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 October 17, she’ll share those experiences at the Majestic 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,” she says.
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 although she touches upon her illness (from which she’s now recovered), 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.”