Great Men of Genius, Mike Daisey's Funny Series About Historical Figures
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The last date listed for Mike Daisey's Great Men of Genius was Sunday June 24, 2007 / 7:00pm (Tesla and Hubbard).
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In this modern masterwork -- critically praised as a unique mix of Oscar Wilde and Bertolt Brecht -- the great Irish writer George Bernard Shaw pits a military industrialist against his crusading daughter. She's a Salvation Army major; he's an arms manufacturer and whiskey distiller -- on certain issues, they could not disagree more. But when he begins donating money to her organization, matters come to a head as the characters grapple with questions of business, faith, family and philanthropy. After 16 years, A.C.T. brings Shaw back to the stage with this co-production with Theatre Calgary, one of A.C.T.'s favorite Canadian collaborators, featuring an international cast of Canadian and American actors. Learn More
Reviews & Ratings
Quotes & Highlights
- “The master storyteller…one of the finest solo performers of his generation.” —New York Times
- “A charismatic performer, his shows have the insightful hostility of the best comedy.” —New Yorker
- “Sharp-witted, passionately delivered talk about matters both small and huge, at once utterly individual and achingly universal.” —Boston Globe
- “Watching a Mike Daisey show is a lot like staying up all night listening to the maniacal rantings of the smartest kid in your dorm holding forth on science, art, showmanship, megalomania and, of course, Star Trek…I laughed so hard I cried." —San Jose Mercury News
- “A large man of unstoppable energy, he’s a fast, inventive, exceptionally funny storyteller with crisp comic timing and an amazingly flexible voice.” —San Francisco Chronicle
Masterful monologist Mike Daisey, creator/performer of 21 Dog Years: Doing Time at Amazon.com and The Ugly American, returns to Berkeley Rep with Great Men of Genius, a series of shows that apply his trademark wit and unique perspective to fascinating historical figures. In alternating shows, Mike profiles the legendary lives of P.T. Barnum, Bertolt Brecht, L. Ron Hubbard and Nikola Tesla, exploring the nature of genius and the pride, insanity and chauvinism that bind these men together.
Bertolt Brecht: playwright, poet, lover of women and certifiable cad who escaped Nazi Germany, sympathized with the Communists, failed in Hollywood, was persecuted by McCarthy and redefined world theater.
P.T. Barnum: gifted entrepreneur, showman, raconteur, hoaxster, freakshow and circus promoter who changed the face of nineteenth century America through blatant, shameless lying.
Nikola Tesla: mad genius, brilliant scientist and visionary who sparred with Thomas Edison and died insane and penniless writing love sonnets to pigeons after bringing the world electricity as we know it.
L. Ron Hubbard: bigamist, occultist and charismatic science fiction author-turned-guru who took 1950s popular psychiatry by storm and went on to create the Church of Scientology: the most celebrity-driven and litigious organization on Earth.
Each monologue runs 75 minutes.
Created and performed by Mike Daisey
Directed by Jean-Michele Gregory
About Mike Daisey
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, including 21 Dog Years, Invincible Summer, Truth, Great Men of Genius, Monopoly!, The Ugly American, I Miss the Cold War and Wasting Your Breath, which he has performed Off-Broadway, across the country and around the world. He’s been a guest on "The Late Show with David Letterman"; his work has been heard on the BBC, NPR and the National Lampoon Radio Hour; and his groundbreaking series All Stories Are Fiction is available through Audible.com.
Currently he’s a commentator for NPR’s "Day To Day"; a contributor to WIRED, Slate and Salon; a web contributor to Vanity Fair and Radar Magazine; and his writing appears in the anthology The Best Tech Writing 2006. His first film, "Layover," is being distributed by Lars von Trier’s company, Zentropa, and he stars in the Lawrence Krauser feature "Horrible Child." 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 genius and megalomania in the lives of Bertolt Brecht, P.T. Barnum, Nikola Tesla and L. Ron Hubbard.
About the Ticket Supplier: Berkeley Repertory Theatre
Known for its amazing and adventurous audience, the nonprofit has provided a home for emerging and established artists since 1968. With two stages and a Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre, Berkeley Rep premieres exhilarating new plays and reimagined classics. In the last five years alone, the company has helped send five shows to Broadway: Green Day's American Idiot, Bridge & Tunnel, In the Next Room (or the vibrator play), Passing Strange and Wishful Drinking. Come see tomorrow's plays today at Berkeley Rep.
Berkeley Rep operates two performance spaces: the Roda Theatre, a state-of-the-art 600-seat proscenium theatre, and the intimate, 400-seat Thrust Stage. The Theatre is located in the heart of downtown Berkeley's arts district, just a half block from the Berkeley BART station, near lots of restaurants, cafe, pubs, and cool retailers.