Comedian and pro story-teller Mike Birbiglia came to the Comic Strip in New York City (photo above) to shoot a segment for the Sundance Film Festival, going down later this month. Word got out that he was coming and the place got real packed, real quick.
Back in 2008, Mike had a hit show with Sleepwalk With Me (which eventually became a book an a live album) at the Bleecker Street Theatre. (He just announced a national tour with his new show My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend). I was there for the opening and knew it would be a hit right away! Mike is an accomplished story-teller, which is an art form in itself– very different from stand-up. I can’t picture Mike doing a five minute set. I’m sure he could do it, but his material lends itself to longer pieces, so he can build his story in layers.
He’s like an artist that way– painting pictures with his words, so that when he tells you about “the jackal” that appears in his bedroom when he’s trying to sleep, or when that time he jumped out of his closed hotel window, you feel like you’re right there with him.
Anyway, Mike did a film version of Sleepwalk, which will debut in Sundance Jan. 23. It stars Mike, alongside the likes of Carol Kane and Lauren Ambrose; it was produced by public radio’s Ira Glass. He had the idea to film a sequence of him onstage to be played during the closing credits. Only, he took the stage name of Matt Pentamiglio, which may be the wrong spelling, but it’s definitely the right sound! You can check out a video interview I did with Mike that night here.