Food, Glorious Food

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Food as home, food as power, food as an extreme sport, in three works by two classic humorists and a contemporary novelist.
"I learn my lesson, she says. I learn that male characters do not appreciate anybody who tries to ward off surplus tissue. What male characters wish, is substance."
--Damon Runyon, “A Piece of Pie” Food as home, food as power, food as an extreme sport, in three works by two classic humorists and a contemporary novelist.

All three of the works on this program’s “menu” came from a special program, “Food Fictions” presented at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, one of SHORTS regular touring venues. Our Getty appearances not only expose us to enthusiastic (as you’ll hear) L.A. audiences, but enable us to work with Hollywood based actors. So, our first piece, “The Long Way Home” — a lovely memoir of a mother’s love and sense of place expressed through food, by Pulitzer Prize-winner Jhumpa Lahiri — is read by Oscar nominee Shohreh Aghdashloo ("House of Sand and Fog").

The second item on the program is a short short palate clearer by Anton Chekov, “Indigestion,” read by "West Wing," and "Studio 60," star Bradley Whitford.

The final item on the menu is a classic by the American comic master Damon Runyon, whose colorful low-life characters were the basis for the musical "Guys and Dolls." One of them, Nicely Nicely Jones (or Johnson, in the musical version) is the central figure in this story, “A Piece of Pie,” about an epic eating contest and how true love knows no boundaries—or dress sizes. Regular SHORTS leading man John Shea brings this raffish but amiable collection of persons to vivid life—just in time for your Christmas dinner, or holiday leftovers.

“The Long Way Home,” by Jhumpa Lahiri, read by Shohreh Aghdashloo
“Indigestion,” by Anton Chekhov, read by Bradley Whitford
“A Piece of Pie,” by Damon Runyon, read by John Shea.

For additional works featured on SELECTED SHORTS, please visit Symphony Space

Comments [2]

Blaine Lemert from Rogers City MI

I would like to download this broadcast. Do you have it in your archives?

B. Lemert

From the producer:

Dear Blaine:

Thank you for your interest. Unfortunately, our rights agreements with our authors preclude audio downloading from the WNYC website, although current productions are available for a brief period via iTunes or

However, some of the stories you may have admired on this broadcast are featured on a Food Fictions CD available from Symphony Space. Check at for details.

Jul. 24 2008 10:58 AM
Patsey Manning from Schenectady, NY

I just enjoyed today's readings tremendously, and had to say thanks. I listen on WAMC, Albany NPR station.

Jun. 22 2008 11:58 AM

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