Guest host Michael Cerveris presents three unusual love stories. A goofy guy meets the girl of his dreams in the strangest way imaginable in “Chainsaw Apple,” by Arthur Bradford. Bradford is an O Henry Award-winning writer and Emmy-nominated filmmaker. His writing has appeared in Esquire, McSweeney’s, Vice, Men’s Journal, and many other publications. His story collections include Dogwalker and most recently Turtleface and Beyond.
Reader Josh Radnor is best know for his work on the popular television show “How I Met Your Mother.” He is also the writer-director of the films “Happythankyoumoreplease” and “Liberal Arts.” Most recently he appeared at New York’s Lincoln Center Theater in “The Babylon Line.” Radnor is also a frequent SHORTS reader and occasional guest host.
Russian author Vladimir Nabokov is renowned for classic novels like Lolita, Ada, and Pale Fire, but was also a gifted short story writer and essayist. His “First Love” bridges the gap between fiction and memoir. The narrator recalls his ten-year old self, travelling, as Nabokov himself did, on the glamorous pre-War trains to idyllic seaside resorts, and meeting there a beguiling French girl.
The reader is the late Edward Herrmann, whose long career included the portrayal of Franklin D. Roosevelt on television, and guest roles on shows such as “St. Elsewhere,” “Oz,” “The Practice,” and “Gilmore Girls.” His films included “The Great Waldo Pepper,” “The Paper Chase,” “The Great Gatsby,” “The Betsy” and “Lost Boys.” He also narrated a number of documentaries for The History Channel.
Our final love story doesn’t at first, appear to be one. An overworked 1930s housewife plans to leave home with an admirer, but her “Getaway” is thwarted. Author Dorothy Thomas, who wrote mainly in the 1930s, has enjoyed a revival—there is renewed appreciation for her quietly human, and humorous, stories. Her story “Wild Plums” was chosen by John Updike for the volume Best American Short Stories of the Century, and “The Getaway,” first published in The New Yorker, was singled out for praise by the magazine’s famously irascible editor, Harold Ross.
“The Getaway” is read by frequent SHORTS performer Mia Dillon, whose stage credits include “Crimes of the Heart,” “Agnes of God,” “Three Sisters,” and “Our Town.” On television she has appeared on all the shows in the “Law & Order” franchise. Her screen credits include “The Money Pit,” “A Shock to the System,” and “Gods and Generals.”