with video: Mike Birbiglia bringing comic one-man show, 'My Girlfriend's Boyfriend,' to Ann Arbor
Photo by Joan Marcus
In “My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend,” Birbiglia revisits a lifetime of romantic blunders and miscues, struggling to find reason in the realm of love.
“My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend” opened in New York in March 2011, and it won the Lucille Lortel Award for outstanding solo show, and was named a “critic’s pick” by The New York Times, New York Magazine, and Time Out New York. Ann Arbor is one stop on the show’s current 20-city tour, and Birbiglia plans to pursue a film adaptation next.
"I've done a draft of it, and in it the character's not autobiographical,” Birbiglia told Indiewire.com. “In the play he's a comedian, and in the film he's a journalist. There are definitely ways that it eases away from autobiography. I just like when you look at people who have long careers in film, they're able to make films that are far away from themselves, because they're metaphorical. It creates for more opportunities, I think."The New York Times’ review of Birbiglia’s stage show noted that although “My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend” begins with an account of a car accident, “the theme here is his sad-sack love life, going all the way back to girls with braces but ultimately pointing toward a future that, you suspect, won’t be so bad. The stories keep leading to his relationship with Jenny, who you know must be someone special because at one point Mr. Birbiglia recounts a memorable seven-point tirade he aimed in her direction about why he would never, ever get married. Yeah, right.”
Birbiglia recently explained, in an A.V. Club interview, that one thing he learned from writing one-man shows is that “the writing has to be about the audience.”
“When you’re writing something, no matter how specific and personal it is to you, you need the audience to feel it’s about them,” Birbiglia told A. V. Club. “That is the balancing act of writing something personal, is that you need to get really specific with yourself and somehow make that feel really specific to the audience.”
Here’s a short television promo for “My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend.”
And here’s one of Birbiglia's romantic anecdotes, as it appeared on the radio program “This American Life,” that is part of “My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend.”