The arias are very beautiful. I'm not a classical critic, but I'm a fan, and I enjoyed the singing by the two attractive sopranos. (A classical-music expert friend of mine in the crowd gave passing grades to the Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra Los Angeles and conductor Martin Haselböck, but not the singers — "the one with the better voice was technically inefficient"). But whether you were satisfied with the level of performance or not, the arias did present a dramatic problem: there were eight of them — all pitched at the same emotional key — in this one-hour-forty-five minute show. I didn't have a stop watch, but I'm willing to bet that more than half the show's running time was spent on the singing. If you knew the arias intimately, you were probably distracted by thoughts of their original context. If you didn't know them, the confusing supertitles were of little help.

Meanwhile, Malkovich nuzzled and groped. In one of the most disturbing bits, he delivered one of his black-comic monologues as he pulled Klußmannto the floor on top of him, hunching across the stage on his back as he strangled her. It was enough to cause the wardrobe malfunction and led to a bit of improv from Malkovich that cracked up both the audience and Klußmann.

But it was hard to say what all this added up to. There are suggestions in the text about celebrity and media and society and the nature of "truth" (a good line about Wikipedia). But we weren't really "inside the mind of a serial killer." And even the suggestions of one man's personal inferno were pretty thin.

But it was starry night, even in the audience, which included actor Jeff Bridges, with his extremely gifted head of hair. Walking up the aisle after the final curtain, he seemed to have enjoyed himself.

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  Topics: Theater , John Malkovich, murder, serial killer,  More more >
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