UPDATE: The Aladdin Theater has announced that Tig Notaro's show scheduled for today, November 12, has been postponed due to medical issues.
TWO YEARS AGO, Tig Notaro performed a set at the Largo theater in LA that transformed her career. The recording of that show, Live, went on to sell 100,000 copies in six weeks and was championed by Louis C.K., who called it one of "a handful of truly great, masterful stand-up sets." If you've heard it, you know why. Notaro drily opens the set with her breast cancer diagnosis: "Good evening, hello, I have cancer, how are you?"
Notaro's new tour is called "Boyish Girl Interrupted," a riff on the title of Susanna Kaysen's 1993 memoir—"because I am a boyish-looking girl"—and will cover familiar territory for anyone who's listened to Live—notably, what Notaro calls "four months of hell" that included pneumonia, a particularly invasive bacterial infection called C. diff, her mother's death, and a breakup. But Notaro has no intention of recapturing Live's success. "That was an album that was its own thing," she says. "I just consciously try to stay clear of having expectations of any sort."
It's a wise approach, especially for a tour that's already had some extreme highs and lows for Notaro: At a performance in New York City on Thursday, November 6, she responded to a catcall by performing 30 minutes of her set shirtless, exposing her surgery scars from a double mastectomy, in what the New Yorker later described as "a moment of transcendence." And on Sunday, November 9, the Denver Post reported that Notaro had been hospitalized. Her tour stops in Denver and Boston were canceled. Notaro announced via Facebook on Tuesday, November 11, that she was being treated for internal bleeding from a ruptured cyst, but that she was "finally on the mend." As of press time, Notaro's Portland show at the Aladdin, scheduled for Wednesday, November 12, had not been canceled.
When I talked to Notaro last week, before she was hospitalized, she said she was doing well. "I am utterly happy and healthy, as far as I know," she told me. "Frankly, it's embarrassing."