In the sixteen years it's been around, This American Life has been more than just a radio show: It's been the parent of movie scripts as diverse as Unaccompanied Minors and The Informant, a major influence on countless other experiments with the radio format, from Radiolab to The Moth, not to mention, for a couple of years, an excellent TV show. And central to that mythos has always been host and geek-god Ira Glass, who almost single-handedly transformed it all with a simple application of the basics -- compelling stories and moods -- and a relaxed, mildly nerdy everyman persona that, if it's hard to resist over the airwaves, is nearly impossible to resist live.
The set-up of his live performance doesn't sound like much -- it's basically just Glass himself and a mixing board on a stage -- but then again, neither does radio, and as he does there, Glass makes the most of what he's got on the stage, using lights (or the absence of lights), clips from This American Life, back-stories and his own distinctive voice to build a weird, fascinating and heartfelt case for the medium he calls his own. Seriously, I saw his show when he came to the Paramount last year, and I can't recommend it enough. It was fantastic.
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Speaking of that show, it sold out in a matter of days, and being that this upcoming one is one performance only, it probably will, too. So get your tickets quick if you're thinking about going.