Last night’s performance of TONGUES WILL WAG was a fantastic gift from the audiences at ART–a wonderful full house, ready to hear a brand new story, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your generosity and time. We learned a tremendous amount about the show incredibly quickly, and I’m looking forward to the workshop performances at Berkeley Repertory Theatre and the Cape Cod Theatre Project later this year–it’s my hope that TONGUES WILL WAG will have a full production before the end of 2007, and we’ll keep our fingers crossed for that. Read the rest of this entry »
Tonight’s the night–we do TONGUES WILL WAG for the very first time. I can’t think of a better way to end our residency at ART than this, nor a more exhilarating, terrifying one–it is always this way, tempered a little by the experience of having gone through it 9 times before with other monologues.
I got a lot of work done yesterday, but much remains to be shaped this morning and afternoon–the principal outline is pretty fuzzy, even at this point, and huge discoveries happened yesterday that upended much of the structure that had been growing in my mind. That sounds negative, but many disruptions are bigger than that, and so was this one–I’m grateful for the new insights, which leaped out of a conversation with Jean-Michele, and I feel certain at this hour that it’s a deeper, richer choice. Read the rest of this entry »
Now that MONOPOLY! has had its run at ART, in the brief window before I fully turn to TONGUES WILL WAG, I thought I’d follow up on the events from two weeks ago. For anyone heartily sick of rehashing those events, please feel free to use the Power of the Internet and look at some lolcats instead.
No, seriously–you do have free will. Last chance for lolcats.
It’s an interesting coincidence–I had not been blogging about my work or life in any kind of traditionally “bloggy” manner for a number of years, and had embarked on a project to document this run at American Repertory Theatre when this all went down. I feel I’d be remiss if I didn’t give full weight. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s the final weekend of MONOPOLY!–it must close Saturday night, and everybody and their brother is coming out of the woodwork to see it after the Globe’s review, which I feel really builds on our earlier coverage. It must be said that there was no measurable bump in sales after the kerfuffle, which doesn’t surprise me–the incident was compelling for a number of reasons, but it didn’t connect with the actual work in a significant way. Read the rest of this entry »
Bostonist: Games Mike Daisey Plays:
Mike Daisey kicks off his monologue “Monopoly!” with the following statement: “I’ve always had a love for endless games.” And then a torrent of thoughts about the legendary board game of the same name come tumbling out of his mouth, and the game gets “bigger, weirder, and stranger.”
In the span of an hour and forty-five minutes, “Monopoly!” the monologue indeed grows “bigger, weirder, and stranger” as Daisey pulls together a number of loosely linked stories. Even though the story of Nikola Tesla, Daisey’s own tesla coil hi-jinks, Bill Gates lore, and the history of “Monopoly!” don’t seem to have much in common, Daisey’s stage presence whisks the audience from story to story.
Dry Daisey – The Phoenix:
It’s too bad Invincible Summer monopolized Daisey’s residency at American Repertory Theatre because, for my Monopoly money, this is a far better monologue, hardly impersonal but devoid of self-indulgence as Daisey, never leaving his post behind the table, swings like Tarzan between threads of interconnected story that encompass the methodical Edison’s slap down with visionary immigrant Nikola Tesla over direct versus alternating electrical current; Daisey’s own losing battle to get a 500-pound “lightning-throwing death machine” known as a Tesla Coil into this very monologue; the gravitational power of Bill Gates’s wealth; the dubious history of the Parker Brothers board game of the title; and the merchandising takeover of the monologist’s nondescript (well, sucking) small Maine hometown by Wal-Mart. As Daisey points out, monopoly the game can be endless; likewise corporate proliferation and greed. Human beings, by contrast, are finite – the game of life eventually bangs up against that “black gate” manned by the Reaper. You do not get to pass go or collect $200.
An electrifying monologue for change – The Boston Globe:
CAMBRIDGE — You’ll hear talk about the “electricity” of a night in the theater: the charge you can feel in the air, the deep yet crackling silence that occurs when a performance and an audience truly connect. Mike Daisey wants to generate that kind of electricity, and he does. But he also wants to make the metaphor real — to charge people up with enough energy to change the world.
MONOPOLY! is up. It was a wonderful house last night, which is essential when bringing back up a show you haven’t done in months and months–their energy was just fantastic. We had a very long note session this morning, and my brain is burning with nips and tucks and shifts to implement–while we all had a good time at the theater last night, as usual the first telling ran long, and the inevitable and wonderful process of sharpening the show down to a fine point is accelerated for this mini-run, as we have just a week to do it in. I think we’re up to the challenge. It is hard, wrestling between the work that must be done and exhaustion–it’s been a pitched battle for a lot of this run, and it is especially clear today that I need to be careful how hard I push changes to ensure I have the energy needed to implement them. It’s not always cut and dried.
It’s opening day. Frequent readers will know that this is akin to a holiday in our lives–a holiday you work for, which means when it comes out right you really feel that you’ve earned it. I feel rested up and recovered from INVINCIBLE SUMMER, and my notes for MONOPOLY! are in as much order as they are going to get. Read the rest of this entry »
Tonight is my nominal evening off–Jean-Michele is enjoying hers right now, at a dinner party whose theme is the life of Archimedes. I’m looking forward to getting the story from here of how it was–I’m at the apartment, getting ready for MONOPOLY! Read the rest of this entry »