Daisey’s tale of pretending to be an American businessman to gain access to factories is harrowing and hilarious, and strikes the same balance that the show as a whole does. His animated, outraged bellowing sounds like a combination of John Goodman and Jeff Garlin, and just when he has you hunched over from laughter, he segues into something more thought-provoking. Friday’s audience was alternately roaring and pin-drop-silent without much room for anything in between.
The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs is a show that demands a greater engagement with the world around us. It’s not insular in any way. Some people won’t appreciate that. Some will wonder why Daisey is picking on Apple when tons of other tech companies use the same factories (he explains it's Apple’s position as industry leader that makes it the most effective target). Some will bristle at the increasingly preachy tone the show takes in its final minutes and the handout passed out by ushers when leaving that explains options for further advocacy.
As entertaining and engaging a performer as he is, it’s pretty clear Daisey wants to be more than an impetus for a few laughs and a fun night out. He wants you to laugh at his own arcane obsessions and his blistering hate for PowerPoint. He also wants you to think about your mindset in regard to consumer culture and the costs inherent within. Like it or not, The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs is most likely going to do both.
The show is on stage through May 22, with performances Wednesday through Sunday. Tickets are available at Seattle Rep’s website.