But honestly, I haven't laughed so hard at a piece in a long time. I found The New One to be really well-constructed and performed, with a lot of terrific spins on familiar tropes. I mean, he really had me from the very first minute of the show, talking about his couch. I do love a good couch. Familiar, comfortable, with some wry twists and humorous slants, the show started off in a low-key place, but ended up somewhere very unexpected.
Actually, a lot of the show was unexpected to me. Not only because I didn't know Birbiglia's work, but also because the way his mind works was so off-kilter to me. He's really a wonderful storyteller, and there's a rather surprising arc to the entire evening. He went in directions I didn't expect, but they were never false or contrived. And I have to tell you, I nearly convulsed with laughter during (spoiler alert) the section of the piece describing prostate exams. Sorry, gents, but after all of my humiliating medical tests, to hear humiliating medical tests for men described with all the outrage and pain a man can muster, I deserved to laugh.
|photo credit: Joan Marcus|