(Soloski’s article appeared in the 3/14 Village Voice.)
Can a play ever be too truthful? The Pulitzer committee once thought so. In 1994, it disallowed Anna Deavere-Smith’s Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992from its drama prize on the grounds that Deavere-Smith relied solely on the words of those she interviewed. (The Tonys permitted the play, though it lost to Angels in America: Perestroika.)
Eighteen years on, a successful solo show is again fomenting questions about drama and journalism, art and accountability. But in this instance, regarding Mike Daisey’s The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, the problem is not that the piece is too truthful, but that it apparently isn’t truthful enough.