The Lambs Lie Down Off-Broadway: Hannibal Lecter Sings and Dances in Silence! The Musical

By , Columnist
Could anything be creepier than Hannibal Lecter, The Silence of the Lambs' brilliant, cannibalistic serial killer? Well, how about Hannibal Lecter hoofing it as a song-and-dance man?

Silence! The Musical may be "unauthorized" (begging the question, when does a parody ever have to be authorized?) but it's got a plethora of A-List talent behind it, including a book by Hunter Bell ([title of show]) and the directorial skills of Christopher Gattelli (the smash Lincoln Center revival of South Pacific). Set to star in the upcoming Off-Broadway production are a cavalcade of New York stage vets, including Brent Barrett (Billy Flynn in Broadway's current Chicago) and Lucille Lortel Award-winner Jenn Harris.

Composers Jon and Al Kaplan started the ball rolling with a batch of digitally distributed songs back in 2002. Expanded into a live show and beefed up with new numbers, the production was a hit at FringeNYC in 2005 and a success in London last year. One reviewer called it "hysterically funny," with songs that are "shockingly hummable, if generally unsingable (in polite company)." Another hailed it as a "totally crack-pot, yet brilliantly hysterical parody of the multi Oscar-winning movie."

The Kaplan brothers have kept busy since completing Silence!, with, among other things, additional unlikely musical adaptations. Their videos "Conan the Barbarian: The Musical" and "Terminator 2: The Opera" can be seen on YouTube. What's next, a musical version of Spiderman? Oh, wait...

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Jon Sobel is a freelance writer, web editor, theater and music critic, marketing writer, and musician. His newest project is the blog Park Odyssey, where he is visiting and blogging every park in New York City - over a thousand of them.

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