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UPR's Holiday Schedule for 2015

 

HOLIDAY PROGRAMMING 2015

Wed Nov 25, 2015

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Thanksgiving 2015 (2h)

9pm - 11pm

Comprised of six poems in all, M. Vlast journeys through imagery from the composer's homeland. Fittingly, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is conducted by the Czech Republic's most recognized conductor today, Jiří Bělohlávek. This symphonic poem paints a musical picture, evoking imagery of landscapes, a wedding party, a hunt and even water nymphs. This will be the first time the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has performed this work in its entirety since 1976 with Maestro Rafael Kubelik.

PRODUCER: WQED-Pittsburgh

Thu Nov 26, 2015

Giving Thanks: A Celebration of Fall, Food, & Gratitude (1h + repeat)

9am - 10am

7pm - 8pm

“I had a chance to listen to Giving Thanks and was greatly enriched by the experience.” – Bill Moyers with music and stories for Thanksgiving, it’s Giving Thanks New for 2015, two special guests: an artist in the kitchen, and an artist at the piano: Christopher Kimball founder, editor, and publisher of Cook's Illustrated Magazine, and host of public television's most watched cooking show, America's Test Kitchen. He’ll take us to his Vermont farm for a New England Thanksgiving, and talk about the experiences for which he's most grateful. Stephen Hough, world famous concert pianist, composer, prize-winning poet, and MacArthur genius. He'll share his wonderful essay "Thanksgiving for Thanksgiving" which he wrote for the London Telegraph, and we'll hear an excerpt from his favorite Thanksgiving author Willa Cather, plus his new Grieg album. Also, Patrick Stewart reads autumn poems from John Keats and Antonio Vivaldi. Stations can choose between two versions of Giving Thanks: The original two-hour version maintains the high proportion of music. The one-hour show is geared towards news and talk formats. Classical music is the heart and soul of the original Giving Thanks. Between the music, no clichés about pilgrims and pumpkin pies. Instead, it's a contemporary celebration of the spirit of Gratitude. And continuing a Giving Thanks tradition shared by 300 APM stations: a spellbinding story from actor Charles Laughton, giving thanks for Art that connects us all to the creative spirit. Whether your listeners are early in the kitchen, on the road to a family gathering, or relaxing after the feast, Giving Thanks provides the perfect atmosphere for Thanksgiving: the warmth of great music, and truly memorable words.

The Splendid Table's Turkey Confidential (2h)

10am - 12pm

Turkey Confidential is a live, two-hour, call-in program on Thanksgiving Day from

12 p.m. - 2 p.m. EST (NOTE: new time in 2015!) for public radio listeners across the nation. On Thursday, November 26, help is on the way for Thanksgiving cooks, kitchen helpers and dinner guests on this, the biggest cooking day of the year. Lynne Rossetto Kasper, award-winning host of public radio's national food show The Splendid Table®, will be available to answer listener questions throughout the live, two-hour program. Quickly becoming a Thanksgiving morning tradition, past shows have included everything from a cross-country trucker cooking his Thanksgiving dinner on the manifold to a panicked first-time cook who didn't realize a turkey needs to be thawed. Lynne handles all questions with wit, expertise and laughter.

Thanksgiving with Cantus (1h)

9pm - 10pm

Cantus is one of the premiere men's vocal ensembles, and with Alison Young, talk

about the holiday, music, and food. Host Alison Young producer Brad Although and Vital Rabinowitz

Fri Nov 27, 2015

The Science of Gratitude (1h plus 2 Repeats)

9am - 10am

7pm - 8pm

2pm - 3pm Repeat December 25th

“The Science of Gratitude” is a one-hour documentary focusing on the latest information regarding the power (or lack of it) of being thankful. We hear research, expert opinion, and individual stories to illustrate how gratitude often has a large impact on overall happiness. The program covers gratitude in the workplace, in relationships, in health, in child-rearing, etc. It is hosted by Academy Award winning actress, Susan Sarandon. And produced by Peabody award winning BMP audio. The past 10 years have seen an explosion in the scientific study of happiness. The findings so far are complex, and incomplete. But if they could be distilled into one simple prescription for happiness, it would probably be this: Say thank you. Gratitude, it seems, is a key—perhaps the key—to feeling more satisfied with your life. It improves your relationships with loved ones. It’s even good for your heart. Learn more about these and many other cutting-edge findings in The Science of Gratitude, a one-hour radio special narrated by Academy Award-winner Susan Sarandon. The special, produced by the Peabody Award-winning Ben Manilla Productions in partnership with the Greater Good Science Center, will be airing this fall on public radio stations nationwide, distributed by Public Radio International. The Science of Gratitude will combine scientific research with personal stories illustrating the benefits and obstacles to feeling truly grateful. Throughout the hour, you’ll gain practical insights into how to cultivate more gratitude in yourself, your kids, your workplace, and beyond.

Mon Nov 30, 2015

Advent Voices (1h)

9pm - 10pm

Advent is a time of quiet contemplation and waiting. It's waiting for darkness to

become light and for hopes to be realized. Throughout the centuries Advent has been observed musically in sacred and secular ways. Join Lynne Warfel for an hour of the most beautiful vocal music inspired by and written for Advent.

Wed Dec 2, 2015

In Italia: A Renaissance Christmas from Venice, Naples, Milan, and

Beyond (1h)

9pm - 10pm

In the sixteenth-century, the splendor of the Renaissance blossomed across Italy as a new Holy Roman Empire stretched its wings from the Urals to the Atlantic. This special holiday edition of Harmonia brings listeners wonderful sixteenth-century Christmas music from the Venetian world of Giovanni Bassano and Gioseffo Zarlino, moving westward to the Milan of Franchinus Gaffurius, and southerly to the Naples of Diego Ortiz. Music of the Nordic Venetian Michael Praetorius provides a glorious grand finale. Directed by Dr. Dana Marsh and Wendy Gillespie of the Historical Performance Institute of the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University, with some of America's most outstanding young voices and players, specializing in early music.

Sat Dec 5, 2015

An Afro Blue Christmas (1h)

8pm - 9pm

Join us for a very special holiday concert with Howard University’s premiere vocal ensemble Afro Blue and special guest pianist Cyrus Chestnut. Hear the scapula group perform a variety of holiday songs including African-American spirituals, jazz and pop tunes, and classical repertoire. The joyous celebration includes one of a kind arrangements on traditional holiday songs plus new compositions…music perfect for the holidays and the spirit of Christmas. Hosted by Michele Norris.

Mon Dec 7, 2015

Hanukkah Lights 2015 (1h + repeat)

9am - 10am

7pm - 8pm

A perennial NPR favorite with all new Hanukkah stories. Hosted by Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz.

Tues Dec 8, 2015

Welcome Christmas! (1h)

9pm - 10pm

The perennial Christmas favorite from Vocal Essence, one of the world’s premiere choral groups, led by Philip Brunelle. Join host John Birge for an hour of traditional carols and new discoveries program.

Thu Dec 10, 2015

Chanukah in Story & Song (1h + repeat)

10am - 11am

9pm - 10pm

Narrated by Leonard Nimoy and sung by the acclaimed vocal sextet The Western Wind Vocal Ensemble, "Chanukah in Story and Song" is a unique holiday program created especially for public radio listeners. This delightfully engaging program presents 25 eclectic selections, from the Ladino songs of the Spanish Jews and Yiddish melodies of Eastern Europe to modern Israeli tunes and the ensemble's original version of "I Have a Little Dreydle." The ensemble performs a cappella as well as with instrumental accompaniment. The narration, written by Rabbi Gerald Skolnik, sheds new light on the holiday's customs and rituals. Listeners of all ages will hum the tunes after enjoying this wonderful program.

Fri Dec 11, 2015

Marketplace Takes Care of Holiday Business (1h + repeat)

10am - 11am

3pm - 4pm Saturday, December 12

The Marketplace Weekend team looks at where the holidays meet money. Host

Lizzie O'Leary is joined by some of APM's biggest names to explore that intersection, tell some stories, and help you financially navigate the holiday season.

Joy to the World - A Holiday in Pink (1h)

9pm - 10pm

The internationally acclaimed “little orchestra" Pink Martini bedecks the airwaves with festive holiday songs from across the globe. From timeless classics to rarely heard gems, hear a multi-denominational, multi-cultural jubilee, overflowing with enough holiday spirit to warm your entire family. Hosted by All Things Considered’s Ari Shapiro,

Sat Dec 12, 2015

Paul Winter's 35th Annual Winter Solstice Celebration (2h)

8pm - 10pm

Celebrate the Return of the Sun - and the Warming of the Earth with an exuberant Feast of Sound captured live in the majestic Cathedral of St. John the Divine. WNYC's John Schaefer hosts this all new performance featuring the Paul Winter Consort with Paul McCandless, gospel singer Theresa Thomason, Danny Rivera -- the "National Voice of Puerto Rico” and Abdel Salaam's Forces of Nature percussion and dance ensemble. Hosted by John Schaefer.

Sun Dec 13, 2015

Selected Shorts Gift Set: Episode 1 - Three Boys and a Girl (1h)

2pm - 3pm

(see also Sun Dec 20, Sun Dec 27 and Sun Jan 3)

Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents four stories in which boys—and one girl—encounter adventures. David Hyde Pierce reads an excerpt from E.B. White’s classic about intrepid mouse Stuart Little. In this episode, Stuart helms a toy boat in Central Park, and proves himself seaworthy. Our second story is James Joyce’s tale of thwarted young love, “Araby,” from his collection Dubliners, which depicts the lives of ordinary people in turn-of the-century Dublin. It’s read by Malachy McCourt. Our third story is Andrew Lam’s “The Palmist,” in which a teenager is approached by a strange old man on a bus, and hears his future. The reader is James Naughton. A surreal family tale finishes the hour: a father and daughter glide out of an airplane in “Flying” by Stephen Dixon, read by Thomas Gibson.

Candles Burning Brightly (1h)

7pm - 8pm

A one-hour celebration of Chanukah, the Jewish Festival of Lights with an exploration of Chanukah foods and traditional activities ... and plenty of music.

Mon Dec 14, 2015

Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (1h)

9pm - 10pm

Join the world-renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir, accompanied by the Orchestra at Temple Square, for their annual Christmas concert.

Tue Dec 15, 2015

Christmas with Morehouse & Spelman Glee Clubs (1h)

9pm - 10pm

One of the great holiday traditions in America, the choirs of Morehouse and Spelman Colleges -- two of the most prestigious historically black institutions in the nation – get together to present a spine-tingling concert program. This encore presentation features the best works of the last several years. It's a joyous celebration of the schools' tradition of singing excellence, with their trademark mixture of spirituals and carols. Korva Coleman hosts.

Wed Dec 16, 2015

Light & Gold: The Music of Eric Whitacre (2014) (1h)

9pm - 10pm

An encore presentation of our 2014 program. A meditative special co-hosted by superstar composer Eric Whitacre, featuring his own choral masterpieces.

Thu Dec 17, 2015

Access Utah Holiday Special (1h + repeat)

9am - 10am

7pm - 8pm Repeat

Live program featuring music and readings for the season. Guests include guitarist Mike Christiansen and “Christmas Chronicles” author Tim Slover.

Awesome Holiday Etiquette (1h + repeat)

10am - 11am

3pm - 4pm Saturday, December 26th

The Holiday season can be a minefield when it comes to good behavior. Do I wish people Merry or Happy or not? What if I get cornered by my weird uncle at the family gathering? How much of the menu do I need to change because my brother is now bringing a vegan? (Wait, now he's a vegan, too?) Can I still wear my favorite leather belt? Awesome Holiday Etiquette is an entertaining way to learn how you can take some of the stress out of being social during the Holidays. Hosts Lizzie Post and Dan Post Senning - the great-great-grandchildren of etiquette icon Emily Post - will talk with friends and special guests about etiquette throughout the season - from food to decorating to social situations. They will answer etiquette questions from listeners, and invite storytellers to tell the tales of their biggest Holiday wins (or fails).

Hollywood Holiday (1h)

9pm - 10pm

Join Lynne Warfel for an hour of holiday movie music that ranges from the sentimental to the completely cranky. From "White Christmas" and cozy homes for the holidays, to Grinches and Scrooges, Hollywood Holiday takes in your favorite holiday movies from a musical point of view.

Fri Dec 18, 2015

Christmas Chronicles: Episodes 1 & 2 (1h)

7pm - 8pm

(see also Mon Dec 21, Tues Dec 22 and Wed Dec 23)

The Christmas Chronicles is a series of eight half-hour programs, which UPR will present over eight weekday evenings. The Christmas Chronicles is a story for radio that captures the magic and mystery of everyone’s favorite Yuletide character—Santa Claus. The series was commissioned by KBYU. The Christmas Chronicles originated in accounts of the astonishing life and activities of Santa, recalled and told by the author, Tim Slover, to his children over the years. It all started with a strictly scientific answer to a child’s classic question: “How does Santa deliver all those toys all over the world in just one night?” That’s the query that unlocked the grand adventure to keep the magic in and the cynicism of the world at bay. The Christmas Chronicles finally reveals “a true and complete history of Santa.”

Episode 1: Pine Boughs

Friday, December 18, 7:00 p.m.

A search for Christmas pine boughs leads to a stuck car, an encounter with evil, and the discovery of a book containing the true and complete history of Klaus, now known as Santa Claus. Tim Slover narrates.

 

Episode 2: Klaus the Carpenter

Friday, December 18, 7:30 p.m.

Plague comes and Klaus uses his remarkable woodworking gifts to restore his village to life, and bring joy back to its children. However, a rival carpenter named Rolf Eckhof thwarts his every move. Richard Johnstone narrates.

 

Episode 3: Anna the Racer

Monday, December 21, 7:00 p.m.

Anna and her reindeer, Dasher, are the fastest sleigh racers around—a perfect match for Klaus as he struggles to deliver Christmas presents to distant villages. Rolf Eckhof still lurks. Richard Johnstone narrates.

 

Episode 4: The Magic Reindeer

Monday, December 21, 7:30 p.m.

Years fly by and Klaus feels his life fading one Christmas Eve, until he knowingly unleashes the magic that unlocks a great secret. Meanwhile, tragedy strikes at home. Richard Johnstone narrates.

 

Episode 5: The Green Council Convenes

Tuesday, December 22, 7:00 p.m.

St. Nicholas and the council lead Klaus to the True North and his new home at Castle Noel, where he and Anna will live without age or illness. A surprise waits for them at the gate. Richard Johnstone narrates.

 

Episode 6: Of Space and Time

Tuesday, December 22, 7:30 p.m.

Klaus finally solves the problems of Christmas deliveries through the physics of the True North. Marvels meet him when he first circumnavigates the globe, the greatest of which awaits him at Castle Noel. Richard Johnstone narrates.

 

Episode 7: Be of Good Cheer

Wednesday, December 23, 7:00 p.m.

The demon that was Rolf Eckhof strikes the True North hard, and now nothing will be the same again. However, from loss a new hero emerges. Can this little reindeer really save Christmas? Richard Johnstone narrates.

 

Episode 8: The Word

Wednesday, December 23, 7:30 p.m.

A victory in the epic battle of the demon versus the reindeer, means Klaus can keep the spirit of Christmas alive. Richard Johnstone narrates.

A Christmas Celtic Sojourn 2015 (2h)

9pm - 11pm

Direct from the Cutler Majestic Theatre in Boston, a Celtic celebration of the season, with top-flight traditional singers and instrumentalists, and a story or two from host Brian O’Donovan

Sat Dec 19, 2015

UPR Folk Holiday Special (1h)

7pm - 8pm

Live from the UPR studios. Produced by Shalayne Smith-Needham, Kirsten Swanson and Jessica Sonderegger and hosted by Tom Williams

Sun Dec 20, 2015

Selected Shorts Gift Set: Episode 2 - Peas, Pancakes, and Pretensions (1h)

(see also Sun Dec 13, Sun Dec 27 and Sun Jan 3)

2pm - 3pm

Guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents food-related fictions, from a diverse group of writers. First, a characteristically short short from Lydia Davis: “Letter to a Frozen Peas Manufacturer,” which is just what it sounds like but also something more. Leonard is the reader. In Nora Ephron’s “Serial Monogamy: A Memoir,” read by Mary Kay Place, the late foodie, wit, and screenwriter debones her romantic life by way of her cooking. And our final work is an excerpt from Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert read by Christina Pickles, in which the socially ambitious doctor’s wife gets her first taste of real luxury.

St. Olaf Christmas Festival (2h)

8pm - 10pm

A service in song and word that has become one of the nation’s most cherished holiday celebrations. Tickets to the event - which takes place at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN - are always gone months in advance. The festival includes hymns, carols, choral works, as well as orchestral selections celebrating the Nativity and featuring more than 500 student musicians in five choirs and the St. Olaf Orchestra program.

Mon Dec 21, 2015

Tinsel Tales 3 (1h)

(see also Tue Dec 22 and Wed Dec 23)

9am - 10am

In keeping with a well-loved NPR holiday tradition, hear the third collection of extraordinary Christmas stories that will transport you to unexpected places. Audie Cornish, Ken Harbaugh, Nina Totenberg and other voices from NPR's past and present tell stories of the season in this hour-long special. Some tales are funny; some are touching; some are insightful or irreverent or nostalgic or surprising. You might recognize them from our broadcast archives — or you might fall in love with them for the first time.

Christmas Chronicles: Episodes 3 & 4 (1h)

(see also Fri Dec 18, Tues Dec 22 and Wed Dec 23)

7pm - 8pm

A Chanticleer Christmas (1h)

9pm - 10pm

A one-hour program of holiday favorites, new and old, presented live in concert by the superb 12-man ensemble known as "an orchestra of voices."

Tue Dec 22, 2015

Tinsel Tales 2 (1h)

(see also Mon Dec 21 and Wed Dec 23)

9am - 10am

NPR fills millions of homes each holiday with humor, warmth, and a host of festive voices. Continuing with the tradition of the first Tinsel Tales program, this is another collection of the best and most requested holiday stories. Joy, hope, and childhood memories over flow as NPR voices, past and present, tell stories of the season. Hosted by Lynn Neary.

Christmas Chronicles: Episodes 5 & 6 (1h)

(see also Fri Dec 18, Mon Dec 21 and Wed Dec 23)

7pm - 8pm

Wintersongs 2015 (1hr + repeat)

9pm - 10pm

7pm - 8pm Thursday, Dec 24 Repeat

A Cache Valley tradition presented by the USU Music Department and directed by Dr. Cory Evans.

Wed Dec 23, 2015

Tinsel Tales (1h)

(see also Mon Dec 21 and Tue Dec 22)

9am - 10am

This program features stories from the NPR archives that touch on the meaning of Christmas. David Sedaris, Bailey White, John Henry Faulk --these and other NPR voices, past and present, tell stories of the season. Hosted by Lynn Neary.

Christmas Chronicles: Episodes 7 & 8 (1h)

(see also Fri Dec 18, Mon Dec 21 and Tues Dec 22)

7pm - 8pm

Christmas from UPR (3 hr)

8pm - 11pm 3h

9am - 12pm Fri Dec 25 Repeat

Thu Dec 24, 2015

A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols – Live (2h)

8am - 10am

Hosted by Michael Barone, this is a live service of spoken-word and music (choral

and organ) broadcast from the chapel of King's College in Cambridge, England. The 30-voice King's College Choir performs the legendary Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols service of Biblical readings and music. Host Michael Barone

Jonathan Winters' A Christmas Carol (1hr + repeat)

10am - 11am

6pm - 7pm Repeat

An updated version of a public radio tradition hosted by NPR's Susan Stamberg. Master comedian Jonathan Winters presents a distinctive reading of Dickens' holiday classic, with a special performing edition prepared by Dickens for his own presentations. Also featuring Mimi Kennedy. From NPR and KCRW

Handel 's Messiah from UPR (3h)

8pm - 11pm

Hosted by Tom Williams, with commentary by Craig Jessop, Dean of the USU Caine College of the Arts, and Director of the American Festival Chorus; and featuring a recording with Trevor Pinnock and the English Concert and Choir.

Fri Dec 25, 2015

Living on Earth: Hope for the Holidays (1h + repeat)

3pm - 4pm

10am - 11am Wednesday, December 30th

This year's "Living on Earth" holiday show presents tales from Celtic traditions, an African-American parable, and other stories all centered on the theme of hope. Two characters listeners will meet in this program include a trickster slave who outwits his master, and a boy who discovers that he’s descended from an enemy tribe!

Festivo Alt .Latino with Gaby Moreno and Friends (1hr + repeat)

6pm - 7pm

8pm - 9pm Sat Jan 2 Repeat

Alt.Latino continues its home grown tradition of celebrating the Holidays in song with a special show featuring songwriter/performer Gaby Moreno and her band performing tracks from her popular 2014 album Posada. Moreno will perform in Austin, Texas in the midst of a tour that has taken her across the US and Europe. She will be joined by special guests to give the show the feeling of a family holiday sing along: Austin 2015 Musician of the Year Gina Chavez and Chicano Zen bandleader and record producer Michael Ramos Collaborations, traditional holiday music from both sides of the border and three outstanding performers make Festivo Alt.latino a Must Do holiday celebration!

Jazz Piano Christmas XXVI (1hr)

7pm - 8pm

NPR Music brings you another great concert from Kennedy Center. Kenny Barron, Fred Hersch, and Carmen Staaf perform their favorite holiday songs in a program hosted by Felix Contreras.

Christmas on Jazz After Hours 2015 (2hr)

8pm - 10pm

Jazz musicians have always had holiday fun giving Christmas a jazzy twist. This year, "Jazz After Hours" is planning a new 2-hour Christmas special, full of fresh holiday jazz, some just released for Christmas 2015.

Sat Dec 26, 2015

A Season's Griot 2015 (1hr)

7pm - 8pm

A Season's Griot is public radio's only nationally syndicated Kwanzaa program. Hosted for nearly 20 years by acclaimed storyteller Madafo Lloyd Wilson, this annual one-hour special captures the tales and traditions of African American and African peoples. This year's program will celebrate The National Association of Black Storytellers with special guests Mother Mary Carter Smith, Linda Goss, Dr. Hugh Morgan Hill, better known as Brother Blue, the show's poet laureate, Beverly Burnette, and other members of the Season's Griot family. Familiar and favorite elements of Griot will also be in place with plenty of music in this, the 2015 edition of A Season's Griot.

Sun Dec 27, 2015

Selected Shorts Gift Set: Episode 3 - Strong Feelings (1h)

(see also Sun Dec 13, Sun Dec 20 and Sun Jan 3)

2pm - 3pm

David Sedaris introduces two stories about strong feelings. In Michael Cunningham’s powerful ”White Angel,” the bond between two brothers is severed by a tragedy. Time is telescoped, and place looms large in this recounting through the eyes of a child of a moment that changed everything. James Naughton is the reader. Our second work is Bernard Cooper’s humorous tribute to exhalation, “The Fine Art of Sighing,” in which he ascribes his family’s sighing techniques to their characters. The reader is Selected Shorts’ late host and founder Isaiah Sheffer.

Toast of the Nation (6hr)

9 pm - 3am

An NPR tradition every New Year's Eve since the 1970s, Toast of the Nation is the perfect audio complement for the occasion. It's jazz that you can party to, all night long with countdowns to midnight in all four continental time zones. Spirited, improvised, grooving and swinging, each segment is a stop in a sequence of celebrations, contributing something new to the musical feast.

Fri Jan 1, 2016

The Christmas Revels: In Celebration of the Winter Solstice (2hr)

9pm - 10pm

A two-hour musical celebration of the winter holidays – Christmas, the Solstice, New Year's, and Twelfth Night – featuring traditional carols, anthems, hymns, motets, wassails, spirituals, children's game-songs, and folk dance tunes excerpted from live Christmas Revels productions presented around the country.

Sun Jan 3, 2016

Selected Shorts Gift Set: Episode 4 - Take a Seat (1h)

(see also Sun Dec 13, Sun Dec 20 and Sun Dec 27)

2pm - 3pm

Guest host Robert Sean Leonard presents four stories about sitting down to a meal, or a drink, with surprising results. First, the legendary Henry Miller tells us about the dinner party from Hell in “Soiree in Hollywood”—his interior monologue is a running attack on greed, pretension, and ignorance. Joshua Malina reads. In a classic Roald Dahl tale, “Lamb to the Slaughter,” Catherine O’Hara is the sweet house wife with a big secret. Israeli writer Etgar Keret is known for his off-kilter tales, and in “Halibut” a disenchanted millennial has a heart-to heart with the fish on his lunch plate. Josh Radnor does the talking for both. The distinguished writer Robert Coover, now in his eighties, contemplates life and death in the beautifully compressed “Going for a Beer,” read by Selected Shorts’ late host and founder, Isaiah Sheffer.