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Selected Shorts: Pushing the Limits

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Sunday, December 30, 2012

John Lithgow

Guest host John Lithgow raises the curtain on five comic tales, classic and cutting-edge. 

First, “New Yorker” writer and Algonquin Round Table regular Dorothy Parker describes the hangover from hell in “You Were Perfectly Fine.”   First published in 1929, this hilarious tale of a young man waking up from a bender wears well, and gets new polish from readers David Furr and Aya Cash.  Next, Simon Rich brings his “Saturday Night Live” prankishness to a traditional rite-of-passage story—with a twist.  Comic Wyatt Cenac, late of “The Morning Show,” reads.  Alec Baldwin gives performance of a James Thurber classic, “The Day the Dam Broke.”  Thurber, another “New Yorker” contributor, wrote a string of stories that only slightly exaggerated the winsome strangeness of small town life. 

Simon Rich is back with “Center of the Universe,” a story that imagines what God would have done on the seven days of Creation if his girl friend had complained.  SHORTS’ late host and founder Isaiah Sheffer was the reader.   Finally, more spiritual high jinks from Ron Carlson—could there be a tablecloth of Turin?  Reader Edi Gathegi’s television and film credits include alluring roles in “House,” “Gone Baby Gone,” “Twilight, and  “The Twilight Saga: New Moon,” but here he makes a very convincing ex-insurance investigator who has seen the light.

John Lithgow is an award-winning actor whose many television, stage, and film credits include the television series "Third Rock from the Sun," the films "Terms of Endearment" and "The World According to Garp," and the Broadway shows "Sweet Smell of Success" (Tony Award) and "M Butterfly."

“You Were Perfectly Fine,” by Dorothy Parker, performed by Aya Cash and David Furr “Unprotected,” by Simon Rich, performed by Wyatt Cenac

“The Day the Dam Broke,” by James Thurber, performed by Alec Baldwin

“Center of the Universe,” by Simon Rich, performed by Isaiah Sheffer

“The Tablecloth of Turin,” by Ron Carlson, performed by Edi Gathegi

 The SELECTED SHORTS theme is David Peterson's “That's the Deal,” performed by the Deardorf/Peterson Group.

 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

Announcing the 2013 Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize.  Check this link for details.

Hosted by:

John Lithgow

Comments [1]

Don Sugarman from Pittsfield, MA

Just listened to the 12/30/12 broadcast of selected shorts on WAMC, Albany, NY.

Kudos to John Lithgow for an excellent presentation. I've always enjoy hearing him read shorts and look forward to his return in that role.

Also cool was bringing together 3rd and 30 Rocks.

Dec. 30 2012 12:02 PM

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