Thursday, January 18, 2007
I loved the k.d. lang album by this title and I loved Mike Daisey's one-man show too. It opened tonight to a packed house at the Public Theatre for an eight-performance run through the end of January as part of the Under the Radar Festival. I'd seen him before, performing in the spangly Spiegeltent at S. St. Seaport, alongside One Ring Zero and Amy Sohn and Ned. Thus, who should I run into tonight but Ned and friend. I haven't seen a whole lot of monologues performed live, but Daisey's proved to me it can have all the drama of an ensemble piece. His narrative embraces weddings, Seattle, subways, the New York summer, one horribly memorable New York summer day, the Jersey shore, his parents' divorce, New York's obsession with itself (which prompts a very funny bit about Paris Hilton), and general existential dread (hence the Camus reference in the title). The work is paced like a great memoir should be and features recurring motifs such as private moments of emotion he's seen in public places or social moments. He walks a satisfying line between cynicism and hope, between seen-it-all-before and isn't-this-amazing. Definitely worth seeing, and almost as cheap as a movie at $15.