Friday, November 07, 2008

Stage and Cinema-If You See Something Say Something - Mike Daisey, Monologuist - Off Broadway Theater Review:

Mike Daisey is a kindred spirit, gentle and slightly impish, wide-eyed and direct in his gaze, conspiratorial in his relationship with us. And then, without notice, he becomes, like so many us in these troubled and troubling times, seriously unhinged. His eyes narrow, his voice cracks and screeches up an octave or two, and our common angst comes bubbling out of his mouth. And, whether he is being matter-of-fact or doubling over with rage, he is one of the funniest men you are apt to encounter in a theater space these days.

In his neatly structured, beautifully calibrated new monologue, If You See Something Say Something, under the intelligent guidance of his director Jean-Michele Gregory (the space he’s using these days, after a tour that has clearly worked out most of the kinks, is Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater), Daisey weaves a tapestry about the absurdity of national security – both pre- and post-9/11 – that includes, in its long, strange journey, a road trip to Trinity (the home of the Manhattan Project in Los Alamos); the sad and frightening story of Sam Cohen, the man who invented the neutron bomb; the fear-mongering progress of Homeland Security; and how it feels to be robbed in Rome minutes after arriving in The Eternal City. If the last mentioned event seems out of place, you’ve got to see – and hear – the artful way he incorporates it into the story he tells so brilliantly. And, of course, the telling of it is uproarious.

1:47 PM