Apr 2

This American Night

Posted by Matty

We had fun Sunday night. We got dressed up and went downtown to see a man sit behind a table full of equipment and talk about radio. It was great for a number of reasons, which are just beyond the “read more” link…

The man on the stage was Ira Glass, host of This American Life on NPR. In most markets, you can find this show on sometime during the weekend. This American Life recently celebrated their 10th anniversary, and they have produced some of the most memorable radio moments that I’ve ever heard.

Whether funny or heart wrenching, the stories on the show are always a must-listen. These stories also played a central part in the evening.

The crowd was diverse, and was great for the people-watching. There were the requisite number of people showing their hipness with thick, black glasses and ironic cologne. There were the octogenarians that show up for any theatre event (it must be the cookies). There was even at least one confirmed patchouli-smellin’ hippy.

The other cool part for me? We were at the Majestic Theatre in Dallas. I’m sure that I’m just being repetitive and y’all know this, but one of my top five favorite films was filmed there. I’m sure you are also a fan of the 1974 classic rock opera Phantom of the Paradise. Yeah, it was pretty cool to walk on the same mezzanine that a mere 32 years earlier was trod (or is it trodden) by Paul Williams.

The house lights extinguished and the theatre was dark. Then, Ira started talking. His voice, and darkness. Admittedly, a clever way to start a show by a radio guy. Then the lights came up, and there was Ira, looking pretty much like I expected.

He had a script, but he wandered off it pretty regularly, discussing a number of events going on in his life, including moving from Chicago to NYC a couple of days before this appearance. He also discussed the upcoming This American Life TV show on Showtime.

In the scripted parts, he talked about a number of topics, from how to make a story that people want to hear, to how music plays a role in story-telling. He was also very proud to show off a badge of honor: when the show was mentioned as a pop-culture reference on the O.C.

It was a cool night. Much like most episodes of the radio show, it was over too soon. Unlike the radio show, I wasn’t punished with Garrison Keillor afterward. Instead, as we walked back to our car, there was a street musician playing a sax. That was way better.

One Response to “This American Night”

  1. Rachel Says:

    Wow! I am super jealous. This American Life is a favorite of ours. Of course, we usually listen to Garrison too. What is Minnesota doing to us?