How was your experience?
The life of visionary scientist-inventor Nikola Tesla should inspire some electrifying theater, but for me, Shari Graubert’s bio-play didn’t hold a charge. In broad strokes, she sketches events and meetings that shape Tesla’s career but offers no real character development to help us understand how Young Tesla (eager, innocent) is transformed into Old Tesla (demoralized, unfulfilled). There are some notable performances, including those of Tom Cappadona as Edison, Alessandro Colla as Westinghouse, and Adam Pagdon as JP Morgan. Though we get a glimpse of Jeff Solomon’s comedic skills as Marconi, he’s allowed to make six visits – that’s three too many -- to the U.S. patent office, where he portrays the inventor as a cartoonish Italian stereotype. There are two baffling appearances by a chorus, a tacked-on love interest in the character of Catherine, several attempts to goose a thin production with the addition of video (on a too-small screen), and a wealth of missed opportunity in terms of set and sound design. Needs work.