Mike Birbiglia is so funny and talented as a writer that producers (such as Ira Glass of This American Life, nbd) have risked taking the theatrical side of his work to the Broadway stage. And, boy, you’ll be glad they did. His hilarious new solo play The New One feels like a really good standup comedy show while you’re watching it, so it might not be until you get home and let the material really sit with you that you realize that it’s an extraordinarily profound piece of art.
Mike is known for making you feel like you’re now “in” on all of the inside jokes he has with his friends and family (he’s REALLY good at this), and you’re just as welcome as ever to be a part of them in The New One. However, something really magical happens in this play: He forces you to face the often morbid reality of having children. He focuses on the “it sucks and is a lot of work” part of that famous “it sucks and is a lot of work, but the look on their faces when they smile at you is everything” charade your friends with kids try to pull all the time to convince you that you do, deep down, really want a rugrat-filled life.
Photos: Joan Marcus
Don’t expect to find a cheery dad delirious with newfound joy, even at the end…but, do expect to laugh — and hard — with Mike about the weird and dark reality of having to put someone else’s (tiny) life ahead of your own.
Mike Birbiglia is, quite simply, brilliant and his The New One shines big and bright on a Broadway stage.
Runs through January 20.
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