Selected Shorts

By Selected Shorts

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Category: Performing Arts

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 Apr 5, 2019

Christine W
 Sep 4, 2018

Description

Your favorite actors bringing great stories to life.


Episode Date
April Foolery
3500
Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents April Fools’ tales guaranteed to transport listeners away from the madness. In these three stories, characters search for ways to escape their everyday: An office romance stings in Ryan Boudinot’s “Bee Beard,” read by Tony Hale.  A man finds an ingenious way to slip out of his own life in Susan Sontag’s “The Dummy,” read by Justin Kirk. And Miranda July imagines a senior citizens’ “Swim Team,” in a story read by Parker Posey. Unexpected, funny and a little absurd, these shorts should help anyone craving the usual release of April Fool’s Day festivities.
Apr 02, 2020
Too Hot For Radio: Joe Meno "Everything Strange and Unknown"
1859
On this episode of Too Hot, we're rereleasing Joe Meno's story, "Everything Strange and Unknown," because, well, right now everything is strange and unknown. What better time to lose yourself in a great story. Hopefully, listening to Michael Ian Black read this lovely, poignant, and humorous piece, you gain some time to escape.
Mar 30, 2020
O.Henry at 100
3497
Guest host Michael Cerveris presents stories that celebrate the distinguished O.Henry Awards.  Three prize-winning stories are featured: In “Midrash on Happiness,” by Grace Paley, a woman wants it all.  The reader is Mia Dillon. And a woman who’s lost it all must get an exit visa in “The American Embassy,” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, read by Karen Pittman.  A son is puzzled by his father’s strange habit in Jerome Weidman’s “My Father Sits in the Dark,” read by Josh Hamilton.
Mar 26, 2020
Big Shots
3585
As the rollup to the Presidential elections continues, we offer two stories about big shots, presented by guest host Jane Curtin.  First, classic humorist James Thurber imagines what happens when an aviation hero has feet of clay.  “The Greatest Man in the World” is read by Michael Ian Black.  And former President Bill Clinton makes a cameo appearance in Meera Nair’s warmly funny tale of a village in Bangladesh about to be rescued from “centuries of obscurity.”  “A Warm Welcome to the President, Insh'Allah!” is performed by Aasif Mandvi.  Author Meera Nair tells us about the origins of the piece, and her writing process, at the end of the story.
Mar 19, 2020
Safe Distance
3499
Guest host LeVar Burton presents three stories in which fantasies and memories are both near and far.  In “The Elevator Dancer,” by N.K. Jemisin, a guard is obsessed by a woman who spins when no one is looking.  Laura Gomez is the reader.  A woman remembers a transforming moment in her Depression-era childhood in “Marigolds,” by Eugenia W. Collier.  The story is performed by Sharon Washington. Ursula K. Le Guin moves and surprises us in “The Wife’s Story,” performed by Joanna Gleason.
Mar 12, 2020
Crossing the Line
3448
Guest host Denis O’Hare presents three stories that take things to extremes.  In Simon Rich’s “Distractions,” we learn about a global conspiracy.  Errin Hayes reads.  The misanthrope in Douglas Lawson’s “Love in a Kitchen Garden” is cruel to his garden gnomes.  Richard Kind reads.  And Maulik Pancholy performs Emily Buckler’s “Brand Values,” a reality-bending tale about high-end leather.
Mar 05, 2020
Embracing Disaster: Joyce Carol Oates and Etgar Keret
3702
Guest host Cynthia Nixon presents stories by two masters of the form who share an outré sensibility.  Humor, humanity, and fantasy all combine in four tales of things gone wrong.    In “Fly Already” by Etgar Keret, performed by Liev Schreiber, a widower and his small son watch a drama unfold. In “Where Are You?” by Joyce Carol Oates, performed by Dianna Agron, a demanding husband pushes his wife to the limit. In “One Gram Short” by Etgar Keret, performed by Ira Glass, a stoner makes a really bad deal; and Oates introduces an unlikely “Assassin,” in a story that combines tongue-in-cheek horror and political satire.  Becky Ann Baker is the reader.
Feb 27, 2020
Too Hot For Radio: Jess Walter "Thief"
2120
From the New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Ruins, our story today comes from the first collection of short fiction from Jess Walter. We Live In Water is a suite of diverse and searching stories about personal struggle and diminished dreams, all of them marked by the wry wit, keen eye, and generosity of spirit that has made him a bookseller and reader favorite, including Barack Obama who called “We Live in Water: Stories” one of his favorite books of 2019.  A former National Book Award finalist and winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award, Jess Walter is the author of six novels, one book of short stories and one nonfiction book. His work has been translated into 32 languages, and his fiction has been selected three times forBest American Short Stories as well as the Pushcart Prize and Best American Nonrequired Reading. His stories, essays and journalism have appeared in, Harper's, Esquire, Playboy, McSweeney's, Tin House, Ploughshares, the New York Times, the Washington Post and many others.  Our reader, Josh Malina, is well-known for playing Will Bailey on the NBC drama The West Wing, Jeremy Goodwin on Sports Night, David Rosen on Scandal, and President Siebert on The Big Bang Theory. This episode is hosted by comedian, author, and actor, Michael Ian Black and features a very funny conversation between Black and the author after the story.
Feb 24, 2020
Imaginary Worlds
3499
Guest host Hope Davis presents two stories about imagined worlds.  In “The Dreamlife of Toasters,” by Heather O’Neill, an android falls in love, and there are consequences.  The reader is Yvette Nicole Brown.  In Stefan Zweig’s “The Invisible Collection,” a blind man is able to “see” priceless drawings.  The story is performed by René Auberjonois.
Feb 20, 2020
Inside Out
3437
Guest host Jane Curtin presents three stories in which small things count for a lot.  A discarded sock reminds one woman of her ex-husband in “The Sock” by Lydia Davis, read by Kaneza Schaal.  Sisters find a chess set at a department store in Meg Wolitzer’s “Deep Lie the Woods,” read by Blythe Danner.  And old-time jazz musicians and their funny clothes, food, and drink charm a young drummer in “Nightblooming,” by Kenneth Calhoun, read by Josh Charles.
Feb 13, 2020