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Mike Birbiglia to headline Rochester Fringe


Comedian Mike Birbiglia will headline the 2019 Rochester Fringe Festival. - PHOTO BY EVAN SUNG
  • Comedian Mike Birbiglia will headline the 2019 Rochester Fringe Festival.

American comedian, storyteller, director, and actor Mike Birbiglia will be this year’s KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival comedy headliner. The show, “An Evening with Mike Birbiglia” will take place Friday, September 20, 7:30 p.m., at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. Tickets (to start at $29) go on sale 10 a.m. on Thursday, June 6, at, and at the Eastman Theatre Box Office (433 East Main Street; 274-3000;

Birbiglia is a frequent contributor to public radio's "This American Life" and New York City-based storytelling group "The Moth." His steady rise from cult comic to international acclaim began with his 2002 appearance on "The David Letterman Show," and he reached wider renown after his 2008 off-Broadway stand-up-theater hybrid show, "Sleepwalk With Me,"  earned accolades from The New York Times and Time Out New York. Birbiglia's shows "My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend" (2013) and "Thank God for Jokes" (2017) were both shot for Netflix. His most recent critically-acclaimed show, "The New One," ran for 99 shows on Broadway at the Cort Theatre, and is poised for a national tour.

Birbiglia wrote, directed, and starred in the 2012 film adaptation of his stage show "Sleepwalk With Me," as well as the 2016 film "Don’t Think Twice." His book, "Sleepwalk With Me and Other Painfully True Stories," was a New York Times bestseller and a finalist for the Thurber Prize for American Humor. His acting credits include appearances on "Inside Amy Schumer," HBO’s "Girls" and "Broad City," and the films "Trainwreck," "The Fault in Our Stars" and "Popstar." Birbiglia also plays Danny Pearson in the Netflix original "Orange Is the New Black" and Oscar Langstraat on Showtime’s "Billions." And in 2017, he earned the Kurt Vonnegut Award for humor.

Following tradition, the comedy headliner announcement spearheads the full programming reveal as we approach Fringe season. The full lineup of more than 500 performances and events will be announced Monday, June 17, and all tickets will go on sale at noon.

Since its origin in 2012 as a five-day festival, The Rochester Fringe has steadily expanded each year, reaching 12 days this fall. The 2019 Fringe runs Tuesday, September 10 through Saturday, September 21 at venues in and around downtown Rochester.