The new solo show will begin a 70-performance limited engagement on Friday, Oct. 28, at the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center. Opening night will be Sunday, Nov. 13, and the show will run through Friday, December 30.
Written and performed by Birbiglia, the play is directed by Seth Barrish, who directed Birbiglia’s 2018 Broadway show The New One, which was lated adapted for Netflix. The Old Man & the Pool will also include contributions by story consultant Ira Glass (This American Life).
The new show is described as “a coming-of-middle-age story about when life takes a dive – into a highly-chlorinated YMCA pool.”
“In my 22 years of performing comedy, and five solo shows, The Old Man & the Pool has given me the most rewarding experience I’ve ever felt with audiences,” said Birbiglia in a statement. “This is a show I’m very proud of, and I can’t believe I get to perform it at Lincoln Center Theater – after auditioning for the Philharmonic, the Opera, and the New York City ballet, I thought I’d never get the chance. But here I am. Sometimes you get lucky!”
Birbiglia continued, “It’s always been a cliché that audiences need to laugh but— honestly— after all we’ve been through in the last few years, people really do need to laugh. And sometimes, laughing about the darkest topics can be the most cathartic. I hope you join me. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll call your parents. You’ll write your will.”
Originally produced by Center Theatre Group, The Old Man & the Pool played to sold-out houses in its world premiere at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles this year following a sold-out developmental run at Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago.
When Birbiglia announced the news during the Tonight taping, Fallon said, “I don’t want to give anything away for audiences, but there are so many great lines in [this show], I was texting Mike afterward—probably to the point he wanted to delete my number—because I couldn’t decide which line was my favorite.”
The production marks Birbiglia’s fifth solo play collaboration with Barrish, and the play’s creative team also includes Scenic Designer Beowulf Boritt, Costume Designer Toni-Leslie James, Lighting Designer Aaron Copp, Sound Designer Kai Harada and Projection Designer Hana S. Kim.
Mike Birbiglia: The Old Man & the Pool is produced on Broadway by Sue Wagner, John Johnson, Patrick Catullo, Seaview, and Center Theatre Group.