Friday, July 27, 2012

Theater Talkback: 'The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs. Mike Daisey Tries Again -

And while I still believe Mr. Daisey was wrong to include falsified material in the show, a second encounter with “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs” served to remind me that Mr. Daisey is indeed a raconteur whose material would not have had the impact it had – would never have been the subject of that fateful radio program – if he were not such an effective entertainer. Whether comically emulating the screech of an early dot-matrix printer, gleefully describing his own obsessive attachment to his Apple products, or darkly admonishing us for “indifference” to the plight of the workers who fashion these now-indispensable gadgets, he holds the audience fast for two straight hours, with no intermission.

The response to the performance I caught in Washington was no less enthusiastic than when I saw the show at the Public Theater last fall. I didn’t hear any catcalls, but then it’s unlikely that those who decried Mr. Daisey’s fabrications would pay the price of a ticket just to jeer him. There’s something of a sad irony in the fact that “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs” Version 2.0 is, in my view, if anything more powerful, funny and engaging than the earlier production.