|Mike Birbilglia. Photo: Joan Marcus|
Thank God for Jokes
By Mike Birbiglia
Directed by Seth Barrish
Lynn Redgrave Theater
By Lauren Yarger
What's It All About?
It's comedian Mike Birbiglia doing a standup at the Lynn Redgrave Theatre. It's 70 minutes of pure entertainment. Surrounded by chapel-looking stained glass windows (designed by Beowulf Boritt with Lighting Design by Aaron Copp and Davison Scandrett), Birbiglia talks about a number of topics, including jokes themselves. They're really more than just punch lines. By nature, they offend someone and express an opinion. In his laid-back manner, Birbiglia does both -- to continuous laughter from the packed-out house.
What are the Highlights?
Moving easily between the serious and absurd, Birbiglia entertains, especially when he mercilessly tortures some latecomers and drills audience members about their past transgressions. The routine is well written and sharply presented. Birbiglia is a performer as well, having appeared in TV's "Orange is The New Black" and "Trainwreck" as well as films. His past acclaimed Off-Broadway shows were My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend (Lucille Lortel Award for Best Solo Show, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations for Best Solo Show) and Sleepwalk With Me (Nightlife Award for Outstanding Comedian in A Major Performance, Drama Desk and Outer Critic Circle Award nominations).
What Are the Lowlights?
Jesus and religion take a few hits for the team (but Mohammed is spared . . . after all look what happened to those cartoonists in France, he reminds us . . .) It's pretty moderate compared to some other shows, so don't let it stop you from purchasing a ticket.
Thank God for Jokes plays at the Lynn Redgrave Theatre, 45 Bleecker St., NYC. Performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30 pm; Saturday and Sunday at 4:30 pm. Tickets start at $56.50: thankgodforjokes.com; 866-811-4111.
-- Sexual Dialogue