Christmas Punch: Asian Persuasion Steals the Show at Mark Twain House

When I lived on the other end of the state, I was always annoyed when I’d see some function happening at the Mark Twain House in the middle of the week. I couldn’t drive an hour there and back on a Tuesday. So now that I’m back in the Hartford area I was excited when our very own Asian Persuasion was invited to play a Vietnamese whore at the Mark Twain House.

I know what you’re thinking: “But isn’t she Chinese?” Yes, she is, but since she’s still tan from her trip to Hawaii she was able to pass herself as Vietnamese. You may also be wondering when Twain wrote about Asian skanks. Well, he didn’t; David Sedaris did.

Jacques Lamarre and the Twain House put on a show they called Christmas Punch — a series of four stories that basically amount to monologues. The minute the AP told me she was playing a Vietnamese whore, I knew exactly what story she was going to be in thanks to the many hours I’ve spent listening to This American Life. (If you’re too lazy to read Sedaris, you can listen to three out of the four stories performed at Christmas Punch here.)

I think it’s fair to say, the Asian Stole the show. I may be a little biased, but I think anyone who saw her all tarted up in a short skirt, insane bathrobe, and full on Tammy Faye-makeup will agree. The Pilot is now demanding she say things like, “Daddy shiny big bird jam master jam” to him at home to keep their marriage spicy. (I may have made that up, but I’m pretty sure there’s a kernal of truth to it so I’m gonna run with it.) Everyone was great, though — the smarmy TV producer made me laugh pretty hard — but I also liked Chion Wolf’s performance. Her story was the only one I had heard or read before, so it was nice to have something I wasn’t expecting.

I will warn some of our more sensitive readers that they may want to steer clear of any David Sedaris readings, especially around Christmas time. I mean, I’m a sick and twisted individual and used to subject my roommates to my dramatic readings of “You Can’t Kill the Rooster,” but even I couldn’t help but notice the number of dead children that played a role in this little Christmas pageant. I love a good dead-baby joke, but I couldn’t help but wonder what would have happened if some crusty old member of the Twain museum had wandered in. Especially in the last story, where parents give their kids to an old pedophile bum.

Anyway, I love celebrating Christmas with a good Sedaris show. A few years back, the Asian Persuasion, Dr. Gold and I all went to the Hartford Stage to see The Santaland Diaries. Little did we know a few years later our little Asian would be playing a FOB love child in another very Sedaris production.


(When I searched for this video I found that Paul Sedaris has his own website.)

This gets three salt shakers because no one is saltier than David Sedaris.