JON CARROLL: Friday, June 15, 2007:
I've been trying to come up with a way of describing a Mike Daisey show. Try this: The lights come up on a fat man sitting at a table. In front of him, neatly aligned, are six or seven pieces of yellow lined paper. To his right is a glass of water. He starts to talk.
So then this happens: Mike Daisey holds up a rope. He shows you how it is braided together. He begins to unravel the rope, showing you the separate strands, describing each strand in surprising ways. Halfway through the show, you think: He's going to end up with rope all over the floor. More strands, more talk. The strands weave back together. At the end of the show, like a magician, Daisey holds up the rope. It is rebraided. It looks exactly the same as it did, although we know a lot more about how it was made. Then Daisey stares out into the theater. Blackout.
It's the American rope trick.