The Infernal Comedy, With John Malkovich, Stalks BAM Beginning Nov. 17
17 Nov 2011
Michael Sturminger's The Infernal Comedy: Confessions of a serial killer, starring Academy Award nominee John Malkovich as Austrian serial killer Jack Unterweger, begins performances Nov. 17 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Written and directed by Michael Sturminger, The Infernal Comedy will play a four-performance run through Nov. 19 in the Gilman Opera House. It is presented as part of BAM's Next Wave Festival.
Based on an idea by Birgit Hutter and Martin Haselböck, the production, which first debuted in Los Angeles in 2008 and has since toured the globe, features costumes by Birgit Hutter.
The play includes arias by Gluck, Mozart, Vivaldi, Beethoven, Haydn and more. It features the Orchester Wiener Akademie.
Joining Malkovich are sopranos Bernarda Bobro, Aleksandra Zamojska, Laura Aikin, Louise Fribo and Marie Arnet.
Here’s how the work is billed: "The Infernal Comedy—a stage play for one actor, a chamber orchestra, and two sopranos—is based on the real-life story of Austrian serial killer Jack Unterweger, embodied by veteran film and theater actor John Malkovich in this pitch-black production. Sentenced to life imprisonment in 1976 for the murder of a teenage girl, Unterweger became a cause célèbre after writing an acclaimed autobiography, Purgatory, in prison. His parole in 1990 and subsequent new career as a journalist was heralded as a triumph of rehabilitation…until he murdered 11 more women on two continents."
Malkovich earned Academy Award nominations for "In the Line of Fire" and "Places in the Heart." His screen appearances also include "Being John Malkovich," "The Killing Fields," "The Glass Menagerie" and "Dangerous Liaisons." On stage he has appeared in True West and Death of a Salesman, which was also adapted for television.
Holed up in a seedy motel on the edge of the Mojave Desert, two former lovers unpack the deep secrets and dark desires of their tangled relationship, passionately tearing each other apart. Led by director Daniel Aukin (Back Back Back at MTC, 4,000 Miles), Tony winner Nina Arianda (Venus in Fur at MTC, Born Yesterday) and Sam Rockwell (A Behanding in Spokane, The Way Way Back) bring an explosive intensity to Sam Shepard’s (Buried Child, True West) landmark myth of the new Wild West.