Wednesday, April 12, 2006

David Sedaris reading

Wow. David Sedaris is a great writer and he reads real pretty too. I have enjoyed several of his humorous books - loaned to me by Raj - but last night at the Performing Arts Center, Raj and I sat in the second row and watched him closely as he read various short pieces for a little more than an hour and then sparkled for another 20 minutes of Q & A from the audience. The crowd looked to be nearly a sellout in the 2,400 seat facility.

Raj had wondered as we drove over if this were the right venue. It's big and it could look bad if only a few hundred showed. Not a problem.

When we were in a long line waiting to pay parking, I panicked and thought for a moment a hockey playoff game was also happening next door! Nope, just the power of Public Rodeo as David said he was once introduced during an interview. He is a frequent and funny contributor to NPR.

Speaking of hockey next door in the Coliseum, my last time there I had noticed a sign hanging above the top seats, far above the ice: "Ceiling Fans". Tonight I felt sorry for all the people sitting behind us further back and up in the nosebleed seats. They were missing the subtle grins, tics, smiles and eye-rolling David displayed as he read various pieces and excerpts from his diary. David would create a pregnant pause and then take a sip of water from a goblet, staring over the rim as he analyzed the crowd's reaction. He later admitted he enjoyed "testing" a piece, hearing it and editing in his mind. A large wooden podium was the single prop on the front edge of the huge bare stage with a curtain draped across the rear.

He finished and gave a little bow and as David left stage right to heavy applause, we got up and headed for the exit and my car parked right in front. Raj had to work tonight and we got back to my house a few minutes after 10. He had time for two cups of coffee and then changed into his scrubs and took off for the hospital. As usual, he was on time for his 11pm shift.

Sitting down front for a one-man show is the best way. The closer the better.

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