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May 9, 2013 at 4:51 PM
Mike Daisey: One down, ‘Ayn’ to go
Seattle Times theater critic Misha Berson writes:
Mike Daisey’s pop-up run of two new monologues at Seattle Repertory Theatre continues through Saturday with his piece, “F*cking, F*cking, F*cking Ayn Rand.” Last week I caught Daisey’s “American Utopias,” which turned out to be a nearly three-hour extravaganza that wound through his reluctant trip with family to Disney World and his mind-blowing adventures at Burning Man, then grazed by some ruminations on the Occupy Wall Street encampment (including his guilt about not being a more active part of it), and ended up on the Seattle Center lawn, with most of the audience clustered around Daisey and responding warmly to his heartfelt rallying cry for theater as community.
In his current, post-Apple-monologue-debacle phase, Daisey is less concerned with refining and polishing his pieces than ripping them hot off his brain, and sharing them in as direct a way as possible. “American Utopias” was sloppy, self-indulgent at times, and the Occupy Wall Street segment felt rather like an afterthought. But since Spalding Gray’s death, Daisey is the only guy I can think of who can sit at a table on a stage talking about himself and keep people listening, laughing and thinking (without any intermission) for such a long stretch. And in the end, Daisey’s appreciation of his own family, and family in a larger sense, was truly touching.
As for Ayn Rand, what Daisey says about the eccentric author of “The Fountainhead” and “Atlas Shrugged,” and the influential right-wing cult that’s glommed on to her weirdly idealistic (and at times barely readable) novels, might be enlightening. Surely, it will no less than entertaining — and it’s 90 minutes long. Info: www.seattlerep.org.
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