The fifth annual Art Newbury Street couldn't have fallen on a more perfect day. This is the celebration the art galleries put on in spring and fall when they throw open their doors, banish the cars, and invite the town to converge in pleasant droves. Sunday's weather cooperated magnificently.
A more determined reviewer might have trod around to all 25 participating galleries (at a rate of five an hour), but Art Newbury Street is as much a celebration of spring as it is a gallery hop. Foot-tapping to the 15-piece Herb's Heard big band's ''Take the A Train'' and people-watching deserved at least a mention. The following is a sampling of the artistic offerings.
The galleries put on as fine a face as the weather did, some sprucing up their regular fare, others bringing out special exhibitions. Westminster revealed Wedgwood ceramic jewelry and rainbow-hued fiber art. Pucker/Safrai continued its exhibition of Brother Thomas's porcelain as well as Ali's carnival-theme monotypes. Delicate watercolors of Back Bay scenes graced the Copley Society, while Wenniger Graphics opened its Japanese printmakers exhibit, with both traditional (delicate landscapes) and modern (a Japanese freeway) subjects. - C. F. Calypso Cinderella
''Cinderella,'' set on a Caribbean island? Sure, why not?
Wheelock Family Theatre's production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's ''Cinderella'' shows that ''impossible dreams do come true,'' in any land, to dreamers of all colors.
Cinderella (Angela Hall) is lovely, patient, and sings like an angel. And she's black. Having this poor relation who's treated like a slave played by a black girl makes a gentle point about racism to children.
Politics aside, it's a fun show. The stepsisters, particularly, are delightfully beastly: Portia (Lorraine Ford) is solid and brays a lot, Joy (Sarah Kindleberger) is plump and whines.
The Prince (David Vanleesten) and Cinderella almost seem to be in another play. They have the best voices, they're slim and graceful, and they seem to float through the dumpy crowd.
The townsfolk frolic around the tropical set, filled with purplish pineapples and palms. The music (by harp, piano, and synthesizers) and lush score (by Rodgers and Hammerstein) create a pleasing backdrop. Unfortunately, the music was a tad loud and the actors a tad soft. And what you couldn't hear from the actors you could from the young audience members. But the dull roar couldn't completely drown out this magical play about ''a country bumpkin who marries a prince.'' Ends Sunday. - C. F. Girls' Night Out
If you think music just hasn't been danceable since Martha and the Vandellas, the Shirelles, and the other girls groups of the early 1960s left the scene, get out your flats - Girls' Night Out is here.
This seven-member band, composed of the cream of local bands, has been attracting crowds at Jonathan Swift's, the Channel, and the Commons Restaurant in Copley Place, with spunky renditions of ''Nowhere to Run,'' ''Leader of the Pack,'' and ''He's So Fine.'' Each of the members sings as well as plays.
The girls wear taffeta and sequined party dresses from the late '50s and '60s - quite a sight worn by such competent sax players.
It's still a new group (they went pro in January) and the members have some ironing out to do. There's a long solo in almost every song; it's too much, and bogs down the pace. Their own songs don't have that Motown punch. And in the smaller halls, the backup tends to drown out the vocals. Try seeing them in a larger space like the Channel where you'll be able to hear the vocals and dance.
With their strong, clear voices (especially lead singer Didi Stewart and bassist Sandy Martin), expert playing, great songs, and sense of fun, it's no wonder they're becoming highly sought after around New England. Next playing at the Channel on May 18.