Ira Glass is the unlikeliest of radio celebrities. His voice seems to emanate from his sinuses. He pauses and says like more often than your 12-year-old sister. If there were a competition for the biggest geek on public radio, even Garrison Keillor couldn't break Glass. And yet, the host of This American Life has the coolest show on the dial because — as his gigantic, nerd-chic glasses suggest — he's a freakin' genius. Every week, he lures 1.7 million listeners to his program with stories about seemingly random and mundane moments, which make even the smallest personalities seem like windows into our cultural soul. Glass knows how to play big, too. How do you turn segments about health insurance or bank reform into fascinating, even funny, entertainment? The radio raconteur shares his storytelling secrets tonight at 7:30 at the University of Kansas' Lied Center (1600 Stewart Drive, Lawrence, 785-864-2787). Tickets cost $32-$38 for the public, $16-$19 for students.
Sat., Feb. 20, 7:30 p.m., 2010