Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Greatest Salesman in Rhode Island

Ahh, the power of motivation!

When I previewed The Greatest Salesman in Rhode Island, I was struck by the transformation of the main character (played with perfection by Stephen Thorne) from a bumbling, timid reader of radio copy to a suave, confident - and persuasive - star of the airwaves.

The Greatest Salesman in Rhode Island is rich in historical and cultural content. It's also peppered with humorous local Rhode Island references - you can't resist smiling. The double entendres will make you laugh out loud.

The one act play is based on a lost manuscript by Pulitzer Prize winning Rhode Island author Edwin O'Connor (The Last Hurrah). The Greatest Salesman in Rhode Island was adapted for stage and screen and directed by Rhode Islander Robert Rose, winner of six Emmy Awards from the New England chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Rose discovered the manuscript while researching O'Connor's biography.

The Greatest Salesman in Rhode Island looks like a 1950s television comedy – complete with minimal sets, scene transition wipes, and laugh track. The cast is small but talented: Trinity Repertory Company’s Stephen Thorne; Bob Colonna, winner of the prestigious Pell Award for Excellence in the Arts; and Susan Boyce, national touring entertainer. Rhode Island talent at its best!

The National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) has accepted the 30-minute program for distribution to public television stations nationwide. As the presenting station, Rhode Island PBS is able to air the show before its national television premiere later this spring. We're proud to bring it to you!

The Greatest Salesman in Rhode Island will air on WSBE Rhode Island PBS on Wednesday, March 26 at 8 PM.