Howdy y'all from the annual Texas swing of the Selected Shorts tour!
I am accompanied this year by two of our stalwart regular readers, Kathleen Chalfant and Malachy McCourt, as well as by our Associate Producer of Literary Programs, Rachel Person, many months pregnant and making her last tour before maternity leave.
We ride our Hertz rental car over the range of the Lone Star state, singing cowboy songs with a New York flavor. WSe were a smash hit here in Austin, where the Paramount Theatre on Congress Avenue, the main drag leading from the Colorado River up to the high-domed State Capitol building, was packed with almost a thousand public radio SHORTS fans, young and old, cheering for literature. At the post-performance reception given by our radio station KUT (where SELECTED SHORTS on Sunday mornings has the highest listenership of any radio show in this market)I was made an Honorary Texas Ranger, and I've got a tin star to prove it.
Then we hits the dusty trail (aka Interstate 35) down to old San Antonio. We are such rock stars in San Antone that Texas Public Radio got me the most remarkable hotel room in town at the Victorian hotel Fairmont, a three room suite with a spa-bathroom like the Temple of Dendur, from which I had to take a running start in order to leap up into the VERY high fourposter bed! We did the stories in the largest rental venue they could find, which happened to be thte Reform Synagogue, Temple Beth El. I think it was the first time SHORTS has ever been performed in front of the Holy Ark and Eternal Light--and in Texas, yet.
On several occasions, enthusiastic Texas SHORTS fans have made a point of saying hello and assuring us that while we were in the heart of Bush country (the hotel I'm writing this in, the landmark Driskill in Austin,plays a large part in Robert Caro's saga of LBJ's politicking here in an dearlier era)but not ALL Texans are fans of the current presidential administration.
So now it's time to turn our rental Buick's nose up to the north and make our way into Big D and two shows back to back at the Dallas Museum of Art. Thden early Tuesday morning we turn in old Paint at the Dallas/Ft Worth airport rental car return and wing our way back east to reality.