BRATTLEBORO -- The Brattleboro Museum & Art Center presents its Seventh Annual Domino Toppling Extravaganza on Monday, Feb. 17, at 5 p.m. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. for audience members to choose their vantage point and inspect the fanciful, colorful domino course before it all comes tumbling down. Admission is on a first-come, first-served basis -- free for kids 8 and under, $3 for BMAC members, $5 for everyone else. Every audience member will have a chance to guess how many dominoes make up the course; whoever comes the closest will start the entire chain reaction.
A popular annual spectacle, BMAC's domino topplings began in 2008, when Mike and Steve Perrucci, brothers from Perkasie, Penn., traveled to Brattleboro to build and then topple a course created specifically for BMAC. The Perruccis returned to Brattleboro each of the next four years, creating bigger and more amazing courses each time. In 2011 the brothers enlisted the help of another domino-toppling enthusiast, 14-year-old Shane O'Brien, from Rockland County, N.Y. In 2013, Shane and two other teenage topplers took the helm, after the Perruccis retired from domino duty.
This year Shane, now a 17-year-old high school senior, heads a builder/toppler team with three other teens. Shane, who began domino toppling in late 2006, says he most enjoys "the combination of creativity and organization. A huge creation requires hours of scrupulous planning to go along with the strenuous building. It's awesome that with a bit a work and determination, I can turn dominoes into a true spectacle."
The domino whiz kids will arrive in Brattleboro the Saturday before the event; it will take them at least 24 hours of solid work to fill the floor of the museum's Wolf Kahn & Emily Mason Gallery. The toppling itself will last about five minutes.
"By far, the most stressful part of this event each year is the final hour, when all the dominoes are set up, ready to fall, and audience members arrive and jockey for good viewing position," said BMAC director Danny Lichtenfeld. "It's always very exciting -- and a great relief -- when the toppling finally begins."
YouTube videos of BMAC's past domino topplings have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times, and BMAC has attracted attention from topplers around the world. For more information and links to those videos, visit www.brattleboromuseum.org.