David Sedaris has a wicked wit. Best known for his hilarious holiday story about working as one of Santa’s elves at Macy’s (which NPR now plays annually), this former Chicagoan has a gift for finding the dark cloud behind every silver lining. His stories are narrated by bitter, unreliable characters who reveal more than they intend to about their motives and small-minded ways. In “Confidential Letter to Members of the Chudd County Pride Organization,” for example, Sedaris gives us a sarcastic, selfish so-called activist less interested in promoting gay pride than in promoting his own agenda, the kind of person who turns even the most minor point, like whether to call the leader of the organization “president” or “chairman,” into a turf battle (the narrator prefers “emperor”). His short stories, sparkling with marvelous descriptions and quips, are a natural for “Stories on Stage,” especially when read by a comic actor of the caliber of Harry Althaus. A Walk on the Mild Side: An Evening of Stories by David Sedaris also features a taped conversation between Althaus and Sedaris, who now lives and works (as a writer and housecleaner) in New York City. At the Organic Theater Company, main stage, 3319 N. Clark, 327-5588. Monday, April 3, 7:30 PM. $12.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Photo/Harry Althaus.