Running time: 75 minutes
Following the publication of his latest sensation, Sex and Vanity, bestselling author Kevin Kwan curates and hosts an evening of short fiction from writers who have influenced and inspired his work, including Edith Wharton, Doretta Lau, and Virginia Woolf. With performances by Melora Hardin (The Bold Type), Bebe Neuwirth (Blue Bloods), Annie Q. (The Leftovers), and Michael Urie (Ugly Betty, Younger).
"Kevin Kwan has had a singular influence on Asian American storytelling and Hollywood’s pop cultural landscape." — Yoonj Kim, Los Angeles Times
Hosted by Kevin Kwan
Little Miss International Goodwill by Doretta Lau
Performed by Annie Q.
The Duchess and the Jeweller by Virginia Woolf
Performed by Michael Urie
An excerpt from Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan
Performed by Melora Hardin
Roman Fever by Edith Wharton
Performed by Bebe Neuwirth
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|This event is available to view with the Symphony Space 20-21 Season Pass.
To Learn About the Artists
THE ARTISTS (in alphabetical order)
Melora Hardin currently stars as on the hit Freeform series The Bold Type. She also directed an episode in season four and was nominated for an Annual Women Image Awards. Hardin was featured on Amazon’s Transparent in her Emmy nominated role as Tammy Cashman, on ABC’s A Million Little Things, and is recognized worldwide as Jan Levinson from NBC’s The Office. She recently starred in the first one-woman movie ever, Golden Vanity, and can be seen in the feature films Caged and Cruel Hearts. Her extensive big-screen credits include 17 Again, Hannah Montana: The Movie, 27 Dresses, The Hot Chick, Absolute Power, and You, which she also directed. Hardin has been a professional actor since she was six years old and has guest starred on TV favorites such as Little House on the Prairie, The Love Boat, Friends, Gilmore Girls, Monk, The Blacklist, Falling Skies, and Scandal. She will direct two episodes in the fifth and final season of The Bold Type and is currently wrapping up a four-part documentary series.
Kevin Kwan is the author of the internationally bestselling novels Crazy Rich Asians, China Rich Girlfriend, and Rich People Problems. The film adaptation of Crazy Rich Asians was Hollywood’s highest-grossing romantic comedy in a decade. In 2018, Kwan was inducted into the Asian Hall of Fame and listed as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by Time Magazine. His most recent novel, Sex and Vanity, was published earlier this year and named a New and Noteworthy book by The New York Times.
Doretta Lau is the author of the short story collection How Does a Single Blade of Grass Thank the Sun?, which was shortlisted for the City of Vancouver Book Award, longlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, and named by The Atlantic as one of the best books of 2014. Her nonfiction work has been published in Artforum International, South China Morning Post, The Wall Street Journal Asia, ArtReview, and LEAP, and her fiction has appeared in Day One, Event, Grain Magazine, Prairie Fire, PRISM International, Ricepaper, Room, sub-TERRAIN, and Zen Monster, among other publications. Her first novel and essay collection are forthcoming. Lau is a cofounder of the Start to Finish Agency.
Bebe Neuwirth has been dancing and singing and working in theater, television, and film for the last 40 years. Some of her credits are Broadway: A Chorus Line, Little Me, Dancin’, Sweet Charity (Tony Award), Damn Yankees, Addams Family, Chicago (Tony, Drama Desk, Astaire Award, etc.), and Fosse. Off-Broadway: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Here Lies Jenny, and more. Regional: West Side Story and The Taming of the Shrew, among others. London’s West End: Kiss of the Spiderwoman. Television: Cheers (2 Emmy Awards), Frasier, Blue Bloods, Bored to Death, etc. Film: Green Card, Liberty Heights, Summer of Sam, Jumanji: The Next Level, etc. Albums: Porcelain and Stories in NYC (live at 54Below). Honors and awards: Career Transition for Dancers Rolex Dance Award, Dance Magazine Award, Honorary doctorate from Manhattan School of Music, Honorary Ziegfeld Girl, Honorary member of Local 1 (Stagehands’ Union). Current and upcoming projects include the Audible adaptation of Neil Gaimin’s series The Sandman, Broadway on Demand’s A Marvelous Party, and the film Modern Persuasion.
Annie Q. began her professional acting career on the stage, playing the title role in Tony Award-winning playwright David Henry Hwang’s Golden Child at the Signature Theatre. She is best known for her role as Christine in HBO’s The Leftovers and as Sophie Hicks in Netflix’s Alex Strangelove. Her recent work includes the back-to-school installment of Hulu’s Into the Dark, where she starred as Blumhouse’s first Asian-American lead. Annie grew up between Beijing and New York City and studied at LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts. She is fluent in Mandarin and English and a graduate of NYU Stern & Tisch.
Michael Urie starred in the Off-Broadway one-man show Buyer & Cellar, for which he received
the Lucille Lortel, Drama Desk, LA Theatre Critics, and the Clarence Derwent Awards, and in
The Temperamentals, for which he received the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Lead
Actor. Additional stage credits include How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,
Angels in America, Torch Song, and most recently, Grand Horizons. On screen, he played Marc
St. James on Ugly Betty, and has appeared on Modern Family, The Good Wife, Hot in
Cleveland, Workaholics, The Good Fight, Younger, and Almost Family. Urie co-directed the
documentary Thank You for Judging, directed the film He’s Way More Famous Than You and
the Web series What’s Your Emergency, and served as the co-host of Cocktails & Classics on
Edith Wharton (1862-1937) was the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, which she received for her novel The Age of Innocence. She authored more than 40 works of fiction and nonfiction, including The House of Mirth, Ethan Frome, and A Backward Glance, with subsequent collections such as Roman Fever and Other Stories published posthumously. She is best remembered for her observant narrative style and keen representations of New York aristocracy in the Gilded Age, reflecting and satirizing their lives, morals, and values. Wharton’s home, The Mount, is preserved as a national historic landmark and today functions as a cultural center celebrating Wharton’s life and career.
Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) was an English writer, known for novels such as Mrs. Dalloway, To
the Lighthouse, and Orlando, and the extended essay A Room of One's Own. She was a prominent member of the Bloomsbury Group, and one
of the central figures of the modernist movement during the twentieth century.
“The Duchess and the Jeweller” by Virginia Woolf
“Little Miss International Goodwill” by Doretta Lau, from How Does a Single Blade of Grass Thank the Sun? (Nightwood Editions, 2014). Copyright © 2014 by Doretta Lau. Used by permission of Nightwood Editions.
Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan (Doubleday, 2020). Copyright © 2020 by Tyersall Park Ltd. Used by permission of ICM Partners.
“Roman Fever” by Edith Wharton, from Roman Fever and Other Stories (Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1964). Copyright © 1934 by Edith Wharton. Used by permission of Watkins Loomis Agency, Inc.
Selected Shorts is produced by Symphony Space and broadcast on more than 150 stations around the country. The Selected Shorts podcast consistently ranks as one of the most popular podcasts on iTunes. The series began in 1985 and enjoys sold-out performances to this day. Selected Shorts was conceived with a simple premise: take great stories by well-known and emerging writers and have them performed by terrific actors of stage and screen. Featuring stories around a lively theme, the favorite works of a guest author, or a special collaboration, each Selected Shorts event is a unique night of literature in performance.
Selected Shorts is supported by the Dungannon Foundation, sponsor of The Rea Award for the Short Story. Support is also provided by the Howard Gilman Foundation, the NYC COVID-19 Response and Impact Fund in The New York Community Trust, The Shubert Foundation, the Charina Endowment Fund, The Scherman Foundation, the Henry Nias Foundation, the Axe-Houghton Foundation, and the Lemberg Foundation. Selected Shorts is also made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts, and with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. Symphony Space thanks our generous supporters, including our Board of Directors, Producers Circle, and members, who make our programs possible with their annual support.