Has Mike Daisey grown tired of hearing himself talk? The storyteller from Maine—who launched his theater career in Seattle with a monologue about working at Amazon.com, before moving to New York—has finally written a play.

Daisey has a rich, restless imagination. His monologues amble through the halls of the American mind—Monopoly! concerned Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison, Microsoft, board games, experimental theater, Wal-Mart, and his Maine hometown—and the new play, titled The Moon Is a Dead World, is set in a remote military outpost in Greenland during the Cold War.

In a remote radio-espionage station, Americans Peter Nimitz (a cursing, gnashing General MacArthur type played by Jack Hamblin) and Cal Anderson (a sweet, literate, knock-kneed character named after Washington's first openly gay state senator and played by Clayton Weller) are bored and crabby, listening to the Soviets hurl one cosmonaut after another into space. The cosmonauts always die.

A lovelorn, slightly dumb cosmonaut named Gregor (Zachariah Robinson) is trapped by a radio wave and beamed down to the Americans, suffering as their prisoner until he discovers his magical, postmortem powers. Gregor can read minds, reverse time, and make things happen just by thinking about them. ("Is it hard to keep it under control?" Cal asks, during one of their few friendly conversations. "There are two Grand Canyons now," Gregor answers. "I keep undoing it, but it comes back. I must really want it to be that way.")

The Moon Is a Dead World operates by flimsy comic-book logic: Gregor is a "fucking suckling infant god," as Nimitz describes him, but trapped at the outpost for obscure reasons. And, like many comic books, Moon uses its supernatural characters as a way to think about power. Gregor doesn't try to bring down the running dogs of American capitalism. He just wants to be left alone to conjure beyond-the-grave, superhero love (another dead cosmonaut, Irina, played by Pamala Mijatov). That does not go so well. In the end, a lack of love—rather than love itself—conquers all.

Daisey the playwright doesn't threaten to eclipse Daisey the storyteller. (Not yet, anyway.) Moon is a minor work, with a few traces of an inaugural playwright: Some direct address ("such a well-fed group!"), some overflorid passages ("I am Irina That Was, born from my mother's womb in the high, thin forests of the Urals, the Irina who lived and suffered and died beyond the edge of the sky"), and some theater-dork inside-jokes (Nimitz on Chekhov: "Fuck him—you actually think I'll throw down because of some we-gaze-into-the-abyss, creep-ass bullshit?").

The production, like the play, is a fledgling—it wobbles, but never topples. And in the moments when it finds its feet, Moon is a small, sweet pleasure. recommended