We have some bad news for you. Unless you see all four of Mike Daisey's "Great Men of Genius" monologues (and see them IN ORDER), you might miss the point.
While none of the promotional materials made this clear to us, GMOG is NOT in fact one man acting as four different "geniuses" -- Bertolt Brecht, P.T. Barnum, Nicola Tesla, and L. Ron Hubbard -- in four 75-minute monologues -- à la that guy who performed at our high school dressed as Abraham Lincoln and talked about the Gettysburg Address.
Rather, this is one five-hour monologue, broken up into four segments, wherein the true genius of the piece, Mike Daisey, interweaves vignettes from his life with the excerpted life stories of those famous men. He paints for us not only pictures of who these men were, but also of himself, and, by association, how the productivity and madness of genius can be expressed in our own lives.
And did we say he's funny? Daisey is freaking funny. And smart. By the second monologue, we were resolving to read more about historic figures, to similarly learn their anecdotes and become just that much more interesting.
Honestly, we were hardly excited at the prospect of five hours of theater on Sunday. Actually, more like six if you count the 15 minute intermissions, not to mention the two hours between matinee and evening shows (during which we highly recommend you dine at Downtown restaurant just up the street. If nothing else, eat the fried, anchovy-stuffed olives... once... in... your... life).