Birbiglia Gets Laughs at The Lensic - October 8, 2012

"Birbiglia had the crowd in the palm of his hand"

As the last-minute foot traffic of audience members scurried into the Lensic Theater on Sept. 19, the above lights dimmed and the empty stage was greeted by a smiling face and a thunderous roar of applause. Mike Birbiglia began his show by appreciating the town he was in; “Santa Fe is awesome…It’s what all those little towns in Colorado are copying off of." His first 10 minutes included various jokes about the culture of Santa Fe and how his inability to control his food intake was only more challenged by the city’s fine cuisine.

Realizing he’d won over the crowd with compliments, he then poked fun at the seemingly empty Santa Fe River claiming “I’m pretty sure you need water to call it a river. Without water it’s just…not a river”. A few more local jokes later and Birbiglia had the crowd in the palm of his hand.

Then he began his set: A hilarious mixture of memorable encounters with the opposite sex; debating the existence of love and true marriage; and a healthy dose of adolescent awkwardness. Birbiglia appealed to a wide range of viewers and kept them entertained until his surprise twist at the end of the set put everything into perspective.

While Birbiglia plays the role of the shy and sometimes-awkward funny man during his set, his true colors shine when he breaks down the meaning behind every lesson he has learned through years of relationships. His anecdotes on life, girlfriends and sleazy individuals was relatable to nearly everyone in the room and brought some hard-hitting reality to many, myself included.

Birbiglia has gained recent success with his hit off-broadway one-man show-turned motion picture, "Sleepwalk With Me", screening at Sundance, South By Southwest and the Seattle International Film Festival (to name a few). Birbiglia also participated on Sept. 12 in an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on the popular social news site Reddit.

"Sleepwalk With Me" is currently showing at the Center for Contemporary Arts (through Oct. 11). Fans also can follow the comedian on Twitter: @birbigs).

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