Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 11-15-2018

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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VALLEY BREEZE LIVING EDITION | NOVEMBER 15-21, 2018 ENTERTAINMENT 5 WOONSOCKET – When Mason Weagle auditioned for "Elf Jr.," he did have the show's main character in mind. His friends frequently call him Buddy the Elf "due to how happy and energetic I usually am," said the Blackstone Valley Tech junior recently. "And of course, given my large height, the character just seemed to fit." Weagle landed the starring role in "Elf Jr.: The Musical" this weekend at the Stadium Theater. The movie version of "Elf," starring Will Ferrell, has become a holiday classic, so it's no surprise that's it been turned into a stage musical. The show tells the story of Buddy the Elf in his quest to find his true identity. "Elf Jr." is a kid-friendly version with lots of toe-tapping songs and dance numbers including "Sparkleyjollytwinklejingley" and "There is a Santa Claus." Dillon Tognacci directed the show in 2016 and calls that production a success. The Stadium's CEO, Cathy Levesque, says Tognacci, "thought it would be a great show to bring back. I was approached to direct it again and I said 'yes' right away without any hesitation." Music director Brittany Dyer says she loves the movie, "and I absolutely love the holiday season. Working on 'Elf Jr.' and then also working on 'A Christmas Carol' at the Stadium really stretches out my holiday season." Weagle is also a fan of the movie. "I was an 'Elf' fan before I auditioned, but now I'm a huge fan, having watched the movie about seven times in the last month." The cast has been rehearsing since September. "We rehearse three nights a week for nine hours, focusing on music, choreography and blocking." When they entered tech week, the rehearsals could stretch to 15 hours a week. Weagle admits that the process "can be difficult at first, combining the music you've already learned with new choreography. But once we got it Get into the holiday spirit with the Stadium's 'Elf Jr.' By FRANK O'DONNELL Valley Breeze Entertainment Writer MASON WEAGLE stars as Buddy the Elf in the Stadium Theatre's production of "Elf Jr." Teacher: 'Coddling kids is not the answer' For the record, I believe in the concept of public (aka, taxpayer- funded, government, "free") schools. I attended public schools and obtained an excellent education that challenged my intellect and imparted a broad understanding of the world and my place in it. I am forever grateful to my teachers. Some were more likable than others, but they were all dedicated to their craft and mission. I began having misgivings con- cerning public education during my kids' school years. The schools they attended were less than chal- lenging and often driven, it seemed, by educational fad (e.g., outcome- based education, open classrooms, new math). In addition, parents and teachers – the latter, mostly – were beginning to tell me stories of class- room discipline debacles of a sort that I never saw or even heard of when I was a student. Since then – over the past 40 years, that is – the discipline problems teachers are expected to deal with have only got- ten worse, by much. The further problem is that over that same time, teachers have been slowly but surely stripped of per- mission to punish. According to educational and psychological ideo- logues, punishment is demeaning, lowers self-esteem, leads invariably to resentment, and other things it is and does not. Research done by social scientists who possess an abundance of objectivity – increas- ingly hard to find – contradicts all the politically-correct propaganda pertaining to punishment. In a nutshell, the best research finds that mild-to-moderate pun- ishment works far better than any alternative (rewarding, ignoring, talking) at correcting misbehavior; that the most obedient kids are also the happiest; and that the highest student achievement is associated with teachers who employ moderate criticism and create teacher-centric classrooms. Characteristic of an ideology- driven institution is a blind eye to facts that do not affirm the ideology in question. Concerning America's public education system, that description seems to fit. Consider the following statement from a teacher, who echoes the complaint of nearly every public-school teach- er to whom I've spoken of late: "We are told we need to 'under- stand their behavior' and use 'restorative justice' to help a student Traditional Parenting JOHN ROSEMOND See TEACHER, Page 12 See 'ELF JR', Page 11 Dining Guide 74 South Main St., Woonsocket, RI 401-235-9026 Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday & Saturday 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday Noon-8 p.m. www.riverfallsri.com Friday Specials Every Friday 11:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Eat-in or Take-Out Fish & Chips $9.99 Baked Haddock Dinner $9.99 Fried Bay Scallop Dinner $10.99 Fried Shrimp Platter $10.99 Steak • Seafood • PaSta Open for Lunch Over 20 Craft Beers on Rotating Tap The The The The The The Tavern at TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY SUNDAY A Southern New England Tradition We serve both! Sundays Only Noon - 8 p.m. ALL YOU CAN EAT FAMILY STYLE CHICKEN ANY BURGER WITH ANY DRAFT $10 Every Wednesday Night 3 p.m. - 10 p.m. $26 (dinner only) $35 (with bottle of wine or pitcher of beer) Choice of soup or salad, two entrées, coffee & dessert Every Thursday Night 4 p.m. - 9 p.m. ALL YOU CAN EAT RIB FEST Includes Prime Rib & Baby Back Ribs Only $22.99 HARVEST SALAD Fresh garden greens, spinach, chopped apples, candied pecans, bacon, dried cranberries, feta cheese and pumpkin bread croutons driz- zled with Fuji apple dressing. Finished with pecan encrusted chicken breast. NEW AUTUMN MENU PUMPKIN RAVIOLI Roasted sweet pumpkin filled ravioli tossed in a light cream sauce with roasted apples and candied pecans. AUTUMN RISOTTO Creamy Carnaroli rice tossed with roasted pulled chicken, sweet but- ternut squash, caramelized onions, crasins and baby spinach. Finished in a creamy parmesan chicken stock. DRUNKEN PORK CHOP Maple brined French cut pork chop marinated in a bourbon BBQ sauce then grilled, topped with sweet bourbon onion sauce and served over sweet potato risotto. PECAN ENCRUSTED NORWEGIAN SALMON Pan seared with crushed pecans and finished with a delicious fig sauce. Served over sweet potato risotto. PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE

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