A familiar face of film and television since the ’80s, in recent years, Rob Lowe added two-time New York Times best-selling author to his list of achievements. Now, with his one-man show, Stories I Only Tell My Friends: LIVE, he’s broadening his repertoire, and the limited-run tour includes a stop in San Jose next month. “I was in talks to write my third book,” Lowe recalls, “and I started thinking that if the point is telling stories and sharing my experience, why wouldn’t I actually do that. In person. So the third book became the show.” For nearly two hours, Lowe enthralls with tales about his personal and professional lives. “Finding the right mix—the flat-out funny, laugh your ass off, along with the substantive, moving, detailed humanity—is what makes the books and the show work,” he says.
At the end of Stories, Lowe holds a Q&A session with the audience. “I never have any idea what they’re going to ask,” he says. “That’s the fun of it. People can want to know about anything, from The Outsiders to the Brat Pack era to The West Wing to Parks and Recreation to what Chris Farley was like.” And while he has plenty of juicy, behind-the-scenes entertainment-industry anecdotes, the weightier matters can make for the most compelling parts of the evening. “I appreciate that someone would stand up and ask something as personal as: ‘You’re sober for 27 years. My son is your son’s age. What do you tell them about drugs and alcohol?’ All of a sudden, it’s not a one-man show anymore; it’s a parent-to-parent talk that everyone happens to be witnessing. It becomes so intimate and really moving.”
Lowe tailors each performance to the locale, and when he hits the stage at the Center for the Performing Arts, he plans to draw on the time he’s spent in Silicon Valley, especially the past four years. His younger son, John Owen, graduated from Stanford in June—and if he’s in the audience for the Oct. 6 show, “there may be a whole other show that I begin to riff on,” says Lowe, “because I will be merciless with him.” Add this to Lowe’s talents: dad who’s not afraid to embarrass his kids. Stars—they’re just like us! 8pm, tickets $38-$88, VIP Meet and Greet package $195, 255 S. Almaden Blvd., San Jose
Originally published in the September issue of Silicon Valley