David Sedaris’ dark humor illuminated
at Springfield’s Kuss Auditorium


The cracked lenses aren’t in David Sedaris’ spectacles…

By Allyson B. Crawford

We are living through a world of tension. Each day, we all step over political landmines, trying not to destroy what’s left of our friendships and family relationships while remaining true to our own values. Sometimes all this political bickering is just too exhausting and all you really need is a good laugh. Enter humorist and bestselling author David Sedaris. Mr. Sedaris will bring his unique brand of satire on everything from political correctness to daily life to the Miami Valley on Monday, Apr. 16 at Clark State Performing Arts Center. The event is co-presented with the Springfield Arts Council. And this isn’t the first time Mr. Sedaris has visited the greater Dayton region.

“The Springfield Arts Council presented David in Springfield in April 2007,” recalls Tim Rowe, Executive Director of the Springfield Arts Council. “His strong presence in the market speaks well to his popularity; this appearance provides an opportunity for his long-time fans to again enjoy him and for new audiences to discover his special wit and social commentary.”

High profile performers like Mr. Sedaris require significant advance planning to secure. His performance is part of the Great Entertainment Series. The Springfield Arts Council works about six months to a year in advance planning each series.

Self-deprecating humor keeps Sedaris in demand. He isn’t afraid to mock himself while also taking on the world. Audiences appreciate that sort of self-reflection. It makes looking inward easier knowing someone else is doing the same, albeit in a much more public way.

“I think that David’s particular brand of observation is timeless, and those attending will find something of themselves in his humorous take on the human condition,” continues Rowe. “We are looking forward to having him return to the Springfield area.”

David Sedaris is a prolific writer. He is well-known locally as the writer of the seasonal theatrical favorite, The Santaland Diaries, as well as his numerous TV and stage appearances. His current tour is to promote the work Theft By Finding, which is a collection of diaries written between 1977-2002. He will release Calypso at the end of May. His website calls Calypso “beach reading for people who detest beaches, required reading for those who loathe small talk and love a good tumor joke.”

When Theft By Finding was released, Sedaris granted an interview to PBS News Hour to discuss the work. He reflected on working a lot in his past and the simple joy of just living in the present.

“I spend so much time like living in the past or the future. I mean, I think most people do, really. And the moments when you’re really present in your life can be pretty
rare, really.”

It took a while for Sedaris to get used to the fame associated with being a big name author, especially because that success did not happen overnight. In a 2008 interview with Mother Jones magazine, Sedaris admitted he didn’t feel comfortable with the title for quite some time. “When my first book came out and I was living in New York and there was a bookstore around the corner from me and they had my book in the window, I thought that looking at my book in the window would make me think that I’m a writer. It just made me think, ‘I have a book.’ It wasn’t a bad feeling. I realized, ‘Oh, having a book doesn’t mean you’re a writer; it could just mean you’re lucky.’ Maybe when I started writing for The New Yorker, because to me, ‘writer’ was always a pretty big word, and I always thought, ‘Okay, if I’m calling myself a writer, what does that mean for people like Flannery O’Connor? Now that’s a writer. I’m just a typist.’ I would call myself a typist and whenever they would ask my occupation on an immigration form going to another country, I would write, ‘Typist.’”

In addition to writing books, Sedaris also pens articles for The New Yorker and appears regularly on various radio programs. He routinely collaborates with his comedian sister Amy Sedaris and somehow still has time to split his life between America and the U.K.

The Springfield event will feature a reading, book signing and brutal directness. Sedaris has been called insensitive in the past. But if you can’t take truth, bluntness or a really funny joke, this book tour probably isn’t for you. But if you like a good tumor joke…

An Evening with David Sedaris will be presented by the Springfield Arts Council at 7:30 p.m. on Apr. 16 at Kuss Auditorium, 300 S. Fountain Ave., Springfield. For tickets or more information, visit SpringfieldArtsCouncil.org, or call 937.328.3863. More information about David Sedaris can be found at DavidSedarisBooks.com.

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About Allyson B. Crawford

View all posts by Allyson B. Crawford
Allyson B. Crawford lives in Kettering and writes about ’80s metal bands on her daily blog bringbackglam.com. You can usually find her at all sorts of metal shows around Ohio and across the country. Allyson can be reached at AllysonCrawford@DaytonCityPaper.com

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