One of the best moments at a communal storytelling event is when the granny/auto-mechanic/investment banker sitting right next to you gets their name called and walks up to the stage and bares their life secrets. Who would have thought that memories of such a wild life lurked behind so innocent a face? Take all the credit for your neighbor’s success and get a peek into the lives of the masses at one of the following popular events.
The Liar Show
29 Cornelia Street, between W. 4th and Bleeker streets.
The classic game of “two truths and a lie” makes a comeback. At the Liar Show, several professional rotating comics and writers share their stories, and the audience has to interrogate them and figure out which one is completely false. Everyone who watches casts a ballot to expose the liar, and those who made an accurate assessment walk away with a T-shirt and a very smug expression on their faces. The next show at Cornelia Street Café on March 2 includes Jeff Simmermon, from NPR, and Micaela Blei, The Moth’s GrandSLAM Champion. Tickets are $15 and include one drink.
The Moth StorySLAM
481 Broadway, Third Floor, between Broome and Grand streets.
You’d better not treasure too much personal space. If you do, you’ll miss out on the wall-to-wall packed StorySLAM events hosted by The Moth. Tickets are $8 at the door for a night of (supposedly) true stories told by strangers who submit their names. The tales range from inspiring to downright awkward, and the tellers range from aspiring writers to the burly guy talking about breaking in the lights on a borrowed car so that its parts wouldn’t get stolen in Queens. Look up the nightly theme and location and show up early—the line always goes down the block. Perhaps that awkward Columbia Admirers encounter can win you the title of audience’s favorite at the end of the night.
92Y Tribeca, 200 Hudson Street, at Vestry Street.
Think back to your middle school self. Did you write an entire diary full of letters to your fake boyfriend, including a fake first sexual experience and fake breakup? That’s a rhetorical question that we really don’t want to know the answer to, but one woman definitely did ... and also read this diary to a crowd of rabid fans at Mortified. This organization has chapters all over the country that host nights of people sharing “their most mortifying childhood artifacts,” from homemade horror movies to the horror that is a first acid trip (at 12 years old). The New York City chapter’s events are somewhat rare but definitely worth every penny of the $15 ticket. You’ll walk away either disappointed that your childhood was too normal, or relieved that those strangers on the stage made you feel normal. Either way, your abs will be sore the next day from laughing more than you ever thought was possible.
Oh, Hey Guys! at Upright Citizens Brigade
307 W. 26th Street, between 8th and 9th avenues.
For something a little less crazy, try Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. It hosts a weekly storytelling open mic for free every Thursday at 6 p.m., so make an offer at whichever altar you prefer, and pray to be one of the four names drawn from a hat to tell an eight-minute tale.