About a month ago, a stranger was telling me about his favorite story ever on our show. It concerned an amateur production of Peter Pan that went badly awry. This was not surprising. Happens all the time with that story, even though the last time it appeared on the air – in rerun – was during the middle of the Bush Administration.
Jack Hitt, who told the story on the air, has been on our show dozens of times and is hands-down the best natural storyteller I know. I don’t say that lightly. He’s deeply curious, very funny, piercingly analytical and a living embodiment of the adage: great stories happen to those who can tell them. I’m told that magazine editors sometimes make Jack write out his story pitches in email form because when you’re on the phone with him, listening to him describe some story he wants to write, a mist of fairy dust engulfs everything, you’re laughing and you’re charmed and you end up buying everything he wants to sell you. Email is the only way to preserve a shred of objectivity.
New York City: you have a rare chance to see him tell stories on stage, for the next two weekends at Joe’s Pub. It’s a small venue. Act quickly to get tickets.
Jack’s normally a print reporter; this show MAKING UP THE TRUTH is his first time out as a stage performer. It’s filled with – as his press release says – “extravagant, almost unbelievable true stories.” These are, of course, the very best kind. They include two of the most popular things we’ve ever put on our air: his Peter Pan fiasco story, and his story about an inept apartment “super” who claimed to be a former South American killer. Jack tells these and other tales, talks about the mechanics of the brain and what happens when we tell the truth and when we lie. After each show, the Public Theater is hosting an interview with Jack in the lobby mezzanine (where there’s a bar) and a conversation with the audience, led by Nicholas Thompson of The New Yorker
on November 11 and by Catherine Burns from The Moth November 17.
Jack’s awesome. He doesn’t do this very much. Because of the hurricane they actually have some tickets left. That’s lucky for you. Consider grabbing them.
The Show: Making Up the Truth
Where: Joe's Pub at the Public Theater
When: Sunday Nov 11, Saturday Nov 17
And for public radio listeners, a discount: $5 off ticket price with the code JPTIXA2