Life In A Marital Institution

James has a lot going on:

  • He is contributor to PRI’s This American Life
  • He is a frequent performer on The Moth, and its first two-time GrandSlam winner
  • His hit Off-Broadway show has been optioned for television by Meredith Viera Productions and received fantastic reviews from The New York Times, Variety and others.

James’ memoir is a brilliant expansion of his show, and a hilarious treatise on the endless battle of the sexes, made even more comical by very different approaches to child rearing.

life in a marital institution

Countless memoirs and novels seek to entertain and illuminate primarily female audiences about the
changes that inevitably occurring any long-term relationship. But who speaks to (and for)the men? This
spring, award-winning storyteller James Braly brings to the table a sharp, honest and hilarious tale of a
marriage in turmoil in Life in a Marital Institution: Twenty Years of Monogamy in One Terrifying Memoir

It’s a classic love story, really – a relatively conservative man marries an increasingly progressive woman
with whom he tries (and frequently fails) to find middle ground – with a uniquely modern twist: in this
house, progressive can mean having a high-risk homebirth, breastfeeding children past their first
birthdays, and burying the placentas in the backyard—if you don’t eat them first. These issues may
sound absurd—until you consider they were featured on recent covers in Time, New York and the New
York Times magazines that reached millions of readers. In other words, the world is changing, and – if
you ask Braly – not necessarily for the better. Life in a Marital Institution examines the clash between
the old world and the new in the context ofmodern romance and timeless male/female dynamics and
Set against the backdrop of a larger familial context, Life in a Marital Institution tracesthe turbulence
between the couple to its roots: a colorful, charismatic clan that has reunited after decades of
estrangement to attend and ideally prevent the deathbed wedding of one of their own.
As Braly connects the emotional dots between marriages present and past, his intimate revelations can
be shocking, humorous, and moving, all at once. As Variety observed of his hit Off Broadway show that
inspired the memoir, “Braly’s gaspingly funny scorched-earth autobio is wittier than most standup
routines, but…the show’s least expected quality [is] a core of genuine emotion.”
A frequent performer at “The Moth” (he is the first two-time winner of the GrandSlam) as well as on
public radio’s “This American Life,” Braly premiered his one-man show Life in a Marital Institution atthe
Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where British critics reviewed it as “hysterically funny” (The Scotsman)
“excellent” (The London Times) and “a masterpiece of storytelling” (The List). The show went on to a
critically-acclaimed, sell-out runOff-Broadway at 59E59 Theaters, before transferring to the SoHo
Playhouse, then going on a 14-city national tour.Now optioned for television by Meredith Viera
Productions, Life in a Marital Institution is a wholly original story with certified mass appeal.


Improving upon the success of the show, Life in a Marital Institution sets the story free in an expansive,
honest yet humorous glimpse into the mind of a man in the midst of a chaotic marriage with a woman
he loves deeply, who also happens to be entirely wrong for him.
By turns laugh out loud funny, refreshingly candid, and not in the least politically correct, Life in a
Marital Institution revels in both the beauty and the horror ofromance, and will make men and women
alike delight and squirm–as it speaks a kind of truth most people are afraid to reveal, even to
themselves–but, as audiences have proved nationwide, is thoroughly entertaining.