×

Sarah Silverman Reveals Her ‘Bedwetter’ Musical Is Hitting the Stage Soon

Sarah Silverman is headed to the stage.

Well, maybe not Silverman herself, but the story of the comedian is, at least. She gave an update on the musical based on her memoir, “The Bedwetter,” during a chat with Mike Birbiglia for the Tribeca Film Festival on Monday night.

She revealed that the musical, which was first mentioned in 2014, will be announced in two weeks by the Atlantic Theatre Company in New York when it unveils its 2019-2020 slate, and will be playing within the year. She’s working with songwriter Adam Schlesinger on the production, though she will not be starring in it.

“He read the book and he came over and he just said, ‘This is a play! This is a musical!'” Silverman remembered. “‘The first chapter is called “Cursed From the Start.” Cursed From the Start! That’s a line!’”

She added that they’ve teamed with playwright Joshua Harmon on the musical, and that it will focus on the year in which she was 10 years old.

Silverman and Birbiglia touched on a number of other subjects during the talk, including Silverman’s first dramatic lead, 2015’s “I Smile Back.” Silverman talked about the experience of playing an alcoholic, despite the fact that she doesn’t drink and has never struggled with addiction, and then bemoaned the lack of parts for actors who happen to be “Jew-y Jews.”

“Lately, I’ve been like, ‘finally, there’s parts for Jew-y Jews, and they’re not casting any Jews!'” she said. “Then there’s the other part of me that says, ‘Sarah. The meaning of acting is portraying someone you aren’t.’ But then you see the guy with no arm who’s like, ‘I can’t even play the guy with no arm? I’m an actor with no arm!’ And then you go, like, ‘There are Jew-y Jews that can’t not Jew-y Jews.'”

She then, however, provided the other side of the argument. While acknowledging that she’s “experienced an immense amount of white privilege,” she added, “I’ve never had drug addiction or alcoholism and then I learned about it, and in a way, maybe the perspective of that is helpful.”

During the night’s chat, the two also talked about how Silverman’s comedy has changed over the years. She remembered, as one example, that she used to use the phrase “That’s so gay!” in a negative light, and once, when she heard herself defending it, she realized why it was wrong.

Acknowledging that “comedy is absolutely not evergreen,” she looked back on her old specials, including 2005’s “Jesus Is Magic,” which have been criticized in the past.

“I haven’t seen ‘Jesus Is Magic’ in a decade or more, but I can’t imagine — I would call it widely problematic,” she admitted. “But I can only accept myself and know that I grow and change.”

Another thing that Silverman has grown out of? Self-deprecation. She told the Tribeca crowd that she’s “bored” with the practice, saying it’s not “modesty, but self-obsession.”

Someone who helped her shape that view is another famous comedian: Tig Notaro. After making a joke about herself, Silverman remembered Notaro telling her, “don’t talk about my friend that way.” “It changed me,” she said.

While on the subject of Notaro, Silverman recalled a story about the day her mother died. She and Notaro were both on the set of Maria Bamford’s Netflix comedy “Lady Dynamite” when Silverman got the call from her sister that her mother had died.

While Silverman suggested that they at least finish the scene, Notaro “took control” and insisted on driving her home. Notaro, who had just lost her mother only a couple of years prior, said something particularly profound to her on the way home.

“There’s two kinds of people in the world,” Silverman remembered Notaro saying. “People who have lost their moms, and people who have no idea what’s coming.”

Throughout the rest of the conversation, Silverman touched on the president (“Trump is great at is giving [angry people] something to blame, which is others”), if she’d ever run for office (No, “I’ve had too much therapy”) and how she handles her more extensional thoughts.

“If I get overwhelmed,” she said. “the thing that either saves me or kills me is always the same thought, which is ‘nothing matters.’ And when I’m daunted by something, I say ‘nothing matters. We’re on a rock in outer space.’”

More Legit

  • The Inheritance review

    'The Inheritance' Closing in March After Box Office Struggles

    “The Inheritance,” a sprawling and ambitious epic that grappled with the legacy of the AIDS epidemic, will close on March 15. The two-part play has struggled mightily at the box office despite receiving strong reviews. Last week, it grossed $345,984, or 52% of its capacity, a dispiriting number for a show that was reported to [...]

  • MCC theater presents 'Alice By Heart'

    Steven Sater on Adapting 'Alice by Heart' From a Musical to a Book

    When producers approached lyricist Steven Sater (“Spring Awakening”) to adapt Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” into a musical, his initial reaction was to recoil. His initial thought was that the book didn’t have a beginning, middle and an ending. But Sater pulled it off with his production of “Alice By Heart.” After an off-Broadway [...]

  • The Lehman Trilogy review

    Sam Mendes' 'Lehman Trilogy' Kicks off Ahmanson's New Season

    Sam Mendes’ “The Lehman Trilogy,” which took London’s West End by storm will be part of the Ahmanson’s lineup for the 2020-21 season. It will be joined by Broadway hits “Hadestown” and “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Artistic director Michael Ritchie announced the season that will also feature four fan favorites and another production to be [...]

  • Zoe Caldwell Dead

    Zoe Caldwell, Four-Time Tony Winner, Dies at 86

    Zoe Caldwell, an Australian actress with a talent for illuminating the human side of imposing icons such as Cleopatra and Maria Callas in a career that netted her four Tony Awards, died on Sunday due to complications from Parkinson’s disease, according to her son Charlie Whitehead. She was 86. Caldwell occasionally appeared in television and [...]

  • Cambodian Rock Band interview

    Listen: How 'Cambodian Rock Band' Became One of the Most Produced Plays in the U.S.

    One of the hottest trends in American theater this season is Cambodian surf rock from the 1970s — and that’s thanks to “Cambodian Rock Band.” Listen to this week’s Stagecraft podcast below: Playwright Lauren Yee’s genre-bending stage show, part family drama and part rock concert, has become one of the most-produced plays in the U.S. this season. [...]

  • Revenge Song

    Vampire Cowboys' 'Revenge Song': L.A. Theater Review

    There’s highbrow, there’s lowbrow, and then there’s however you might classify Vampire Cowboys, the anarchic New York City theater company whose diverse productions . It’s radical, “good taste”-flouting counter-programming for the vast swaths of the population left unserved by high-dollar, stiff-collar theater options. Vampire Cowboys’ raucous new show, “Revenge Song,” is unlike anything else that’s [...]

  • THE VISIT review

    'The Visit': Theater Review

    Director Jeremy Herrin’s extraordinary take on Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s 1956 play “The Visit” is less of a production and more of a show. A wordy one, to be sure, which is no surprise since it’s an adaptation by Tony Kushner that, including two intermissions, comes in at three-and-a-half hours. It’s never going to be described as [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content