David Sedaris
Durham Performing Arts CenterHumorist David Sedaris, a former Raleigh resident, returns to the Triangle to share stories. Author of bestsellers Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day and Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, he was nominated for a Grammy award for his recorded performances of his stories.

Sedaris fans won’t be surprised at how well his essays translate to the stage; he is a frequent contributor to NPR’s This American Life. Those who have only read his books will find new humor in old stories due to his keen comic timing and genteel, sarcastic delivery.

Sedaris’s newest book of essays, When You Are Engulfed in Flames, deals with his normal subjectsfamily, France and his oddball lifeand his quest to give up smoking by living in Japan. When the latter is explained by Sedaris, this logic makes perfect sense. The curtain rises at 8 p.m.; tickets are $32.50-$65. See www.dpacnc.com. Hobert Thompson

Correction (April 15, 2009): The radio show This American Life is a Chicago Public Radio production distributed by Public Radio International, not National Public Radio.

Urban Sophisticates, The Beast
Lincoln TheatreHere’s a party from the start. Durham’s The Beast opens, andas advertisedthe quartet of composers, jazz instrumentalists, scene vets and polyglot emcee Pierce Freelon is ferocious. Jumping from reggae and gospel to bop and rock all in the name of hip-hop, The Beast lashes at misogyny, racism and musical orthodoxy through complex, expansive, rap-and-vamp tunes. Fitting the bill’s middle, O Period is the welcomed survivor of the nü metalloids Squeezetoy. Expect a hardline emcee with a fierce, forward delivery and bounding energy. Greensboro sextet The Urban Sophisticates puts a rhythm section, horns and guitar beneath the simplistic, club-baiting rhymes of Benton James with the Sylk soul hooks of his brother, Aaron. The 9 p.m. show costs $8-$10. Grayson Currin