Thursday, May 31, 2007

Wise Guys:

Solo storyteller Mike Daisey has been a favorite visitor at Berkeley Rep in recent years with his monologues 21 Dog Years: Doing Time at in 2004 and The Ugly American the following year. Now he's back with not one, not two, but four new monologues. In Great Men of Genius, Daisey shifts from boisterous anecdotes from his own life to the lives of some even more colorful characters. He holds forth on revolutionary German playwright Bertolt Brecht, eccentric Serbian electrical pioneer and Edison rival Nikola Tesla, and two great hucksters, circus impresario P.T. Barnum and science-fiction author and Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. It's not unusual for Daisey to have several balls in the air at a time, often workshopping a new monologue during the run of another or doing series of one-shot impromptu shows. Rather than write down stories, he refines them by telling them night after night, just like a guy on a barstool, with feedback from his director (and wife) Jean-Michele Gregory.

12:07 PM