Ira Glass to Bring Newest Live Show to Houston, 9/20

Ira Glass to Bring Newest Live Show to Houston, 9/20

Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host featuring Ira Glass, Monica Bill Barnes and Anna Bass will make its Houston debut Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014, at 8 p.m., in the Wortham Center's Cullen Theater presented by Society for the Performing Arts.

Ira Glass, host of the popular public radio program "This American Life," in collaboration with dance troupe Monica Bill Barnes & Company has created a show that highlights the best of radio and dance. The combination, according to Glass, has "no business being together." The result is a humorous performance whose first show at Carnegie Hall was a home run. "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."

The three-act show features stories about love, loss and being a performer. Pieces include radio interviews with a dance interpretation and stories from the lives of the performers. Some pieces include Ira Glass, Monica Bill Barnes and Anna Bass all together; then there are some where dance and radio have their own solos.

Ira Glass's career began when he was 19 and interning at NPR's headquarters in Washington D.C. From there, he worked his way up from being a desk assistant, newscast writer, editor until eventually he created "This American Life." Now Glass is the executive producer and host of the public radio program, which has won three Emmys and several Peabody Awards, and reaches more than 1.7 million listeners on over 500 stations weekly.

Monica Bill Barnes is the artistic director for her own contemporary dance company -- Monica Bill Barnes & Company (MBB&Co.) -- founded in 1997 in New York City. MBB & Co. has performed in more than 50 cities throughout the United States. The company has also been commissioned and presented by The American Dance Festival, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival.

Anna Bass joined MBB & Co in 2003 and currently serves as the associate artistic director. Prior to joining MBB & Co., she was the assistant choreographer for The Jammer at The Atlantic Theater, Goodbar at Under the Radar Festival and These Paper Bullets! at Yale Repertory Theatre. Bass also teaches master classes and workshops for MBB & Co.

In 2006 Barnes began creating duets for herself and Bass to reach more diverse audiences. Barnes began working with Ira Glass in 2012 when she created a solo for David Rakoff and performed with MBB & Co. as a part of This American Life Live!

Tickets range from $38-$77 and can be purchased online at, by phone at 713-227-4SPA or at the courtyard level ticket office at Jones Hall located at 615 Louisiana St. Hours of operation: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday - Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. For groups of 15 or more call 713-632-8113.

About Society for the Performing Arts - Founded in 1966, Society for the Performing Arts (SPA) is the largest independent non-profit presenting organization in the Southwest. Since its inception, SPA has sponsored more than 1,000 performances of the world's finest music, dance and theater events, in adherence to the belief that the arts are fundamental to the overall enrichment and quality of life within the community. In addition to presenting artists, SPA seeks to provide a variety of learning experiences for adults and children through master classes, lectures and special student performances, as well as build relationships between the performing arts and other interests within the greater Houston area and throughout the state of Texas.

Pictured: Anna Bass, Ira Glass and Monica Bill Barnes. Photo by David Bazemore.

Related Articles

Houston THEATER Stories | Shows  Like BWW Houston  Follow BWW Houston

From This Author BWW News Desk

Before you go...