A deeper look into the life of Jobs

Mike Daisey stars in “The Agony and The Ecstasy of Steve Jobs,” now at the Public Theater.

“The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs,” Mike Daisey’s timely one-man show, centers on the life (and, as an afterthought, death) of Steve Jobs and the shady practices surrounding the technology whiz’s iconic business conglomerate. The writer-actor’s infectious enthusiasm and love for his subject is the piece de resistance that invests us in the allegory and makes its grimness even harder to bear. It takes us from the shallow comforts of our warm computer screen glow to the bowels of China where anything Apple is built on the backs of workers of whose ages are as questionable as the company’s ethics. Daisey parcels our medicine about the dark side to this IT titan in a spoonful of candy-like anecdotes that we can’t stop gorging on. It’s the rare balance of information and comedy that’s key to hooking audiences in the Jon Stewart news world.

The monologue runs nearly two hours without an intermission. Though there’s minimal staging (a light board, table and chair), and Daisey remains seated throughout, the performance comes off as a physical feat. The material is a high-wire balancing act best left to one who understands comedic timing, audience tol­er­ance and energy allotment — such as its author.

The one downside is that it’s missing the firm hand of an editor who isn’t too close to the source.
There’s no doubt that a slightly tighter script would seal the seams on a nearly flawless show.
Understandably, Jobs’ sudden passing just over a week before opening night meant that the play’s ending was abruptly tweaked — and doubled in weight sheerly by the burden of context — but the dramatic judgment passed in the last minutes could benefit from a delivery as curt as it is acrid and astute.   



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Mayor announces public housing improvements

Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem on Wednesday, calling for the scaffolding to come down at NYCHA complexes across…

National

Peter Theo Curtis: American released by Syrian militants…

An American writer freed this week from two years in the captivity of insurgents in Syria spoke briefly outside his family's Cambridge home Wednesday of…

Local

Bratton defends 'broken windows' work as NYPD support…

Sixty percent of those polled said they support the "broken windows" theory approach popularized by Commissioner Bratton since his first term in the 1990s.

Local

Transit changes for Labor Day weekend

The MTA is adding additional service Friday for New Yorkers getting out of the city for the long weekend. On Friday, Aug. 29, 27 additional…

Television

'Full House' might be relaunched with some of…

A new "Full House" might be in the works.

Movies

Review: 'The Congress' is a crazy, unwieldy sci-fi…

Robin Wright is the center of gravity in "The Congress," which turns from a live-action Hollywood satire into an animated spectacular on a downer future.

Movies

Review: 'The Last of Robin Hood' is a…

Dakota Fanning plays Errol Flynn's (Kevin Kline) teenage gal pal in "The Last of Robin Hood," which takes a scandal and makes it dully empathetic.

Movies

Review: The uneven 'Life of Crime' mostly gets…

Elmore Leonard's "The Switch" becomes the new indie crime dramedy "Life of Crime," with Jennifer Aniston as a kidnapped woman whose husband won't pay up.

Sports

Serena Williams leaving legacy of talented American women…

It seems only a matter of when, not if, Serena Williams will win her 18th career grand slam championship.

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

NFL

Dimitri Patterson suspended only for rest of preseason…

Dimitri Patterson ended up getting just a slap on the wrist.

Sports

Eugenie Bouchard excited for 'rowdy' fans at US…

Eugenie Bouchard is sure to endear herself to New York's tennis faithful as she tries to win her first grand slam title across the next two weeks.

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…

Sex

The 10 types of people you meet online

Does it ever seem like online dating profiles tend to get a little repetitive? It turns out you are not the only one to have…

Home

Labor Day essentials

Whether you’re soaking up the sun on the beach or barbecuing in the park here are some must-haves for your end-of-summer bash.

Education

Does the school day start too early?

As thousands of high schoolers get ready to head back to class, health experts say it may be time to push back the start of…