The Fire Show Must Go OnThe Fire Show Must Go OnThe Fire Show Must Go On

The Fire Show Must Go OnThe Fire Show Must Go OnThe Fire Show Must Go On


Dale sends in this report from the Crucible’s performance last night.

A group of us from Make went to The Crucible ( last night in Oakland, CA to see Romeo and Juliet, a fire ballet. The performance, directed by Michael Sturtz, was a mesmerizing evening of flames, swordfights and various forms of dance. It was opening night and the gremlins of live theatre showed up. About a half-hour into the show, a flaming chandelier was raised to the ceiling, from which were hanging four lovely, acrobatic dancers. The flames touched off the sprinkler system and what started as a mist (beautifully lit in blue light) soon became a steady downpour. The show had to be stopped, and the particularly brave dancers were finally lowered to the floor. Michael Sturtz came to the stage and walked through the downpour, seemingly bowing to what had happened. He announced to the capacity crowd that this element of the staging was indeed unexpected and he’d have to regroup the team and see if the show could continue. The crowd cheered him on, although the people in the front rows were drenched. (Someone should have played James Taylor’s “I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain.”)

A few minutes later Michael returned, and said that the “wonderful” Oakland Fire Department agreed to come out and reset the sprinkler system, allowing the fire show to continue. Meanwhile, Crucible volunteers gathered mops and every rag in the place to begin sopping up the water. The performers, many of whom were classical ballet dancers who were working in and around fire for the first time, were a bit shocked by it all. After almost an hour and a half, the performance resumed where it had left off. This was truly a heroic effort on behalf of all the performers and crew as well as Michael Sturtz. The show continues this weekend and next in Oakland, CA, presumably as a fire ballet without all the water. It is well worth seeing not just for the spectacle but also to support The Crucible’s educational programs. – Link

5 thoughts on “The Fire Show Must Go OnThe Fire Show Must Go OnThe Fire Show Must Go On

  1. nap70 says:

    Thanks for letting us all know you went out to do something last night. I did too. But, I’ll spare you the details of my friend’s birthday party if you can let me know what your outing has to do with Make.

  2. Bre says:

    Hey nap70, The crucible is a place where people go to learn how to make things out of metal, work with fire and do welding and stuff. They are at the forefront of innovative fire art and so it makes sense to share an experience of a group of makers who put on a show that integrated dance with fire, faced a difficult obstacle, and overcame it.

    If there was innovative fire arts, a sprinkler emergency, and the show went on at your birthday party event, I hope you got pics, I’d report on that too!

  3. skrocki says:

    Hey, where’s the Make Blog trackback functionlity? I shall *Make* one myself :-):

    [Trackback]Are theater and fire a good mix? Based on this experience, I’m leaning toward “No, not so much.” Admittedly, Romeo & Juliet: A Fire Ballet looks cool, tho’ one could argue it’s more of a Vegas-ie kind of show

  4. nap70 says:


    Thanks for the sincere answer to my smart-assed question. I guess no one really wanted to hear about that birthday party.

  5. ceBlaze says:

    oh man, that makes me miss the Bay Area even more. I wish LA had some place like The Crucible

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