Press Room Search

Current Press Releases
Archived Press Releases

News Home Archived Press Releases

Archival Information
For recent information, please see Current Press Releases.

Selected Shorts: A Celebration of the Short Story Features "L.A. Stories" at the Getty,
May 30-June 1, 2003

Dustin Hoffman, Anjelica Huston, Alec Baldwin, Joe Mantegna, Linda Hunt and Other Acclaimed Actors Read Works by Noted L.A. Authors

Presented by New York's Symphony Space and the J. Paul Getty Museum

April 24, 2003

Los Angeles--The West Coast edition of the acclaimed live literary series Selected Shorts: A Celebration of the Short Story returns to the Getty for its 12th season from Friday, May 30 through Sunday, June 1, 2003. This year the three-day event, featuring readings of short stories by noted actors of the stage and screen, pays tribute to the sunshine, noir and diversity of Los Angeles with the theme "L.A. Stories." 

A wide range of L.A.'s literary voices will be heard, from Nathanael West, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ray Bradbury, to a younger generation of writers such as Mona Simpson, Rubén Mendoza, Bernard Cooper and Mary Yukari Waters. This year's distinguished cast includes Dustin Hoffman, Anjelica Huston, Alec Baldwin, Joe Mantegna, Linda Hunt, Ed Begley, Jr., Jamey Sheridan, Joanna Gleason, Chris Sarandon, Elizabeth Peña, John O'Callaghan, Keith Szarabajka, Jacqueline Kim, and Selected Shorts Artistic Director Isaiah Sheffer. 

Selected Shorts is the signature literary program of New York's Symphony Space, with readings broadcast live each week on National Public Radio, hosted by Sheffer. The Getty annually hosts a special L.A. edition of the series. This latest presentation, "L.A. Stories," features four live performances of classic and new short fiction under various themes: L.A. Noir on Friday, May 30 at 8 p.m.; Classic L.A. on Saturday, May 31 at 8 p.m. (featuring readings from Writing Los Angeles: A Literary Anthology, moderated by the book’s editor, David Ulin); L.A.: Looking In on Sunday, June 1 at 3 p.m.; and L.A.: Looking Out on Sunday, June 1 at 7 p.m. 

Los Angeles has always been home to some of the country's greatest writers, and as the nation’s movie capital and avatar of America's Golden West, has served as inspiration to countless authors elsewhere. "L.A. Stories" celebrates the rich, diverse and surprising literature created by L.A.-area natives such as Bernard Cooper, Aimee Bender, and Rubén Mendoza; and by writers like Ray Bradbury, Nathanael West, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Budd Shulberg who succumbed to the lure of the City of Angels and moved here to live, for periods brief or lifelong. The series also looks at works by writers such as Jack Kerouac and Ross Macdonald, who observed the city keenly from the outside; and those who look outwards at the rest of the world with a singularly L.A. attitude, such as Maile Meloy, Percival Everett, and Mary Yukari Waters. 

All Selected Shorts programs take place in the Harold M. Williams Auditorium at the Getty Center, 1200 Getty Center Drive. Tickets are $20 ($15 for students and seniors) and are available at the Museum Information Desk or by calling 310-440-7300. For more information, visit

The series is presented by New York's Symphony Space and the J. Paul Getty Museum. Later this year, the Getty readings will also be broadcast as part of the Selected Shorts radio series on more than 130 National Public Radio stations.

The 2003 Selected Shorts program schedule follows:

Casting and programs are subject to change. 

Friday, May 30 at 8 p.m.

  • Selection from The Barbarous Coast by Ross Macdonald, read by Chris Sarandon
  • "Job's Jobs" by *Aimee Bender, read by Anjelica Huston
  • "Traffic" by *Rubén Mendoza, read by Joe Mantegna
  • "The Pedestrian" by *Ray Bradbury, read by Jamey Sheridan

Saturday, May 31 at 8 pm

  • Selection from On the Road by Jack Kerouac, read by Alec Baldwin
  • Selection from Los Angeles Notebook by Joan Didion, read by Linda Hunt
  • Selection from The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West, read by Joanna Gleason
  • "A Table at Ciro's" by Budd Schulberg, read by Isaiah Sheffer

Sunday, June 1 at 3 p.m.
L.A.: LOOKING IN (writers look at Los Angeles)

  • "A Man in the Way" by F. Scott Fitzgerald, read by Ed Begley, Jr.
  • "Coins" by *Mona Simpson, read by Elizabeth Peña
  • "Bit-o-Honey" by *Bernard Cooper, read by John O'Callaghan

Sunday, June 1 at 7 p.m.
L.A.: LOOKING OUT (L.A. writers look at the world)

  • "Red" by *Maile Meloy, read by Keith Szarabjaka  
  • "The Way Love Works" by *Mary Yukari Waters, read by Jacqueline Kim
  • Selection from Ask the Dust by John Fante, read by Dustin Hoffman

NOTE TO EDITORS: * These authors may be available for interviews. 

Images available upon request.


Alec Baldwin appeared on Broadway in A Streetcar Named Desire (Tony Award nomination), Loot, Prelude to a Kiss (Obie Award) and A Life in the Theater, and Off-Broadway in Macbeth at the New York Shakespeare Festival. His films include The Royal Tenenbaums, Pearl Harbor, State and Main, Outside Providence, The Edge, Beetlejuice, The Ghosts of Mississippi, The Hunt for Red October, Married to the Mob, Glengarry Glenn Ross, The Juror, and the forthcoming Second Nature. He produced and starred in The Confession (Writer's Guild Award for Best Adapted Screenplay) and directed and starred in The Devil and Daniel Webster. 

Ed Begley, Jr. played Dr. Victor Ehrlich on the television series St. Elsewhere, for which he received six Emmy nominations. His other television work includes recurring roles on Six Feet Under and 7th Heaven, and guest-star roles on The West Wing, The Practice, and The Drew Carey Show. He can currently be seen in the film A Mighty Wind, and his other film credits include Auto Focus, Best In Show, I’m Losing You, Batman Forever, Renaissance Man, The Accidental Tourist, and The In-Laws. On stage, he appeared in the West Coast premiere of David Mamet’s Cryptogram at the Geffen Playhouse, in a role that he originated in Boston and then in New York.

Wren T. Brown is a fourth generation Angeleno. He has appeared in films including Waiting to Exhale, Heart & Souls, Under Siege II, The Dinner and the forthcoming Biker Boyz. On television, he was a regular on Flipper, as well as CBS’s Bless This House. He has guest starred on The West Wing, Half & Half, The Practice, Touched By An Angel, Frasier, Seinfeld, Charmed, Grounded for Life and Star Trek: Voyager. His theatre credits include As You Like It, On Borrowed Time, Burning Hope, and his recent NAACP Image Award-nominated performance in Jeffrey’s Plan. He produced the critically-acclaimed feature film ­Boesman & Lena, starring Angela Bassett and Danny Glover.

Joanna Gleason
won Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards for her performance in Into the Woods. Her other award-winning Broadway work includes Nick and Nora, I Love My Wife, Social Security, The Real Thing and Joe Egg. Off-Broadway, she appeared in It’s Only a Play, and directed the MCC Theater production of A Letter From Ethel Kennedy. Her films include Hannah and her Sisters, Crimes and Misdemeanors, Heartburn, Mr. Holland’s Opus, Edie and Pen, If These Walls Could Talk, Boogie Nights and The Wedding Planner. Her television credits include recurring roles on The West Wing, The Practice, Bette, Friends, Oh Baby, Temporarily Yours, Love and War and ER. She is a recurring voice on the animated series King of the Hill, and directed episodes of Love and War and Oh Baby.

Dustin Hoffman, a two-time Oscar winner and seven-time nominee, is one of the cinema’s most acclaimed leading actors. He has starred in such films as The Graduate, Midnight Cowboy, Little Big Man, Straw Dogs, Papillon, Lenny, All the President’s Men, Agatha, Kramer Vs. Kramer, Tootsie, Rain Man, Billy Bathgate, Wag the Dog and Moonlight Mile. His forthcoming film work includes Confidence, Runaway Jury, and Neverland. He starred on Broadway in plays including Death of a Salesman (Drama Desk Award) and The Merchant of Venice (Tony Award nomination), in which he also appeared in London. He is a Los Angeles native.

Linda Hunt won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Peter Weir’s film The Year of Living Dangerously. Her work in Arthur Kopit’s End of the World earned her a Tony Award nomination, and she received Obie Awards for her roles in Top Girls and A Metamorphosis in Miniature.  Her other stage appearances include Aunt Dan & Lemon, Mother Courage and Her Children, and Little Victories. Her films include Dragonfly, Silverado, Dune, The Bostonians, and Robert Altman’s Popeye.

Anjelica Huston’s film work includes Prizzi's Honor (Academy Award), The Golden Bowl, The Crossing Guard (Golden Globe Award nomination), Enemies: A Love Story (Academy Award nomination), The Grifters (Academy Award nomination), Ever After, The Dead, The Royal Tenenbaums, Bloodwork, and the forthcoming Daddy Day Care. Her television work includes The Mists of Avalon (Emmy and SAG Award nominations), Buffalo Girls (Emmy Award nomination), Lonesome Dove (Emmy Award nomination), Family Pictures (Golden Globe Award nomination), and HBO’s forthcoming Iron Jawed Angels. She directed, produced and starred in the film Agnes Browne and directed Bastard Out of Carolina (Directors Guild of America and Emmy Award nominations), based on Dorothy Allison's best-selling memoir.

Jacqueline Kim has performed at the Guthrie Theatre in The Triumph of Love, The Seagull, Electra, Fantasio, and several of Shakespeare's history plays. Her film appearances include The Operator, The Hollywood Sign, Volcano, Disclosure, Brokedown Palace, and, most recently the digital feature Charlotte Sometimes, which won the Best First Feature Audience Award at the South by Southwest Film Festival. She plays Martha, a young documentary filmmaker, in Allan Miller’s recent film In Search of Cézanne. Her television work includes guest appearances on ER, Xena: Warrior Princess and The West Wing. Ms. Kim is currently finishing writing her first piece for film, And Juliet.

Joe Mantegna appeared on Broadway in the plays Glengarry Glen Ross (Tony and Joseph Jefferson Awards), Working and Speed-the-Plow. He conceived and co-wrote the play Bleacher Bums, which was later filmed by PBS (Emmy Award), and directed both the film and a Los Angeles stage production of David Mamet's play Lakeboat. His film work includes Woody Allen’s Alice and Celebrity, David Mamet's House of Games and Things Change, The Godfather III, Liberty Heights, Bugsy, and Searching for Bobby Fischer. He stars in the forthcoming films Uncle Nino, Lagoon, Pontormo and Stateside. His television work includes the CBS series First Monday, the mini-series The Last Don (Emmy Award nomination) and The Last Don II, and a recurring role on The Simpsons as the voice of Fat Tony. 

John O'Callaghan is a native of Dublin, Ireland. He starred in the New York premiere of Conor McPherson’s Rum and Vodka and recently performed the title role of Godzilla in Toronto, followed by a role in Mark O'Rowe's Howie the Rookie. He also appeared in the North American premiere of Ladies Night. His feature film work includes Never Pet Picasso and Of Urban Myths and Other Stories. He has starred in the television films We Were the Mulvaneys and Alias Grace and has had guest-starring roles on the television series The Agency and on John Woo's Once A Thief.

Elizabeth Peña recently completed three seasons starring in the Showtime drama Resurrection Blvd (ALMA Award). Her other television credits include the Emmy Award-winning Drug Wars: The Camarena Story, Aldrich Ames: The Traitor Within, Borderline, Things Behind the Sun, and The Outer Limits. Her film work includes Down and Out in Beverly Hills, La Bamba, Jacob’s Ladder, Rush Hour, Lone Star (Independent Spirit and Bravo Awards), Tortilla Soup (ALMA Award), Zig Zag, Ten Tiny Love Stories, and Imposter.

Chris Sarandon has appeared on Broadway in Nick and Nora, Censored Scenes from King Kong, The Rothschilds and Two Gentlemen of Verona. His off-Broadway work includes The Voice of the Turtle, Marco Polo Sings a Solo, The Devil’s Disciple and The Woods. He has been seen in films including The Princess Bride, Fright Night, Dog Day Afternoon, Edie & Pen, Little Men, American Perfekt, and Let the Devil Wear Black. His television work includes Picket Fences, A Tale of Two Cities, Chicago Hope, Felicity, ER, and The Court.

Isaiah Sheffer is a founder and the artistic director of Symphony Space, as well as host and director of Selected Shorts live at Symphony Space, on tour, and on public radio. He is also a playwright and creator of the book and lyrics to such works as The Rise of David Levinsky, Yiddle with a Fiddle, and Demons and Dreamers based on the life and work of Isaac Bashevis Singer. He is currently creating the libretto for a modern-baroque opéra-ballet about the making of the American Constitution, A More Perfect Union.

Jamey Sheridan can be seen currently as Captain James Deakins on the NBC television series Law & Order: Criminal Intent. His other television work includes the series Chicago Hope, and the television movies Hamlet, The Lost Child and The Stand. His films includ Rain, Desert Saints, Life as a House, The Simian Line, Cradle Will Rock, Wild America, The Ice Storm, Sherwood’s Travels, All I Want for Christmas, Stanley & Iris and Jumpin’ Jack Flash. He has appeared in many plays on Broadway and off, including Long Day’s Journey Into Night, All My Sons (Tony nomination), Biloxi Blues, Hamlet, Julius Caesar and Macbeth. 

Keith Szarabajka's film credits include The Wild Thornberrys Movie, We Were Soldiers, A Perfect World, Andre, Missing, Marie: A True Story, and Protocol, among others. He co-starred on CBS' The Equalizer for four years and was the season villain on the WB’s Angel last year. He also appeared in The Golden Years, Profit, Star Trek Voyager, and Star Trek Enterprise. He won a 2001 Audie Award for his audiobook reading of Tom Robbins' Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates. 


Aimee Bender is the author of the short story collection The Girl in the Flammable Skirt, a New York Times notable book of 1998, and the novel An Invisible Sign of My Own, a Los Angeles Times pick of 2000. Her short fiction has been published in Granta, Harper’s, The Paris Review, GQ, Story, and McSweeney’s, and has been heard on This American Life.

Ray Bradbury has written more than 500 published works, including short stories, novels, plays, screenplays, television scripts, and verse. Among his best-known works are The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, Fahrenheit 451 and Something Wicked This Way Comes. He has won numerous awards, including a medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from the National Book Foundation, the O. Henry Memorial Award, the Benjamin Franklin Award, the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement, and the Grand Master Award from the Science Fiction Writers of America. He lives in Los Angeles, and in 2002 was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Bernard Cooper is an essayist, novelist, memoirist, and teacher. He is the author of the essay collection Maps To Anywhere (PEN/Hemingway Award), the novel A Year of Rhymes, the memoir Truth Serum, and the short story collection Guess Again. His essays and stories have appeared in Harper's, GQ, The Paris Review, Grand Street, Ploughshares, The New York Times Magazine, and Story, and have been anthologized in The Best American Essays, The O. Henry Award: Prize Stories. He teaches at Antioch University, and is currently the art critic for Los Angeles Magazine.

Joan Didion was born in Sacramento and moved to New York City to work for Vogue magazine from 1956 to 1963, first as a copywriter and later as an editor. While living in New York, she met and married the writer John Gregory Dunne, with whom she returned to California in 1964. Her non-fiction books include Slouching Towards Bethlehem, The White Album, After Henry, Political Fictions, Fixed Ideas: America Since 9.11 and Where I Was From, which will be published in September 2003. Her works of fiction include A Book of Common Prayer, Democracy, and The Last Thing He Wanted.

Percival Everett is the author of fifteen books of fiction. Among them are God’s Country, Watershed, Glyph, and Erasure. He lives in Southern California and on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. He is professor and chair of English at the University of Southern California.

F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940), American short-story writer and novelist, is known for his depictions of the Jazz Age. His first novel, This Side of Paradise, was published in 1920, and gained him entry to literary magazines such as Scribner’s and The Saturday Evening Post. His landmark novel The Great Gatsby was published in 1925. Among Fitzgerald’s other works are Tender is the Night, This Side of Paradise, Pat Hobby Stories and The Last Tycoon. The Fitzgerald selection read in this year’s Selected Shorts was published in Esquire in February 1940.

Jack Kerouac (1922-1969) is best known for his classic novel On the Road, which was published in 1957 to instant acclaim. His other novels include The Dharma Bums, Visions of Cody, and Big Sur. One of the most famous writers of the Beat Generation, his freedom with language is generally acknowledged as a liberating influence on many writers who came after him, including Ken Kesey, Charles Bukowski, Tom Robbins, and Richard Brautigan, as well as songwriter Bob Dylan.

Ross Macdonald (1915-1983) took Raymond Chandler’s model of the hardboiled detective novel and brought it into the suburbs of postwar California. Born Kenneth Millar in California of Canadian parents, and brought up in Ontario, Macdonald ultimately settled in Santa Barbara. His books include The Barbarous Coast, The Galton Case, The Chill, The Drowning Pool, and The Wycherly Woman. He received many awards, including the Grand Master Award from Mystery Writers of America and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Private Eye Writers of America.

Maile Meloy is the author of the short-story collection Half in Love and the novel Liars and Saints. Born in Helena, Montana, she received the 2001 Aga Khan Prize for Fiction for the best story published in The Paris Review. Her stories have also appeared in The New Yorker, Ploughshares, The Ontario Review and Best New American Voices. She lives in Los Angeles.

Rubén Mendoza is the author of the collection Lotería and Other Stories, which includes the story featured in this year’s Selected Shorts. He was born and grew up near San Jose. In 1990 he left the Bay Area to study jazz guitar and American literature at the University of Southern California. He now lives in Los Angeles.

Budd Schulberg was raised in Hollywood, the son of one-time Paramount boss B. P. Schulberg. He wrote the novels What Makes Sammy Run? and The Disenchanted, which fictionalized his ill-fated screenwriting collaboration with F. Scott Fitzgerald, and the memoir Moving Pictures, which described his Hollywood childhood. He wrote the Academy Award-winning screenplay for On the Waterfront, among many other screenplays, and, in the wake of the Los Angeles riots of the mid-‘60s, directed the Emmy Award-winning television documentary The Angry Voices of Watts.

Mona Simpson is the author of the novels Anywhere but Here, The Lost Father, A Regular Guy and Off Keck Road. She has received the Whiting Writers’ Award, the Lila Wallace Reader’s Digest Award, and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and The Guggenheim Foundation. Her short fiction has been published in The Pushcart Prize and The Best American Short Stories anthologies.

Mary Yukari Waters is half Japanese and half Irish-American. Born in Japan, she moved to America when she was nine years old. Her first book, The Laws of Evening, which includes the story featured in Selected Shorts, was just published by Scribner. She is the recipient of an O. Henry Award, a Pushcart Prize, and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her work has been included in The Best American Short Stories and The Pushcart Book of Short Stories: The Best Stories from a Quarter-Century of the Pushcart Prize. She earned her MFA from the University of California, Irvine, and lives in Los Angeles.

Nathanael West (1903-1940) was raised in Manhattan and educated at Brown University. He was employed as a hotel manager, before moving to Hollywood as a screenwriter for such films as Rhythm in the Clouds and Bachelor Girl. His books include The Dream Life of Balso Snell, Miss Lonelyhearts, A Cool Million, and his final and best-known novel, The Day of the Locust.


# # #

About the Getty:

The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that features the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Getty Research Institute. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations: the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Malibu.

Sign up for e-Getty at to receive free monthly highlights of events at the Getty Center and the Getty Villa via e-mail, or visit our event calendar for a complete calendar of public programs.

Visiting the Getty Villa: The Getty Villa is open Wednesday through Monday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed Tuesday and major holidays. Admission to the Getty Villa is always free. A ticket is required for admission. Tickets can be ordered in advance, or on the day of your visit, at or at 310-440-7300. Parking is $15 per car, but free after 5pm for evening events. Groups of 15 or more must make reservations by phone. For more information, call 310-440-7300 (English or Spanish); 310-440-7305 (TTY line for the deaf or hearing impaired). The Getty Villa is at 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades, California.