off the record
The monologist Mike Daisey’s recent travails have taught him something valuable. His new work, a series of six monologues to be performed, one per month, at Joe’s Pub beginning Monday, will allow him to premiere a piece only when he’s comfortable with it.
“One of the reasons we constructed this series the way Read More
Newsbeast editor in chief Tina Brown seems to have developed a redemptive streak, at least when it comes to the bad boys and girls of the media world. Her website has recently published several pieces by otherwise disgraced journalists.
Shattered Ira Glass
Before reckoning with the new, exceedingly lovely, and disappointingly thin Broadway musical Once, which opened Sunday night at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, let us first discuss what might be called the War Horse Insufficiency.
The symptoms of this malady are stunning stagecraft and a lack of compelling story or emotional richness, a visual display so creative and impressive that the theatergoer wants to believe the play or musical he’s seeing to be great, but with a book insufficient to live up to the production. War Horse, the British story of a boy and his beloved horse at the Vivian Beaumont, is its most prominent current example: gorgeous design, breathtaking puppetry, insipid story.
PRI’s This American Life has retracted its most popular broadcast ever, “Mr. Daisey Goes to the Apple Factory,” because it contains “significant fabrications,” host and executive producer Ira Glass announced today. An excerpt of Mike Daisey’s one-man show The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, it has been downloaded 888,000 times and streamed another 206,000.
At least twice during his new show, the virtuoso monologist Mike Daisey refers to himself as an actor. Twice more, he calls himself a storyteller. He is of course both things, but the descriptors miss the true impact of what he has accomplished in his powerful piece, The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, which opened Monday night at the Public Theater.
As much as he is a performer, Mr. Daisey is also an investigative journalist, even, in the best sense, a muckraker. In his forthright examination of Mr. Jobs, of the various i-devices Jobs created, and of the Chinese sweatshops where those devices are manufactured, Mr. Daisey opens an Upton Sinclair-like window into the horrors and human cost of producing the shiny electronic gizmos resting silently, and increasingly uncomfortably, in our pockets.
David Mamet’s new play is here! The play that was to be Mamet, back in classic Mamet form! With a plot so incendiary that nothing about it could be revealed before performances started! With its poster and Playbill cover featuring only a simple, sexy shot of a shapely black woman’s legs in a slinky, red-sequined Read More
When The Black Keys first exploded out of Akron, Ohio with the release of their sophomore LP Thickfreakness back in April 2003, The White Stripes were at the top of their game. Elephant—the album that made Jack White and his ex-wife superstars—had been released the week before, and the Keys suffered from comparisons Read More
There’s a drama critic in every man (and woman, of course). Audiences can be pretty severe critics, and, in private, theater folk can be, too. An actor-writer by the name of Mike Daisey is a rarity, however: He goes onstage to criticize theater publicly.
And it pays off, apparently. Mr. Daisey’s Read More