Whitefish Hosts National Radio Show

By Beacon Staff

It’s adult story time in the Flathead, as the national radio program “Selected Shorts” comes to Whitefish for a live performance on Oct. 2.

The show, distributed by National Public Radio, celebrates the art of short stories and is famous for author and celebrity readings.

“It’s always a pretty magical event,” said Linda Talbott of Montana Public Radio. “We thought it would be a great idea to bring the show to the Flathead.”

The Whitefish performance, titled “Funny Fiction,” will showcase three short stories ranging from contemporary to classic. Talbott said the performers will be flown in from Los Angeles and New York City to read the stories.

Talbott described the show as a “nice, relaxing evening” that everyone could enjoy, not just avid radio listeners. She said it offers a unique experience – sitting in a theater with other grown-ups listening to well-crafted stories from talented actors.

Emmy-nominated actress Christina Pickles, known for her roles in Los Angeles theater and as Judy Geller on the sitcom Friends, will read “But the One on the Right,” by Dorothy Parker.

The next story will be Nicholson Baker’s “Subsoil,” a tale about vengeful potatoes read by four-time Tony-award winning Boyd Gaines from New York City. Gaines is known for his roles many Broadway plays, including Gypsy, Cabaret, and The Show-Off.

The first two stories will be followed by an intermission and some of what Talbott called “audience participation” with the show’s host, Isaiah Sheffer. After intermission, Sheffer will perform “Jamaica,” written by David Schickler.

The live show will not be broadcast across the country, Talbott said, because some of the pieces are going to be re-recorded at the show’s regular home, Symphony Space in New York. The theater on the Upper West Side of Manhattan has been home to many cultural performances in the past 30 years.

This is the third installment of “Selected Shorts” performed in Montana, Talbott said. The previous two performances were in Helena in 2006 and Missoula in 2004.

The performance begins at 7 p.m. on Oct. 2 at the Whitefish Performing Arts Center at Whitefish Middle School. Tickets cost $25 and are available at www.griztix.com or at any Montana Coffee Traders location.