Monday, May 5, 2008

Dear John

I once met John Malkovich in Paris.
We crossed paths on the Champs-Elysées. He gave me an appreciative look, and whispered Bonjour with a mischievous smile. That was years ago, yet though I am not easily star-struck, the charm and Zeitgeist of that brief moment remain in my memory bonbon-box. No need to say that we jumped at the opportunity to see his Seduction and Despair project in Santa Monica this past weekend.

Malkovich joined forces with Musica Angelica to reinterpret the life of Austrian womanizer and murderer Jack Underweger -- Schwarzie-like accent included -- and produce a multi-genre melodrama blending his signature dandy acting, classical music and opera singing, all on the backdrop video of a vintage car cruising through the streets of L.A.

Not his best production, rather poor acoustics and hesitant stage management, but it was still a pleasure to observe this monstre de théâtre at work, and to enjoy the Art Deco ambiance of the Barnum Hall, which is now open for public performances.
photo Stephanie Mitchell via Harvard U. Gazette