Review: Mike Daisey’s ‘This Is Not Normal’ at Philadelphia Theatre Company

It has been exactly one year since Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. In that year, countless artists, performers, actors, and professionals have found various forms of entertainment to help understand exactly how we got to this place as a country. Mike Daisey is no different, and he is here to unapologetically push it in your face with his one-man show This Is Not Normal.

Mike Daisey. Photo courtesy Philadelphia Theatre Company.
Mike Daisey. Photo courtesy Philadelphia Theatre Company.

Daisey’s one man show is a limited engagement playing at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre. The set is a simple chair and table, which Daisey sits in for the entirety of the show. His costume is simply a grey button-up with slacks and dress shoes. The lights never change and there are never any sound effects. There is no spectacle because the words are strong enough to carry the entire show – and they are powerful words indeed.

Over the course of the show, Daisey talks about everything from Trump to September 11th to detonating the atomic bomb to Starbucks to being on the moon with Roy Cohn. He goes through the history of America to figure out where we went wrong, what we need to change, and where we are going. His words are compelling and hard-hitting. His speech is conversational and engaging, and the show has plenty of humorous moments. It’s thought-provoking and makes you want to resist what is happening in society. I was told the show runs ninety minutes without intermission, but it was closer to two hours. At times sitting there for that long made me antsy, but that is a minor inconvenience to overcome when the presentation is so engrossing.

While This Is Not Normal was a one night event, he continues his discussion about roughly the same material with another one-man show, The End of Journalism. Daisey is a captivating storyteller, and this engagement is not to be missed.

Mike Daisey - This Is Not Normal / The End of JournalismRunning Time: Approximately 90 minutes to two hours, with no intermission.

Mike Daisey’s ‘The End of Journalism’ plays through November 11, 2017 at the Philadelphia Theatre Company, performing at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre – 480 South Broad Street, in Philadelphia, PA. For tickets, call the box office at (215) 985-0420, or purchase them online.


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