Tickets Now Available for Adirondack Theatre Festival's NIKOLA TESLA DROPS THE BEAT
Kicking off Adirondack Theatre Festival's 23rd summer season of professional theater is Nikola Tesla Drops the Beat, an electronic pop musical. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 21-Saturday, July 1, and 2 p.m.Wednesday, June 28, at the Charles R. Wood Theater.
Turning the volume up on one of history's most influential and controversial innovators, Nikola Tesla Drops the Beat is a show that can be described as "Hamilton meets Tesla." The show centers on the battle between the misunderstood genius inventor of alternating current Nikola Tesla and direct current inventor Thomas Edison. Tesla struggles against his rivals, obsessive ambition and warped publicity as he fights to build a future for the world in which he could "light it up."
"This is hands-down the most exciting show to come to Glens Falls since I've been here," said Producing Artistic Director Chad Rabinovitz. "The story is historically insightful and fascinating, and the music is incredibly cool, catchy and just plain energizing. It's not just a show, it's a major musical event. This is ATF's biggest production ever and I'm willing to bet it has a large future ahead of it. But, it will start here first at ATF."
Tickets are $34-$45 and are available at the Wood Theater Box Office, online at ATFestival.org or by calling (518)480-4878. Discount season flex passes are available for the full seven show line-up. The Wood Theater is located at 207 Glen Street in downtown Glens Falls.
The show is written by Jonathan Larson grant recipient Nikko Benson and Benjamin Halstead. It is directed by Marshall Pailet, choreographed by Maxx Reed and music directed by Madeline Smith. Actors include Neil Starkenberg (Broadway:Mamma Mia), Jon-Michael Reese (Second National Tour: Book of Mormon), Kalyn West (Off-Broadway: Gigantic; Film:Imitation Girl), Beth Anderson (National Tour: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat), Austin Reed Alleman (Off Broadway: The Skin of Our Teeth), Jared Loftin (TV: Red Oaks; Off-Broadway: Gigantic, Saturday Night, The Velveteen Rabbit), Brook Wood (ATF's Spun), Latoya Edwards (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) Beth Stafford Laird, Will Branner, Michael Canada and Isaac Powell. The design team includes Jason Sherwood (Set, Drama Desk Award and Broadway World nominee), Jake DeGroot (Lights), Jon Fredette (Sound) and Sera Bourgeau (Costumes).
Nikko Benson is a New York-based writer and performer. A recipient of a 2016 Jonathan Larson grant, his projects include Nikola Tesla Drops The Beat (w/ Benjamin Halstead); Start Again; In Pursuit of Magic; The Pledge (w/ Christopher Staskel, Prospect Theater); Oklahoma Smith (w/ Chris Schultz and Mike Marrero, Key West Theater); Hope; and Who's Waldo. Benson and his songs have been featured in concerts and cabarets around the city, among them Brian Stokes Mitchell's Plays With Music, William Finn's Ridiculously Talented series and Shakina Nayfack's One Woman Show and Post Op.
Benjamin Halstead is the co-writer of Nikola Tesla Drops the Beat with mad-genius Nikko Benson. Ben studied filmmaking at NYU (Faculty Commendation for Directing, Art Direction and Original Music; Wasserman Award Finalist; National Board of Review Student Grant Recipient; Marion Carter Green Award) and then enrolled at NYU again for the Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program. His songs have been performed at Joe's Pub, 54 Below, Bill Finn's Cabaret, Barrington Stage, Tisch, NYMF and more. He is a Musical Theatre Factory founding member. Ben spends his days in SpotCo's Digital Marketing Department, selling Broadway one tweet at a time.
Marshall Pailet is a director, writer and composer for musical theater, plays and animated films. He directed, composed and co-wrote the Off Broadway musical Baghdaddy (currently playing, New York Times Critics' Pick) and the now internationally licensed Triassic Parq (Chance Theater '13; Ovation Award, Best Musical; Ovation Nom; Best Director). Other Theater: Claudio Quest (winner of six 2015 NYMF Awards for Excellence); Loch Ness (Chance Theater '15; Best Musical, OC Weekly); Shrek the Halls (DreamWorks Theatricals); The Chocolate Tree (NAMT). Film: VeggieTales: Noah's Ark starring Wayne Brady (Original Songs). As Director Only: Nikola Tesla Drops the Beat (Adirondack Theater Festival);Wonderland (Atlantic Theater Company); Eudaemonia; Uncle Pirate; Stuck; The 49 Project; Thursday; With Kings in the Back; Bat Boy; Escape Artists; One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. He is also on faculty at Molly College, Cap 21 and the Broadway Dreams Foundation. He is a graduate of Yale University. His website is www.marshallpailet.com.
About Adirondack Theatre Festival
Founded in 1994, ATF is a non-profit, professional theater. Each summer ATF produces a season of theater for an audience of both locals and tourists (9,000+) using professional artists from New York City and across the country. Last summer yielded a record-breaking season of sold-out performances, nearly doubling attendance and subscribership in just the past two years. ATF operates under a Small Professional Theatre Agreement with Actors' Equity Association. ATF is the only professional summer theater in the Capital District, Saratoga and Adirondack regions of upstate New York solely committed to producing new and contemporary works of theater. Its 23rd season is comprised entirely of new works.