SFist: The Genius Of Mike Daisey:
This is one five-hour monologue, broken up into four segments, wherein the true genius of the piece, Mike Daisey, interweaves vignettes from his life with the excerpted life stories of those famous men. He paints for us not only pictures of who these men were, but also of himself, and, by association, how the productivity and madness of genius can be expressed in our own lives.
Throughout all four monologues, Daisey sits on a wooden chair, at a wooden table, with his notes on lined yellow paper, a glass of water, and a black kerchief for brow mopping. He's dressed all in black. Lighting changes are minimal. He is a cross between Louis Black and Andy Richter, or the love child of Spalding Gray and Micheal McShane. When he makes certain points, his chin pushes up into his stout face and he looks not unlike a very sweet bulldog.
The opportunity to juxtapose not only Daisey's life with the geniuses, but also to view the geniuses in relation to each other, creates even more dimension. Each man's efforts or lack of efforts at interacting with the public or publicizing their works, each man's conflicts with the American government, even each man's cultivation of a coterie of humans (or animals), all of these stories grow larger in their similarities to each other. The ultimate result is a vivid and detailed portrait of the nature of megalomania and success.