Silence! the Musical, based on the 1991 thriller Silence of the Lambs, isn’t the first schlock musical parody to draw critics’ attention. (See Fatal Attraction.) But that doesn’t make it any less worthy of a Broadway transfer. As FBI greenhorn Clarice Starling, Jenn Harris nails Jodie Foster’s country-girl lisp, and Paul Kandel (the hammy emcee from Shockheaded Peter) finds a gruesomely funny parallel between scenery chewing and cannibalism as her nemesis Hannibal Lector. The show’s gleefully poor taste and clever lyrics play like vintage South Park scored by Andrew Lloyd Webber. If (or more probably, when) the production heads to a larger venue, choices will have to be made. How will the producers justify jokes about cheap props when the budget increases? Will they keep Jenn Harris (which they should) even if she needs a few more voice lessons? Can an audience weaned on Avenue Q stomach jokes about fat women being skinned alive? But these are questions for the future. In its current incarnation, Silence is a screaming success.
Silence! The Musical
By Jon and Al Kaplan
The Lucille Lortel
Fri, Aug 19 at 4:30 p.m.; Sat, Aug 20 at 8 p.m.; Sun, Aug 21 at 7:45 p.m.; Thu, Aug 25 at 10:45 p.m.; Sun, Aug 28 at 12 p.m.