Magazine article Book

New York Stories

Magazine article Book

New York Stories

Article excerpt

Movie night at the city's literary hot spot

THE MOTH IS NEW York City's all-star answer to the campfire. It's a movable storytelling salon, and each evening event has a theme that serves as a springboard for a few handpicked, semi-improve, no-notes-allowed storytellers. Topics range from "Cravings and Compulsion" to "Babes in the Bighouse" and performers have included Frank McCourt, George Plimpton, Margaret Cho, Spalding Gray and Candace Bushnell, as well as teachers, nuns, a former prisoner of war and even an astronaut.

At a recent installment called "Stories From the Film World," a crowd of nine-to-fivers, agents and journalists were drawn downtown to a dimly lit lounge called Nell's to hear what Hollywood insiders like author/screenwriter Peter Hedges had to say.

"I can only tell this story because my wife's out of town," Hedges explained, hands in the pockets of his Levis. He then began a twelve-minute confession of the unconsummated crushes he pursued as a struggling thirty-year-old during the making of 1993's What's Eating Gilbert Grape, which he wrote. …

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