Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Diners and Lighthouses - What Could Be More "New England"?

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What could be more symbolic of New England than diners and lighthouses?

Rhode Island PBS indulges in a Night of Nostalgia on Wednesday, March 4, with two local programs that feature these New England icons. Beginning at 7 PM, New England Portrait: The History of New England Diners spotlights five traditional eateries in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts. The program will be followed by Rhode Island's Historic Lighthouses at 7:30 PM.

Richard Gutman, director and curator of the Johnson & Wales Culinary Arts Museum, provides extensive and fascinating historical context on New England diners, while owners and patrons of area establishments add local color and humor. Richard Gutman will also be interviewed in the Rhode Island PBS studios during breaks in the program.

The diners profiled in the show include Hope Diner in Bristol, RI; Champ’s Diner in Woonsocket, RI; Bishop’s Diner in Newport, RI; Shawmut Diner in New Bedford, MA; and Miss Worcester in Worcester, MA. And what would a story about local diners be without a visit to Haven Brothers in Providence?

The program also includes an original theme song, “Let’s Go Down to the Diner,” composed for the show by Jon Marable.

Following the feast of local diners, the Emmy®-nominated Rhode Island's Historic Lighthouses provides a comprehensive look at the 200-plus-year history, decline and rebirth of the beacons that grace Rhode Island's 400 miles of shoreline. Emmy®-award winning Director of Photography Jim Karpeichik will be in the Rhode Island PBS studio to present his beautifully filmed documentary.

Rhode Island's Historic Lighthouses covers all 30 of Rhode Island's lighthouses, and includes stories of tragedies and heroism, buildings lost and restoration projects. Jim Karpeichik spent more than two years filming lighthouses in all seasons. Producer Heather Moreau researched maritime history and interviewed key people, including some who grew up in lighthouses, nationally recognized historians, and those who today are leading the way in restoration.

The Rhode Island PBS Night of Nostalgia is part of the viewer-supported public television station's March fund raising drive. The specials will air on digital 36.1; Cox, Verizon, and FullChannel cable 8; DirecTV 36; and Dish 7776; Massachusetts cable subscribers should check local cable listings for channel number.