“One in three Americans weighs as much as the first two.” This was among one of the tamer jokes David Sedaris told during his reading at Lucas Theatre on April 14, which was more like two hours of stand-up comedy.
It’s comforting to know that at least a full theater of people still (hopefully) read. Sedaris read “The Squirrel and the Chipmunk” and many more stories. He also introduced the audience to a piece about his experience on the swim team at a southern country club, from his upcoming book.
As predicted, Sedaris is an adorable little man. He’s tiny and his voice is high in the most complementary and intriguing way. His uplifting attitude created a relaxed atmosphere during the reading, allowing the crowded theater to feel much more intimate. He opened saying that while he is against bow ties, he wore one that night because he didn’t want a tie to hide the giant buttons on his white blouse.
After reading published work, Sedaris announced—to my surprise—that he would be reading from his diary. This was the most entertaining half hour of the night. He read entries dating back to September 2010. His diary entries consisted of things he noticed during his day and quotes from friends or fans. While in Alaska, surrounded by single men, one of his female friends said to him, “The odds are good, but the goods are odd—aren’t they?”
This diary segment was a nice personal touch and it revealed his appreciation for fans when he read many of the jokes they’ve told him while on tour. While in Charleston, W.Va., a young woman asked him to sign her T-shirt, insisting that it was painted by one of the dolphins at Sea World. The girl’s mother interjected, “A dolphin with scoliosis!” The tragic ocean-dweller T-shirt designer generated the biggest laugh of the night.
Before Sedaris invited the audience to ask him any questions (which were mostly comments no one could hear unless in front), he went on a respectable little rant about audience members who text during readings and at the movies. He praised the Lucas Theatre audience for keeping this to a minimum. And the enthusiastic audience gave him a round of applause.
At every reading, Sedaris recommends a book. This time he told the audience to purchase Tobias Wolff’s “The Barracks Thief.” He read the first page of the book and told the audience how important Wolff’s writing is to his life—that he relates to Wolff’s writing in a way that he doesn’t even understand himself. He went so far as to say that if Wolff wasn’t alive he would probably kill himself (something he thinks about “recreationally”).
Although Sedaris’ stories seem far-fetched, he drew a full house into the Lucas Theatre because his opinions and stories about life, family and traveling are relatable.Contact Carrie Wittmer.