We immersed ourselves in The Silence of the Lambs this weekend. We watched the movie twice straight through, then watched the outtakes, then the documentary and then the movie straight through again.
All this watching was preparation for Silence! The Musical, a parody of the 1991 movie playing Off-Broadway at PS 122 (150 1st Ave). A Greek chorus of dancing “lambs” dressed in black with floppy white ears, white fuzzy gloves and black plastic “hoof” cups opened the show.
Jenn Harris as Clarice Starling nailed Jodie Foster’s West Virginia accent and slight lisp that escaped my notice when watching the movie. David Garrison played a remarkable Hannibal Lecter, not an easy task considering Anthony Hopkins’ classic blue-eyed glare is burned into the public memory.
The Silence! cast acted out the entire movie with sped-up dialogue, pouncing on the many lines in the film that are ripe for parody. (“It rubs the lotion on its skin, or else it gets the hose again.”)
Some of the most memorable songs are Buffalo Bill’s “Are You About a Size 14?” and “Put the Fucking Lotion in the Basket” and of course, the song I can’t get out of my mind, “If I Could Smell Her Cunt.”
The production did so much with so little–just a bare set save three rolling racks of patchwork-sewn “skin.” The dance numbers were choreographed cleverly, especially the dream dance sequence with Clarice and Hannibal. Glitter Hannibal spun Glitter Clarice whose legs split parallel from floor to ceiling, adding extra dimension to the production’s most memorable song.
I highly recommend that you see the movie before you see Silence! Some of the funniest bits in the musical require the audience to remember details of the movie. Well, Clarice, maybe the lambs have stopped screaming, but they are still dancing.