at AFS Cinema
"...But salted throughout Song About Himself are shards of poetry by Walt Whitman – the title itself an allusion to his verse – which reminds us of his eloquence in celebrating the self, his brilliance in considering every aspect of his own mind and body and using that self-understanding to expand his appreciation of others, of society, of the cosmos. Playwright Mickle Maher, who's been known to mash up unlikely elements to great effect (superheroes and Shakespeare's The Tempest in Spirits to Enforce, the Bush-Kerry debates and Albert Camus in The Strangerer, both produced by Capital T), mashes up Whitman and social media to show us how the words of the poet – words words words in musical, explosive, thrilling combinations – may unlock the mystery of identity..."
"...This is your chance, right now, to stop reading. Then you can experience the pleasure of knowing very little about Mickle Maher's play There Is a Happiness That Morning Is and instead discover for yourself a bizarre, brilliant play that is capable of reordering your brain a bit...."
"...Pickell's equanimity is something that Jason Phelps, who hadn't worked with the director before signing on with Catmull for the Mickle Maher two-hander, soon noted. "He's very calm about everything and creates a stress-free working space..."
"...9) SONG ABOUT HIMSELF (Capital T Theatre) Cap T's Mark Pickell had such a sockdolager of a hit offering Mickle Maher's There Is a Happiness That Morning Is – a sort of modern rom-com celebration of William Blake's writings – with Katherine Catmull, Ken Webster, and Jason Phelps, that he decided to stage Maher's Song About Himself – a sort of Black Mirror celebration of Walt Whitman's writings – with those same actors. Holy shit: We'd be happy to see variations of this combination again and again and again...."
"...10) SONG ABOUT HIMSELF (Capital T Theatre) The reunion of writer Mickle Maher with Katherine Catmull, Jason Phelps, and Ken Webster made this Twilight Zone-like tale of a search for connection and identity in the wastes of the Web sing like a Whitman ode...."
"...You fall into someone else's world and identify with it, laugh with it, cry with it, etc. I mean, it's harder than reading, of course – says the woman who is currently learning a massive line-load for a gorgeous, extraordinary play, Mickle Maher's Song About Himself, but that's the core of it..."
"...Mickle Maher, playwright: Of course the war on drugs is a failure, as impossible wars on near-abstractions will always be, and of course all drugs should be legal – including LSD. But thirty years ago you ask me this, I say "Never mind legal, why not required?" I had read my Aldous Huxley and listened to my Jim Morrison and was a passionate advocate for everyone getting their heads fed. Then I took an abnormally potent purple microdot and, frozen alone on an absent friend's absent friend's dirty apartment carpet, listened to “Tied to the Whipping Post” on repeat for three centuries, taking a stroll after, through four lanes of traffic in my socks, spiraling down finally in the field behind a Wendy's convinced I'd shot through a dimensional portal. It was scary..."
"...Mickle Maher, playwright: The Moderation. Largely self-imposed, largely necessarily so..."
"...For whatever bizarre impulse led playwright Mickle Maher to mash up Albert Camus and the 2004 presidential race, we're grateful. It served up a feast of provocative political satire and, in this staging, the perverse glee of watching Robert Pierson's spot-on W implode. 10) Mr..."
"...Enter Mickle Maher, the fiercely intellectual Chicago playwright, and his play The Strangerer, in which he places Bush's apparent bafflement within the context of the challenging work of French existential writer Albert Camus, and creates a play that takes place during a 90-minute debate between Kerry (Ken Webster) and Bush (Robert Pierson), moderated by Jim Lehrer (Jason Phelps)...."
"...1) Joked with my editor that the first nine slots of this list would repeat 'THERE IS A HAPPINESS THAT MORNING IS' (Capital T Theatre). That brilliant Mickle Maher comedy, about the consequences of two William Blake-enamored professors engaging in glorious copulation on the campus lawn in view of their students, was by far the best thing I experienced in a year thick with superlative works of art..."
"...For a reviewer, superlatives are like fine spices: One can only afford to use so many. In this case, however, I must: Capital T Theatre's Spirits To Enforce by Mickle Maher is the best play I've seen at FronteraFest in the five years I've attended..."