Spring Arts Guide 2013

American Utopias March 25-April 21 at Woolly Mammoth

Just months after he performed a revised version of The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, the factually fast-and-loose performance piece based on inhumane conditions in China’s Apple plants, monologist Mike Daisey returns to Woolly Mammoth. Daisey has spent the last year struggling to contain the controversy that erupted when This American Life discovered he’d fabricated some of the practices he described in Foxconn’s factories in China. He eventually wrote a new monologue that dealt directly with his personal journey dealing with the fallout of the scandal (The Orient Express [Or, the Value of Failure]). Now, he’s trying to move on with American Utopias, a monologue that examines America’s artificial utopias.

On the surface, places like Disney World, Burning Man, and Zuccotti Park during its Occupy days might not seem like they have all that much in common. Daisey ties them together as physical manifestations of dreams, places that we build to give their inhabitants a place for idealized realities to play themselves out. The work premiered last autumn in Chicago to largely positive reviews, and fans of Daisey may be just as glad as the performer himself to put a rough 2012 behind him and move on to new frontiers. After all, for someone with as much to say on as many different subjects as Daisey, one imagines the worst possible thing is to be stuck in the same place, talking about the same thing for months on end. $35-$67.50.

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