From defensiveness to disgust to an overwhelming desire to dive headfirst into a bowl of buttered mashed potatoes, money inspires more reaction in people than a Coen Brothers movie. Mike Daisey, first-person journalist and one of the finest solo performers of our time, takes full advantage of this emotional spectrum by guiding the audience through his deft arguments and witty commentary like a master puppeteer, benevolent yet incisive.
Sitting alone at a desk in the center of the stage, Daisey describes his travels during the financial crisis to a remote island in the South Pacific where American commerce is worshipped beneath an erupting volcano. Playing the two cultures off one another, Daisey illuminates our relationship with the vast machine of world finance. Struggling with dilemmas about what the collapse implies about our collective cultural values, The Last Cargo Cult has been called one of the best in Daisey’s impressive catalogue. It’s playing alongside The Agony and the Ecstacy of Steve Jobs this month.
Jan. 11–Feb. 27. 2025 Addison St., Berkeley. Tickets available at 510-647-2949 or berkeleyrep.org.