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For immediate release
December 4, 2002
NPR: Laura Gross

LA Theatre Works: Lucy Pollak

Edward Asner and Anne Meara Star in NPR News Radio Drama December 16-20 on Morning Edition

WASHINGTON, DC - Two elderly grocery store owners, Abe Pepperstein (played by Edward Asner) and his wife Mabel (Anne Meara), flee New York for Hollywood and stardom in I'd Rather Eat Pants, a hilarious original radio play airing the week of December 16 on Morning Edition with Bob Edwards. Written by playwright and screenwriter Peter Ackerman, the witty, five-act radio comedy will surprise and delight listeners, providing a daily, eight-minute oasis of humor, imagination and misadventure.

Directed by award-winning television director Gordon Hunt and produced by L.A. Theatre Works' Susan Albert Loewenberg, I'd Rather Eat Pants was commissioned by NPR. Listeners will get a break from the news and laugh their way into this holiday season as they follow the cross-country motorcycle adventure of Abe and Mabel Pepperstein from New York to Los Angeles as they set out in search of fame, fortune and a family reunion with their estranged daughter. Their crack-up antics are joined by a zany cast of characters played by Ed Begley, Jr.; Dan Castellaneta, the voice of Homer Simpson; Clea Lewis; Emily Bergl; 12-year-old Kendall Schmidt and Derek Cecil from ABC's Push, Nevada. NPR's own Bob Edwards and Susan Stamberg have cameo roles. I'd Rather Eat Pants was performed and recorded at The Museum of Television & Radio in Beverly Hills on November 1, 2002, and is a unique joint production of L.A. Theatre Works and NPR News. It features original theme music by Les Hooper.

L.A. Theatre Works began producing radio drama in 1987, and is the most prolific producer of audio theater in the country. Over the past 13 years, more than 300 contemporary and classic plays have been recorded by some of the world's greatest actors and archived.

A two-hour mix of news, analysis, interviews, commentaries, arts, features and music, Morning Edition, hosted by Bob Edwards, is the most listened to show on public radio and is heard on 577 public radio stations by 11.8 million people. In 2000, Morning Edition received broadcasting's highest honor, the George Foster Peabody Award, for its outstanding contributions to American radio.

NPR, renowned for journalistic excellence and standard-setting news, information and cultural programming, serves a growing audience of nearly 20 million Americans each week via more than 680 public radio stations. NPR Online at brings hourly newscasts, news features, commentaries and live events to Internet users through original online reports, audio streaming and other multimedia elements. NPR also distributes programming to listeners in Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa via NPR Worldwide, to military installations overseas via American Forces Network and throughout Japan via cable.