It's always fun to sit next to a great storyteller at a party. The best tales stick with you, whether they're about stumbling upon Bruce Springsteen on the Jersey Shore or two years spent learning irrigation in the Peace Corps. The Moth has hosted events devoted to the art since 1997, building its reputation on the idea that storytelling is the oldest, barest and most challenging form of entertainment. In founding the organization, poet George Dawes Green famously envisioned re-creating nights on a friend's porch in his native Georgia -- telling low-key yarns while moths flitted about, presumably. But good ideas tend not to stay small, and so there's been a one-hour radio broadcast since 2009 -- The Moth Radio Hour
, which airs on both KCRW and KPCC. There's a book. And there's a series of live events, like tonight's in Hollywood, when 800 people will fill a concert venue for KCRW Presents: The Moth Mainstage
. It's a different kind of challenge from what Green imagined, but some of L.A.'s best storytellers -- including Les Kurkendaal, Mona Simpson, David Ullendorff and Lauren Weedman -- will take it up willingly. How could you not want to listen in? Avalon Hollywood, 1735 N. Vine St., Hlywd.; Wed., Dec. 4, 7 p.m.; $29.50-$79.50. (310) 314-4635, kcrw.org.
Wed., Dec. 4, 8 p.m., 2013