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Selected Shorts: A Celebration of the Short Story "Food Fictions," at the Getty Center, May 19-21, 2006

May 5, 2006

LOS ANGELES—This spring, the acclaimed literary series Selected Shorts: A Celebration of the Short Story returns to serve up a delicious menu of "Food Fictions," at the Getty Center from May 19–21, 2006.  Produced by New York's Symphony Space, this year’s series features three performances by a stellar cast of actors reading classic and new short fiction about food and life, marking the 15th season that Selected Shorts has been presented by the J. Paul Getty Museum.

John Lithgow, Shohreh Aghdashloo, René Auberjonois, Fionnula Flanagan, Jane Kaczmarek, Christina Pickles, Samantha Eggar, John Shea and Bradley Whitford are among this year’s lineup of notable talents. They will give voice to stories penned by Alice McDermott, Roald Dahl, Anton Chekhov, V.S. Pritchett, James Thurber, M.F.K. Fisher, Calvin Trillin, Kenneth Grahame, Jhumpa Lahiri, Laurie Colwin, and Damon Runyon.

Selected Shorts' "Food Fictions" opens Friday, May 19, with a special reception and readings focused on the theme "Much Ado at Dinner."  On Saturday, the attention turns to "Eating Out and Eating In," followed by "Delicious Escapades" on Sunday.

Selected Shorts is the signature literary program of New York’s Symphony Space, with readings broadcast each week on National Public Radio, hosted by series director Isaiah Sheffer. The Getty Center is the exclusive Southern California venue for Selected Shorts. Over the years, some of the finest actors of stage, screen, and television have come to the Getty Center to lend their voices to the series, including Anjelica Huston, William H. Macy, Joe Mantegna, Linda Hunt, Alec Baldwin, Jane Curtin, James Cromwell, Teri Garr, Leonard Nimoy, and Hector Elizondo.

All Selected Shorts programs take place in the Harold M. Williams Auditorium at the Getty Center. Tickets are $20 ($15 for students and seniors) except for opening night ($30  includes post-program Champagne reception).  Tickets are available at the Museum Information Desk or by calling 310-440-7300. For more information, visit

Selected Shorts:  A Celebration of the Short Story
"Food Fictions," At the Getty Center, May 19–21, 2006
(Please note programs and readers are subject to change)

Friday, May 19, 2006, at 8:00 p.m.
"Much Ado at Dinner"

*Tickets $30 (includes reception; no student/senior discount)

Enough by Alice McDermott, read by Fionnula Flanagan
In telling a woman's life from one savored delicious meal to the next, McDermott suggests what makes life satisfying and complete.

Just a Little More by V.S. Pritchett, read by René Auberjonois
An old man reminisces about the foods of a lifetime over dinner with his son- and daughter-in- law.

Mr. Badger (from The Wind in the Willows) by Kenneth Grahame, read by Samantha Eggar
A sweet excerpt about a meal from the classic tale The Wind and the Willows.

Taste by Roald Dahl, read by John Lithgow
Over dinner, a daughter is wagered on the vintage of a bottle of wine.

Saturday, May 20, 2006, at 8:00pm
"Eating Out and Eating In"

Grandfather Knows Best by Calvin Trillin, read by Isaiah Sheffer
Trillin talks takeout: an essay comparing the takeout scenes in San Francisco and New York City.

How to Tell a Fine Old Wine by James Thurber
How to become a great wine connoisseur—or learn to fake it.

I Was Really Very Hungry by M.F.K. Fisher, read by Christina Pickles
A fantasy meal in a French country inn.

Sunday, May 21, 2006, at 3:00pm
"Delicious Escapades"

Why I Love Cookbooks by Laurie Colwin, read by Jane Kaczmarek
The joys of reading cookbooks.

The Long Way Home by Jhumpa Lahiri, read by Shohreh Aghdashloo
The author talks about her training in the art of Indian cuisine.

A Piece of Pie by Damon Runyon, read by John Shea
A Guys and Dolls -style romp about a pie-eating contest, starring Nicely-Nicely, Horsey, and Miss Violette Schumberger.

Indigestion by Anton Chekhov, read by Bradley Whitford
Semyon Petrovich Podtikin impatiently gobbles his blini and other treats.

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NOTE TO EDITORS: Images available upon request.

Mike Winder
Getty Communications Department

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