A rainy evening in the East Village welcomed the opening night of the new off-Broadway play, TESLA. All that was missing were bolts of lightning, which would have been appropriate given that Nikola Tesla was born at midnight during a thunder storm. Inside the theater the electricity was as vibrant as the topic of the show. Not a seat was to be found in the packed theater – not even standing room was left available. They were not to be disappointed.
For much of the play there are actually two Nikola Teslas onstage. Jack Dimich plays the older Tesla living out the end of his life in the Hotel New Yorker, ruminating over his inability to offer a particle beam to stop Hitler’s assaults on Yugoslavia. As Tesla chats with bellhop Luka (played by Luka Mijatovic), whom he has enlisted to feed his pigeons, he is joined by his younger self, who relives the glory days of invention. Young Tesla, played enthusiastically by James Lee Taylor, stars throughout as he meets his idol (and then rival) Thomas Edison, cavorts with Mark Twain, sees his dreams come true with the backing of George Westinghouse, and then those dreams dashed by J.P. Morgan.
Alessandro Colla gives spirited performances both as Westinghouse and Twain. Adam Pagdon brings to life J.P. Morgan in a way that makes you both respect and despise the man who financed, then rejected, Tesla’s Wardenclyffe plans. Tom Cappadona is simply stellar as Thomas Edison, the self-made businessman whose investment in direct current leads him to encourage the electrocution of puppies and people to show the dangers of Tesla’s alternating current. Samantha Slater does double duty playing Katherine Johnson, the wife of Tesla’s friend and supporter Robert Underwood Johnson, as well as Mary, Edison’s enthusiastically social-climbing wife.
A Play Based on the Life of Nikola Tesla
The life of the extraordinary scientist, Nikola Tesla, may not be as well known to individuals as Thomas Edison; but should be considering the things he discovered and invented in the field of electrical science. The Serbian-American scientist most known for inventing the rotating magnetic field and production and distribution of electrical energy based on the use of alternate currents has become more prominent over the years through museums and other art forms. Fascinated by his life and the things he created, Serbian-American director, Sanja Bestic, has teamed up with writer Sheri Graubert to tell the story of Tesla’s life in their new off-Broadway play, Tesla. The play, which will consist of an intimate cast of six actors, three of which will be playing double rolls, will have a preview night on May 23rd at 7pm. Tesla will officially open on May 24th at 8pm and run through June 8th at Theatre 80 with Sunday Matinees at 3pm. With this year being the 70th anniversary of Tesla’s passing, Bestic couldn’t have thought of a more perfect time to bring Tesla into the spotlight. Putting her heart and soul into the life of Tesla, Bestic has gained the support of The Tesla Science Foundation, Nikola Tesla Club, Nikola Tesla Inventors Club of the US, The Consulate General of the Republic of Serbia in New York, The Office for Cooperation with Diaspora and Serbs in the Region, as well as Vuk Jeremic who is a Serbian physicist, Politician and President of the United Nations General Assembly.
The play lives out Nikola Tesla’s final days in his New York hotel room as he is torn over the destruction and devastation occurring back in his homeland. It will take a look back through the eyes of an older Tesla into his younger years as a scientific inventor in his lab and work place. Tesla will explore the many risks Nikola Tesla took in the scientific realm discovering things that would have brought several advanced technologies to us many years prior to when we actually had them. It will also shine light on Tesla’s relationship with Thomas Edison and will make the audience think twice about Edison’s discoveries.
The play will star James Lee Taylor, a New York based English actor and model, who will fill the shoes of Nikola Tesla. Taylor, who grew up in a show business family (his father was a comedian and mother, a successful model), always harbored dreams of following in his parents’ footsteps. Modeling and acting being his two main passions, Taylor is signed under Select Model Management and IMG New York and recently starred in the play, The Tiger. Graduated from the world famous Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, Taylor is looking forward to bringing such an important character such as Tesla to life. He will also star in the upcoming documentary on Nikola Tesla next year also directed and produced by Sanja Bestic.
The Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe opened the gate for news media today for the first time ever. Representatives of the media included:
Daniel Brennan - Newsday
Paul Squire - Riverhead News Review
Joe Pinciaro - Patch
Kevin Wood - SWRWeekly.com/RememberTesla.com
Karl Grossman - Community Journal, E Hampton Star, etc.
Stewart Wolpin - NBC/Universal - DVICE.com
Erika Karp - Times Beacon Record
Frank Eltman - AP
Spencer Rumsey - LI Press
Charles Lane - WSHU/NPR
Kristin Goat - Bluechip Marketing
The board members of the Tesla Science Center showed media the lab, the tower base and answered many questions about the history and the future plans at the site. Photos (C) SWRWeekly.com
Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe is a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit corporation in the state of New York, dedicated to saving and restoring Wardenclyffe, and transforming it into a science learning center and museum.
Saturday 9 am to 12 Noon - Volunteers helped to clean up the perimeter areas of the Tesla Lab site recently saved and purchased by Tesla Science Center
"Let's Build a Goddamn Tesla Museum" was the battle cry for Oatmeal blogger, Matt Inman only 7 short months ago. Well before you can "build" you have to "buy." After over 30,000 people crowd sourced to raise nearly $1.5m step one is complete. Yesterday, The last remaining laboratory of scientist, visionary and inventor Nikola Tesla has been sold this week by the Agfa Corporation to Friends of Science East, Inc. dba Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe. Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe is a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit corporation dedicated to saving and restoring Wardenclyffe, with the aim of turning it into a science learning center and museum.