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Comedian Mike Birbiglia (and Vegas virgin) puts his Vegas knowledge to the test

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Taking the leap: Mike Birbiglia (finally) debuts on the Vegas comedy circuit this weekend.
Kyle Ericksen
Julie Seabaugh

Acclaimed comic, storyteller, NPR contributor and filmmaker Mike Birbiglia is known for charting his emotional growth through narratives as embarrassing as they are revealing. He’s also a Vegas virgin. Going on nothing more than the names of a few local people, places and things, here’s what he’s expecting from his first Sin City experience.

• Zarkana “I’m gonna guess … is it Siegfried and Roy’s tiger? Oh, it’s Cirque du Soleil? I’m dying to see a Cirque du Soleil! I’ve only seen it on television, and I know there’s, like, nine versions of it in Vegas. My wife makes fun of me all the time for how much I want to see it. Do they have daytime shows?”

• Gregory Popovich “I went to high school with a guy named Jim Prokopovich. But I’m guessing that there’s no relation, because that’s not how last names work.”

• The High Roller “I can only guess it’s a hotel for wealthy people who like to gamble a lot? Is that right?”

• Rose. Rabbit. Lie. “Is it the name of a restaurant that serves exotic meat?”

• Stratosphere “I feel like maybe it’s a strip club.”

• Oscar Goodman “Sounds like an entertainer who makes balloon animals or something.”

• The Double Down “How come everything sounds like a strip club? It’s probably a casino, right? It actually sounds like it could be a clever name for a bakery, with a Double Down cookie or something. A kind of double-creamed Oreo dipped in chocolate.”

• Neon Museum “That sounds like a little bit of a gimme, because I’m going to guess it’s a Neon Museum. It’s another one that falls into the category of ‘I’m glad it exists, but I don’t know if it’s going to be on schedule.’ But it’s got a great marketing plan, because it’s advertising itself as it’s advertising itself.”

• The Luxor “The Luxor I’ve heard of! The Luxor is, if I’m not mistaken, a replica of … not Venice, because that’s the Venetian, right? So the Luxor is … is it New York City in Las Vegas? It’s a replica of … Paris? I’d say it’s a replica of Luxembourg, but I don’t think anyone’s really working on that.”

• Terry Fator “Terry Fator is the namesake of the theater that I am performing in. And since we all know who he is, we just don’t even need to say what he’s known for. He is, of course, well … you know! And Mr. Fator and I have such mutual respect that we don’t try to describe each other’s professions.”

Mike Birbiglia With Henry Phillips. May 3, 8 p.m., $44. Terry Fator Theatre, Mirage, 792-7777.

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