“If you aren’t cute, you may as well be clever.”
David Sedaris is one funny man, who has reached that magic moment in life where he doesn’t have to worry about what other people think of him. He’s probably sold ten million copies of his books, is a regular fixture on NPR and television, adored by the same fans that love David Letterman and Jon Stewart. And what is really interesting is that so much of the humor is self-deprecating, acknowledging that by the normal rules, he does not really fit in. but he can pass for normal if he tries.
So it was great news when the Berkshire Theatre Group announced that David Sedaris, NPR Humorist and Bestselling Author of Naked, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim and Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk, will be speaking at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield on Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 7:30pm. Tickets are VIP: $75 A: $65 • B: $45 • C: $25. The VIP tickets include preferred seating. Tickets may be purchased in person at the Colonial Ticket Office at 111 South Street or by calling (413) 997-4444 or online at www.TheColonialTheatre.org. The Ticket Office is open Monday-Friday 10am–5pm, Saturdays 10am–2pm or on any performance day from 10am until intermission.
From my Notebook
Sedaris fans should also note that later this year his Santaland Diaries, which has been made into a stage play, will return to Shakespeare & Company for the holidays, starring Peter Davenport as Crumpet the Elf, from December 2-30. (My Review from last year.)
But the actual David Sedaris will arrive well before that, live and in person, to the Colonial Theatre in the midst of the Made in the Berkshires celebration, just before Hallowe’en. That’s appropriate too since Publisher’s Weekly has called him Garrison Keillor’s evil twin.
Short, slight, he is mild mannered and unassuming, but his words can be killer. With the gentle bearing of a nice neighbor-next-door albeit with a nasally voice, he can lull you into a calm, peaceful state before unveiling yet another surprise. Like he did in his piece Naked in which he revealed his own coming out story that had me literally rolling around laughing hysterically. Yes, Sedaris has a long time boyfriend, Hugh Hamrick, a painter and set designer.
Some of the details in his essays are obviously fictionalized. Naked, for instance, has a story “where my mother hits a cat with her car, and the cat dies, and the cat comes back to life and says, ‘You killed me.”
The Berkshire Theatre Group/Colonial Appearance
With sardonic wit and incisive social critiques, David Sedaris has become one of America’s pre-eminent humorists. The great skill with which he slices through cultural euphemisms and political correctness proves that Sedaris is a master of satire and one of the most observant writers addressing the human condition today.
After being born in Binghamton, New York, Sedaris grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina with his parents and five siblings. As a child who was attracted to the arts and who questioned his sexuality, Sedaris struggled to fit into Raleigh’s white suburbia while growing up. However, these childhood difficulties have provided Sedaris with some of his best inspiration. Sedaris admits that “I’ve been keeping diaries for 27 years. For the most part, it’s just garbage, so I go through them, take whatever’s good and make a master list.” He truly understands the power of writing what one knows.
It is Sedaris’ talent for universalizing his personal family stories that has gained him such a large following and dedicated readership. According to Sedaris, “Writing gives you the illusion of control, and then you realize it’s just an illusion, that people are going to bring their own stuff into it.” It is this ability to bring one’s own stuff to Sedaris’ work that has made his writing so beloved. Sedaris’ pieces appear regularly in The New Yorker and have twice been included in “The Best American Essays.”
Sedaris has also been featured on the radio and on NPR. After Ira Glass discovered Sedaris reading excerpts from his diary in a Chicago club, Sedaris eventually made his NPR debut on the Morning Edition, reading his essay “SantaLand Diaries,” which chronicles his time working as an elf at Macy’s during Christmas time. His hilarious and truthful works have earned him nominations for three Grammy Awards for Best Spoken Word and Best Comedy Album.
In addition to writing his own literature, he and his sister, comedian Amy Sedaris, have collaborated on several theatrical endeavors. Some of their plays include Stump the Host, Stitches, Incident at Cobbler’s Knob, The Book of Liz and One Woman Shoe, which won an Obie Award. Their works have been presented at La Mama Theatre, Lincoln Center, and the Drama Department in New York City.
This reading will feature selections from Sedaris’ older works as well as writings never heard before, guaranteed to delight and incite audiences.