WBEZ-Chicago's hit radio show, This American Life, comes to the Opera House live in high definition on Thursday at 8 p.m. Host Ira Glass and the show's popular contributors present their usual stories, along with things you could never do on the radio things such as dance, animation, video projection and more.
Broadcast live via satellite from NYU's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, in New York City, this event will feature stories by host Glass, writers David Sedaris and David Rakoff, comedian Tig Notaro and Snap Judgment host Glynn Washington. Together, they will perform a live stage version of the radio show, centered on the theme "the invisible made visible." The event also will feature a new short film by Mike Birbiglia, live music by OK Go, a dance performance by Monica Bill Barnes & Company, original animation & illustration, and special surprise guests.
"I saw this amazing dance performance by Monica Bill Barnes' company, and I thought that is totally in the style of our radio show," Glass said. "But obviously you can't have dance on the radio. Then I realized, we have to do another cinema event (like we did in 2010). So we've built this lineup of stories mixed with super visual things, including the dancers I saw that night. It's going to feel like the radio show, but also be totally unlike anything we've done before. I really can't wait to see how it turns out."
This American Life Host Ira Glass will present a special live in high definition broadcast of his popular weekly radio show featuring things you can’t do on radio, on Thursday at the Fredonia Opera House. The special “made-for-visuals” version of the show will feature stories by Glass, David Sedaris and others, a short film by Mike Birbiglia, a musical performance by the band OK Go, and special surprise guests. Tickets are on sale now at the Opera House.
This American Life is a weekly hour-long radio program which debuted on WBEZ-Chicago. Now distributed by Public Radio International (PRI), it is broadcast to more than 500 radio stations reaching more than 1.7 million listeners. Often the most popular podcast in the country, averaging more than 750,000 weekly downloads, the show has won major broadcasting awards including the Peabody, duPont-Columbia and Edward R. Murrow awards. In 2001, TIME magazine named Glass "the best radio host in America." In 2007-2008, a television version of This American Life aired on Showtime, winning three Emmy Awards.
Alisa Miller, president and CEO of PRI, said, "previous This American Life digital cinema events have been as lively, entertaining and amazing as the radio show. Ira Glass is a master storyteller on the radio and in this new live show, he promises to add new dimensions to that art form."
Tickets to This American Life are $15 and may be purchased in person at the Opera House Box Office or by phone at 679-1891, Tuesday through Friday, 1 to 5 p.m. They also may be purchased online any time at www.fredopera.org.
This performance is part of the Opera House's Live in HD series of events, which are made possible by Dr. James M. and Marcia Merrins, who funded the purchase of the satellite transmission and projection equipment used in the series. It also is made possible, in part, with support from the United Arts Appeal of Chautauqua County. Opera House media partners are WDOE-AM and Kix Country 96-FM radio, in Dunkirk.
WBEZ 91.5-FM is operated by Chicago Public Media, an institution that creates award-winning content for people seeking to learn more about the issues and ideas that affect our community, our nation, and our world. Chicago Public Media produces programs such as This American Life, Sound Opinions, Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me!, Worldview and Radio M. For more information, visit www.chicagopublicmedia.org.
Chautauqua County's only performing arts center presenting its own programming year-round, the 1891 Fredonia Opera House is a member-supported not-for-profit organization located in Village Hall in downtown Fredonia.
A complete schedule of events is available at www.fredopera.org.