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The Last Cargo Cult 

When: Jan. 11-15, 8 p.m., Sat., Jan. 15, 2 p.m., Sun., Jan. 16, 2 & 7 p.m., Every other Tuesday, Thursday-Saturday, 8 p.m., Every other Wednesday, 7 p.m., Every other Wednesday, Thursday, 2 p.m. and Every other Sunday, 2 & 7 p.m. Continues through Feb. 21 2011
Price: $29-$59

In recent weeks, monologist Mike Daiseyhas enjoyed an ubiquitous presence in the blogosphere, partly because he's a hot new conceiver of one-man-shows, but mostly because his latest is a trenchant critique of ailing Apple CEO Steve Jobs. It opened this week at Berkeley Rep, in conjunction with The Last Cargo Cult, Daisey's monologue about witnessing the John Frum Daycelebration in Tanna. He uses John Frum -- a religious practice that spawned the Tannese "cargo cult" of the play's title -- as a point of departure for challenging western materialism. The idea behind John Frum is to disavow consumer culture and return to a more ascetic lifestyle (called kastom),, which, Daisey argues, might be salutary for Americans, too. Daisey had the brilliant idea of re-creating the ceremony by handing out money as patrons walk in the door. His story, delivered extemporaneously and in a characteristically pungent tone, is riveting. Better yet is the set design by Seth Reiser, who frames Daisey with a mountain of cardboard packages, advertising everything from Zappos to MacPro. Through February 27 at Berkeley Repertory Theatre (2025 Addison St., Berkeley). $17-$71.

— Rachel Swan


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