Editor's Note: As part of CultureMap's State of the Arts series throughout the month of August, we are highlighting upcoming fall arts events you won't want to miss.
David Sedaris is hardly a stranger to touring nor a newcomer to Houston. The humorist, best-selling author, and familiar voice coming from our radios seems to show up in Houston for the Society for the Performing Arts season almost every other year.
And he'll be back again Nov. 2 at the Wortham Center.
You'll leave a Sedaris event certain humanity is seeing our last days, but knowing at least that the fall of world civilizations will be hysterically funny.
Yet Sedaris continues to pack theatre houses here and around the world. So why do we continue to mark our calendars for one guy on stage reading some material he’s still tinkering with?
David Sedaris’ essays and stories are the embodiment of the saying (or is that cliche): It’s funny because it’s true. Sedaris combines a 21st-century cynicism about the world with touches of optimism. Many of the embarrassments and even mundane horrors we all experience daily can be comic fodder if filtered through the Sedaris' perspective.
Whether he’s attempting to revive the lost art of bestiary storytelling, analyzing the current American political climate by observing his fellow citizens in the airport boarding pass line, or recounting chilling tales of the Dutch version of Santa Claus, audience members will likely leave a Sedaris event certain humanity is seeing our last days, but knowing at least that the fall of world civilizations will be hysterically funny.
And though his stories about his own life might give the impression that the man currently reading in front of an audience of thousands is held together by nicotine and anxiety built on a foundation of obsessive/compulsive behaviors, Sedaris never plays it safe during his appearances. He reads from work soon to be published, essays he’s still editing, and even random private journal entries.
The audience's laughter, or lack thereof, might be serving as the guide to his next New Yorker essay or best-selling book.
Finally, we continue to pencil Sedaris onto our calendar, whenever we get word he’s going to impose on our Houston hospitality once again, because he always has time to chat and draw silly pictures in our books after the show.
Maybe that one comment to him about our own experience in the boarding pass line might delight audiences in London, Fargo, or Bozeman, Mont., one day in 2014.