February 15, 2014

Mike Birbiglia in Boston

Traveled up the the Wilbur Theater last evening to see Mike Birbiglia in concert.

 Not my usual stomping grounds, but a friend from a long-ago mindfulness series, who has remained a connection through the magic of a few common friends and Facebook, had picked up tickets before she realized it was Valentine's Day and her usual concert buddies would be doing coupled things. So she reached out, and I am so glad she did.

Not sure I've ever been to a large venue "comedian" concert - the CT Forum does not quite count, perhaps some comic nights at a bar. In some ways very much like a concert (I could swear I've been to the Wilbur in my youth, maybe to see Pretenders or Cheap Trick or somebody back in the day, although a lot of these halls look the same) in some ways a bit less crazy and loud. Lot of women in the crowd, I think a tribute to Mr. Birbiglia's audience as well as the date.

I got familiar with Mike Birbiglia mostly through This American Life (follow the link for a page of all his contributions), his book and movie Sleepwalk with Me, and the 2009 TAL livecast Return to the Scene of the Crime. Last night, I realized our roots are similar (Catholic school, he grew up in Shrewsbury MA, near my alma mater Worcester Polytechnic Institute). Topics included yoga(!), laties vs. earlies, religion. Mike brought forth a few self-effacing "inappropriate performance" stories, including a Muppet TV show (his first word was a swear), a baseball writer's dinner (he failed to notice the honoree was blind and tried to shake his hand, then got an attitude when the guy ignored him), a christian school (he riffed on Jesus, the socialist Jew, returning, who, as he noted "are not high up on most Christians' list of favorite people")

It was a great evening, although I was not perhaps laughing hysterically, my face hurt from smiling. Opening up form Mr. Birbiglia was comedian Jon Fisch who did a good job, mining the "single guy" thing with funny stories abouttoo many meals at his favorite sushi place, his nieces, his lack of hair.

And so nice to get out of my "rut" - Thea, my friend, is lovely, creative, and engaged in life (singing, art, etc.) - and it was fun to just hang out, chat, ride the "T" in from Riverside, and hit the big(ger) city.

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