The best one man (or one woman) shows are when someone tells a story from many different viewpoints. Watching an actor seamlessly and convincingly morph from one character to another is magic. This was not that kind of show. Mr. Birbiglia is a professional comedian and what he has done is inject some dramatic passages about some medical problems he had to overcome into his stand-up act and is calling it Off-Broadway. It’s not a bad show at all. I think he was trying to go the Spaulding Gray monologue route. I’ve seen Spaulding Gray. He ain’t no Spalding Gray.
The show is having quite a successful run and got a nice write-up in the New York Times. I laughed along with everyone else but I’m not sure it’s fair to call it a one man show. It’s stand-up.
During the show, Mr. Birbiglia mentioned that he uses Google Alert to monitor media and blog traffic about himself, so there’s an outside chance that he might actually stumble across this, which is pretty disconcerting. I liked the show. I’m just not sure it’s fair to sell it as theater.
Beforehand I got a quick bite at bite. It’s a quirky outdoor food kiosk that juts out onto Lafayette Street and Bleecker. There are a few bar stools under a heat lamp on the sidewalk, but no indoor seating.