John Malkovich to perform on stage at Czech castle this summer

Oscar-nominated actor John Malkovich will be coming to the Czech Republic this summer, but it won’t be to shoot his latest Hollywood movie. The star will perform on stage at the gardens of Kroměříž Castle in July during a performance of the one-man play The Music Critic, which is touring locations throughout Europe in 2022.

In The Music Critic, conceived by Aleksey Igudesman, Malkovich plays an acid-tongued critic who skewers Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Debussy, and other classic composers, exposing them for the frauds they really are. Music from the composers is featured alongside the critiques.

It’s fitting that Malkovich will bring The Music Critic to the Czech Republic: among his character’s targets in the play is Antonín Dvořák, one of the most renowned of all Czech composers.

“It is with a strange passion that Dvořák now engages in ugly, unnatural music,” Malkovich’s critic says in the trailer for the play. Props to Malkovich for landing the “ř”, one of the most difficult Czech letters to pronounce.

The Music Critic will be performed on stage outdoors at the Archbishop’s Chateau and Gardens in Kroměříž Castle on July 26. The play will be performed in English, with a simultaneous Czech translation via supertitles.

The performance in Kroměříž will be the only production of The Music Critic in the Czech Republic during its current tour. Tickets (running 2590-3490 CZK) can be purchased via Ticketportal.

Event organizers convinced the production to come to Kroměříž due to its UNESCO World Heritage status. A temporary outdoor auditorium for an estimated 2,000 guests will be created just for the show.

“It will be one of two highlights of the season,” Jiří Uhlíř, director of the Archbishop’s Castle and Gardens Administration in Kroměříž, told local media.

“We had to convince the agency that the environment of the castle garden was a special location, and that we can provide the necessary services for performers and spectators, and a large enough space for so many visitors.”

During Malkovich’s one-man performance, the actor will be accompanied by The Music Critic creator Aleksey Igudesman and Tak-ock Kim on violin, Max Baillie on viola, Thomas Carroll on cello, and Hyung-ki Joo on piano.

“I have always loved the opportunity to collaborate on The Music Critic with Aleksey Igudesman, Hyung-ki Joo, and many other gifted and thoughtful young classical musicians,” Malkovich says of the play and its current tour.

“We are all happy to be back on the road, and for the first time also in the USA, participating in an evening which consists of some of the greatest compositions in the history of classical music, paired with the perhaps rather unexpected initial reactions those compositions elicited from some of the world’s renowned music critics, along with some other surprises.”

John Malkovich is no stranger to the Czech Republic. In 2011, the actor came to Prague to perform on stage in The Infernal Comedy at the Prague Spring music festival. During that trip, his hotel room in the city center was robbed; the actor lost several thousand crowns in cash and needed to have new documents issued in the Czech capital.

In 2009, Malkovich was awarded a Crystal Globe at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

Malkovich previously starred in the 2017 thriller Unlocked, which was largely shot in Prague; he also appeared in 1999’s The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc, which was filmed on location around the Czech Republic.

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Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky has been writing about the Prague film scene and reviewing films in print and online media since 2005. A member of the Online Film Critics Society, you can also catch his musings on life in Prague at expats.cz and tips on mindfulness sourced from ancient principles at MaArtial.com.

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