Fractured fairy tales and brotherly love are featured on this program’s trio of stories.
Kim Addonizio’s “Ever After” is a bitter sweet retelling of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” with the dwarves relocated to a five-floor-walkup, leading marginal lives and waiting until She appears. Literary commentator Hannah Tinti notes that “this story could have been just a parody, but Addonizio takes it to a deeper level, with great resonance.” There’s some adult content here, but all in the service of showing that the longing for “ever after” is in everyone, always. The reader, making her SELECTED SHORTS debut, is “Grey Gardens” star Christine Ebersole.
Our next story is Rick Moody’s beautifully crafted “Boys,” which traces the whole history of two brothers through the simple repetition of the phrase “boys enter the house.” Tinti comments, “’Boys’ is a story I have read many times, and every time I do I am wowed by the way Moody uses language and repetition to create a verbal pattern. So that when that pattern is broken at the end of the story, the listener feels the blow of it.” “Boys” is read by the stage and television star B.D. Wong, who is also a children’s book author.
Natalie Babbitt’s “The Fortunes of Madame Organza,” from her collection “The Devil's Other Storybook,” shares with Addonizio’s “Ever After” a somewhat wry perspective on fairy and folk tales. In this case, what happens when the lame predictions of a completely hopeless fortune teller actually come true? Well, there’s the Devil to pay, according to Babbitt. “The Fortunes of Madame Organza,” was read at The Getty Center in Los Angeles by Janel Maloney, a star of the long-running series "The West Wing." Other television credits include appearances on “Law and Order: SVU”; “House, M.D.”; and “Life on Mars.” And while we didn’t plan this as a family affair, Maloney is also Christine Ebersole’s niece!
The musical interludes are from Eric Coates’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” by Harold Arlen. The SELECTED SHORTS theme is Roger Kellaway’s “Come to the Meadow.”
“Ever After,” by Kim Addonizio, performed by Christine Ebersole
“Boys,” by Rick Moody, performed by B.D. Wong
“The Fortunes of Madame Organza,” by Natalie Babbitt, performed by Janel Maloney
For additional works featured on SELECTED SHORTS, please visit http://www.symphonyspace.org/genres/seriesPage.php?seriesId=71&genreId=4
We’re interested in your response to these programs. Please comment on this site or visit www.selectedshorts.org
And for more thoughts on the stories in SHORTS, check out literary commentator Hannah Tinti’s site at http://hannahtinti.com
(This program first aired during our 2010 season.)