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The Sedaris Story 

Kooky siblings David and Amy and their saga of cheese balls and sweating disorders

Wednesday, Oct 15 2003
It's not easy being cheesy, but for Sister Elizabeth Dunderstock of the Amish-like Squeamish sect, cheese is where it's at. See, Liz makes cheese balls. Smoked, traditional, Gouda-infused, walnut-flavored -- she does them all, and she's damn good at it. In fact, she has perfected the art of cheese-ball-making to such a degree that the profits her delicacies fetch have become the backbone of the Squeamish livelihood. But one day, Liz is thoughtlessly replaced at her job by a newcomer to the town of Clusterhaven, and her life starts to lose meaning. She's soon demoted to harvesting chives, which she considers a terrible fate. In anger and despair, she flees Clusterhaven for the outside world, to try to make it on her own. She meets a cockney-speaking couple from the Ukraine, and they find her a job waiting tables at Plymouth Crock, an alcoholic-run diner. Liz fits right in -- from her Pilgrim-y Danderfrock (which works perfectly with the Pilgrim-themed server costumes) to her religious ideals, which resemble all-too-closely the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. But soon, another problem arises: Liz's profuse sweating is torturing the customers.

Danderfrocks? Sweating disorders? Who comes up with this stuff? In this case it's the sibling sensations David and Amy Sedaris, taking their latest stab at comedic hijinks onstage with The Book of Liz. While David, author of Naked (among other books), has a knack for finding the quirky nuances of everyday proceedings, his sister Amy, who penned the play Strangers With Candy, is a stage actress and writer with a gift for outlandish, Tracey Ullman­style humor. Pair them up for theater-making, and the result is one hell of a whacked-out comedy, complete with cheese-ball-craving farmers, Eastern Europeans sporting Mr. Peanut get-ups, and a confused young woman who must decide between a sweat-reducing operation and her current employ in a strange new world.

About The Author

Karen Macklin


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