Mike Daisey enjoys a challenge. His traditional monologues take on, or create controversies (Apple products, consumerism, theatre’s provincialism, the American Dream at Disney World, Bradley Manning.) Last summer he challenged the monologue form itself when he stepped away from his table to perform the 24-hour marathon All Hours of the Day in Portland, Oregon.
Starting Thursday, September 5 at 7pm, Daisey ratchets up the challenge when he launches into an epic series: 29 nightly performances titled All the Phases of the Moon at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater. Given the scope of the project, it is unlikely that the show will tour (Woolly Mammoth, which has hosted each Mike Daisey monologue in DC, confirmed it has not been scheduled.) But Daisey fans everywhere will still be able to view his work. Podcasts of the series will be streamed by noon of the day following each performance.
The Public Theater describes the event: “Each evening stands alone as a single episode, but together they create a living theatrical novel set against the secret history of New York City – a city that is loved and loathed and larger than life. From Pentecostal church services held in IKEA showrooms to Nikola Tesla’s laboratories in the Lower East Side, from the infamous Mole People’s convocations deep beneath the subway lines to the hidden and terrifying plans of Robert Moses, Daisey weaves a story of ordinary magic in a most extraordinary city. Night after night he will strive like Sheherazade to tell the largest story ever attempted in the American theater.”
Each monologue, Daisey says, is matched to a painting done for the occasion by the Russian artist Larissa Tokmakova, which “follow the arc of the show, and are keyed primarily to archetypal cards from the Tarot deck.”
Tickets to the individual events are $26.50. (patrons using the code “Daisey” see each one for $20). There are incentives for those seeing 3 or more plays ranging from posters to a walk-on role, to private dinner with Mike Daisey, director Jean-Michele Gregory, and artist Larissa Tokmakova.
All performances are at Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater . 425 Lafayette Street, NYC 10003
Daisey himself is a familiar face to patrons of DC’s Woolly Mammoth Theatre, where he has performed American Utopias; The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs; The Last Cargo Cult; How Theater Failed America; and If You See Something, Say Something. The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs came under heavy criticism after fact-checkers from National Public Radio discovered that Daisey had fabricated some of the events he described in the monologue.