Kurzgeschichten von etablierten und aufstrebenden Schriftstellern nehmen ein neues Leben an, wenn sie von Stars der Bühne aufgeführt werden.
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On this show, Meg Wolitzer hands things off to guest host Hope Davis, who presents three stories about finding some kind of peace and stability in a variety of challenging circumstances. In Rabih Alameddine’s “Break” a trans woman reconnects with a sibling. The reader is Pooya Mohseni. Dave Eggers imagines a world changed by determined parents in “Your Mother And I,” performed by the late David Rakoff. And love triumphs over illness in Amy Bloom’s “Silver Water,” performed by Linda Lavin.
Slippery Roads and Fancy Shorts
Host Meg Wolitzer presents two stories in which some things are saved and some are left behind. Both stories also have a connection to the German language. In Haruki Murakami’s “Lederhosen,” performed by Aasif Mandvi, the traditional German shorts become a singular obsession for one half of a married couple. In Elizabeth McCracken’s “Robinson Crusoe at the Waterpark,” a couple and their son find themselves in over their heads. Mike Doyle is the reader.
The World According to Vonnegut
Host Meg Wolitzer presents stories by Kurt Vonnegut in which the Slaughterhouse Five author somehow managed to make a bleak dystopia funny and a high school band teacher a hero. The stories explore the darkly absurd side he’s known for—“Harrison Bergeron” performed by Becky Ann Baker––and a softer, touching side in “The Kid Nobody Could Handle” performed by Dylan Baker. The show features commentary from The Daily Show’s Jordan Klepper and backstage interviews with the Bakers, a husband-and-wife duo.
Too Hot For Radio: Roxane Gay "Men On Bikes"
Roxane Gay's story was published in an issue of McSweeney's Quarterly Concern in which all the authors "covered" a story, in the way a musician might cover a famous song. Gay took a famous Margaret Atwood story, titled "Rape Fantasies," as her inspiration. Both "Rape Fantasies" and "Men on Bikes" are about imagination, revenge and joking about subjects that make people uneasy. It's read by actress Jane Kaczmarek.Comedian Alison Leiby knows how to make us laugh about a subject people aren't prepared to laugh about. Her solo show "Oh God, a Show About Abortion," had a sold-out run in New York and has been touring the U.S. She and host Aparna Nancherla discuss how she approached finding the funny in a hot button topic.
The Road Not Taken
On this Selected Shorts program, host Meg Wolitzer presents stories about journeys—physical and emotional—that end in unexpected places. In “A Woman Driving Alone,” by Marie-Helene Bertino, the main character travels s long way to see a friend, but seems also to be escaping a challenging moment in her life. The piece was commissioned for Selected Shorts’ anthology Small Odysseys, and is read by Amber Tamblyn. In Tom Perrotta’s “Nine Inches”, a teacher drives only across town, to chaperone a middle school dance, but almost gets into trouble himself. The story is performed by Santino Fontana.