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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