April 21, 2015

Talk about refreshingly low-key. When Deb Margolin walked up the aisle of the Cherry Lane Theater and bounded up the steps to the edge of the stage, I thought she was the house manager, there to make the opening announcements. She was wearing a blue dress, footless black tights and ballet flats and carrying some papers. But she was there to perform “8 Stops,” her eloquent one-act solo show about, among other things, life in Montvale, N.J.; “the grief of endless compassion”; her battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma; and her little son, who, at regular intervals, becomes panicked by and obsessed with “the death thing.” Ms. Margolin, who has regularly turned her life stories into performance pieces, is undeniably funny, and her new show is filled with lovely, offbeat points of view and surprising turns of phrase. “I’ve always reserved for myself the right to commit suicide,” she confesses, using the metaphor of a social gathering. “If the party was unpleasant and featured unsavory types or too much small talk and booze, if it was just a greasy sausage ball on a plate and someone telling me they were in a play once in summer camp, I could just ‘leave.’ ”