Short Stories Live

Maybe you’re a little Nutcracker-ed out; maybe if you hear one more damn Christmas carol, you might slug someone. So for a quieter celebration of the holidays, the Short Stories Live series is offering three tales read with a minimum of fuss or false frivolity. The radio-polished voices of Jean Sherrard, Frank Corrado, Julie Briskman, and Paul Dorpat will be brought to bear on Muriel Spark’s “The Seraph and the Zambesi,” Ron Carlson’s “The H Street Sledding Record,” and Grace Paley’s “The Loudest Voice.” In the latter, a Jewish girl in New York leans to sing Christmas carols because of her powerful pipes. When her mother complains, her father retorts, “You’re in America! Clara, you wanted to come here. In Palestine the Arabs would be eating you alive. Europe you had pogroms. Argentina is full of Indians. Here you got Christmas.” The story’s narrator, the girl, is equally resigned to the annual Christmas hegemony over the Jewish holidays. “We learned ‘Deck the Halls’ and ‘Hark! The Herald Angels’,” she says, “and we weren’t embarrassed.” With accompaniment by John Owen on steel guitar. BRIAN MILLER

Sun., Dec. 19, 4 p.m., 2010

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