Saturday, July 26, 2008

Washington City Paper:- ‘If You See Something Say Something’:

There may be no metaphor in security, as Daisey astutely notes, but he certainly injects metaphor (and simile, and irony, and synecdoche, and peripetea, etc) aplenty into this series of monologues–stories, really–which he weaves with enthralling dexterity of voice, tone, gesture, and expression.  The show is billed as the story of the Department of Homeland Security, but much of the focus is on the history of the atomic bomb.  The piece is obsessively researched, and by interlacing the straight history with his own anecdotes and observations, Daisey is able to infuse a somewhat sterile topic with a folksy, around-the-campfire sensibility.  In some of the most disturbing but memorable moments, Daisey is even able to turn the monologue into something of a ghost story–one minute you’re laughing at the foibles of Bernard Kerik, the next minute Daisey is describing in unsettling detail what would happen if Cohen’s neutron bomb were detonated above the theater, and you feel just a bit sick for joking around only moments earlier.

Daisey is one of those people (I’ve seen him before) who can make anything scintillating, so even if you proclaim to be uninterested in neutrons and bombs and the Cold War and deserts and Tom Ridge and that kind of thing, go if only to spend some quality time with Daisey.  It’s like taking one of your favorite nonfiction authors–I’ll use Ian Frazier but you can fill-in-the-blank–crossing him with your favorite stand-up comedian–let’s say, oh, I don’t know, Robin Williams–and hunkering down in a bar for a few hours to discuss a subject about which he’s read every book possible.

12:27 PM