Roberto Zucco, a serial killer study by French playwright Bernard-Marie Koltes, makes its West Coast premiere at Theatre Rhinoceros in San Francisco June 27-July 28. Cutting Ball Theater artistic director Rob Melrose directs.
Zucco — based on the life of a real-life Italian killer, who began his spree with the double murder of his parents — follows the second "career" of the murder as he escapes prison and begins to kill again. Everyone Zucco establishes any connection with, he ends up destroying, from a rich Lady who seeks to seduce him to the Girl, a prostitute who eventually gives the killer up to the police. Koltes meant the harsh, poetic drama as an exploration of Hamlet's problems of alienation and loss. Royston Coppenger translated Roberto Zucco for this run, as well as for the 1995 American premiere at New York City's Cucaracha Theatre.
Playwright Koltes is mostly unknown in America, but his works include Key West, The Return to the Desert<?I> and The Struggle of the Dogs and the Blacks, his first international success. Roberto Succo was his final play, inspired by a wanted poster Koltes spotted in the Paris metro. Koltes died of complications from AIDS in 1989, the year before Zucco premiered.
Designing Roberto Zucco in San Francisco are Michael Locher (sets), Raquel Barreto (costumes) and David Levison (composer, sound).
Tickets are $12-$20. Theatre Rhinoceros is located at 2926 16th Street between Mission and Van Ness. For reservations, call (415) 861-5079. — By Christine Ehren