On August 5, 2012, comedienne Tig Notaro performed the stand-up set that would change her life forever.
In front of an intimate crowd at Los Angeles’ Largo at the Coronet (comedian Louis C.K. among them), Notaro revealed that not only was she newly diagnosed with breast cancer, but she had also recently gone through a breakup and suffered the loss of her mother. It was a moment of graceful comedic honesty that C.K. called “masterful,” and led to appearances on This American Life, profiles in everything from The New York Times to Vanity Fair and brought a level of notoriety far outside Notaro’s comfort zone.
“Prior to that performance, I was guarded about my personal life, and did not feel comfortable sharing such details. But after that performance, I saw just how much positivity had come from being more of an open person and sharing my life experiences with people,” Notaro says.
On Thursday, October 16, she’ll share those experiences at The Paramount Theatre during a stop on her Boyish Girl Interrupted tour — one full of material written after her difficult year. But don’t expect a set full of cancer jokes because, as Notaro notes, the performance covers everything from “bombing at a comedy club in Vegas, to stories about me and my friend searching for Santa Claus, to even more personal events. There's also just plain and simple ridiculousness.”
Writing new material for her tour wasn’t a complicated process — after all, a series of major life events is bound to offer up some creative inspiration. But while her illness (from which she’s now recovered) is touched upon, it’s not her sole focus. “I felt compelled to write and do material that excited me and that was true to my reality,” she says. “There are so many fantastic things I have going on in my life, so illness does not feel too prevalent in my life, and hence, does not show up in a significant way in my show.”
If anything, Notaro, also known for her innumerable run-ins with pop star Taylor Dayne, wants fans to enjoy her new show as much as she does. “I love doing this new hour of material.”
Tig Notaro’s Boyish Girl Interrupted tour stops at The Paramount Theatre on October 16 at 8 pm. Tickets range from $32-40 and can be purchased through the Paramount website.