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Jonathan Messinger is a positive kind of guy; the kind of guy who when life hands him lemons, he makes a tree fort and writes a short story about lemonade. The Chicago-based author hosts a monthly challenge reading series called The Dollar Store. Participants buy something – anything that strikes their fancy -- at a dollar store and then write a story about the object within a month. These stories are then read aloud at The Dollar Store, thereby perpetuating the series, and providing an evening of guaranteed entertainment for audiences always on the lookout for something fresh and interesting. Messinger hosts a Dollar Store reading at 8 p.m. this evening at Mad Art Gallery (2727 South Twelfth Street; 314-367-6731 or www.madart.com) as the guest of Left Bank Books. Messinger’s on the road promoting his new short story collection, Hiding Out, which contains several stories that began as Dollar Store performances. Also on the bill is Nathan Keay, a photographer presenting a slideshow of alternative uses for a shoe horn, and RFT contributor and all-around nice guy Jason Toon, who will expound upon the uses for a trick golf ball. Toon goes the extra mile and also provides a little music by way of his band, The Help. Even more music comes courtesy of Chicagoans Stephanie Morris and John Huston. The price for this evening of readings, slideshows, music and laughs? Free. Save your money for Mad Art’s famous cash bar, friends.
Fri., Sept. 28, 2007

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