Mike’s Werkstatt, 2012
– “So, who will be playing here now?”
– “Nada Surf.”
– “Wow, it’s really true! That’s amazing, I have been listening to them so much!”
We arrive at Mike’s Werkstatt, a curiosities shop, theatre and workshop on an early Saturday afternoon. Mike has invited a friend (and his little son) over, who obviously couldn’t believe what was about to happen until Nada Surf’s Matthew and Ira walk in a couple of minutes later. The two New Yorkers curiously check out the place, take pictures and discuss the possibility of having their next music video shot on the tiny theatre stage. Ira in the end buys the top hat he’s wearing throughout the session. They start off with “Teenage Dreams” from their new album “The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy”. Midway through the song a family walks by the shop door and stops once hearing the music. The kids are excited and start giggling, then suddenly disappear but are back in time for a final applause. In high spirits Nada Surf move on to the classic “Whose Authority” from 2008 and later onto the tiny theatre stage to play “The Future”, the closing song of their current album. After more than an hour of exporing this amazing location Matthew and Ira have to leave. The smile on the face of Mike’s friend leaves no doubt how much he enjoyed the little private concert.
Marbles, string puppets, a theatre stage, antique toys, costumes and so much more: Mike’s Werkstatt is a truly unique place! And it’s so much at once: workshop, theatre, music venue, curiosities & antiques shop are only the most obvious functions of Mike’s magical playground. Some years ago he found the premises in Rasumofskygasse in Vienna’s third district. It was perfect to make some of his ideas reality. These days he writes and stages plays for kids, occasionally there are bands performing in the evening and during opening hours you can just drop by and let yourself inspire by the sheer abundance of beautiful items – some self-built, some collected. You will almost certainly reminisce about seemingly long forgotten childhood memories, or find something you’ve always been looking for.