Selected Shorts

By Selected Shorts / Panoply

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Category: Performing Arts

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Christine W
 Sep 4, 2018


Spellbinding short stories by established and emerging writers take on a new life when they are performed by stars of the stage and screen.

Episode Date
Dangerously Funny: George Saunders & Carrie Brownstein
Guest host Josh Radnor presents works by Carrie Brownstein and George Saunders.&nbsp; Brownstein reads from her memoir “Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl.”&nbsp; BD Wong performs Saunders’ “My Chivalric Fiasco,” about a goofy knight errant at a Renaissance Fair, and Anthony Rapp performs Saunders’ “Sticks”, a brief portrait of an eccentric dad.&nbsp; We also hear Brownstein and Saunders in conversation with Radnor.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jan 17, 2019
Moving On
Guest host Jane Curtin presents three stories about emotional transitions—what happens after divorce, or the death of a loved one?&nbsp; In our first, prankish story by Ron Carlson, lunch with an ex becomes an Olympic sport.&nbsp; The reader is Sean Astin.&nbsp; Tom Barbash’s thoughtful story “The Women” explores the very different ways a father and son cope with the loss of a wife and mother.&nbsp; Michael Imperioli is the reader.&nbsp; And we finish with an elegant classic by the French writer Colette, read by Barbara Barrie.&nbsp; A married couple encounters “The Other Wife” at lunch.&nbsp; <br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jan 10, 2019
Morality Tales
Guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents four stories with lessons for us.&nbsp; In T.C. Boyle’s “The Five-Pound Burrito,” a chef goes over the top.&nbsp; Santino Fontana reads. &nbsp; A lonely millennial learns that you can’t hurry puppy love in “Love (or Live Cargo)” by Nancy Jooyoun Kim, read by Valorie Curry.&nbsp; Military acronyms can’t disguise the emotional toll of war in Phil Klay’s “OIF,” read by Brandon J. Dirden; and The Last Supper may be depicted in “The Tablecloth of Turin,” by Ron Carlson, read by Edi Gathegi.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jan 03, 2019
New Beginnings
Guest host Cynthia Nixon presents two stories about new beginnings and missed connections.&nbsp; Philip K. Dick’s classic sci-fi story “Beyond Lies the Wub” asks what it is to be human.&nbsp; The reader is Denis O’Hare. &nbsp; And a Russian émigré eagerly awaits the New York City of his dreams in Lara Vapnyar’s “Waiting for the Miracle,” read by David Costabile.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Dec 27, 2018
Tough Love for the Holidays
Guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents three provocative holiday stories.&nbsp; An ambitious tree learns a life lesson in “The Fir Tree,” by Hans Christian Andersen, performed by James Naughton; God lets her hair down in “Interview with God,” by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, performed by James Naughton and Jayne Atkinson; and a gangster is not so jolly in Kurt Vonnegut’s hilarious “A Present for Big Saint Nick,” performed by Tate Donovan.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Dec 20, 2018
A Child’s-Eye View: Stories by John Irving
Guest host Cynthia Nixon presents excerpts from works by novelist John Irving.&nbsp; Orphans are cared for by a tough guy and a tough dog in "The Broken Side-view Mirror," read by Yul Vazquez.&nbsp; A teenager is smitten by a librarian in an excerpt from In One Person, read by Michael C. Hall.&nbsp; And a philandering children's book author entertains "Unhappy Mothers," in a reading by Heather Burns from A Widow for One Year.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Dec 13, 2018
Rites of Passage: Stories from The Paris Review
Guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents stories from the legendary literary magazine The Paris Review.&nbsp; Umberto Eco has a really big fish in “How to Travel with a Salmon,” read by Jin Ha.&nbsp; A mother mourns her son with his difficult friends in “Marabou,” by Joy Williams, read by Michael Emerson.&nbsp; In George Fox’s “The Twenty-Sixth Second” a WWII veteran has a secret.&nbsp; It’s read by Linda Lavin.&nbsp; And host Leonard finishes up with a story set on the day of the Nazi occupation of Paris, “The Hat,” by Patrick Modiano.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Dec 06, 2018
Guilty Consciences
Guest host David Sedaris presents two stories about people who have guilty consciences—or ought to.&nbsp; In “Juniper Tree,” by Lorrie Moore, a trio of old friends visits a fourth friend—who’s just died.&nbsp; It’s read by Jill Eikenberry.&nbsp; And there’s a poison pen at work in a picturesque town, in Shirley Jackson’s “The Possibility of Evil,” read by Dana Ivey.<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Nov 29, 2018
Truth and Consequences with A.M. Homes and T.C. Boyle
Guest host Jane Curtin presents provocative stories by T.C. Boyle and A.M. Homes. In Boyle’s“Top of the Food Chain,” a government program wreaks havoc with Mother Nature.&nbsp; It’s performed by Zach Grenier.&nbsp; In “A Prize for Every Player,” Homes locates a charming family fantasy in a big box store.&nbsp; Jane Curtin is the reader.&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Nov 22, 2018
Too Hot For Radio Greg Ames "Benefactor"
A story from Greg Ames, the author of a novel, <em>Buffalo Lockjaw, </em>and a collection of stories entitled <em>Funeral Platter. </em>His work has appeared in Best American Nonrequired Reading, Southern Review, McSweeney’s, North American Review, Catapult, and The Sun, among others. “Benefactor,” is something of a cautionary tale for all would-be patrons of the arts; please don’t let it stop you from sending us your tax-deductible donations. We recorded this story earlier in 2018 as a part of our live show in San Francisco during Sketchfest 2018. It's read by actor Lance Reddick, a multi-talented actor who has been in <em>The Wire</em>, <em>Fringe</em>, <em>Bosch</em> and the new Comedy Central series <em>Corporate.</em><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jul 14, 2018
Too Hot For Radio Richard Bausch "Billboard"
Today we’re going to hear a story from Richard Bausch. This lifelong writer has produced novels and short story collections including <em>Before During After, Peace, In the Night Season</em> and the 2017 title <em>Living in the Weather of the World. </em>The actor performing it is David Strathairn, who is known for John Sayles films, <em>Good Night and Good Luck, Lincoln, Alphas</em> and so much more. Strathairn brings a lovely restraint to his performances, and as you’ll hear, that quality lends a new dimension to Bausch’s impulsive and vengeful narrator, a brother done wrong. We recorded this story during a live show in San Francisco as part of Sketchfest.&nbsp;<br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Jun 05, 2018
Too Hot For Radio Kevin Canty "God’s Work"
On this episode, a tale that involves a teenage evangelist coping with teenage lust. “God’s Work,” by Kevin Canty, was read during the annual Selected Shorts celebration of the <em>Best American Short Stories</em> series. The editor of the 2017 volume—novelist Meg Wolitzer - talks to host Aparna Nancherla after the reading describing Canty's keen insights about his characters which make them easily relatable, and there’s some lovely lyricism to his writing, as you’ll hear in today’s story.&nbsp; The actor reading our story today is Jim True-Frost. Those of you who binge highbrow TV series will know him as “Prez” from <em>The Wire,</em> while others of us, well, we may never stop seeing him as the elevator operator who says “Buddy!” approximately 8,000 times in the “The Hudsucker Proxy.”&nbsp;<br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Apr 30, 2018
Too Hot For Radio Brit Bennett "Ain’t That Good News"
A story by the up-and-coming writer Brit Bennett. Bennett is the real friggin’ deal: Her debut novel “The Mothers” made a splash in 2016 (soon to be a movie starring Kerry Washington), the same year she was named one of the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35.” She has written essays for <em>The Paris Review, The New York Times</em> and<em> The New Yorker,</em> but remains focused on fiction. While her stories deal with seemingly ordinary people in insular communities, they’re like a rocket full of fortune cookies, propulsive and full of canny observations. "Ain't That Good News" is no exception - it's tender, sad, and packs a wallop. Our actor Karen Pittman absolutely nails this reading. Pittman has been in series including <em>The Americans</em> and <em>Luke Cage,</em> and has appeared on Broadway in plays such as <em>Disgraced</em> and <em>Good People.</em><br><br><br><br><br><br><br>Learn more about your ad choices. Visit <a href=""></a>
Feb 28, 2018