Katie Mack isn’t quite on her Eras Tour yet. But be forewarned, she’s got a blank space for your name.

After all, Katie Mack, like Taylor, is a typical charismatic entrepreneur and artist in her thirties—and a catch. So what’s with all these ex-boyfriends? you may be asking. Mack herself asks this question. Among others like is it worth the heartbreak?

Arguably, Taylor Swift’s career was launched by heartbreak. So it should come to no surprise that Mack herself decided to make lemons from lemonade and write a show about one of these break ups: #breakupcontent. A journey of love had and love lost in a time of social media fervor and global pandemic. It was interactive, innovative, avant-garde, and a success. That was just the beginning.

We live and learn and grow and experience hardships in a number of flavors, not just heartbreak. What came next in Mack’s life was not heartbreak, but grief, when news of the death of her friend Eric Anthamatten.

Eric was, in fact, an ex of Mack’s. But he had grown and graduated into one of Mack’s dearest friends and confidants. He remembered her birthday and sent dance videos to cheer her up, and bonded over the fact that the two of them had not only suffered breakups with each other, but others after. They talked about life, love, politics, and addiction. And then, suddenly, he was killed at age 43 on a trip to heal from a recent breakup of his own.

This old heartbreak that had scarred and bloomed into a beautiful friendship, turned into head-splitting grief in a matter of minutes. 

And then #UGLYCRY: grief hit different now was born. The grief took over Mack. She had to immerse herself in it–couldn’t escape it. That experience and her passion for re-imagined theater, allowed #UGLYCRY to re-imagine immersive theater. The show, which opened in Pittsburgh and then ran for a month long engagement in NYC, is a show that asks you to engage with your phone, sing along, film, post, grieve, and cry with Mack while she runs on a treadmill (you don’t have to– don’t worry.) 

But the final blow was a cruel summer. While Mack was building this solo show, happiness was blooming again with newfound love, whom we now refer to as Dalton. And as it happened, this love became intertwined in the grief in the healing. Maybe she should have given this new lover a warning. Stay–or be forever written into this piece of theater. But he didn’t stay. And so, Mack did what she does with all heartbreak- she wrote him into the show #UGLYCRY.

And now #uglycry is just as much about grief as it is about heartbreak. This show closed in Nov 2023 to rave reviews and hailed as “genre-bending” and “pushing the experimental envelope” and “a profound piece on grief”. 

Just like grief, the show accidentally continues. #UGLYCRY now takes it one step further and goes international, traveling to Perth, Australia for the 3rd largest Fringe Festival in the world, FRINGE WORLD.  You can catch this phones-on immersive heartbreaking show from Feb 6th-Feb 18th if you happen to be halfway across the world. 

…Are you ready for it?

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