Selected Shorts

By Selected Shorts

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Category: Performing Arts

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Subscribers: 2108
Reviews: 2

 Apr 5, 2019

Christine W
 Sep 4, 2018


Our greatest actors transport us through the magic of fiction, one short story at a time. Sometimes funny. Always moving. Selected Shorts connects you to the world with a rich diversity of voices from literature, film, theater, and comedy. New episodes every Thursday. Produced and distributed by Symphony Space.

Episode Date
Dance in America
Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents works celebrating dance.  A domineering mother uses an evening at the ballet to find fault in "My Mother Explains the Ballet to Me,” by Jesse Eisenberg, performed by Patricia Kalember. A pioneering African-American dancer remembers an audition in “Léonide Massine,” by Janet Collins, performed by Carmen de Lavallade. A magical garment transforms its owner in “The Cape,” by Ben Loory, performed by Tony Yazbeck. And the “Tango” undermines a stuffy WASP community in this funny story by Kurt Vonnegut, performed by Tony Shalhoub. Join and give!: See for privacy information.
Mar 04, 2021
There's More to the Story
Guest host Maulik Pancholy presents four tales with unexpected twists and turns.  We begin with his reading of “Riding Solo,” Simon Rich’s re-telling of the Paul Revere legend.  An Italian holiday offers revelations to a group of tourists in Laura van den Berg’s “The Cult of Mary,” performed by Colby Minifie; Philip K. Dick’s “The Eyes Have It,” has a joke at the expense of a literal-minded reader; Paul Giamatti performs.  And two masters meet in Carmen de Lavallade’s reading of Alice Walker’s mother-daughter(s) story “Everyday Use.” Join and give!: See for privacy information.
Feb 25, 2021
Courtship and What Comes After
Guest host Jane Curtin offers up tales of courtship and its consequences. In “Prince Amilec,” by Tanith Lee, a handsome prince pursues a beautiful princess, but it’s not the same old, same old fairy tale.  Gildart Jackson performs. A couple explores their relationship in a humorous piece by A.M. Homes. “Be Mine” is performed by Sanjit De Silva and Adina Verson. And in “The Idea of Marcel,” by Marie-Helene Bertino, a breakup leads ex lovers to reboot each other. It’s performed by Jenna Ushkowitz.  Join and give!: See for privacy information.
Feb 18, 2021
Unexpected Endings
Guest host Kevin Kwan presents two stories with unexpected twists.  In Italo Calvino’s satirical fantasy, “A General in the Library” a military tribunal investigates seditious books.  Selected Shorts’ late host and founder Isaiah Sheffer is the reader.  Old friends reunite—and revisit their shared past—in Edith Wharton’s “Roman Fever,” performed by Bebe Neuwirth. Join and give!: See for privacy information.
Feb 11, 2021
Not Quite Human
Guest host John Darnielle presents two of his favorite weird stories.  In Amparo Davila’s “Moses and Gaspar,” a grieving man has inherited two—creatures—from his dead brother.  But what in the world are they?  Peter Jay Fernandez reads.  A slick salesman has a little something extra up his sleeve in Dennis Etchison’s “The Pitch,” read by Michael Shannon.   Join and give!: See for privacy information.
Feb 04, 2021
Too Hot for Radio: Tony Tulathimutte "Saint Pantaleone"
Our story today addresses, or should I say undresses - why snacking on your underwear might not be all that’s promised on the box. In this hilarious story written by Tony Tulathimutte, the narrator, played by actor Maulik Pancholy, is taking on the edible underpants industry. Later host Aparna Nancherla talks to the author about the inspiration for his story. Join and give!: See for privacy information.
Feb 02, 2021
Distance Learning
Guest host Roxane Gay presents three works about considering people and feelings at a distance.  Italian fabulist Italo Calvino observes young love on the slopes in “The Adventure of a Skier,” performed by James Naughton.  In Edwidge Danticat’s “New York Day Women” a daughter watches her mother walking through Manhattan.  The reader is Laurine Towler.  And the James Baldwin grapples with what it means to be an American in "Notes for a Hypothetical Novel," performed by Brandon J. Dirden. Join and give!: See for privacy information.
Jan 28, 2021
Sex and Vanity
Guest host, Crazy Rich Asians author Kevin Kwan presents stories on themes he’s been interested in ever since F. Scott Fitzgerald inspired him to start writing as a teen—the nature of privilege, and the obsession with appearance and social status. In “Little Miss International Goodwill” by Doretta Lau, a young girl doesn’t seem to fit in at home or at school.  The story is performed by Annie Q.  Virginia Woolf elegantly weighs the balance of power between an aristocrat and a merchant in “The Duchess and The Jeweller, performed by Michael Urie.  And Melora Hardin treats us to a bit of Kwan’s novel Sex and Vanity.  A young woman travels to Capri for a wedding, and encounters more than sun and shopping. Join and give!: See for privacy information.
Jan 21, 2021
On the Trail
Guest host Jordan Klepper (The Daily Show) presents a colorful and diverse collection of works that look at Presidential elections, warts and all.  Roy Wood Jr. performs Mark Twain’s outrageous confessional “A Presidential Candidate.”  Samantha Bee reads from Molly Ivins’ “Our Boy George.”  Crystal Dickinson performs an excerpt from Unbought and Unbossed, the memoir of America’s first Black Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm.   Washington columnist Alexandra Petri offers a Samuel Beckett pastiche, “Waiting for Pivot,” performed by Petri with Jordan Klepper, Aasif Mandvi, and Paul Giamatti.  Klepper finishes the show reading from Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72. Join and give!: See for privacy information.
Jan 14, 2021
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, who comment on their craft as part of the show.  In Boyle’s “Top of the Food Chain,” a government program wreaks havoc with Mother Nature.  It’s performed by Zach Grenier.  In “A Prize for Every Player,” Homes locates a charming family fantasy in a big box store.  Jane Curtin is the reader.   Join and give!: See for privacy information.
Jan 07, 2021
Too Hot For Radio: Stories by Rachel Engelman and Peter McCleery
Host Aparna Nancherla introduces two stories: "Joan of Arc Sits Naked on Her Dorm Room Floor,” by Rachel Engelman, performed by actor Adina Verson, and the satirical “Casual Sexism Fridays” by Peter McCleery performed by our host at a SketchFest performance in San Francisco. Later in the episode, Aparna chats with Chris Monks, the editor for the humor site McSweeney's, about why he published the McCleery story and what goes into their selection process. Join and give!: See for privacy information.
Jan 04, 2021
Too Hot For Radio: Becky Mandelbaum "Queen of England"
Actor Robin Lord Taylor (You, Gotham) performs a story about a single mom with two unruly sons. And later in the podcast, host Aparna Nancherla talks to Sarah Thyre about how she chose this story for a night at Selected Shorts.  Join and give!: See for privacy information.
Dec 01, 2020
Only Human: Anton Chekhov
Guest host Jane Curtin presents works by Anton Chekhov that were part of a celebration sponsored by Columbia University and hosted by Chekhov scholar Laura Strausfeld.  We’ll hear “A Drama,” performed by Cynthia Nixon—an ambitious writer overwhelms her idol; “Rapture,” performed by Robin Miles, Sam Underwood, Rainn Wilson, and Di Zhu—a young man enjoys his 15 minutes of fame; “Which is Better?,” performed by Rainn Wilson—Chekhov debates the merits of schools vs. pubs; and “Verotchka,” performed by Rainn Wilson—a studious young man confronts romance.  Join and give!: See for privacy information.
Nov 05, 2020