Mike Daisey, surprise, surprise, has a lot to say about Donald Trump

06.26.16
Mike Daisey
The Washington Post

By Peter Marks 
Mike Daisey’s latest one-man show is the closest thing to standup that he’s ever performed — in part because his subject is someone many regard as a national joke.
A vulgar and potentially dangerous joke, to be sure, as newspaper editorial pages across the country and a lot of ordinary folk have been pointing out for months. And so in “The Trump Card,” a scabrously funny monologue still in need of some narrative enrichment and streamlining, the voluble Daisey finds a useful and entertaining receptacle for the outrage that he summons so gleefully from his spleen.

“The Trump Card” ran last week at Woolly for a few workshop performances during a national theater conference in Washington (and to which the writer-performer invited reviewers). It’s one of the first of what will no doubt be a wave of theater pieces seeking to contextualize a mold-breaking political year. Seated, customarily, at a table with a few sheets of yellow legal paper, a glass of water and a washcloth to dab his brow, Daisey is armed again, too, with a broader insight to impart, in this case, having to do with the ascendance of The Donald and its connection to a web of malicious and ridiculous events. The malice arises from a moneyed background with an ugly, allegedly racist, root system; the ridiculous emergence from the crass American populism of trends like reality television; and semi-comical figures such as Sarah Palin. …

The show needs more of this kind of Daisey-on-the-scene. (A visit to Cleveland this summer for a certain convention might provide just the kind of material to make this a truly priceless account.)
Still, the free-floating, incredulous contempt suffusing “The Trump Card,” recalling the comedically sophisticated musings of an in-the-know satirist of another era, Mort Sahl, is in itself welcome at this unsettling moment. Because, more than anything else, what we all really want to do is vent. Read the full review