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‘Celebrity Book Club’ Goes Live

The Caveat show sold out — 126 people attended despite a blizzard that day, and tickets cost $18 in advance and $22 at the door. Marotta and Phillips-Horst have plans to tour in 2022; the podcast’s producer, Meg Murnane, said that there would likely be two shows in San Francisco and two in Los Angeles this spring.

McConaughey’s book provided good fodder for their blend of improvised skits, dramatic reading and general silliness. They slipped in and out of accents — Boston, Australia, Texas. They reenacted a scene between McConaughey and Alves when they were falling in love.

“What would I have to do to lose you?” Marotta, playing McConaughey, asked.

Phillips-Horst paused, as Alves does in the book. “Change,” he said.

Toward the end of the show, they strayed from the memoir, playing a guessing game that involved matching celebrities to pictures of their houses, alcohol brands, skin care products and restaurant menus. (Based on the hints “musician” and “preppies like him,” Phillips-Horst guessed correctly that a wine was made by Dave Matthews.) They invited a guest onstage and tried to guess how she lived, what she ate and what she wore — making her a slate for the cultural commentary they normally apply to celebrities.

The two hosts even used props during the show. At one point, Marotta pulled a head of iceberg lettuce and ketchup out of a bag. Marotta began to dip the lettuce in ketchup as Phillips-Horst stifled laughter and explained: This is what McConaughey ate every night for dinner during his stay with a host family in Australia in an attempt to become a vegetarian. (“The problem was, I didn’t know how to be a vegetarian,” McConaughey writes.)

Upon taste testing, Marotta decided that following McConaughey’s Australia diet wasn’t as bad as it might have seemed. “Kind of ‘end of the burger’ vibes,” they said.

“This book is insane, and we say that a lot, but this book is absolutely mad,” Phillips-Horst explained to the audience. But McConaughey’s message about looking for “green lights” in life, or signs that you’re going in the right direction, still struck a chord. “I did, ultimately, cry at the end,” he added.

Lawrence U

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