September 19, 2014

Too Much Information with guest host Robert Sean Leonard

Robert Sean Leonard introduces two stories with way too much information. In Raymond Carver’s “Feathers,” two couples meet for an awkward dinner party that includes an ugly baby, a pet peacock, and a bust of crooked teeth. Leonard himself is the bemused narrator in this serio-comic work by an American master, from a program devoted […]

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September 12, 2014

Between Meals with guest host Robert Sean Leonard

Guest host Robert Sean Leonard introduces three stories in which eating and drinking are bound up with family, friends, and various kinds of emotional attachment. Two of these were performed at an evening devoted to the theme of food and dining at the Getty Center in Los Angeles. In Ann Beattie’s delicate piece “Where You’ll […]

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Couple Hands

September 5, 2014

Complicated Couples

A long marriage and the Tweedledum and Tweedledee of the nuclear age in stories hosted by Wyatt Cenac. Native American author Sherman Alexie offers a portrait of a marriage in “Do You Know Where I Am?” He comments that one of his intentions in this story was to look at educated, upper-middle class Native Americans, […]

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Boy at River

August 29, 2014

About Time with Guest Host Jane Curtin and the Hosts of ‘Radiolab’

Jane Curtin and Radiolab‘s Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich introduce stories about time, love and identity. The hosts of the storytelling science program Radiolab created a special program at Symphony Space featuring tales in which science and inquiry intersect with ordinary and extraordinary lives. We feature two of those stories on this program. First, Jenny […]

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Irish village

August 21, 2014

Things Are Not What They Seem

An Irish village with a secret, a genteel woman cloaking her feelings, and powerful emotions displaced onto an old piece of furniture. The multi-faceted author Colm Toibin joins SHORTS literary commentator Hannan Tinti to talk about three stories. Toibin’s most recent book is The Testament of Mary, and his short story collections include The Empty […]

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August 14, 2014

Alternative Endings with Guest Host Jane Curtin

On this program, two stories about powerful maternal instincts, and choices with very different outcomes. Amy Hempel describes her story “Beg, SI Tog, Inc, Cont, Rep” as “the story of a friendship surviving very different choices.” As the narrator draws us into her many knitting projects (crafters will recognize the title as instructions for a […]

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Fishing Boat

August 8, 2014

Do You Know Where You Are?

Characters lose their bearings in the two stories on this program hosted by Parker Posey. First, Jay McInerney’s scathing look at the empty urban social life of the 1980s. His story “It’s Six A.M., Do You Know Where You Are?” became the basis for his best-selling novel Bright Lights, Big City and, as he told […]

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Freeway Interchange

July 31, 2014

Convergence with guest host David Sedaris

On this program, two stories about convergence. In Flannery O’Connor’s classic “Everything That Rises Must Converge” two cultures collide, and so do mother and son. The title is taken from an essay by a Jesuit priest, Pierre Chardin, and refers, perhaps ironically, to the ascension of Christ. It is masterful portrait of a shabby genteel […]

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Hollywood Soiree

July 25, 2014

Take a Seat with guest host Robert Sean Leonard

On this program, guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents four stories about sitting down to a meal, or a drink, with surprising results. First, the novelist Henry Miller tells us about the dinner party from Hell in “Soiree in Hollywood.” The notoriety of Miller’s complicated, sexually charged novels—The Tropic of Cancer, Black Spring, and The […]

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Robert Sean Leonard

July 18, 2014

‘Cannolis and Carroll’ with guest host Robert Sean Leonard

For a food-themed series of programs, performed live at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, SELECTED SHORTS presented a wide range of funny, provocative, and touching works in which food, and the eating of food, plays a big role. Guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents two of them on this show. The first is Ann […]

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