BWW Review: Seattle Rep Examines Raw America with Mike Daisey's A PEOPLE'S HISTORY

BWW Review: Seattle Rep Examines Raw America with Mike Daisey's A PEOPLE'S HISTORY
Mike Daisey in A People's History
at Seattle Rep.
Photo credit: Ursa Waz

Welcome class, I'm going to need you to put your phones away and open your minds to learn about the history of our country. No, I mean REALLY open your minds to learn about the REAL history of our country ... and then some. It won't be an easy night for some but what Mike Daisey puts forth with his "A People's History" is certainly an eye-opening journey into the deep, dark crevasses of our sordid past as a nation.

Daisey's premise is simple. Most of us weren't taught what really happened from our U.S. History classes. So, he's taken his old High School History text book and compared it to Howard Zinn's "A People's History Of The United States" and then added his own commentary on how what happened before, including the horrific things we did in the name of patriotism, are still happening today. He's distilled said history of America down to 18 essays, each about 90 minutes long, ranging from 1492 when Columbus sailed the ocean blue to 2018 when our country elected a man orange. Depending on the night you go you will get a different chapter. But don't think you'll be able to pick and choose the topics you want. Daisey has smartly labeled the chapters simply 1-18 with no further information and I'm not about to change that by letting you in on the one's I was privy to.

What I will tell you, as is usual with Daisey, is that he doesn't pull any punches. If you've seen any of his other shows you know that you're in for an evening of no holds barred, no language censored, Daisey. And yes, he is talking about history, but he's also pepping in liberal doses of his own viewpoints and their correlations to current events. Sometimes quite current as one of the shows I witnessed even mentioned news that broke that very day. So not only are his essays about history, but also quite topical and ever evolving. But even if you share Daisey's liberal viewpoints, as I do, don't think you're in for an easy time. Daisey makes it quite clear that even though we may not be the direct culprits of terror, that doesn't mean we're not guilty, some of us, at least to some extent. Of course, it's not all finger wagging and chastising. In Daisey style he delivers the blow with tons of humor, some self-deprecating, but all quite intelligent and cutting.

And if, after you've had a taste of one of his chapters and you long for more (and why wouldn't you?), then the Rep even has deals for you to come back for other nights at a discounted rate. And so, with my three-letter rating system, I give the Seattle Rep's production of "A People's History" an affected and thoughtful YAY. Just keep that open mind, class, and you'll be fine.

"A People's History" performs at the Seattle Rep through November 25th. For tickets or information contact the Seattle Rep box office at 206-443-2222 or visit them online at

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From This Author Jay Irwin

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