5 absurd life lessons to learn from Sedaris’ comedy show in South End

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By day, artists infuse creative energy into their studios at Charlotte Art League. By night, the space in South End is transformed into a theater rehearsal realm. Just inside the front door, the cast of “The Book of Liz” and their sidekick cheese ball are bringing live theater to South End Aug. 6-22.

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Along with the googly-eyed cheese ball, I met Donna Scott, Tonya Bludsworth and Glynnis O’ Donoghue of Donna Scott Productions to chat about their comedy production, which was created by North Carolina natives Amy and David Sedaris. You’ve heard of them.

The cheese ball symbolizes the “cheese ball” humor of the show, which Donna Scott Productions is presenting in partnership with Historic South End at Charlotte Art League.

The comedy

“The Book of Liz” is the tale of Sister Elizabeth “Liz” Donderstock (played by Bludsworth), a cheese ball maker who leaves her sheltered existence in the Squeamish/Amish community to join the real world. Enter: Quirky characters, absurd circumstances and the chance for one woman to find out “what she’s really made of.”

By playing Liz in the show, Bludsworth learned that you can’t run away from your problems.

“If you’re unhappy, you have the power to change things,” Bludsworth said.

Just because Bludsworth’s character will be busy learning about herself on the set doesn’t mean the audience can’t do the same.

From the script, 5 life lessons for the audience:

(1) “Sober up an a**hole and all you’ve got is a sober a**hole.”

(2) “If you’re unhappy, I’m sure there are plenty of other things you could be. A sausage… or maybe, a dumpling.”

(3) “Nice young women don’t wear tube tops.”

(4) “You can’t go around expecting to wear a laurel wreath on your head just because you’ve dipped a candle or milled a few bushels of ginger snaps.”

(5) “Why sleep when there’s work to be done?”

Eager for other ways to think about your approach to life? “The more fun and silly you make something, the more that people want to be involved,” Scott said.

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Now for a sneak peek of the set at Charlotte Art League:

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This is where Liz makes cheese balls in her cloistered community.

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Here is a Ukrainian couple’s caravan in the “real world.” O’Donoghue explained, “This is one of the worlds that Liz pops into.”

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“This is Plymouth Crock Family Restaurant, which is like Cracker Barrel meets the Mayflower,” O’Donghue said. Be on the lookout for absurd Pilgrim costumes.

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Above, the bar.

See the show

Location: Charlotte Art League, 1517 Camden Rd.

Dates: Aug. 6-22.

Times: All shows will be at 8 p.m., excluding the Aug. 7 show, which will be at 9:30 p.m. following the South End Gallery Crawl.

Cast: Tonya Bludsworth, Matt Corbett, Field Cantey, Tania Kelly and Donna Scott

Director: Glynnis O’ Donoghue

Tickets: $22, can be purchased here.

See you there. Ignore me if I’m snort-laughing.

Feature photo by Weldon Weaver. Other photos by Katie Toussaint.


Katie Toussaint Since the Donna Scott Productions group hasn’t named its sidekick cheese ball yet, Katie Toussaint votes for “Chuckie.” When she’s not contemplating cheese, Katie edits for CharlotteFive and community news at the Charlotte Observer. Follow her on  Twitter @katietoussaint.

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