Jeremy Morse performs "Dream With Open Eyes" at Joe's Pub


Words by Benjamin Halstead                                           Music by Nikko Benson

You enter the theater and find yourself in a high-octane electric nightclub. A deep bass beat pulses hypnotically, ribbons of phosphorescent light strobing to the rhythm. Fog; Lasers. You loosen, maybe sway a little as your body adjusts to the music, and a tricked-out, tripped-out glow-dancer wanders by you, living her life, making slightly prolonged eye contact. Bang! A burst of sparks and a rumbling announcement - DJ Nikola Tesla is about to begin his set. But first - spotlight on the dude behind you with the stylish trench coat (woah!) - he's going to teach everybody some brand new dance moves.

Nikola Tesla Drops The Beat is an electronic fantasia telling the story of history’s most overlooked inventor as he fights to bring his vision of the future to the world. The show's modern style mirrors Tesla's obsession with that future (now our present). Tesla himself becomes a rock star DJ, and the anachronistic ensemble brings his historical partners and adversaries to new life: razzle-dazzle wizard Edison, rapping hype-man/business partner Westinghouse, Jersey-Shore douche-rival Marconi, sexy dominatrix J.P. Morgan. The story tracks his success and failure as he goes from hopeful student to esteemed inventor to mad scientist and back again.

Science becomes music in this world: the eureka moment of invention is that oh-so-satisfying beat drop, Alternating Current is the sonic storm of a loop pedal, Radio Frequency is Dance-Floor Body Language. Westinghouse raps, Marconi remixes, and JP melts your face off. As Tesla’s experiments get more out of control, the music flows from comfortable pop infusion to darker, dangerous sounds like Hard Techno and Dubstep. Our audience experiences the same sense of frightened awe that Tesla’s contemporaries felt when faced with his too-far, too-fast style of scientific progress.

NTDTB is an immersive theater piece that puts the audience in the middle of the action, exploring history in the electrifying now (a la Sleep No More, Here Lies Love, Fuerza Bruta). Come feel the beat drop.