This American Life, a Chicago Public Radio show syndicated by Public Radio International and podcasted for free, presents a new theme each week and then brings listeners a variety of stories based on that theme. Endearing host Ira Glass introduces and sometimes even tells the stories, and the cast of contributing writers is just as colorful as the characters in the stories. Segments of the show range from humorous to profound, from memoirs to fiction.
The theme of This American Life - Live! is "Return to the Scene of the Crime." Popular contributors to the show featured in the live performance will be Dan Savage, Starlee Kine, Mike Birbiglia, David Rakoff and Dave Hill. There will be a cartoon by Chris Ware, visuals by Arthur Jones and a music performance by special guest Joss Whedon (creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly and more). Unlike the one-hour radio show, the live movie simulcast will be two hours in length.
The second annual live show will be broadcast live from NYU's Skirball Center. "Our listeners enjoyed getting together in their own communities to experience our show in a new way," said host Ira Glass. "The live cinema transmission was surprisingly effective. We were flooded with emails asking for us to do it again. Last year was mostly a sneak preview of stories from our television show. This year we're excited to do a full-on stage performance of the radio show."
For those unfamiliar with the radio show, I highly recommend checking the This American Life website for archived shows or the iTunes store to download the free podcast. Unlike many subject-specific radio shows, This American Life succeeds through its flexibility and wide appeal.
Tickets are currently on sale at The Roxy at $12 for students and $15 for adults. For more information, visit http://jscinemas.com/ and http://www.thisamericanlife.org.