At one point, Michael Birbiglia is telling the story of being caught by a friend while he is frantically rummaging through various types of pretzel bags for his wife’s latest hunger craving. He turns to his friend and shouts “Yes, I’ve got a lot of secrets!”. This should be the catchphrase of his latest solo show on Broadway. We learn several of them.
Michael Birbiglia, the popular comedian, has a unique gift in being able to tell an engaging story about the simplest of things. The first segment enwraps us fully discussing nothing but his relationship with his couch, which is hilarious. But in this show, he gets even more intimate and honest. The digging begins when he starts to tackle the theme of the show: having a baby – or not. We are soon captivated by a visit to his brother’s house, who has opted for babies. Over the next 90 minutes, we are treated to a trip around this theme, but with an incredible number of side trips. Everything from an intimate visit to the red light district in Amsterdam, flying cars, causality, a Moses basket, his sleepwalking problem, a panoply of other personal medical issues, procedures and tests, climaxing in his description of having to masturbate in a cup.
The first two-thirds of the show is dedicated to the 7 reasons not to have kids, embodies by his classic line “I’ve lost great friends to kids”. But of course, the last third is demonstrating that there may be another side to this issue. Maybe. And, oh, those toys.
The crowd loved the show, giving him a standing ovation. The humour is safe. The topics (other than the in-depth medical procedures) are nothing crazy. It’s a clean show, though it does get graphic in funny ways. It’s a dependably enjoyable night out, particularly if you’re from out of town. On until January 20, 2019.
Photo by Evan Sung.
The New One
Cort Theatre 138 W. 48th Street, NYC