I saw “Don’t Think Twice”

What I saw: Mike Birbiglia’s new movie, “Don’t Think Twice” at the Landmark Sunshine Theater, at 143 East Houston Street, between 1st and 2nd Avenues, which is technically in SoHo. Also, you should know that in NYC, “Houston” is pronounced differently from the city in Texas (like “HOW-stun,” not “HEW-stun”).

What I wore: black Puma sneakers, gray jeans; black v-neck t-shirt that I bought at Barney’s in Seattle, because the one in NYC is too terrifying to even attempt to go in, much less shop at; silver earrings that the Bacon Provider gave me; favorite gray rag & bone scarf; old Coach bag that I’m beginning to think is sad and not retro-cool.

What I did beforehand: had lunch with my friend W. and my other friend B., to whom  I either gave incomplete directions or maybe no directions at all, so he arrived sweaty and flustered because it was like a bajillion and a half degrees. Fortunately, we declared beer o’clock, and had lunch. Also, B. is a good sport and told stories of the dentist and moving back to New York.


Who went with me: just W., and some other serious people in ironic glasses.

How I got tickets: after seeing Mike Birbiglia’s most recent show, followed by his appearance in White Rabbit, Red Rabbit the next week, I was prompted by my email to buy tickets to this. And I thought I did, and I put it on my calendar where it sat for a number of weeks. But when W. and I sat down in the lobby of my apartment building as I said “Hey, lemme check to make sure I have my email receipt I had none, so I bought the tickets for what seemed the second time.

Why I saw this show: Mike Birbiglia is great.

Where I sat: kind of in the middle.

Things that were sad: people behaving selfishly, people panicking and screwing up their own lives, people behaving selflessly, people getting their shit together.

Things that were funny: solid improv, what comedians wear, people who mature slowly.

Things that were not funny: the theater should have been full, and I should not have felt so conspicuous laughing.

What it is: more of a dramatic comedy than a comedic drama, this ensemble piece had a lot of deep, beautiful truth in it.

Who should see it: fans of Mike Birbiglia, improv enthusiasts, devotees of examining the human condition, people who like to say yes, groupies of the group dynamic, you.

What I saw on the way home: a cab on the West Side Highway with a funny ad on top with another, more-famous-but-less-funny comedian eating cotton candy and the cab driver inside the cab thought we were admiring him.

I saw "White Rabbit Red Rabbit"

What I saw: “White Rabbit Red Rabbit” at the Westside Theater Downstairs, 407 W 43rd, NYC

What I wore: mascara, earrings, two silver bracelets and watch; tall Fluevog boots (to cover the apricot-sized hole in my tights); navy eShakti dress with 3/4 sleeves, draped neck, and a bird embroidered on the skirt; tan cashmere Boden cardigan that reminds me of my Aunt Mary (the one who lived with my grandparents); grabbed my black Northface raincoat at the last minute because it was raining.

What I did beforehand: ate spicy ramen and tried (and failed) to drink a Japanese beer that tasted like soap

Who went with me: the Graduate, because the Bacon Provider left at noon for a business trip #neverstopsworking

How I got tickets: online, a month ago, when tickets were still available


Why I saw this show: A show you’re not supposed to learn about in advance?! A show with a different starring actor each week?! A show I’m not going to be able to give my readers any details about?! Yes, all around.

What it is: I have been asked not to say what it is.  I can say that every time this show is performed, a different actor does it, receiving the script in an envelope onstage at the beginning. Last week I saw Mike Birbiglia’s show, and this week, he was the actor in this play. This was a coincidence. 


Where I sat: third row, left

I got a papercut on my pinky but you can’t see it

Things that were sad: Sometimes, when I see someone I want to point out to the person I am with, I’ll point the person out and say, “Oh, look, Elvis Presley,” even though, you know, Elvis is dead and has been totally dead for like a pretty long time. It’s not a very funny joke, I guess, but it’s something I’ve done for so long I don’t know if I’d be able to stop if I wanted to. The other, even more annoying thing I used to do, but did stop doing was saying, “Oh, look, your date is here.”

Things that were funny: Ira Glass was in our audience, but when Mike Birbiglia said something about it, I thought somehow he was making the same, dumb joke that I do, saying, because someone looks like Ira Glass, “Oh, hey, look, Ira Glass.” 

Things that were not funny: Mike Birbiglia is much funnier than me.


Who should see it: There are things about New York that make it much too hard for ordinary people to live there. For one thing, it’s unreasonably expensive. For another thing, ordinary everyday things you have to do to live, like buying food or going outside, can be intensely crowded and smelly and generally terrible. If you ask anyone who says they love New York why they love New York, they will give you a list of things that is exactly the same as the list I might give you of things I hate about New York. But, if, somehow, you have to live in New York, or near New York, or you’ve been magicked into thinking you should visit New York, you should actually attend as much in the way of live theater (and/or music and dance) as you can. Because only in a city as fantastically harsh as New York could you, in the darkness of a slightly shabby theater in a moderately uncomfortably and definitely overpriced seat, experience a few moments of utterly transformative performance. Or, then again, it might suck. But at least you’ll get a blog post out of it.

Only assholes take pictures while they drive

What I saw on the way home: The Saw Mill Parkway is closed for construction at night somewhere north of Harrison, so every time I come back late from now until July, I’m going to have to go through the detour, or go around the detour. Last night I attempted to go around the detour. The navigator in my car tried to send me back through the roads that are clearly closed, even showing the closed sections with a giant red circle with an X in the middle. Maybe next time I’ll try the detour the construction crews have set out for me. Or, I won’t. I imagine that I will do it differently every time.