Mike Birbiglia: The New One (Broadway)
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Mike Birbiglia: The New One (Broadway)
84

Mike Birbiglia: The New One (Broadway) NYC Reviews and Tickets

84%
(288 Reviews)
Positive
96%
Mixed
3%
Negative
1%
Members say
Funny, Entertaining, Clever, Hilarious, Delightful

About the Show

Following a sold-out off-Broadway run, acclaimed comedian and storyteller Mike Birbiglia ("Thank God For Jokes," "My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend") brings his new solo show to Broadway.

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Member Reviews (288)

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58
Disappointing, Overrated, Boring

See it if You are a fan of Birbiglia and enjoy stand up comedy. If you are straight & married w/ children you will prob find much to identify with.

Don't see it if I don't think I was the target demographic for this show as I didn't find it all that funny and barely laughed. Audience seemed to enjoy it.

78
Ambitious, Entertaining, Funny, Masterful

See it if If you like comedy about one man's life. The show is based on his life. Confessional way he goes about oy t is fun.

Don't see it if If you want a serious play or subject. If you prefer a musical.

Critic Reviews (27)

The New York Times
November 11th, 2018

"Dropping big bucks to see a low-key, self-effacing comedian in person might seem like a waste. Such an attitude doesn’t account, though, for the paradoxically lazy energy that Mr. Birbilgia emanates...As he restlessly circumambulates, verbally and physically, he’s always reaching for explanations that seem to explode on him. Yet, in the end, a symmetry emerges from the chaos he describes and embodies. Such is the gentle genius of one man’s comfortingly haphazard approach to comedy."
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Time Out New York
November 11th, 2018

"About his reluctant journey to fatherhood and how it has changed his life. That may sound about as scintillating as potato salad, but Birbiglia isn't some generic straight white guy whining about domesticity. He is raw, self-deprecating and painfully aware of both his privilege and his failings...The show isn't groundbreaking in structure, style or substance...But the meticulous and evocative way he expresses himself makes 'The New One'—like a newborn baby—special, unique and lovable."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
November 11th, 2018

"Fox: The comedy was super-strong. Lots of different types of jokes, expertly crafted. I probably say this after all of his shows, but it’s the funniest one yet. More than anything, though, I was most impressed by how it’s structured...Holdren: There were also things about the narrative that he thinks he’s living (of Obsolete Doofy I-Have-No-Agency Father Figure) that made me raise my eyebrows a bit. But as a thing built to make me laugh, really well done."
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New Yorker
December 5th, 2018

“Birbiglia’s latest solo show was a hit in a small theatre earlier this year, but his low-key approach translates surprisingly well to Broadway’s more capacious Cort. Here, he turns his path to fatherhood into a suspenseful tale...Birbiglia’s main weapon is his deceptively indolent delivery, which is paired with a milquetoast demeanor that barely conceals dark undercurrents about the way men, or at least some of them, experience having kids.”
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Variety
November 11th, 2018

"When is a standup routine not a standup routine, but a legitimate play? Partly when it comes with theatrical trappings like a thoughtful set, subtle lighting and sound effects...Mike Birbiglia’s 'The New One' qualifies as a real play — a brimmingly warm, entertaining one on a universally relatable topic...Kudos to director Seth Barrish for keeping the tone from shifting into either the maudlin, the too-dark or the trippy, New-Age blissful."
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Deadline
November 11th, 2018

"Birbiglia could name his daughter Little Ricky and still seem fresh. He’s that good...The monologist starts with some terrific observational stuff that lays the groundwork for the main event, and won’t sound a bit funny on this page...The emotional heart of 'The New One' beats loudest after the actual new one arrives, and Birbiglia’s physical isolation becomes a metaphor for his emotional distance from mother and daughter."
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AM New York
November 11th, 2018

"Birbiglia excels at offering fun anecdotes, dramatizing conversations with offstage characters, making Seinfeld-style observations about daily life and performing occasional physical bits...The show loses some steam as it goes along, trading bite for sentimentality and taking meandering turns, but overall it is very funny and well-constructed. Parenthood is well-worn territory for comedians, but Birbligia manages to be fresh, revealing and (as always) relatable."
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NY1
November 11th, 2018

"A good laugh is worth its weight in a boatload of King Kongs. And Birbiglia's got a million of 'em. Well, maybe a thousand...Birbiglia is a masterful humorist with a knack for making the most serious subjects hilarious...Perhaps one of the secrets to Birbiglia's success is that he is a storyteller...But the biggest surprise is Birbiglia's ability to fill the stage with little more than the wit and wisdom of someone who understands that humor is the bitterest truth refusing to take itself seriously."
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Theatermania
November 11th, 2018

"'The New One' has more laughs per minute than any other new show on Broadway, and the production, staged by Birbigla's longtime director Seth Barrish, hasn't lost anything that made the off-Broadway version such an unabashed delight...Birbiglia's strength as an artist is in how easily he manages to endear himself to us. He instantly has us on his side...Barrish, meanwhile, has done the near impossible: he's made a small show feel large, while still retaining its intimacy."
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BroadwayWorld
November 12th, 2018

"Under Seth Barrish's direction, 'The New One' keeps a steady, casual tone consistent with Birbiglia's genial, nice-guy persona. The 80-minute piece is very funny on a sweet, realistic level. The only moment of shear theatricality, a really good one, comes from set designer Beowulf Boritt. I'll leave it to the storytellers to present you with that one."
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Talkin' Broadway
November 11th, 2018

"Birbiglia's engagingly comic approach mostly succeeds at avoiding clichés about the fatherhood-shy as he describes his journey in terms that would resonate most strongly with men within a typical reproductive age...Off Broadway, with its up-close-and-personal connection between performer and audience, would actually be a better venue...The Broadway dynamic is not one in which there is a lot of room to accommodate a genial lone performer who is not a superstar."
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New York Stage Review
November 11th, 2018

"He walked on stage and from his first line, delivered in a warm-and-friendly-but-awkward manner, I was a convert...Seth Barrish serves as director, although Birbiglia seems to be directing himself (which, admittedly, is precisely how it should appear)...Not as big and spectacular as 'King Kong,' needless to say, but gargantuanly more entertaining."
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New York Stage Review
November 11th, 2018

"The performance is frequently funny, it contains a few astute observations, and Birbiglia proves himself pleasant company for the time you’ll spend with him. What 'The New One' is not, however, is a play...It’s entertaining, to a certain point, but it’s not dramatic. And, other than one, brief moment—one that its producers have asked reviewing press not to reveal—it’s not in any way theatrical...This piece would be a pleasant few minutes on the radio."
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Theater News Online
November 11th, 2018

"Anyone who’s seen Birbiglia go it alone on stage knows that Birbiglia has an uncanny knack for spinning private discomfort into disarming, delightfully laugh-packed yarns...Birbiglia’s self-awareness and smarts keep the show from sinking into an annoying pity party, though he has an irritating habit of shouting too much. And while the material isn’t exactly earth-shattering, it’s always engaging and sometimes startling...Birbiglia’s likability and ace storytelling are their own special effects."
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Broadway News
November 11th, 2018

"Amiably nerdy Birbiglia finds surreal hilarity in the mundane and wins us over with humor that is neither malicious nor diminishing, along with insights that are moving but not mawkish...The material lands so acutely because Birbiglia is pungently nailing some pressing contemporary preoccupations that are rarely talked about on stage or elsewhere...Director Seth Barrish expertly assists Birbiglia in finding a way back from the more offensive places the narrative could take him."
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TheaterScene.net
November 18th, 2018

"'The New One,' directed by Seth Barrish, is about Birbiglia and his wife's decision to become parents, the struggles they go through to arrive at pregnancy, and his fretfulness about how becoming a family man will change his life and identity. This is familiar comedic territory but Birbiglia gives it new energy, thanks to the telling details in his stories."
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Front Row Center
November 17th, 2018

"Birbiglia is an expert storyteller and crafter of jokes...Birbiglia allows us all to laugh at him as we relate to him, remaining the butt of all of his own jokes...Most of the jokes were solidly on the good side...It was refreshing to laugh with an entire theatre about the troubles and aches of a universally human conundrum. The piece acknowledged our current political landscape, but didn’t inspect it or rely on it for the laughs, which led to a refreshing evening of laughter-as-medicine.”
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Front Mezz Junkies
December 2nd, 2018

"'The New One' is an expertly crafted hilarious adventure that highlights such various vantage points and thought perspectives of Birbiglia’s life, love, and non-sleepwalking dreams...It’s utterly hilarious, sweet, vulnerable, and connecting, and it would be a challenge not to be swayed by his deceptively simple style and expert delivery. It’s smart and on target, daring us not to join in with his dilemma and laugh right alongside him as he muddles his way from beginning to the end."
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T
December 3rd, 2018

"This works for about the first half of the stand-up comedy routine...The whole concept of defending the reasons why you should not have children is where the trouble begins, and this is about the entire second half of the show. It basically runs out of steam...Mr. Birbiglia is a very funny man...He has a nice smile, a soothing voice, someone you would like to have as a best friend or a next-door neighbor, but much of the humor in this show tends not to be all inclusive."
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Broadway Blog
November 11th, 2018

"Mike Birbiglia is a brilliant storyteller (and the first straight, white man in a while to make me laugh so hard I cried)...Brought me and the audience to places of laughter that made the Broadway house feel like a comedy coliseum. The response was so active, visceral, and unbelievably alive...Birbiglia’s vulnerability, impeccable comic timing and comfortable delivery (no matter who the target, it never sounds aggressive) are comedic and Broadway gold."
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C
November 11th, 2018

"Here, as has always been true when watching this singular comic performer, one has to admire Birbiglia's willingness to expose his shortcomings (not physically, of course), discuss his most embarrassing moments, make self-deprecating comments about his looks and behavior, and, above all, espouse his very singular views on life."
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Stage Left
January 8th, 2019

“Birbiglia’s solo show is not a play so much as it is a standup comedy act with high production value. That’s not a criticism, just an answer to the question ‘what is it?’, because it turns out that ’what it is” is a hilarious and heartwarmingly universal portrait of one man’s skeptically reluctant journey to parenthood...Teeming with insight and wit, and performed by an instantly lovable schlub, this is an ideal show for, well, everyone.”
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Newsday
November 11th, 2018

"Smart, entertaining one-man show...In lesser hands, this would be little more than an extended stand-up routine, but Birbiglia is a fine storyteller with solid acting chops...Birbiglia tells the story as if for the first time...Along the way, he dispenses with the hilarity and sneaks in some valid concerns about bringing a child into a world of rising sea levels and environmental neglects, along with one infuriating (to me, anyway) comment about understanding why some men leave."
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StageZine
November 15th, 2018

"'The New One' focuses on a hilarious rite of passage as a gentle soul regales the audience with his life ups and downs and we relate to his travails in one form or another...Birbiglia guides us into his personal thoughts and viewpoints on his life...His ease of recounting his past is consistent hilarity and his humor is never forced and in your face. He just glides, smooth as butter...A clever, insightful look at how even guys who never wanted to can become great dads."
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The Wrap
November 11th, 2018

"Don’t let Birbiglia’s Build-a-Bear physique, schlubby uniform (khakis and ill-fitting casual shirt) or milquetoasted voice fool you. Or maybe do — because his very relatability allows him to get away with surprisingly sharp-edged humor about some very serious subjects...He is the sort of guy who sticks around, even when things get a little rough. Maybe because he’s able to laugh at the situation — and make everyone else laugh, too."
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Journal Inquirer
November 30th, 2018

“Birbiglia gives a candid, soul-bearing performance. His comic timing is nearly perfect...It’s sweet, it’s sentimental, but it’s also surprising in its candidness at times...What makes ‘The New One’ such an enjoyable show is not Birbiglia’s sense of humor — which is great; the man is really, really funny — but his ability to make the story genuine and honest. Though he candidly discusses problems in his marriage and with raising a little girl, he does so with love and heart."
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I
November 14th, 2018

“Birbiglia has that innate ability of creating instant intimacy...His self-deprecating, neurotic and animated insecurities about being a male, a husband and now a new father are just some of the reasons to instantly love him...By the time I left...I had that slightly exhausted feeling that comes from many a belly laugh, when you can’t just help but feel good. And that’s a really good feeling.”
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