By Alison Baumgartner
Years after high school, if you found a love letter that you wrote and never sent, you might laugh a little, blush a little and then be quick to hide it back away. Not Dave Nadelberg, the creator of Mortified. “When I found an old love letter, I immediately laughed and thought ‘I need to share this with my friends’,” says Nadelberg. “Then I thought, it would be fun to share it with strangers.”
Since Nadelberg decided to share his own mortifying, soul-bearing prose, Mortified has expanded from a stage show to a movie, a series on the Sundance channel produced by Nick Kroll, a show on Netflix, several books and a podcast. It was even featured on This American Life.
Featuring adults sharing their most embarrassing childhood diaries, letters, poems and artwork, this is a hilarious romp into the heart of teen angst. Whether it’s hideous poetry, horrendous songs or bumbling diaries about popstar obsessions, Mortified invites you to come in, sit down and be rocketed into a past that is awkward, poignant and strange — all the things that teenage life tends to be. Only, you get to do it from the safety and distance of knowing that both you and the performers survived.
That’s what makes Mortified so unique. It’s not just a storyteller sharing their past through the lens of being older and wiser. “This is the literal actual thoughts of living in the moment and not being aware that you were going to grow up and become a forty-five-year-old accountant racing to get your kid to soccer practice,” says Nadelberg.
The show is more than just a foray into our deepest thoughts during puberty. It’s an uplifting experience that reminds that we were all freaks, we were all fragile, and all of us survived.
For the Fort Collins Lincoln Center show, Mortified is pulling out all the stops. “What I’m really excited about is not just that it’s our first show in Fort Collins, but these are all of our favorite performers and we’re flying them in from all over the nation,” says Nadelberg. “We’ve got over a decade of past show material to pull from.”
Already a big fan of the show? “Don’t worry, there will be plenty of new material that they haven’t seen or heard before,” says Nadelberg.
The premiere of Mortified’s Allstars of Angst will be at the Fort Collins Lincoln Center on October 26. Seats from $15 at LCtix.com.