Chicago Shakespeare joins the Italian Ministry of Cultural Affairs and Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago to commemorate the Year of Italian Culture in America. First written and performed in Milano in 1948, Inner Voices tells the story of a man who dreams the murder of a friend so vividly that he believes the crime has actually been committed by his neighbors’ family. This gripping production features Toni Servillo, hailed by The New York Times as “the best Italian stage and screen actor of his generation,” leading a multi-generational cast of celebrated Neapolitan actors. It also marks the return of Italy’s renowned Piccolo Teatro di Milano, which last played Chicago in 2005 when CST presented Arlecchino, Servant of Two Masters.
Inner Voices has been coproduced with Teatri Uniti from Naples and Teatro di Roma.
Approximate Running Time: TBD
Inner Voices is presented in the Jentes Family Auditorium.
International programming at Chicago Shakespeare Theater
is supported, in part, by the Julius Frankel Foundation.
Alberto Saporito lives with his brother Carlo and his uncle Nicola, who, from a kind of mezzanine communicates with Alberto only by letting off bangers and firecrackers. The Saporito brothers' home is full of chairs, carpets, and old furniture that they often hire out for religious festivals trying to earn their living. Suddenly Alberto convinces himself that a crime has taken place in their neighbours', the Cimmarutas, apartment: they have killed Aniello Amitrano, Alberto's friend, and have hidden the body in the kitchen. In reality Alberto simply dreamt the episode, but it was such a vivid and realistic dream that he is convinced that it all really happened. Alberto reports the Cimmarutas to the police. The Cimmarutas are arrested and then immediately released: in the place indicated by Alberto there is obviously no trace of the body.
Alberto then understands, too late, that this was all the fruit of a dream, and his problems begin: he risks arrest for false testimony and his brother Carlo is pressing him to sign a document with
which, in the event of Alberto's arrest, would assign him responsibility for their entire "patrimony" of old furniture. Once home, the Cimmarutas paradoxically convince themselves that the homicide of Aniello Amitrano has really been committed by one of them, and they begin to accuse each other. In reality, feelings of hate and rancour flow between the family members: Pasquale is sure that his wife Matilde, passing herself off as a fortune-teller, really works as a prostitute - to make matters worse, "working" from home and in plain sight of all. Matilde shuts him up by maintaining that it is thanks to her "activity" that the family gets by. Luigi, their son, suspects that his Aunt Rosa, who lives with them and makes soap and candles, is a kind of"saponifier" and that she killed Amitrano (transforming his body into soap); Matilde suspects Pasquale; their daughter Elvira and Aunt Rosa both suspect Luigi. If this wasn't all enough, Teresa Amitrano, the wife of the "victim," visits the Saporitos, weeping over the death of her husband and calling for the punishment of the murderers. Uncle Nicola screams for peace and dies launching his final firework.
Michele, the porter, tells Alberto that he has overheard Carlo planning with the rag-and-bone man to sell everything: Carlo is sure that the police will arrest Alberto before the end of the day and he has therefore decided to take advantage and cash in as quickly as possible on the profits from the sale of the "family" furniture. Maria, the Cimmarutas' maid, also warns Alberto: the family, using the excuse of inviting him to the countryside, have decided to kill him and encourages Alberto to escape. But, in a twist of events, Aniello Amitrano reappears, alive and well: he had gone to visit an aunt in Caserta, he had fallen ill and had stayed with her until his recovery, all without letting his wife know, as they had argued just before his departure. No murder, no victim, except the faith in one another. Alberto Saporito finally reflects on the corruption of human relationships and the abyss into which humanity has fallen. He realises how wise was his uncle Nicola, who, years ago "stopped talking, not because he was mute, but because the world had gone deaf.”