This American Life

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The latest news from Chicago Public Radio's "This American Life." Hosted by Ira Glass, "TAL" is an award-winning radio program and was also an Emmy-winning series on the Showtime network. The weekly radio show features first-person stories and short fiction pieces that are touching, funny, and surprising. Regular contributors include David Sedaris, Sarah Vowell, John Hodgman, Dan Savage, Jonathan Goldstein, and Chris Ware.
Updated: 40 min 46 sec ago

Ira’s Dance Show Comes to NYC

July 8, 2014 - 5:29pm

Ira writes:

Hi everyone. The show I perform with dancers from Monica Bill Barnes & Company is coming to New York September 10th, 11th, and 12th. It’s just half a block from Broadway – Yes, I know! So close! So close! – at Town Hall on 43rd Street. Tickets go on sale today.

We’ve been touring the show to a different city every month for about a year and we’re excited to bring it to New York. It’s brought down the house in LA, Seattle, Portland, Denver, Minneapolis, San Francisco, DC, Philly and Minneapolis. The show combines two things that, we know, have no business being together: dance and radio stories.

Tickets start at the low price of $25 and go up to $80. There’s also a VIP Ticket that’s basically a donation to the dance company, where you come to a small reception backstage before the show.

A trailer and more info are here.

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This Week on the Radio: "20 Acts in 60 Minutes"

July 6, 2014 - 8:00pm
Instead of the usual "each week we choose a theme, and bring you 3 or 4 stories on that theme" business, we throw all that away and bring you 20 stories—yes, 20—in 60 minutes.

Broadcast July 5 to July 7

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Announcing Serial

July 2, 2014 - 8:24am

Ira writes:

I have exciting news today. We’re starting a new show! We’ve never done this before. It’s coming out in the fall. It’s called Serial and it’ll be a weekly podcast, not a radio show at all. The main way it’s different from This American Life is that instead of bringing you a different theme each week, every episode of Serial will bring you back not just to the same theme but to the same story, to bring you the next chapter. We’re starting with a crime story, that’ll run for about a dozen episodes. Our hope is that it’ll play like a great HBO or Netflix series, where you get caught up with the characters and the thing unfolds week after week, but with a true story, and no pictures. Like House of Cards, but you can enjoy it while you’re driving.

The show’s produced by This American Life’s longtime senior producer Julie Snyder, and Sarah Koenig will host. She’s one of our show’s producers and she is – no question – the best radio reporter in the world for this series. Regular listeners may remember the hour-long story she did a while back, investigating a murder committed by this doctor named Gilmer. Every ten minutes, you learned something that changed your whole idea of the case and the story, and in the end, she found exculpating facts nobody at the trial on either side knew about. It was amazing reporting. I can’t wait to hear Sarah do this once a week. Seriously — she’s done some of the best stories we've put on the air: the Coincidences show, the story about her dad’s career in the “Mad Men” era of advertising, the episode about the maintenance man in the Schenectady, NY schools who became a petty tyrant. She produced Jake Halpern's Switched at Birth story, one of the show's most popular episodes.

Even though Serial doesn’t come out till fall, you can sign up for updates here.

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This Week on the Radio: "Human Spectacle"

June 29, 2014 - 8:00pm
Gladiators in the Colosseum. Sideshow performers. Reality television. We've always loved to gawk at the misery or majesty of others. But this week, we ask the question: What's it like when the tables are turned and all eyes are on you?

Broadcast June 28 to June 30

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Got Two Minutes to Take a Survey?

June 27, 2014 - 11:13am
If you could spare a few minutes to fill out this survey, it will help us secure underwriting on the podcast... which will help us keep the podcast free. Thank you!
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Ira's Backstage Speech

June 25, 2014 - 9:54am

Ira writes:

Shortly before we went onstage to do our show at BAM this month, all the performers gathered backstage for a last pre-show confab. It was dozens of people, and of course usually opera singers only work with other opera singers, and comedians with other comedians and musical theater people with other musical theater people. But here they were, all brought together in one show with dancers and musicians and TV/movie actors and radio people of course. I think everyone was feeling like, it was kind of exciting that we'd all had this week together in rehearsal to get to know each other and make a show. It was an unusual gig for everybody, me included. I said a few words.

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