There are many things about David Sedaris that are funny. Among them is the fact that his French isn't that bad. Reading Me Talk Pretty One Day, you'd think he was a total mess. But listening to the episode of This American Life in which Ira Glass visited him in Paris -- fascinated by the fact that Sedaris lived minutes from the Louvre but preferred visiting the hardware store instead -- we heard him speak French for ourselves. Granted, it wasn't the king's French, but he did know the word for battery. In that episode, Glass came to the realization that most people strike a balance between being somebody and being nobody, between being praised and being humiliated. "In David's case, the somebody side of that equation got crazily inflated, fantastically inflated, and the nobody side had to hyperinflate to catch up," Glass said. "It had to balance out. If an entire nation of book-buying adults was going to tell him how great he was back home, he needed an entire second nation of adults to tell him he was nobody."
In that case, don't we have an obligation to maintain the sanctity of that equation and give him the somebody attention he needs? Sedaris speaks at the Lied Center (1600 Stewart Drive in Lawrence, 785-864-2787) at 7 p.m. Monday.-- Gina Kaufmann
All Grown Up
Hubbard Street Dance is pretty old for a cutting-edge company.
At a time when arts organizations are facing budget crises, it's encouraging to see Hubbard Street Dance Chicago celebrating 25 years with a festive national tour.
Originally known as a jazz group -- with only four dancers -- Hubbard Street Dance Chicago is now recognized not for expertise in any particular kind of dance but rather for a groundbreaking approach to all genres. Of the pieces the company performs at the Lied Center (1600 Stewart Drive in Lawrence), the one that's received the most intriguing press is "Full Grown Man," set to a score by Beck. For this piece, dancers in Boy Scout-inspired uniforms put on a prop-heavy show. Other pieces on the program are "Counter/Part," "Kiss" and "Dipthong." For information, call 785-864-2787.-- Kaufmann