The life of Nikola Tesla in avant-minamalist multimedia operatic form — what could possibly go wrong? Well, there were five in our party: one walked out, one flat-out cried “terrible” and three of us kinda shrugged our shoulders. The music by Jon Gibson was, often, pretty good. I’d say it was good 65% of the time, and even reached the point of kick-ass once or twice. (There were some moments where I wanted to ram chopsticks through my ears, though.) The main problem was that I was kinda psyched to see a story about Nikola Tesla. Tesla’s story is a pretty cool one (I know what little I know about him from an unproduced screenplay I once read ten years ago by a dude named Jeffrey Stanley), but the plot of Violet Fire was 100% opaque. Like I said, five of us, all with college degrees, and none of us could understand what the hell was going on.
It was fun to be outside the theater and sing-out in a low, loud voice “One Hundred Thousand Volllllllllllts!” and have people smile. I can’t say I hated Violet Fire, but I’m not recommending it to anyone.
For that matter, I can’t really recommend the Brooklyn Academy of Music anymore. I haven’t been there in a while, but, apparantly this summer, they made an executive decision to change the upstairs bar/cafe into an obnoxious and pricey restaurant. This means there really is no place to sit and have a shmooze and a cup of coffee before the show. This upstairs cafe, often with live jazz bands, used to be one of the best things about BAM. Now ya gotta walk at least a few minutes to the closest bar, an Irish pub (Mulligans? Mullins? Mull-something?) but the vague alterna-rock (The Verve, Kid Rock) is loud and the plasma TVs are many.
A pox on you new snootified BAM cafe!