Wednesday, June 18, 2008


The title of How Theater Failed America makes it sound like a serious lecture about the sorry state of drama in the United States, but it's actually a highly engaging and entertaining feat of storytelling from monologist Mike Daisey.

Often grouped with raconteurs such as the amazing Spalding Gray, Daisey previously impressed Blog About Town with his breakthrough monologue 21 Dog Years, which highlighted the absurdities of his cubicle job at (To my amusement, I find that the Amazon link to 21 Dog Years yields Amazon before it yields Daisey.)

How Theater Failed America certainly has a lot to do with theater, but it has even more to do with Daisey, his varied experiences, and his extreme highs and lows over the years. If you like theater stories, confessional storytelling, and/or musings on the state of theater, see if you can catch this work before its scheduled close at the Barrow Street Theatre on June 22, when the performance will be followed by a roundtable discussion including Tony-winning director Gregory Mosher, Public Theater artistic director Oskar Eustis, playwright Richard Nelson, director Paige Evans, and blogger-critic Garrett Eisler. I expect the discussion to be stimulating.

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