TO SEE OR NOT TO SEE: “Silence! The Musical”
The Oscar-winning film about a tense dance between an FBI recruit and a serial killer becomes a literal duet (and dream ballet) in a shamelessly bawdy, raucously silly parody from songwriters Jon Kaplan and Al Kaplan, librettist Hunter Bell and director/choreographer Christopher Gattelli.
“…an exuberantly gross spoof…” New York Times
“…a hell of a lot funnier than it has a right to be.” New York Post
“In a testament to its talented cast… SILENCE! has held up remarkably well…” New York Magazine
“Fans of the movie, and of this sort of humor, will eat this up.” Entertainment Weekly
Mizer’s Two Cents: Jenn Harris is such comedic magic inhabiting Jodie Foster as “Clarice Starling” (all stiff discomfort and hissshhhing accent), it’s like there’s been a Freaky Friday switcheroo — with less waterskiing and more smut talk. What I wouldn’t give to see her do a one woman show of Nell. However, she’s not the only reason to see this delightfully juvenile show. Sure, the score sounds like it may have been written with a tape recorder, a bottle of tequila and a skipping Betamax of the original film, but the shows seems intended to be more sketch comedy than Sweeney Todd. The writing is a framework, a delivery device to allow for over-the-top bits (the supporting cast is uniformly top-notch — with a special shout-out to the side-splitting, tuck-tastic Stephen Bienskie as “Buffalo Bill”), genius low budget stagecraft (let me count the ways I love how the “well” scenes are staged) and musical theater inside-jokes (don’t pop the head, Clarice).
See it (before it loses its theater at the end of this month) if you can still get in touch with your bodily-function-joke-loving inner 12 year old, if you want late night-style laughs that are a cut above, or if you know just where you’re supposed to put the lotion.
[Full-disclosure: I am friends with some of the folks in and behind-the-scenes of this musical. Honestly, that made me more nervous to see it and write about it. There is nothing worse than having to visit friends after a show and tell them it was “interesting”. My policy for the blog, however, remains the same; if I don’t enjoy something or don’t think there’s a certain audience that will enjoy it, I won’t write about it.]