Mike Birbiglia

Film Review: ‘A Man Called Otto’ is O-T-T-Oh No for Tom Hanks

CHICAGO – Tom Hanks finds himself – as the title character – stranded in a slough of artificiality in this clumsy manipulative attempt at a crowd pleaser. He plays a grump in “A Man Named Otto,” a remake of a 2015 Swedish film. The setting has been transferred to the grey rust belt of Pittsburgh, and Hanks is a widower with a lot of chips on his shoulder about the world today.

Film News: Gillian Jacobs at Chicago’s Music Box Theatre on Aug. 9, 2016 for ‘Don’t Think Twice’

Don't Think Twice Front

CHICAGO – The Most Valuable Player, in a film that is brimming with great performances, is Gillian Jacobs (“Community”) of “Don’t Think Twice.” The Mike Birblglia-directed film is in the midst of a run at Chicago’s historic Music Box Theatre, and Jacobs will make an appearance on behalf of the film starting at 7:30pm on Tuesday, August 9th, 2016. For more information, click here.

Film Review: Comedy is Humanity in Magnanimous ‘Don’t Think Twice’

Don't Think Twice Front

CHICAGO – Comedian/writer/director Mike Birbiglia is breaking out as a filmmaker, and he adds a deft and emotional touch to a story of an improvisation comedy troupe split apart by change they didn’t expect. That sounds a lot like life, and it’s best to “Don’t Think Twice.”

Interview: Philosopher King Mike Birbiglia of ‘Don’t Think Twice’

CHICAGO – When comedian/writer/director Mike Birbiglia is in his element, as during the interviews he conducted at The iO Theater in Chicago, he is relaxed and ardently philosophical. He has written and directed a new film, “Don’t Think Twice,” which is about a improvisation comedy troupe, but it’s also about life.

Film Review: ‘Hot Pursuit’ is an Unoriginal, Redundant Hot Mess

CHICAGO – I get it. The old fashioned buddy movie, except with the twist of the femme-flavor-of-the-moment Sofia Vergara and runty Reese Witherspoon. It practically writes itself. In fact, that might be the only legitimate excuse for the mess that is “Hot Pursuit” – it wrote itself.

Interview: Nick Kroll Starts it Up in ‘Adult Beginners’

CHICAGO – Finding the adult button and hitting “on” is becoming more of a challenge as the tech generation morphs into their thirtysomething era. Comedian Nick Kroll (“Kroll Show,” “The League”) ponders this situation in the new film “Adult Beginners,” a primer on growing up and moving on.

Blu-ray Review: Great Extras Enhance Mike Birbiglia’s ‘Sleepwalk with Me’

Sleepwalk with Me Blu-ray

CHICAGO – Sometimes the best way for comics to find an ideal vehicle for their abilities is to direct it themselves. 2012 offered ample proof of that, with Louis C.K. and Lena Dunham setting a stupendously high bar for TV comedy with their respective self-made programs. Of course, “Louis” and “Girls” benefit greatly from the contributions of their first-rate ensembles, yet both are also driven by a singular vision.

Interview: An Invitation from Mike Birbiglia to ‘Sleepwalk with Me’

CHICAGO – The comedian with the tough-to-pronounce name, Mike Birbiglia, hits the next stage with a new film based on his one man show, “Sleepwalk with Me.” Produced and co-written by Ira Glass of “This American Life,” the story of the serious subject of a sleepwalking disorder creates both mordant laughs and poignant moments.

Film Review: Mike Birbiglia Steps Up in ‘Sleepwalk with Me’

Sleepwalk with Me

CHICAGO – It’s exciting to witness a breakthrough with a new film artist. The comedian Mike Birbiglia has adapted his one-man show, “Sleepwalk with Me,” into a movie, and the result is a naturalistic performance piece that plays both like a documentary and Woody Allen’s during the “Annie Hall” period. Birbiglia gets a little help from some friends like Lauren Ambrose, Kirsten Schaal, Wyatt Cenac and Amy Schumer.

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  • Importance of Being Earnest, The, Strawdog Theatre

    CHICAGO – Just in time for Pride Month, Strawdog Theatre Co. presents an updated staging of the Oscar Wilde classic, “The Importance of Being Earnest.” Strawdog policy … the tickets are FREE (donations encouraged), but you must put in a reservation by clicking EARNEST.

  • Prodigal Daughter, The

    CHICAGO – One of the open secrets of Chicago is its horrible racist past, which remains like an echo. Playwright Joshua Allen has been exploring this theme in his Grand Boulevard Trilogy – the last chapter talking place during the infamous 1919 race riots – in Raven Theatre’s “The Prodigal Daughter.” For tickets and info, click TPD.

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