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Selected Shorts

PRI

Your favorite actors bringing great stories to life.

Your favorite actors bringing great stories to life.

Location:

New York, NY

Networks:

PRI

Panoply

Description:

Your favorite actors bringing great stories to life.

Language:

English

Contact:

Selected Shorts c/o Symphony Space 2537 Broadway New York, NY 10025-6990 212-864-5400


Episodes

More Funny Favorites from Andy Borowitz

6/4/2020
Guest host Andy Borowitz intros four hilarious pieces featured in his anthology The 50 Funniest American Writers. James Naughton reads S.J. Perelman’s noir parody “Farewell, My Lovely Appetizer;” Susan Orlean complains about idle tots in “Shiftless Little Loafers,” read by Dave Hill; old-time radio is revealed in Jean Shepherd’s “The Counterfeit Secret Circle Member Gets the Message,” read by Isaiah Sheffer; and one woman’s all-nighter, in Jenny Allen’s “Awake,” read by Jane Kaczmarek.

Duration:00:59:26

Too Hot For Radio: Stories by Elizabeth Crane and Michael Czyniejewski

5/31/2020
Our friend Michael Ian Black is back to host a twofer Too Hot For Radio episode. First up is actor K. Todd Freeman reading“Pregnant with Peanut Butter” by Michael Czyniejewski. Czyniejewski is the author of three story collections, including Our Bedroom and I Will Love You for the Rest of My Life: Breakup Stories. Performing this story is an actor known for everything from multiple appearances on Broadway to Buffy the Vampire SlayertoA Series of Unfortunate Events. Elizabeth Crane is the...

Duration:00:26:51

Surprises

5/28/2020
Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents three stories with surprising twists and turns, a reminder that surprises can still be entertaining, even though the world has changed in unpredictable ways. A wife finds something unexpected in her local thrift shop in “Second Hand,” by Andres Neuman. The story is performed by Kaczmarek. Dawn Powell’s “Dinner on the Rocks” is an elegant comedy of bad manners, performed by Christina Pickles. And the salesman in Hubert Selby Jr.’s “Fortune Cookie” thinks...

Duration:00:59:02

I Am America

5/21/2020
Guest host Maulik Pancholy presents stories, essays, and poems, and speeches celebrating America’s diversity and wealth of stories, at a time when we need to know we are together, even when we are apart. An aging father ponders his life in Elizabeth Strout’s “The Walk,” read by Ellen Burstyn. The whole country’s talking in Susan Minot’s “Listen,” read by Jennifer Ikeda and Khris Lewin. Julia Alvarez faces prejudice and finds her voice in “Speak! Speak!” read by Selenis Leyva, and Henry Louis...

Duration:01:00:49

Fractured Fairy Tales

5/14/2020
Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents two stories based on fairy tales. We need good stories more than ever now. Traditional fairy tales always have a lesson, and these new versions are guaranteed to offer up some pearls about staying strong in difficult times. First, a story about an unconventional princess. Jane Kaczmarek performs Jeanne Desy’s “The Princess Who Stood On Her Own 2 Feet.” And Brazilian feminist writer Clarice Lispector shares a wealthy woman’s moment of truth in “Beauty and...

Duration:00:59:39

What Strangers See

5/7/2020
In this time of sheltering, we think one of the things that’s magical about short stories is that they bring the world to you. On this program, guest host Michael Cerveris presents two stories about the difference between what other people observe about us, and who we actually are. Even though we’re all mostly “home alone” right now, these pieces remind us that when we are out in the world, our inner and outer selves can be very different. Cerveris reads “Riding the Doghouse,” a great...

Duration:01:00:34

Funny Favorites from Andy Borowitz

4/30/2020
Goodness knows we could all use a laugh right now. So this week we’re offering a Selected Shorts program full of funny stories selected by Andy Borowitz, who’s funny in so many ways. The late columnist Molly Ivins sticks it to pompous politicians in “Tough as Bob War and Other Stuff,” performed by Judith Ivey. Essayist Sloane Crosley reveals a shameful habit in “The Pony Problem,” performed by Kirsten Vangsness. Parker Posey delivers a classic Dorothy Parker rant (two Parkers, no waiting)...

Duration:01:00:00

Too Hot For Radio: Hilary Mantel "The Long QT"

4/27/2020
We're rebroadcasting one of our earlier episodes in honor of the long-awaited publication of The Mirror & the Light, author Hilary Mantel's final chapter of the trilogy she began with her peerless, Booker Prize-winning novels, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies. We found this story in her often wicked short story collection The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher. “The Long QT” features a standard, modern-day dilemma that delivers an entirely unexpected sort of fright at the end. Host Aparna...

Duration:00:22:33

Food Fights with Food52

4/23/2020
In honor of the human impulse to seek culinary comfort when times are tough, guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents two food-centered stories curated with the online food and cooking community Food52. In J. Robert Lennon’s “Breadman,” artisanal bread threatens a marriage. Kyle MacLachlan is the incredulous spouse. And Joan Allen performs an excerpt from Nora Ephron’s novel Heartburn, a slice of infidelity in which there are consequences—and pie.

Duration:00:59:11

Sweet and Sour

4/16/2020
The stories on this program, hosted by Jane Kaczmarek, start out in one place and end up somewhere completely different. Which pretty much describes our world at the moment. The three authors also talk about how people connect—something that seems important right now. Colin Nissan’s “Wedding Announcement” escalates comically in the reading by John Cameron Mitchell. A wary housewife is surprised by beauty in Michel Faber’s “The Eyes of the Soul,’ performed by Kirsten Vangsness, and teenage...

Duration:01:00:19

Shaken & Stirred

4/9/2020
Guest host Jane Curtin presents three quirky stories in which a drop or two is taken: Michael Gerber's and Jonathan Schwarz's "What We Talk About When We Talk About Doughnuts" is a riff on a famous Raymond Carver tale; it's performed by Joey Slotnick. Early New Yorker humorist Corey Ford tells us just what can go wrong at "The Office Party," performed by Jordan Klepper. And wry tale of boozy suburbia, "The Sorrows of Gin," is performed by Kathleen Chalfant.

Duration:00:58:08

April Foolery

4/2/2020
Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents April Fools’ tales guaranteed to transport listeners away from the madness. In these three stories, characters search for ways to escape their everyday: An office romance stings in Ryan Boudinot’s “Bee Beard,” read by Tony Hale. A man finds an ingenious way to slip out of his own life in Susan Sontag’s “The Dummy,” read by Justin Kirk. And Miranda July imagines a senior citizens’ “Swim Team,” in a story read by Parker Posey. Unexpected, funny and a little...

Duration:00:58:19

Too Hot For Radio: Joe Meno "Everything Strange and Unknown"

3/30/2020
On this episode of Too Hot, we're rereleasing Joe Meno's story, "Everything Strange and Unknown," because, well, right now everything is strange and unknown. What better time to lose yourself in a great story. Hopefully, listening to Michael Ian Black read this lovely, poignant, and humorous piece, you gain some time to escape.

Duration:00:30:58

O.Henry at 100

3/26/2020
Guest host Michael Cerveris presents stories that celebrate the distinguished O.Henry Awards. Three prize-winning stories are featured: In “Midrash on Happiness,” by Grace Paley, a woman wants it all. The reader is Mia Dillon. And a woman who’s lost it all must get an exit visa in “The American Embassy,” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, read by Karen Pittman. A son is puzzled by his father’s strange habit in Jerome Weidman’s “My Father Sits in the Dark,” read by Josh Hamilton.

Duration:00:58:16

Big Shots

3/19/2020
As the rollup to the Presidential elections continues, we offer two stories about big shots, presented by guest host Jane Curtin. First, classic humorist James Thurber imagines what happens when an aviation hero has feet of clay. “The Greatest Man in the World” is read by Michael Ian Black. And former President Bill Clinton makes a cameo appearance in Meera Nair’s warmly funny tale of a village in Bangladesh about to be rescued from “centuries of obscurity.” “A Warm Welcome to the President,...

Duration:01:01:52

Safe Distance

3/12/2020
Guest host LeVar Burton presents three stories in which fantasies and memories are both near and far. In “The Elevator Dancer,” by N.K. Jemisin, a guard is obsessed by a woman who spins when no one is looking. Laura Gomez is the reader. A woman remembers a transforming moment in her Depression-era childhood in “Marigolds,” by Eugenia W. Collier. The story is performed by Sharon Washington. Ursula K. Le Guin moves and surprises us in “The Wife’s Story,” performed by Joanna Gleason.

Duration:01:00:26

Crossing the Line

3/5/2020
Guest host Denis O’Hare presents three stories that take things to extremes. In Simon Rich’s “Distractions,” we learn about a global conspiracy. Errin Hayes reads. The misanthrope in Douglas Lawson’s “Love in a Kitchen Garden” is cruel to his garden gnomes. Richard Kind reads. And Maulik Pancholy performs Emily Buckler’s “Brand Values,” a reality-bending tale about high-end leather.

Duration:00:57:28

Embracing Disaster: Joyce Carol Oates and Etgar Keret

2/27/2020
Guest host Cynthia Nixon presents stories by two masters of the form who share an outré sensibility. Humor, humanity, and fantasy all combine in four tales of things gone wrong. In “Fly Already” by Etgar Keret, performed by Liev Schreiber, a widower and his small son watch a drama unfold. In “Where Are You?” by Joyce Carol Oates, performed by Dianna Agron, a demanding husband pushes his wife to the limit. In “One Gram Short” by Etgar Keret, performed by Ira Glass, a stoner makes a really bad...

Duration:01:02:23

Too Hot For Radio: Jess Walter "Thief"

2/24/2020
From the New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Ruins, our story today comes from the first collection of short fiction from Jess Walter. We Live In Water is a suite of diverse and searching stories about personal struggle and diminished dreams, all of them marked by the wry wit, keen eye, and generosity of spirit that has made him a bookseller and reader favorite, including Barack Obama who called “We Live in Water: Stories” one of his favorite books of 2019. A former National Book...

Duration:00:35:20

Imaginary Worlds

2/20/2020
Guest host Hope Davis presents two stories about imagined worlds. In “The Dreamlife of Toasters,” by Heather O’Neill, an android falls in love, and there are consequences. The reader is Yvette Nicole Brown. In Stefan Zweig’s “The Invisible Collection,” a blind man is able to “see” priceless drawings. The story is performed by René Auberjonois.

Duration:00:58:19