Last night found a curious coincidence of timing. (it might be somewhat redundant to use the words "coincidence" and "timing" in the same sentence) Two nights ago I posted a blog entry about my experince entering into the world of iPad. I closed that blog with a comment certifying the visionary brilliance of Steve Jobs. Last night Leslie and I went to a play at Woolly Mammoth Theater entitled "The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs." As we were heading off to the play and found that amusingly curious. But then we say the play.
First a little background on our experience with theater. Leslie and I have been season ticket holders at multiple theaters for over two decades. We currently have season tickets at the Shakespeare Theater, The Folger Theater and Woolly Mammoth. We've also had season tickets for multiple years at The Kennedy Center, Arena Stage and Signature Theater. Plus we've seen single plays at many other theaters. We obviously really like live theater and have certainly gone to more plays over the years than movies. We have seen literally hundreds of plays at excellent theaters and most of the plays have been very good to excellent as well. I relate this information only to give context to "Wow !"
The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs is a one man presentation of theater. Mike Daisey is a self-proclaimed life-long techno geek and a journalist. He is both the creator and performer of this play. It is at the same time amusing, engaging, poignant, personal, absolutely hilarious, informative and moving. That's a lot. It delivers in spades on all accounts. It is very rare the we've seen a play so much fun, so interesting and so moving all at once.
I am making this post to encourage everyone who sees this to get to the Woolly Mammoth Theater and see The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs while it is still here. It runs until April 17. Find the time, steal it from somewhere out of your life, make it happen. You will walk out of the theater thinking that you’re glad you took the time to go. Spread the word, tell your friends. The theater is small, there's really not a bad seat in the house. There's a bit of cursing for sure, but there was a large contingent of high school girls in the theater last night so take teenagers. It would be good. The teenagers there stood in applause at the end.
I sometimes make a recommendation to someone if I think they, in particular, will find a play interesting. I can't recall making such a sweeping recommendation, however. Anyone in our industry should see this. If you've ever had or used an Apple product you will identify with parts of it. His look-back accounting of the history of Apple and Steve Jobs is done is a captivating sort of way that is also very interesting and informative.
But there is much, much more. If you have an iPhone, iPod or really any kind of electronic device this play will be relevant to you. You will most definitely laugh, a lot! Mike Daisey's style of humor is fantastically, almost fanatically on target. You won't cry, but you will never be quite the same. And he tells you that and when he does you realize that you can't deny it. Don't ask me in the kitchen what I mean by that. I don't have his story telling ability and the message would be lost as I took things out of context from the play. It would be far better discussed between people who have seen it.
But it is also completely true that we, the somewhat jaded theater goers, experienced something last night we are unlikely to forget for the rest of our lives. Now THAT'S some rare and excellent theater!