For Immediate Release                                                                                   
Contact: Kristin Tutino, (585) 258-0253


WXXI Brings the Special to Tinseltown 17 with IMAX

Rochester, New York (April 8, 2009) – WXXI Public Broadcasting welcomes Ira Glass, host of Chicago Public Radio’s critically acclaimed This American Life, to Tinseltown 17 with IMAX (2291 Buffalo Road Rochester, NY14624) with a special live simulcast performance of the radio show on Thursday, April 23rd at 8 p.m. Just like in the weekly radio broadcast, Glass and several popular show contributors will perform humorous and profound stories, all centered on a theme. Originating from the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, New York University, the program will be viewed live via satellite with more than 400 select movie theaters and performing arts centers nationwide. Tickets for this special one night in-theater event are available at and online at Tinseltown 17 with IMAX or

The evening’s lineup will include popular This American Life contributors Dan Savage, Starlee Kine, Mike Birbiglia, David Rakoff, and Dave Hill, plus a cartoon by Chris Ware, additional visuals by Arthur Jones, and a special musical performance by Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Together they will perform a two-hour, live stage version of the radio show, centered on the theme “Return to the Scene of the Crime.”

This American Life – Live! is presented for the second consecutive year in theaters by NCM Fathom,produced by Chicago Public Radio and BY Experience, Inc. in collaboration with Public Radio International (PRI). Tens of thousands of fans across the country attended the first cinema event in 2008.   

“Our listeners enjoyed getting together in their own communities to experience our show in a new way,” said host Ira Glass.  “The live cinema transmission was surprisingly effective.  We were flooded with emails asking for us to do it again.  Last year was mostly a sneak preview of stories from our television show. This year we’re excited to do a full-on stage performance of the radio show.”

“Fathom is excited to bring This American Life back to the big screen for a second year for a truly unique experience for fans – all in the comfort of their local movie theater,” said Dan Diamond, vice president of Fathom.  “Ira Glass and the featured show contributors will certainly deliver another memorable evening for both fans of This American Life and others who want a terrific evening of in-theater entertainment.”

“Ira is a master at crafting stories that showcase a range of voices and experiences,” says Alisa Miller, PRI president and chief executive officer.  “PRI brings different voices to public media.  That's why we have embraced the power of This American Life – Live!  on the big screen.  We are proud to partner with This American Life and support this cinema event.  I look forward to being part of a rapt audience in April as thousands of fans coast to coast share the experience of the live show."

This American Life debuted in 1995 as a weekly, hour-long radio program, produced by Chicago Public Radio and distributed by Public Radio International to more than 500 radio stations nationwide.  In Rochester, This American Life can be heard on AM 1370/HD 91.5-2 Sundays at 6 p.m. and Thursdays at 11 p.m. Primarily journalistic non-fiction, the show also features fiction, essays, and field recordings. The show has won many major broadcasting awards including the Peabody, duPont-Columbia, and Edward R. Murrow Awards.  In 2001, Time Magazine named Glass the “Best Radio Host in America.”  In 2007, the television version of This American Life premiered on premium cable on the Showtime Network.  Newsweek called it “a jewel of a TV series.”  The New York Times called it “beautifully done, an opulent and moving documentary of the highest order.” Season one of This American Life received three Emmy nominations and an International Documentary Association Award. Season two won Emmy Awards for “Outstanding Nonfiction Series” and “Outstanding Directing for Nonfiction Programming.”

WXXI is the essential, life-long educational media resource for the Greater Rochester area. WXXI puts the community first with programming that stimulates and expands thought, inspires the spirit, opens cultural horizons and promotes understanding of diverse community issues. Log on to for more information about our services and programs.

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