Michael Moore Says He Wants to Change Minds. So Why Is He on Broadway?

“This is not a kumbaya piece of theater,” he said. “I’m not looking for everyone to hold hands. I want people to leave with a sense that they’ve been moved in a profound way.”

In some ways, his timing couldn’t be better. His show arrives amid a period of liberal soul searching, when any vaguely oppositional voice, whether a left-leaning columnist or late-night host, has gotten a second wind in the Trump era. Perhaps Mr. Moore, with his rumpled baseball hat and Midwestern bona fides, can offer some answers.

But why take his act to Broadway? If it’s true that he preaches to the choir — as his detractors on the right and the left say — speaking to a self-selected group of New York theatergoers seems to restrict his message to a rarefied bubble. What does Mr. Moore, who is known for a biting, sarcastic politics of outrage, think he can do differently, talking to about 1,000 people who have paid as much as $149 a seat?


Mr. Moore, left, and the director Michael Mayer.

Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

He has made big promises, but sometimes it’s hard to determine if he knows what he wants to do and just won’t reveal it in advance, or if he’s still figuring it out as he goes along.

On a recent Monday afternoon, Mr. Moore was admiring the set for his show, in previews here beginning Friday, July 28, and opening Thursday, Aug. 10.

The stage was dominated by a gigantic structure made to look like an American flag, painted white, á la Jasper Johns. At various moments, video from that day’s news, usually involving Mr. Trump, was projected on it.

Though he is known principally for his politically pointed nonfiction films, like “Bowling for Columbine,” his Academy Award-winning exploration into the 1999 high school shooting, and American gun culture, Mr. Moore has past experience with solo stage…

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