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Published on Sep 30, 2015
THE END OF AL CAPONE (2014), a mono-opera in one act
Concept, story, text and music by Michael Schelle
Stage direction by William Fisher and Michael Schelle Lighting by Laura Glover
Commissioned by Butler ArtsFest 2015
Premiere production: April 16, 2015 The Schrott Center for the Performing Arts, Butler University, Indianapolis, IN USA
Steve Stolen as Al Capone The Scarface Chamber Ensemble Vy Nguyen, conductor
Video Production: WFYI Indianapolis
Time / place / character: 1946 / 47: the last year of Al Capone’s life. After 7 years in Alcatraz, and suffering from 25+ years of untreated syphilis, Public Enemy No. 1 is yesterday’s news - the neurosyphilis has ‘gone to his head’. Al “Scarface” Capone is a total nervous wreck. He suffers from dementia, schizophrenia, he is paranoid, neurotic and yet occasionally nostalgic - but with the mental capacities of a 12 year old. He is in constant fear that his old rival Chicago gangs are ‘out to get him’ (even though they’re all dead at this point) - imaginary killers haunt him. Disoriented, he lacks mental and physical coordination - he skips abruptly from subject to unrelated subject, babbling and mumbling as he stumbles and chatters. Physical manifestations of his disease include tremors, twitches, epilepsy-like seizures, an ‘awkward gait’, slurred (to virtually unintelligible) speech and violent explosive temper tantrums.