THIS AMERICAN LIFE's Ira Glass Hoping to Play Broadway
Monica Bill Barnes & Company and Ira Glass, host of This American Life, have been working together to combine two art forms that - as Ira puts it - "have no business being together - dance and radio." The result is a funny, lively and heartfelt evening of dance and stories that brought down the house in its first test run at Carnegie Hall- Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host. In a recent interview with the New York Times, Glass reveals that he'd like to bring the show to Broadway.
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The show includes radio interviews restaged as dance pieces, plus stories from the lives of each of the three performers, Ira Glass, Monica Bill Barnes and Anna Bass. "What makes it work is a shared sensibility," Glass says. "As dancers, Monica and Anna are these amazingly relatable and funny storytellers without words." Bass notes, "I think it's still blowing Ira's mind to see some of the radio pieces remade this way, with props and costume changes and lighting cues." Barnes adds, "combining these art forms has led to a show that's unlike anything I've ever choreographed before."
As the title indicates, the show is in three acts. Act one is about the job of being a performer. Act two: falling in love and what it means to stay in love. Act three: nothing lasts forever. "People who like This American Life will probably like this," says Glass "because it's just like the radio show, um, if you picture dancing during all the stories."
Ira Glass is the host and creator of the public radio program This American Life. The show is heard on more than 500 public radio stations in the U.S., and most weeks it's the most popular podcast in America. It airs on public radio in Canada and Australia. Under Glass's editorial direction, This American Life has won the highest honors for broadcasting and journalistic excellence; a television adaptation of the program ran on the Showtime network for two years, winning three Emmys. The American Journalism Review declared that the show is "at the vanguard of a journalistic revolution." The radio show has put out its own comic book, greatest hits compilations, live stage shows, two feature films, a "radio decoder" toy, temporary tattoos and a paint-by-numbers set. This is Glass's professional dance show debut.
Photo Credit: David Bazemore