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The Boston Globe

Theater & art

Stage Review

Utopian tales and a search for community

When Mike Daisey recalls a scene from the Burning Man festival in his latest monologue, “American Utopias,” he might as well be describing himself. “There are people,” he says, “who cannot enjoy an experience until they are telling the story to someone else.”

Daisey has made a career out of telling tales. He sits, Spalding Gray-style, at a wooden table, armed only with a stack of legal paper, a glass of water, and a cloth to mop his brow. This particular saga, performed last weekend at the Paramount Center Mainstage as part of Arts­Emerson’s The Next Thing Festival, explores the unique American itch to create a better community. He takes us to three disparate places: Disney World, Burning Man, and Zuccotti Park, the public plaza in New York where the Occupy Wall Street movement began.

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