICE CREAM celebration is BACK! All you can sample from the very best ice cream vendors in RI. Count on all-you-can-chug Yacht Club Soda and New Harvest Coffee Roasters Iced coffee, too. 1 – 3pm, Rhode Island Eye Institute, 150 E. Manning St, PVD. rifoodfights.com

MON 27

Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness: This is a man who was diagnosed with cancer at 22 years old, on the cusp of releasing his debut album (as Jack’s Mannequin). Also featuring Civil Twilight. 6:30pm, Fête Music Hall, 103 Dike St, PVD. fetemusic.com


Follow Your Nose to Providence Perfume Company


When Providence Perfume Company owner Charna Ethier offered to let me sample an all-natural perfume whose ingredients list included some obscure thing called “ambergris,” I was initially a bit skeptical. I remembered hearing once that they put skunk urine in some perfumes (is that true?). But I was also overwhelmingly optimistic. This was over a half-hour into my discussion with the lively and tenacious Ethier at her store on Wickenden Street, and we had spent a bulk of that time chatting about the golden age of perfumery while she shared her vast knowledge on exotic perfume ingredients, along with quite a few whiffs of some amazing fragrances.

She brandished a tiny, tiny glass bottle. “This little bit is worth well over 100 dollars,” she said, rolling the fragrance across my wrist. I tensed. Oh god, what if I dropped it?

As it turns out, ambergris is one of many exceedingly rare aromatic items, with an explanation that reads like a magical fable: When some kinds of whale eat just the right kind of cuttlefish to such an excess that they vomit, these pools of vomit sometimes congeal and simmer in the sea and sift through the water, baking in the sun until randomly, accidentally, they wash ashore somewhere for some incredibly lucky sonovagun to happen upon it. That’s right. Ambergris is whale vomit. It’s incredibly valuable, and it smells like a dream.

An Australian couple in 2006 found a 32-pound chunk of sludgy, tar-like something they claimed smelled like sweet cow dung (huh?). As it turns out, that netted them £155,000 ($295,000) when they sold it, because, you know, whale vomit.

Providence-Perfume01-lowresThe scent of the ambergris-based perfume applied to my wrist was a gentle musk, sharp and strong, androgynous and well-rounded, but oddly clean-smelling. While sniffing, I tried to think of the vomit simmering in the ocean, wondering if nausea might hit me. But it didn’t. The smell was absolutely amazing, completely alien but vaguely familiar and pleasant. It made me think of that magic potion in Harry Potter that smells like your favorite things.

Charna Ethier is a real-life potions master.

“Making a perfume is like building a house,” Ethier explained to me. “You have to pour the foundation and build from the base, up.” We were at the Perfume Bar in the store, where yes, you can build a fragrance from the ground up under her guidance (you can also pre-buy the empty bottle and a voucher for gift-giving purposes). I still smile when I think of the comparison to Build-A-Bear.

Every perfume scent is comprised of top, heart and base notes. There are roughly a dozen options for each tier at the perfume bar, and each final perfume typically has 1-2 top notes, 4 or so heart notes and 2 or 3 base notes. After application, the dominating scents progress in that order over time. So what’s your fancy? Sweet and fruity? Clean and floral? Spicy?

“Rose and jasmine are the building blocks of the whole perfume industry. They round out a scent, and are very well-balanced.” But what’s the cost of a kilo of real jasmine essence? About $59,000. Mainstream perfume companies tend to use roughly upward of 98% synthetic chemicals. Rather than use fragrances as they occur naturally, they isolated the individual chemicals and synthesized them cheaply. For that reason, these all-natural perfumes can be a little bit pricier, but the quality is above and beyond.

Providence-Perfume-001-highThe International Fragrance Association (IFRA) regulates the aroma industry from within; most of those sitting on the directorial board have ties to the aroma industry. “Roughly 85% of natural ingredients are banned, whereas only 15% of synthetics have been,” Ethier explained. The general rule of thumb seems to be that if anyone has ever had an allergic reaction to an ingredient, then it becomes restricted. Remarkably few studies are being done on the effects of aromatic ingredients. For example, perfumes cannot contain more than 3% real lavender. Lavender! That delicate purple flower in the mint family that smells so wonderful and relaxing.

man Though the Providence Perfume Company sources what it can from local vendors, most ingredients for perfumes come from areas like India, Turkey, France and Morocco, just to name a few. The shop has somewhere around 630 different suppliers. Some ingredients are hard to come by, like ambergris. Others are out there, but it takes years to find the right one. Ethier has been a perfumer for around a decade, and she opened her store about two years ago so she could have a home base for a business that was thriving internationally.

Ethier and I were standing by a rack of tinctures and essential oils: “We get our specific sandalwood from a supplier in Hawaii. It’s the best I’ve come by. Oh! And try this,” she said, excitedly picking up a different vial and urging me to smell. It was tomato leaf from the south of France, and it smelled exactly like a rich, fresh caprese salad. Mmmhmm. Come to think of it, hunger is a pretty good reaction you’d want to induce in people who catch a whiff of your scent, isn’t it?scent.bar

For all intents and purposes, Providence Perfume Company is one of the only “organic” perfumeries around, and for that reason, it’s 100% illegal in the eyes (and nose) of IFRA. Though this rebel is about as close as you can get in the industry, Ethier explained that she can’t actually call her products organic. “The only way to extract a number of delicate exotic flowers is through a process called solvent extraction.” When the innocuous process is complete, trace amounts of solvents might remain, so the final products can’t be officially called organic. “This process is why so many of our perfumes have color to them.” Most mainstream perfumes are clear, but again, because of the synthetic ingredients.

In addition to the Perfume Bar (which makes a great gift for anyone in your life who wants to smell amazing), PPC also has a fill station for body lotion and shower gel that functions just like the growler model at most breweries: simply purchase a vintage glass bottle and fill it up with your chosen product, and then quite literally just rinse and repeat.

Charna Ethier also teaches perfumery classes right in the store. Students get the opportunity to craft and name their own fragrances, while learning strategies for creating and marketing a business. These intensive, weekend-long seminars attract aspiring perfumers from around the globe. Clients vary from those already in a scented-industry looking to expand their horizons to wealthy business people looking for a career change. Locals tend to frequent the $70 community class: two hours on a Sunday, which represents what Charna affectionately calls “perfume bar on steroids.” No matter which flavor students are in for, they learn a lot about an exciting industry that’s changed quite a bit in the last century. After all, there are supposedly more astronauts than there are perfumers.

“Vintage perfumes used to have so much nuance to them,” Ethier reminisced. “But most of the mainstream perfumeries pushed toward simple, synthetic blends over time.” She appreciates the value of a genuinely good product and wants to preserve something the world seems to be losing, especially when everyone has an idea of what things like rose or lavender should smell like, without hardly ever knowing what real rose or lavender smell like. At Providence Perfume Company, you get the real deal.

“Scent history is being lost. People should know what real things smell like!” Ethier said. “I like to think that a little bit of what I do is preserving scent history in a way. People should try to open their minds…”

“And their nostrils?” I add. We laugh.

Ed Note: Following the interview, Ms. Ethier decided to offer an early-bird holiday sale just for Motif readers. No one’s done that before, but we decided to pass her offer along to you – so, mention “Motif” at checkout to receive a 15% discount on any fragrances. Good in store only, and only through November 25.


Puzzling Pieces




This weekend saw the opening of a very puzzling art exhibit at the Machines with Magnets studio in Pawtucket. Part bar, part performance space, part gallery and part recording studio, Machines with Magnets could be a called a puzzling environment on its own. In the gallery section of the space, you can now view recent work by Umberto Crenca. Crenca, the founder of Providence-based arts organization AS220, is known in the community as a champion of the arts and an advocate for unjuried art exhibitions. In his own work, he’s known for his use of art as social commentary. This show displays a recent part of his puzzle piece series, a decades-long endeavor that encompasses about 135 pieces created by Crenca. Not literally puzzle pieces – although those make some appearances – this series is really an exploration, in two dimensions, of social and political topics that intrigue, frustrate, or simply puzzle the artist.

“Some of them are saying something pretty clear,” says Crenca, “and if others seem ambiguous, well, they might be. Some of them certainly approach issues I’m a little confused about, and that probably comes across – I hope it does.”

The show is titled “Puzzled: Ode (Owed) to Channing?” and includes a large blow-up of Crenca’s first review, decades ago, by Providence Journal critic Channing Gray. Crenca credits the sometimes scathing review with inciting the creation of AS220 and a deeper dedication by Crenca to his own work. (see a TED talk on the subject here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=tD-T4LIddtE )

Compositionally, some of the work is striking, some deliberately off-balance or disturbing. All of it is visually and mentally intense – the sort of work you want to get up close to, to examine the details and numerous levels of meta-reference.

“That’s Gaddafi’s severed head. The Black liquid is oil, the red is blood. I think that one’s pretty straightforward,” says Crenca, contrasting two of the pieces. “This one, though, takes a lot of explaining. I’m sure there are things in here that only mean something to me,” he says, rattling off a list of authors whose thoughts are represented in various abstract ways. Oh, and the numbers of the Fibonacci sequence are carefully scattered about that canvas as well.

Some pieces feature tiny thought bubbles, on others you’ll find referential figures tucked in the corners. One piece includes a lot of glitter. Figuring out each theme can feel like assembling a puzzle in your mind.

While the puzzle analogy has numerous applications to this collection of work – from pun to metaphor – it also seems like the artist may be hoping that someday, the collection as a whole will fit together like the pieces of a puzzle, granting insight into the conceptual and emotional makeup of the artist, complete with contradiction, confusion and clarity.

A series of  pieces and one very large work are on display from now until April 27th at Machines with Magnets, 400 Main St. Pawtucket, RI – www.machineswithmagnets.com


Valentine’s Day Events 2014


Love it or hate it, Valentine’s and anti-Valentine’s day events are going on all weekend. Grab your sweetheart or your pack of single friends and see what the greater-RI area has in store

Bad Rabbits have been around for a while but this is being touted as their moment to break out internationally, fusing rock and funk. The Met, 999 Main St, Pawtucket, 9pm.
themetri.com Feb 14

Be My Ally: The Upstander Play: Written by a collaboration of kids from Manton Avenue Project’s Tag Team Program and performed by adults, tickets are pay-what-you-can at the door in the Media and Arts Center at the Met School 325 Public Street, Providence. mantonavenueproject.org
Feb 14 – 16

Black Valentine’s Day Party: Whether you are single or in a relationship, love V-Day or despise the color red, join others in the celebration of Black Valentine’s Day at The Ocean Mist, 895 Matunuck Beach Rd. Wakefield.
oceanmist.net Feb 14

Brass Attack: Nine-piece brass dance band on Valentine’s night starting at 9pm The Last Resort, 325 Farnum Pike, Smithfield. Feb 14
Chocolate and Wine Stroll: Stroll to participating restaurants and receive beautiful wine and chocolates tastings. A great way to celebrate Valentine’s week! This event is a benefit for Stand Up for Animals in Westerly. Downtown Westerly at 6pm.
westerlychamber.org Feb 12

Chocolate and Wine Tasting Party at the Contemporary Theatre. 7- 9pm thecontemporarytheater.com Feb 15…

Cupid Ball: A Pink Tie Affair: The Center by The Blackstone will be hosting the Cupid Ball to benefit their annual Cherry Blossom Festival. Music, raffles and prizes from 5pm – midnight. 175 Main Street, Pawtucket. centerbytheblackstone.com Feb 14

The Dancin’ Feelin’ Valentine’s Day Ballroom Dance Party: Couples and singles welcome – all levels of dance. Wear red and be in a drawing for prizes. 8pm at the Dillon Council,  1675 Douglas Ave, North Providence. kathyandrandydance.com Feb 14

Dining at Aldrich Mansion: Spend a romantic evening over a four-course meal along with live music, in the historic Aldrich Mansion, 836 Warwick Neck Ave. Warwick, RI. RSVP at aldrichmansion.com Feb 14

Hotel Providence Valentine’s Weekend Package: A charming room in downtown Providence, breakfast for two, and valet parking as a nice getaway for you and your Valentine. Package deals are available at Hotel Providence. hotelprovidence.com Feb 13 – 15

Jazzy Valentine: Join Roy Scott and the Big Band for a show at Lake Pearl Lucciano’s. Playing hits from the swing-era, the concert venue will also include a cash bar and a dinner option at 6:30pm. The show starts at 7:30pm at Lake Pearl Lucciano’s, 299 Creek Street Wrentham. sharonbands.org Feb 15
Kool & the Gang: Spend your Valentine’s Day listening to R&B and funky sounds at Twin River Casino’s Lighthouse Bar 8pm at 100 Twin River Rd, Lincoln. twinrivercasio.com Feb 14
Lantern Tour in Colonial Newport: Looking for a little less romance and a little more history this Valentine’s Day? Join Newport History tours and be led through the streets of downtown Newport by a guide dressed in historical colonial attire. The tour will begin at 4:30pm at Brick Market Museum & Shop 127 Thames Street, Newport. newporthistorytours.org Feb 14
Laughter & Love Valentine’s Day Show: The Bit Players will be playing two improv shows this Valentine’s Day at the Firehouse Theater in Newport. The first show will be at 8:00pm and the second will start at 9:30pm. 4 Equality Park PI Newport. firehousetheater.org Feb 14

Love Is In The Air III  is a Valentine’s Day show of Broadway love songs with a twist of jazz. 8pm at the Greenwich Odeum, 59 Main St, East Greenwich. theodeum.org Feb 14

LuLz! Comedy Night with Leslie and the Lys, Randy Bush, and Boone County Comedy Troupe: Leslie and the Lys began as an internet sensation for her website gemsweater.com. Leslie and the Lys is touring over the next couple months with Boone County Comedy Troupe and Dean & the Delilah’s. If you are looking for laughs this Valentine’s Day Head to AS220 at 9pm, 115 Empire Street, Providence. as220.org Feb 14 & 15

Martha Redbone Roots Project – Garden of Love: FirstWorks presents Martha Redbone performing sounds of funk and R&B at the Aurora (formerly Roots), 276 Westminster St., Providence, 7:30pm. first-works.org Feb 13

My Funny Valentine: After performances of Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Ocean State Theatre Co’s lobby will be transformed into a piano lounge equipped with drinks and late night appetizers. Attendance at the performance preceding the cabaret is not required. The lobby doors will open for the cabaret at 9:30 pm. The theater is located at 1245 Jefferson Blvd, Warwick. oceanstatetheatre.org Feb 14 & 15

Narragansett Towers Valentine Dance Bash: A night of dancing to  R&B, rock n’ roll, and swing with Roger Ceresi and his All Starz at The Narragansett Towers. 7:30pm, 35 Ocean Road Narragansett. thetowersri.com Feb 14

Ocean House Dinner: Celebrate with a 5-star dinner in Seasons at the Ocean House. Ocean House chefs will take you through five palate-enticing courses, each highlighting the best of the New England bounty. 5:30pm Ocean House, Watch Hill.
oceanhouseevents.com Feb 14

Opera Providence Valentine’s Day Concert: As part of Blithewold Mansion’s Winter Concert Series, Opera Providence presents 2 special shows. 101 Ferry Rd, Bristol. operaprovidence.org  Feb 14 & 16

Pete Seeger Memorial Concert:  He spearheaded an American folk revival and spent a long career championing folk music as both a vital heritage and a catalyst for social change. Join John Fuzek, Bill Harley, Atwater Donnelly and others for a musical tribute at Sandywoods, 42 Muse Way, Tiverton. Sandywoodsmusic.com Feb 14
Stargazing: Every Friday night (weather permitting) the Frosty Drew opens their dome and telescopes. What’s more romantic than a night under the stars? 61 Park Ln, Charlestown.
frostydrew.org Feb 14

Sweetheart Dance at Mount Hope Farm:  A night of dancing, cupcakes, and a cash bar for you and your sweetheart. 8-11pm, 250 Metacom Ave. Bristol. mounthopefarm.org Feb 15

MoTiV: Top “To Do’s” This Weekend