BWW Review: A PEOPLE'S HISTORY at Capital Fringe
Master monologist Mike Daisey is known locally for his many performances at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. When you go to a Mike Daisey performance you expect to continue the conversation afterwards. His stuff is that thought provoking and is always spot on.
This year Mike Daisey is performing his epic and I do mean epic monologue A People's History as part of the Capital Fringe Festival's Curated Series and it is unlike any of his other shows. In fact on his opening night I only saw one eighteenth of it. Now before you think I walked out of a Mike Daisey performance early, let me explain myself.
A People's History is Daisey's take on American history starting with that crisp day in 1492 all the way up to the present. Along the way he draws parallels between what happened then and what is happening now. Each evening is considered a chapter and there are eighteen of them. You read that right the man from Maine who did not find American History interesting in school is doing a 30 hour monologue on it. In order to see all of them you need to come back every night of his engagement.
Chapter one is entitled The Gold Earring and in it Daisey draws a first contact parallel between Star Trek and Christopher Columbus. Also included are stories about his school days with his American History teacher and he also touches on slavery. Some of his statistics are staggering as are his thoughts on our current administration.
Throughout it all, Daisey shows us yet again that his huge personality and stellar storytelling skills make him the country's foremost monologist working today.
There are many viewing options at Capital Fringe but it isn't often that this kind of performance is seen there. Even if you are only able to catch one or two installments of A People's History you will definitely get a taste of what is the artistry of Mike Daisey.
Running Time: 90 minutes per chapter with no intermission.
A People's History runs through July 21, 2019 in the Kogod Cradle at Arena Stage which is located at 1101 6th Street, SW in Washington, DC. For tickets, click here.