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Arts and Entertainment

John Malkovich as LA Serial Killer

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Photo of John Malkovich by Mr. Mudd LLC, used with permission

In 1991, "resocialized" murderer and Austrian writer Jack Unterweger visited Los Angeles to pen a story about the difference between attitudes toward prostitution between Europe and the United States. Unterweger's initial long term imprisonment was for killing a prostitute by strangling her with her own bra, but was released after 14 years. While in the the LA area, he killed three prostitutes and fled California, eventually being caught by the FBI in Miami. Once back in Austria, he was convicted of eleven homicides and committed suicide.

Fast forward to recent times, and enter a dinner party at the Austrian Council where actor John Malkovich and Los Angeles based Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra director Martin Haselböck happen to meet, chat and have a political argument that led to a friendship where they decided they needed to collaborate.

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That interdisciplinary project begins tonight for a production of Seduction and Despair, which currently only has two showings (there is one tomorrow at 4 p.m.). Juxtaposed to baroque music played by the orchestra, Malkovich plays Unterweger, reading from texts and drifting into the murderer's past engaging with two sopranos representing the women he met and killed.

The production takes place at Barnum Hall Theatre in Santa Monica tonight at 8 p.m. and tomorrow at 4 p.m. Tickets prices range from $12-37.