Having difficulty falling asleep? Staying asleep? Is there a pressing family problem that you can’t seem to dislodge from your mind? Then go see SLEEPWALK WITH ME starring Mike Birbiglia at the Bleecker Street Theatre, smartly directed by Seth Barrish. It’s funny.
Some time ago Mike Birbiglia started writing his “Secret Public Journal” a blog chronicling his habit of “making awkward situations even more awkward.” Poor Mike never seems to get anything right. Especially the ability to sleep. When he does nod off he sleepwalks and that can lead to bizarre nights with his ex girl friend Amy (she got him to close to the alter) who can deal with his seeing a strange animal on the ceiling or his newest heart throb who can’t. Even in his dreams he doesn’t win. He pretends to be a loser which he obviously is not.
While traveling cross country, doing his comedy act in Walla Walla, one night back at the hotel, he jumped out the second story window resulting in blood and cuts and bits of glass imbedded in his legs and a weird trip to the hospital. Mike also has a strange relationship with his parents. And with most others, including doctors that have treated him for a cancerous tumor. He graphically explains an exam through his penis and somehow makes it amusing as he paces and circles the stage at the Bleecker Street Theatre in his one man stand up comedy routine Sleepwalk With Me smartly directed by Seth Barrish.
His has a very low key comic delivery based on his life experiences. He has a charming and engaging manner about him. He has a somewhat chunky body that he admits to but he hardly comes across as a retard – a word he uses to describe himself at times. He is smart. And funny, in a funny way. He is casually dressed. Where are the pajamas that he is wearing on the program cover? PJ’s would make more sense. He seems sometimes to be on the verge of mumbling. Better to get you to listen? Pizza is a recurring theme. He feeds off the audience reactions with a knowing “I know.”
It’s 80 minutes of set up and pay off mellow comedy that we can all relate to and so we find it amusing being told about situations that we’ve all been in but were afraid to speak of – especially to a room full of strangers. I guess that makes it easier. It’s safe and easy comedy. Nothing controversial. A relief from Bush bashing, the economy and change.