Thursday, April 1, 2010

Four New "Rhode Island Stories" in April on WSBE Rhode Island PBS

THE TENT: Life in the Round (April 3)

The Tent: Life in the Round tells the story of the Warwick Musical Theatre, the site of countless summer performances by entertainment's top stars. A family-run business for 45 years, "The Tent" was a popular must-visit destination, known for its revolving circular stage, intimate atmosphere, big-name performers, and affordable tickets. Owners Buster and Barbara Bonoff took their passion for the performing arts and made it their living. Along the way over the years, they touched the lives of their hundreds of employees and thousands of theater-goers. Typical of Rhode Island, the Warwick Musical Theatre was still known as "The Tent" long after a permanent building was erected on the site in 1967.

The Tent: Life in the Round is co-produced by Larry Bonoff, son of the owners, and features reminiscences by performers Billy Ray Cyrus, Howie Mandel, Huey Lewis, Vince Gill, and many more. Director-writer-co-producer Brian Jones used archival footage, as well as memorabilia and photos from Larry Bonoff's collection. The film was edited by Emmy-winning filmmaker Jim Karpeichik and narrated by Patrice Wood. Journal Arts writer Michael Janusonis said about The Tent: Life in the Round: "It’s a warm-hearted, endearing portrait of a place where everyone who worked there came together every summer, year after year, as one big happy family to present the kind of performers one could only see at the time on television or in the movies."

The Tent: Life in the Round airs on Saturday, April 3 at 7 PM, and Sunday, April 4 at 11 PM


When the Reds Ruled the Roost, the story of a 50-year hockey love affair between a team and its thousands of passionate fans. The 40-minute documentary includes rare footage from every decade, starting in the 1920s when the Rhode Island Reds were born. The film also shows vintage photos of Hockey Hall of Famers Milt Schmidt, Johnny Bower, Ed Giacomin and Fern Flaman. Other hockey greats appearing in the film are some of the toughest guys ever to play the game: Jim Bartlett, Eddie Shack, and Chuck Scherza.

The program is a compelling video history about the immensely popular Rhode Island Reds and includes many colorful stories from former players, hockey Hall of Famers, owners, general managers and coaches.

Emmy award-winning former television sportscaster Joe Rocco produced When the Reds Ruled the Roost. He spent 18 months conducting interviews with former hockey greats, as well as collecting photos and film clips that haven’t been seen in decades. The program is narrated by Boston Bruins legendary announcer Fred Cusick.

When the Reds Ruled the Roost airs on Saturday, April 10 at 7 PM and Sunday April 11 at 11 PM.


The poignant and factual Hidden Face of Homelessness examines the difficult choices that so many who find themselves homeless must make each day to survive, even as they hide from those who really should be able to help them.

The documentary offers insight, dispels myths and stereotypes, and proposes real solutions. Through several interviews with experts as well as the homeless themselves, the documentary shows that 80-90% of the homeless population does not fit the stereotypes. These are people we encounter on a daily basis, working at a market or in an office, but have no place to go at the end of the day.

Hidden Face of Homelessness was filmed in Rhode Island, second only to Nevada in percentage of population that is homeless. It airs on Saturday, April 17 at 7 PM, and on Sunday, April 18 at 11 PM.


From award-winning director Christian De Rezendes comes Zach: A Film about Epilepsy.

Nearing the age of twenty, Zachery Smith has a severe form of epilepsy for which there is no cure. This film captures a day in his life with his family, his schooling, and Zach's ongoing struggles with epilepsy.

Zach: A Film about Epilepsy airs Saturday, April 24 at 7 PM and Sunday, April 25 at 11 PM.

Following Zach: A Film about Epilepsy is a timely encore of The Impact of Your Choice: Underage Drinking and Reckless Driving. With prom and graduation season around the corner, the documentary serves as a stunning reminder of the dangers of underage drinking. The Impact of Your Choice: Underage Drinking and Reckless Driving presents local stories but from the perspective of those who are left behind to cope with the death of their child, brother, sister, friend. This documentary won several awards for its educational content.

The Impact of Your Choice: Underage Drinking and Reckless Driving airs Saturday, April 24 at 7:30 PM and Sunday, April 25 at 11:30 PM.