Thrill me ! (Vzruš mě!)

Stephen Dolginoff


Juraj Čiernik

THRILL ME! A man in prison talks years later about his long-ago crime. What role in it did he play himself, and what was the role played by his accomplice? When does desire become obsession, and how far is a person prepared to go? A story about passion, desire and crossing boundaries for two young actors. The musical is based on real events that took place in Chicago in 1924, when two law students from well-off families killed a fourteen-year-old boy. The youths were 18 and 19 at the time, and their motivation was the thrill of the deed and the attempt to commit a perfect crime. The musical was first shown in New York in 2003, a successful off-Broadway production followed in 2005 and since then Thrill Me has been staged in numerous countries all over the world.
The excellent pianist Michaela Kadlecová plays the difficult piano part with great expression, becoming via the keyboard the co-narrator of this gloomy criminal story, and co-creating contrasting situations with the monothematic music. Then above all there are the two brilliant young actors, Lukáš Adam (Nathan Leopold) and Richard Pekárek (Richard Loeb), with perfect period clothing, well-coordinated gays from well-off families, who both need and torment each other, intellectual searching for the boundaries of experience, until it leads them to the brutal murder of a fourteen-year-old boy and into prison.
– JOSEF HERMAN, Divadelní noviny

The alpha and omega are the performances of the two protagonists. The chemistry that sparkles between Lukáš Adam and Richard Pekárek, indescribable in words, is of a sort that appears only very rarely on the stage to this extent and intensity and with this degree of harmony. The psychological interconnection, the contrast between disdain and adoration so masterfully expressed in the acting, and the voice of conscience, forced by circumstances to take responsibility.

JURAJ ČIERNIK (1986) Graduated in opera singing from the Ján Levoslav Bella Conservatory in Banská Bystrica and the Faculty of Art of Ostrava University. He performs as a musical actor in the National Theatre of Moravia-Silesia in Ostrava (Caiaphas in Jesus Christ Superstar, Old Deuteronomy in Cats), in the J. K. Tyl Theatre in Pilsen and at the Hybernia and Kalich theatres in Prague (Shere Khan in the musical Mowgli). At the Hybernia theatre he has directed the musical Queen Kapeska, at the NDM in Ostrava in the D“12” space as well as Thrill Me! composer Tom Johnson’s Four-Note Opera. He has written and directed the short opera stories Little Red Riding Hood and Hansel and Gretel. He also teaches singing and musical theatre at the People’s Conservatory and the School of Arts in Ostrava, and is a member of the vocal quintet 5PAK.

THE NATIONAL THEATRE OF MORAVIA-SILESIA is the largest professional theatre in Ostrava; when it was created in 1919 it already had a drama, opera, operetta and ballet company. The theatre returned to its historical name in 1996, and the theatre still has four companies, with the operetta one having widened to become a place for the creation of operetta and musical productions. It performs in three places, in the “classic” building of the Antonín Dvořák Theatre, in the large Jiří Myron Theatre, which seats an audience of up to 665, and since 2018 in the chamber theatre D“12”. Given the size of their theatres, all the companies have been largely successful, including by national standards, in creating a repertoire that does not pander. Indeed, the opera company has for many years had the reputation of being the most progressive in the country. The musical theatre shows classics of the genre such as West Side Story, Jesus Christ Superstar and Cats to a high professional level, but also manages to show some works in their Czech premiere.