Comedian, writer and actor Mike Birbiglia has built a career on exposing his quirks and shortcomings with affable awkwardness. In the past two years, Birbiglia published his first book, released his third comedy album, and co-wrote, directed and starred in the film adaptation of his book
, all while making regular appearances on The Bob & Tom Show
and on Public Radio International’s This American Life
. If that’s not enough, he has also produced two award-winning off-Broadway hits Sleepwalk with Me
and My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend
—the latter of which he will be performing at Omaha’s Holland Performing Arts Center October 5.
Birbiglia’s success has come after years in the comedy business, which the 32-year-old jokes about on his website
“At Georgetown, I won the ‘Funniest Person on Campus’ contest and the chance to perform at the D.C. Improv. They were so impressed they hired me to bus tables.”
When he started performing stand-up at 19, his early style consisted of scattered punch lines and an unsteady delivery. Nine years ago, he shifted to more of a storytelling style with longer narratives. Birbiglia found his groove with a slower tempo and learned to let the laughs build.
“At a certain point, I realized I was better at [storytelling] than just telling jokes, and it felt like there was something here that wasn’t happening at other comedy shows,” Birbiglia told New York Magazine
His unique mix of absurdity and ethos has garnered critical acclaim. His literary debut, Sleepwalk with Me and Other Painfully True Stories
, became a New York Times
bestseller, and the film Sleepwalk With Me
recently debuted at the Sundance Film Festival, where Birbiglia won the Best of NEXT audience award. Sleepwalk with Me
also had a very successful off-Broadway run and gained the attention of late-night television, with appearances on Conan O’Brien
, David Letterman
, Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon.
Birbiglia’s newest off-Broadway hit, My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend
, won the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Solo Show. During the show, Birbiglia acts as the audience’s tour guide on a trip through a lifetime’s worth of romantic blunders and miscues. While navigating through the murky world of love, he recounts a variety of comical tales, such as the unfortunate time he meet not only his high-school girlfriend’s other boyfriend but also the guy’s parents, and how he felt strangely compelled to make a good impression. The show opened in 2011 and has been called “ridiculously enjoyable” by The New York Times
magazine called the show’s finale “possibly the best 15-minute stretch of playwriting … all season.”
For tickets to Mike Birbiglia’s My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend
October 5 at the Holland, call Ticket Omaha at 402.345.0606 or visit TicketOmaha.com
. Ticket Omaha is the official retailer for performances at the Orpheum Theater and the Holland Performing Arts Center. Tickets purchased from other retailers may not be valid.