Santa Barbara Coastal News


Spend an evening with David Sedaris in Los Angeles

17 Apr 2013 10:46 AM
Spend an evening with David Sedaris in Los Angeles

David Sedaris initially rose to prominence based on the compelling books he wrote about everything from his less-than-perfectly-functional family and his brief but eventful tenure as a department store elf. However, anyone who has seen the memoirist live knows that this is the only true way to get Sedaris' full effect. Luckily, owners of Los Angeles real estate will have the opportunity to see the writer and performer in his element when he comes to Royce Hall on May 1.

The event is billed as an "Evening with David Sedaris?," but it is likely to be much more than that. In his performances, Sedaris often combines book readings with improvisatory tangents and audience interactions. In fact, because Sedaris has such a fierce and loyal fanbase, it is often difficult for him to do much more than greet fans before they erupt in uproarious laughter.

In his review of a recent Sedaris performance, Trevan McGee, an arts critic for, wrote about how gleeful and expectant the packed house was.

"The 54-year-old author elicited laughter simply by saying hello as he steadied himself behind the podium," he wrote. 

Of course, a typical evening with Sedaris involves much more than podium adjustments and perfunctory greetings. He is known for his freewheeling approach to performances, and his wide body of work allows him to casually careen back and forth between topics at a frenzied pace. 

At his recent performance in Lawrence, Kansas, for example, Sedaris gleefully bounced between excerpts from several books as well as a few more recent essays and even entries from his own diary.

"[The] show illuminated the signature elements of Sedaris' comedy - his wit, his cleverness, and line of earnest sentiment that runs through the best of his work," McGee wrote.

His performance in Los Angeles shouldn't be much different, as the master storyteller sets up shop prepared to spend an evening with a teeming group of devoted fans, and perhaps even a few people who have only memorized half of his books.