Seemingly reluctant hero to the hero-less, downward gazing author David Sedaris’ meandering streams of consciousness have made him into a sort of fireside chat favorite – if that fireside is (or was) actually the crackle of a burning cigarette over the airwaves of National Public Radio accompanied by audible eye rolling. It all really started with his 1992 essay “SantaLand Diaries,” a natural sequel to the Christmas-in-retail hell of ’80s film classic A Christmas Story and its department-store holiday descent into self-aware submission. But Sedaris, without any bells or whistles or rehab, has sustained his career as the world’s most formidable personal essayist long after the punch-drunk apologies of the literary genre he virtually created. How? Reading his books – from perennial bestselling favorites like Me Talk Pretty One Day and Naked up to 2008’s When You Are Engulfed In Flames (we’ll forgive his enjoyable but silly foray into animalia in 2010, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary) – is like sitting next to a chatty genius on the subway. Hearing him read from his oeuvre is full immersion into acute awareness of life’s simple absurdities. This show is close to sold out for a reason: We all want Sedaris’ mind on the tips of our sharpened tongues. – Billy Manes (7 p.m. at Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre, 401 W. Livingston St.; $36.50-$46.50; 407-849-2577; orlandovenues.net)
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