Works & Process at the Guggenheim
Monday, April 15th, 2024
7:00 p.m.
(approx 90 minutes, including talkback)

Music and words by Phil Kline
Story concept by Phil Kline and Jim Jarmusch
Films by Jim Jarmusch with Deco Dawson
Emma Griffin, Director and Dramaturg
David Bloom, Music Director

In an abandoned New York City near the end of time, a small group of survivors gather for a seance in the ruined ballroom of the once mighty Grand Gotham Hotel. Here they encounter the ghost of the hotel’s most famous resident, Nikola Tesla, whose last years were spent in Room 3327. One by one, they join Tesla, acting out his dreams in a ritual circus of life, conveyed in a series of vignettes that mix elements of spectacle, absurdity, avant-garde film, blackout comedy, and musical theater.

A striking figure—tall, elegant in dress, and grandiloquent in speech—Tesla was a brilliant scientist and engineer whose view of the physical world was imbued with mystical spirituality. He once dined daily at the famous Delmonico’s, seated among the barons of Wall Street, who celebrated and profited mightily from his inventions. As his dreams of the future were thwarted by the powers of big money and government, he gradually retreated into a parallel world of his imagination, watching over the pigeons in Bryant Park, especially the one he said was his true love, “a creature of purest white, with silver traces on her wings.”

The Artists

Anthony Roth Costanzo – Nikola Tesla
Jennifer Zetlan – Katharine Johnson
Amanda Lynn Bottoms – Sissieretta Jones, Djuka Tesla
Timothy Stoddard – Thomas Edison
James Harrington – J. P. Morgan
Clementine Kline – Young Tesla, Young Girl
Eric Brenner – Ensemble, Tesla understudy

Ensemble LPR
Conrad Harris, violin
Tom Chiu, violin
William Hakim, viola
Carolina Chan, viola
Alex Waterman, cello
Felix Fan, cello
Tristan Kasten Krause, bass
Sam Yulsman, keyboard
Violetta Norrie, harp