‘The New One’ Broadway Theater Review: Mike Birbiglia Low-Key Humor Hits Home
Mike Birbiglia‘s low-key humor is so soft and unassuming that it to lulls you into a sense that you are chatting with a friend. Nothing big happening here. But that feeling is deceptive. Something major is happening on stage with Birbiglia’s new one-man show on Broadway, The New One, a meditation on the arrival of his daughter, Oona. The show, which premiered at the Court Theater on Nov. 11, begins simply enough talking about his comey beige (or is it green?) couch that he curls up in every night when he gets home. From there, he starts to weave a complicated tale of his wife’s desire to have kids and his unwilling descent into fatherhood. He lays out four reasons why he would be a bad father that include his itinerant life as a comedian and lethargic sperm. Somehow he even sprinkles in a tale of an awkward encounter with a prostitute in Anderstam.
Birbiglia is a rare comic talent and seeing him live is rewarding in a way that watching him on TV could never be. His skill in spinning an expansive yarn is something to behold as he explores truism of human nature that are told in such a mellow manner you can almost miss their depth.
The New One is now playing at the Cort Theatre (138 W. 48th Street, New York, N.Y.).