Sunday, June 11, 2006

Selected Shorts

Last week I attended a live performance of "Selected Shorts," a program I've become addicted to on public radio, in which stage/screen actors read short stories by classic and contemporary writers. I tend to plan my weekends so that I'm home by 4 pm, which is when WNYC airs the show on both Saturday and Sunday. (Saturday is a repeat of the previous Sunday, so it's not like I'm glued to the radio - or, more accurately, the live stream over the internet - all weekend.) I don't know why it took me so long to decide to buy tickets, since it's taped right here in NYC, but I made it to the last reading of the season.

It was so good! The stories included an excerpt from Jonathan Safran Foer's "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close," read by Jerry Zaks, a Broadway director; a phenomenal story by T.C. Boyle, read by Isaiah Scheffer, the founder and host of the series; and finally, a long but fascinating story read by Holly Hunter, by an author I'd never read before, Kim Edwards (who was in the audience and came on stage to hug Holly Hunter.)

Holly Hunter is fabulous. She read a story narrated by a 16 year old girl and she was so on, it was eerie. It doesn't hurt that she's so tiny (but what arms she has!) or that I was sitting in the front row of the balcony so I could see her, but not too clearly, and could easily imagine she was just a teenager herself.
(Then I came home and was flipping through channels and saw Holly Hunter in "Little Black Book" and stopped for a second to watch. Did she really think that was a quality project? Did Kathy Bates? It's amazing how many people got fooled into thinking that might be a good movie. Because, in case you were lucky enough to miss it, it SUCKED. It's hard to see someone like Holly Hunter sandwich that one in between "Thirteen" and "Nine Lives.")

Anyhow, I am so glad I went, and only wish I had gone sooner. I'll have to go to more when the new season starts (in September I hope.) Now I want to read more by both Kim Edwards and T.C. Boyle, but of course I have a big stack of books I've bought and not yet had time to read, so I'm supposed to be on a self-imposed freeze on bringing home new ones.


Blogger Pynchon said...

Perhaps Holly Hunter just wanted to work? What's an actor supposed to do when they are not acting?

4:31 PM  
Blogger medusa said...

I admire those actors who manage to keep busy doing quality projects - and there really are quite a few out there. It's hard for me to believe that Holly Hunter doesn't get enough decent offers that she would have knowingly done such a low-grade movie, even for the money. But since Kathy Bates was in it too, I think it must have sounded better on the page.

5:09 PM  

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