I've always been fascinated by man's ability to harness the wild flame of electricity. As a child I would press my ear up against the walls to hear the buzz and hum of what I described as a house or building's "blood." Later, I developed a healthy obsession with the used-and-abused Serbian genius Nikola Tesla, and am impatiently awaiting the opening of the Tesla Science Center, which will be housed in his old laboratory, Wardenclyffe, in Shoreham, New York. For now, I'm ecstatic about the new Electricity Theater, a permanent exhibit at Rochester Museum and Science Center (657 East Ave.) featuring "singing" Tesla Coils, which opens this week.
On Tuesday, July 2, head to RMSC's third floor to learn about lightning, conductors, insulators, and storm safety. Visitors will experience bursts of lightning accompanied by musical tones: the Electricity Theater features twin solid-state, tunable Tesla coils built by ArcAttack, a performance art group featured in Season 5 of "America's Got Talent." The coils can play music, whether it's the Super Mario theme song, a Lady Gaga hit, or "Dueling Banjos." Electricity Theater shows will take place July 2 through August 31, Monday-Saturday each hour on the hour from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., and Sunday each hour from noon to 4 p.m.
Admission to Electricity Theater included in regular museum admission: $11-$13, and free to RMSC members and children under age 3. For group reservations and rates, call 697-1942. The exhibit is recommended for ages 9 and older, as the show is relatively loud. Earplugs are available. For more information, call 271-4320 or visit rmsc.org.