Microsoft's Bill Gates gets one-man show treatment in 'Windows'
Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, doesn't inspire the level of consumer devotion that the late Steve Jobs did, or even the young Mark Zuckerberg. But Gates' rise from computer nerd to one of the wealthiest men in America is a story that seems inevitably destined for dramatic treatment.
Starting Wednesday, the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble will host a one-week run of the play "Windows," a one-man biographical play in which Gates is played by German actor Clemens Schick. The play is by Mathias Greffrath and has been adapted by Schick and director Elias Perrig.
"Windows" will be presented in Los Angeles while New York's Public Theater is hosting "The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs," a one-man show written and performed by Mike Daisey. That play isn't a biography of Jobs, but rather a nonfiction monologue about the Apple co-founder and the company's relationship with factories in China.
"Windows" -- named for Microsoft's ubiquitous operating system -- likewise isn't a straightforward, linear biography of the computer executive. The press notes say that Schick mixes stand-up comedy, performance and theater, and that "there is no fixed version of the show."
Nor does the play appear to be a flattering portrayal of Gates. The notes say that it will explore Gates' "narcissistic fantasy to impress the world" as well as his desire for security that rests only when he "has conquered the globe."
"Windows" runs from Wednesday through Sunday. The Odyssey said that all performances are in English except for the Thursday show, which will be in German.
-- David Ng
Photo: A scene from "Windows," with Clemens Schick as Bill Gates. Credit: Odyssey Theatre Ensemble