Sunday, June 09, 2024

Mike Birbiglia @ Beacon Theatre (June 9, 2024)

This was the first time that we had seen Mike live (unlike the last two times) where it wasn't a residency sort of deal. And he brought this up during the show, commenting that some people prefer the early shows on his tours where the material is more fresh and exciting (though this has the potential downside of not being as refined). The show was billed as "One Night Only" with the title "Please Stop the Ride" - I still don't quite get that title after seeing the show, but whatever.

Since it was a tour show, he had an opening act - two in fact. First was Gary Simons, then Atsuko Okatsuka. They were both pretty decent - definitely better than the opener for Anthony Jeselnik last time out.

Neither, of course, was nearly as funny as Mike. This show was centered around his dad recently having a stroke, and also teaching his now 9-year-old daughter, Una, lessons about the good life while himself not having answers to many of the big questions. As alluded to before, it was a bit more freewheeling than his polished residency performances (with perhaps a couple of reused bits from prior releases), and he also threw in little material for the locals (as he has lived in Brooklyn for many years now). We both really enjoyed the show, and Fran laughed so hard for so long that she was crying a little bit. Mike is still at the top of his game, delivering a mix of storytelling, jokes, and life lessons in his trademark style. I look forward to seeing how the refined product turns out in the special.