Thursday, November 13, 2008

GayCityNews - Careful, They're Radioactive:

In the post-9/11 world, our culture has implicitly been engaged in "security theater." Mike Daisey's engaging and thought-provoking monologue, "If You See Something Say Something," now at Joe's Pub, does something wonderful by stripping away illusion and calling this cultural moment by its proper name.

Daisey's well-crafted piece interweaves stories of his visit to Los Alamos, New Mexico, where the first atomic bomb was detonated, with the story of Sam Cohen, one of that bomb's creators. We see our government's response to security challenges for exactly the sham it is; no one really knows what they're doing. Daisey ends his piece with a graphic and slightly harrowing demonstration of exactly that point, but I won't reveal that.

Still, this is not all doom and gloom. He accurately points out that ordinary people, if not the Department of Homeland Security, can be counted on to keep plane hijackings impossible. Truth, even uncomfortable truth, in the face of hype is always a welcome tonic.

Daisey is an extraordinary performer, and under the direction of Jean-Michele Gregory, the simplicity and artistry of his presentation supports one of my long-held beliefs: a well-told story almost always makes exciting theater.

3:50 PM