Show got core facts on Apple wrong
Performer backs off factory claims
MNEW YORK ike Daisey, the offBroadway performer who admitted he made up parts of his oneman show about Apple products being made in Chinese sweatshops, has cut questionable sections from the monologue and added a prologue explaining the controversy.
Oskar Eustis, artistic director of the Public Theater, where the monologue is being performed, said Saturday that Mr. Daisey has “eliminated anything he doesn’t feel he can stand behind” from the show and added a section at the beginning in which he addresses the questions over how he has been portraying the work to the media.
Mr. Eustis called the prologue “the best possible frame we could give the audience for the controversy” and said Mr. Daisey agreed to make the changes — which are “his and his alone” — himself.
“Mike is a great storyteller, not a journalist. I wish he had been clearer about that distinction in the making of this piece,” Mr. Eustis said. “If we had understood the rules Mike was using to make the show, we would have framed it differently from the outset.”
Mr. Daisey portrayed his work as fact during a media blitz to promote his critically acclaimed show, and he misled dozens of news and entertainment outlets, including the popular public radio show “This American Life,” the Associated Press, The New York Times, MSNBC and HBO’S “Real Time with Bill Maher.”
But in an interview with “This American Life” host Ira Glass broadcast Friday, Mr. Daisey acknowledged that some of the claims in his show, “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs,” weren’t true. The show retracted its Jan. 6 episode because Mr. Glass said he couldn’t vouch for the truth of its claims.
Mr. Daisey, who admitted Friday on his website that the work is a mix of fact and fiction, did not respond to questions sent to his personal email account, and his publicist did not respond to a request for comment Saturday.
The controversy is unlikely to lessen the media scrutiny of the Chinese factories that make Apple products, since news outlets including the Times have reported about the dangerous working conditions in them, including explosions inside ipad plants where four people were killed
Besides the West End run, the Broadway run, the three Tony awards and the frequent international tours, Mr. Bourne’s show also earned a place in pop culture when it was referenced in the final scene of the 2000 film “Billy Elliot.” As Billy’s father arrives to see his grown-up son perform, it turns out Billy has become a Bourne swan.
“That was a great ending, and it’s done us a lot of good,” Mr. Bourne said. He explained that it wasn’t a total surprise, since he’d been sent the original script of the film for comments — a script that had grown-up Billy dancing the traditional prince role. He mentioned it might be better if Billy grew up to do something a little more, well, rebellious.
For NCM Fathom, which is presenting the screenings along with More2screen, Mr. Bourne’s “Swan Lake” was a particularly apt choice to introduce more people to 3-D ballet — a concept it obviously hopes will take off. (Future screenings are planned for other countries.)
“This particular version has some very special qualities about it,” said Dan Diamond, senior vice president of NCM Fathom Events. He added that of all the art forms, ballet fans have responded most enthusiastically to the concept of 3-D, according to the company’s research and its pilot screenings last summer of “Giselle,” another classic.
“First of all, ballet on a big screen is beautiful,” Mr. Diamond said. “What 3-D does is accentuate the nuances — the depth of field, the height of jumps. It just brings the audience closer. Our goal isn’t to use 3-D as a gimmick, but to enhance the experience.”
Mr. Bourne said he initially feared it could feel gimmicky, but was delighted with how it all came out. And, he added, imagine the possibilities.
“The potential for the performance of dance is thrilling,” he said.
She may be doomed to a lifetime of recognition as the girl who stole the best new artist Grammy from Justin Bieber, but Esperanza Spalding proves she deserves the award with this breezy solo record album. Come for the unique cover of Michael Jackson’s “I Can’t Help It.” Stay for Miss Spalding’s originals, which blur the lines between jazz, fusion and crossover pop.