Last night, Levi and I went to Mike Birbiglia’s The New One at National Theatre. I was invited to see the show in exchange for doing a review, so here we are.
I wasn’t very familiar with Mike Birbiglia before this, but when I learned more about him and his comedy, it seemed like it would make for a fun date night. The show was mostly a story about his parenting journey, from his pre-kids perspective to becoming a dad. From the get-go, it was evident that Mike is a talented storyteller. In fact, much of the audience was laughing for the entire show.
However, Levi and I were not among them. I’m not sure exactly what it was (though reading this over, it seems that maybe I do), but I just wasn’t super into it. Perhaps it’s that I’m a more seasoned parent and my head is in a totally different phase of parenthood. Hearing the pre-kids view of how children take away all the joy bothered me, even if he was being facetious; I was especially annoyed at younger people in the audience who clapped vigorously at that part. And the jokes about how the house becomes such a mess, and there’s so much baby stuff everywhere are kind of tired and cliché. As was the stereotype that dads don’t help at all…a bit about his wife wanting to have sex with him because he did the dishes once was like a meme that keeps popping up, but wasn’t even funny the first time.
As Levi said afterward, “Louis CK did all that years ago, but it was funnier and raunchier.” [And here I must be clear that by mentioning LCK, I in no way condone his “Me Too” actions, I’m just relaying what Levi said.] Hey, maybe Levi and I are just old and boring. (I don’t think we are, but I could be too old and boring to be a good judge of that.)
But as I mentioned, Mike Birbiglia is a good storyteller, and I appreciated the structure of his show. Loads of audience members seemed to love it. This is just my review.
Mike Birbiglia’s The New One is running at National Theatre through September 29. Tickets are $39-114, and run time is approximately 1 hour, 20 minutes with no intermission. The official description says it’s recommended for ages 13 and up, but I’d recommend this for adults.