Wednesday, January 13, 2010

With 'The Last Cargo Cult,' Mike Daisey invests himself in financial crisis -

The health-care system was supposed to be the topic of monologuist Mike Daisey's new piece, commissioned by Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. He'd already done "If You See Something, Say Something" and "How Theater Failed America" at Woolly with considerable success. Audiences took to his gimlet-eyed extemporaneous (he uses only an outline) views of nuclear weapons and nonprofit theater, respectively.

Anyway, as Daisey remembers it, the "financial crisis was melting down" and his anger about it was boiling up. So a health-care piece was put on hold. And that is how "The Last Cargo Cult" was born. Daisey has brought the monologue, first workshopped at Woolly in June, back to the theater through Feb. 7. In the interim, he performed it at New York's Public Theater and around the country.