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Program Guide
September 12, 2019 - October 27, 2019

The Prince of Providence

By George Brant
Based on the book The Prince of Providence by Mike Stanton
Directed by Taibi Magar

One of the most tragicomic figures in modern politics – and the city he transformed.

The nation knows him from Crimetown and Operation Plunder Dome, but Providence has a deeper and more complicated relationship with Buddy Cianci. A charismatic visionary who was also a corrupt philanderer, the long-time mayor defied the odds time after time – from his very first election to winning again after being arrested on assault charges. Surrounded by a colorful carousel of characters, Buddy gave Providence many things: some are more visible – businesses, tourism, and relocated rivers – while others are less tangible, but no less real – pride, notoriety, and now, a great story to tell.

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Patrons are advised to be cautious of third-party websites claiming to sell tickets to any Trinity Rep production.

Add a Pre-Show Prologue
Join us for a FREE prologue! One hour prior to every performance, a member of the cast leads a 30-minute discussion with a peek into the play-making process and other details. Each Prologue concludes with a Q&A with the audience. Learn more.

Buzz
“The Prince of Providence”...opened this month to critical acclaim and feverish box-office demand. It has become the Passion Play of Providence.
New York Times
"Not surprisingly, the show has broken all box office records save for holiday offerings...And it’s worth it...Bottom line, 'The Prince of Providence' has all the story you love to hear, but a twist that will leave you stunned."
The Providence Journal
“…as quick-witted, sharp-edged, unpredictable, unstoppable, unsettling, and generally complicated as Cianci himself.”
The Boston Globe
"The play was excellent on many levels. It was entertaining, thought-provoking, surprising and heartbreaking. "
Richard W. Rose, retired federal prosecutor and part of the Plunder Dome prosecution team.
“Scott Aiello as Cianci delivers a career-defining performance, all in a show that jolts for its exquisite perceptiveness.”
WGBH Boston
“With the exception of Aaron Sorkin, very few dramatists can find a way to make even the dirtiest of politics interesting, but Brant does so with panache..”
Motif Magazine
No show this year has been more anticipated than Trinity Repertory Company’s “The Prince of Providence.” Does the play live up to the hype? Absolutely….A wildly entertaining exploration of the life and times of legendary Mayor Vincent “Buddy” Cianci….Scott Aiello (from TV’s “Billions”) turns in a powerhouse performance in the lead role.
Warwick Post
Buddy Cianci may not have had a pristine record, but the play about him is perfect.
WPRO
“Capturing the life, times and personality …Buddy Cianci Jr. is a high bar…Trinity Rep more than clears it. In fact, it soars above it.”
Sun Chronicle
“Opening night for “The Prince of Providence,” the story of Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr., attained a Hollywood glamour…”
The Providence Journal
“In life, Buddy had an overwhelming need to be, as the saying has it, the bride at every wedding and the corpse at every funeral. And surely, that’s how “The Prince of Providence” is showing him to cheering, sold-out crowds. God, he would have loved it.”
The Providence Journal
"The Prince of Providence" is already Trinity Rep.'s highest-selling show of all time that's not "A Christmas Carol."
ABC 6
“…it is absolutely fabulous…it is ‘Hamilton’ for Rhode Islanders.”
Woonsocket Call & Times
“Nothing less than a bodacious riot of a man of great ability but unfortunately, also great anger and inability to play the game both well and fair.”
The Public's Radio
“It's epic. It's big, bold, brazen and bursting with brilliance. It's bound to be a blockbuster. What a show. It's also hilarious, sweeping, touching and surprisingly emotional.”
The Westerly Sun
“Buddy Cianci is back, at least through the end of October. His life is being told through performers on stage at Trinity Rep in Providence.”
NBC 10
Buddy Cianci is the new "Hamilton"
The Boston Globe
"Aiello spent much of August 'in full Buddy mode' — he’s listened to tapes, watched video, read the books. He’s trying to get the posture ('sort of a stocky hunch') and the vocal inflections. He’s also going to the gym every day at 6 a.m. to prepare for a physically demanding part that has him onstage for virtually the entire show."
The Boston Globe
"His actions were very troubling, and I don't want to ever erase that," Magar said. "I see him as a fascinating character inside a fascinating city at a fascinating time. His story brings up really potent questions about politics and politicians. What came first: the chicken or the egg? Are politicians corrupt, or does politics corrupt them?"
Associated Press
"Not surprisingly, the show has broken all box office records save for holiday offerings...And it’s worth it...Bottom line, 'The Prince of Providence' has all the story you love to hear, but a twist that will leave you stunned."
The Providence Journal
"Scott Aiello, who portrays former Providence Mayor Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci in the Trinity Repertory Company production, promises a creative interpretation, not an impersonation. “We will create a character, a living and breathing figure, on the stage that has both good and bad parts,” he said."
The Providence Journal
"I think Buddy’s story will always be incredibly captivating, no matter the time."
Rhode Island Monthly
"Spending time with and getting to know Sheila Bentley (formerly Cianci) has been one of my favorite parts of taking on this role."
Motif Magazine
"We are all such complicated people, and Buddy surely is a hyper-version of that."
ArtsFuse
"This is the world premiere that Rhode Islanders have been clamoring for. "
East Side Monthly
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Spoiler Alert!

Synopsis

Below is a synopsis of the show. You've been warned.

The year is 1972 and a young Vincent “Buddy” Cianci is trying to decide whether or not he should run for mayor, or buy a boat.

When current and longtime Mayor Joe Doorley starts to lose the democratic vote, Buddy decides to run as an “anti-corruption” candidate, and a Republican, to take on the seat of mayor in Providence, Rhode Island.  It’s going to be a challenge since he’s Italian and Providence politics has long been in the realm of the Irish. One thing he has going for him, though, is that he’s an up-and-coming prosecutor in the city who took on the mob. Soon after, Buddy and his new wife, Sheila, with their baby girl Nicole, are on the campaign circuit, trying to meet everyone in the city before the polls close.  With the help of some well-known people of the city’s underbelly, Cianci wins, defeating Doorley.

Being mayor is no walk in the park. With so many people calling in favors, and a strike on his hands, Buddy is dealing with a lot. One night, while out with one of his mistresses, Buddy’s wife Sheila catches him in the act. He begs her to stay – to think of his political career – and she agrees that they will divorce after his reelection campaign as mayor. After another four years, and another campaign, the two call it quits. It’s then that Buddy finds out that while the two were getting divorced, Sheila had an affair of her own.  Furious, Buddy invites the man – Ray DeLeo – over to his home for a little chat. The results of that meeting cost Buddy his job, but not his career.

Time jumps and the year is 1990. Buddy, now a popular radio talk show host, is on the air discussing the mayor of Providence, who he wants out of office –Mayor Joseph Paolino.  He’s then visited by his daughter, Nicole, his girlfriend Wendy, and his friend and campaign manager, Mickey, who all are trying to convince Buddy to run for mayor again. After some prodding, Buddy agrees, runs, and wins the seat of Mayor for a second time.

During this time, Buddy’s love of his city brings about many changes for Providence. He opens WaterPlace Park, brings the Providence Bruins to town, and catches a show or two at Trinity Rep. However; it’s during this time that Buddy is once again brought to trial – this time for corruption. A conviction would once again kick him out of office and potentially land him in federal prison.

Community Partners

Cast & Creative

Cast
Scott Aiello
Vincent "Buddy" Cianci
Rebecca Gibel '10
Sheila Cianci
Stephen Berenson
Erick Betancourt
Janice Duclos
Caitlin Duffy '20
Mauro Hantman
Phyllis Kay
Ian Kramer
Brian McEleney
Lindsey Steinert '20
Charlie Thurston '12
Joe Wilson, Jr.
Nick Vicinanzo '20

Creative

Taibi Magar
Director
George Brant
Playwright
Mike Stanton
Author
Sara Sheets
Stage Manager
Sara Brown
Set Design
Olivera Gajic
Costume Design
Dan Scully
Lighting Design
Mikaal Sulaiman
Sound Design
Wall-e The Dog
Assistant to the Stage Manager and Crew Support

Sponsors

Media Sponsor

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