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Monday, September 17, 2007

Mike Daisey's monologue Tongues Will Wag this Wednesday

Mike Daisey's Tongues Will Wag

Mike Daisey is simply phenomenal. A lot of people were introduced to his work by the people who vandalized and disrupted it this summer. But in a way, that's totally old news, as it should be; there was a good bit of press about it but I think the sign of a real artist is someone who can move on from that. I'm going to quote the New York Times because they hit the nail on the head:

“What distinguishes him from most solo performers is how elegantly he blends personal stories, historical digressions and philosophical ruminations. He has the curiosity of a highly literate dilettante and a preoccupation with alternative histories, secrets large and small, and the fuzzy line where truth and fiction blur. Mr. Daisey’s greatest subject is himself.”

For instance, I know from previous shows that Mike had a girlfriend, I think in college, who got pregnant and wound up keeping the baby, and he's told this story in two shows I've seen, in different ways, with different details. But this one sounds really special, and I shall indeed be there to behold the magic. Any writer looking for examples of someone who talks a lot, and fast, for a long time, in a row, but never once wastes his words, should go see Mike's monologues (and since I'm a promo freak lately, check out his promotional artwork and flyers. I remember after TRUTH we heard about the details of getting that photo exactly right.

What's really amazing is that you know it's rehearsed, you know it's a work, a monologue, but it also just feels like a conversation he's having, with you personally, you're just waiting your turn to talk, and don't mind because what he's saying is so fascinating.

Created and Performed by Mike Daisey
Directed by Jean-Michele Gregory

Wedesday, September 19th at 8pm
Ars Nova
511 West 54th Street
New York, NY 10019
(between 10th and 11th Avenues)


Mike Daisey’s latest monologue, Tongues Will Wag is a two-headed tale of love and loss within the intense love affair between Man’s Best Friend and the humans who love them. By turns heartbreaking and hilarious, Daisey illuminates the difficult decisions we all face when bringing new life into the world through the unlikely story of two would-be parents raising a puppy to adulthood. From housebreaking to obedience classes to family planning, Tongues Will Wag confronts the difficult questions all new parents face with honesty, humor and delightful candor.

MIKE DAISEY has been called “the master storyteller” and “one of the finest solo performers of his generation” by the New York Times for his monologues, which take on matters personal and historic, small and large, to illuminate an individual, a culture, and a world that is as heartbreaking as it is hilarious. His monologues include Monopoly!, TRUTH, Invincible Summer, Tongues Will Wag, The Ugly American, I Miss the Cold War, and 21 Dog Years, and over the past decade he has performed his unique brand of extemporaneous storytelling at venues such as the Public Theater, American Repertory Theatre, the Spoleto Festival, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, the Cherry Lane, Yale Rep, Portland Stage Company, Intiman, Performance Space 122, and many more. He’s been a guest on the Late Show with David Letterman, his work has been heard on the BBC and NPR, and his groundbreaking series All Stories Are Fiction is available through His first book, 21 Dog Years: A Cubedweller’s Tale, was published by the Free Press and he is working on a second book, Great Men of Genius, adapted from his monologues about the lives of Bertolt Brecht, P.T. Barnum, Nikola Tesla, and L. Ron Hubbard. He lives with his director and collaborator, Jean-Michele Gregory, in Brooklyn.

And this is not about Mike, but is about Monopoly, the game, inspired by a passage in Frances Moore Lappeé's Getting a Grip (still reading, highly recommended though) - here's a history of the game from

That's another thing - the ideas and stories Mike delivers onstage are ones that stay with you, because it's too much to absorb all at once in your seat. They kindof seep into your ears and brain and stay there, simmering, waiting to be explored further.


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