Mike Daisey, Performance Artist, Hits Providence

Mike Daisey, performance artist and author of 21 Dog Years, his riff on the wacky world of Amazon.com, is coming to Rhode Island. He’ll be performing at The RISD Auditorium on September 30th at 8 pm. Tickets are $18 and are available through the FirstWorksProv website.

Here’s a summary about Monopoly! and some reviews from cities where it’s played:

In this devastating monologue about monopoly and its discontents, Mike Daisey explores the warped genius of inventor Nikola Tesla and his war with Thomas Edison over electricity–alternating current versus direct current–a battle that etched itself into the streets of New York City itself. This thread loops and whorls around Microsoft’s historic antitrust lawsuit, the secret history of the board game Monopoly, and ultimately the story of Daisey’s hometown and its one remaining retailer: Wal-Mart. As subversive as it is hilarious, Monopoly! illuminates the issues we confront under corporate rule, and explores the choices and struggles individuals face living in a system that recognizes only profit and loss.

“Relentlessly interesting . . . a brilliantly spun narrative. His show is ultimately about the messy and often unjust process of making official history. He fights back the best way he knows how–by telling even better stories.”

“Daisey’s monologue is as complex as his show’s stage design–chair, table, glass of water–is simple. If Daisey’s title suggests a screed against the more bullying aspects of American capitalism, rest assured that his political points are scored with precisely aimed wit and with a marvelously understated irony.”

“A whirlingly comic and subversive exploration of Nikola Tesla, Wal-Mart and corporate rule.”

“True to his form as an absolute master storyteller, Daisey’s stories are perfectly woven together. He leaves each short segment at a high point–just as you’re expecting to hear what happens next in the exciting story–moving on to continue where he left off in a different story. Daisey is incredibly smart, not just in his wealth of knowledge, but in his comedic skills as well. In predictable setups, he makes completely unexpected jokes. His gestures and expressions are enough to make people laugh even without dialogue. He furrows his brow in frustration, and he sculpts the air in front of him with his hands as if it were clay, grasping with his hands in emphasis.”

“Of all the wonderful concerts, theater pieces, operas, and performance art I saw, the one that provided me with the most consistent, nonstop entertainment was “Monopoly!,” Mike Daisey’s brilliant monologue about rival standards of electrical current and the menace of corporate America.”

While in town, Mike also promises to “visit the grave of H.P. Lovecraft and hopefully not be transformed into an unspeakable horror.” Here’s a picture, Mike, to help you find it in the Swan Point Cemetery.

Grave of HP Lovecraft