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Photo Flash: Neil Simon Visits SILENCE! THE MUSICAL

America's most prolific playwright, Neil Simon, attended SILENCE! The Musical at P.S. 122 this past Wednesday, April 4th accompanied by his wife, Elaine Joyce. View photos below!

SILENCE! The Musical is the unauthorized parody of The Silence of the Lambs, with book by Hunter Bell, music & lyrics by Jon and Al Kaplan, and direction & choreography by Christopher Gattelli. The show opened July 9, 2011 to unanimous rave reviews and immediately became a sold-out phenomenon. It was subsequently selected by Time Magazine as one of the year's Top 5 Musicals. Tonight marks the 200th performance of SILENCE! The Musical.

Neil Simon joins a long list of luminaries who have turned up in the audience at the hit show over the past few months including Jodie Foster, James Earl Jones, Kelly Ripa, Josh Groban, Lisa Lampanelli, Jonathan Demme, Matt Bomer, Joan Rivers, Chita Rivera, Jeremy Jordan, Stephen Schwartz, John Kander, Mario Cantone, Jonathan Groff, Justin Kirk, David LaChapelle, Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Willie Garson, TR Knight, Steven Pasquale, Christian Campbell, and Anthony Heald.

In the Academy Award-winning film The Silence of the Lambs, rookie FBI agent Clarice Starling matches wits with the brilliant but insane cannibal, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, to catch the serial killer known only as Buffalo Bill. Clarice faces her own demons while racing the clock to unlock Lecter's clues before another innocent girl is killed and skinned by Buffalo Bill. The laugh-out-loud wicked satire, SILENCE! The Musical, features a singing chorus of floppy eared lambs narrating the action as Buffalo Bill gleefully dances a hoedown while kidnapping hapless Catherine Martin. Even Dr. Lecter, scary as ever, sings about the life he'd like to lead someday outside the prison walls.

David Garrison (Hannibal Lecter), Jenn Harris (Clarice Starling) and Stephen Bienskie (Buffalo Bill) head the cast of SILENCE! The Musical, which also features Callan Bergmann, Harry Bouvy, Ashlee Dupré, Annie Funke, Deidre Goodwin, Howard Kaye, Topher Nuccio, Pamela Bob, and Doug Trapp. Music Supervisor is Mark Hartman, with orchestrations by Brian J. Nash.

Created by Jon and Al Kaplan in 2002, SILENCE! began as a collection of songs on the internet which immediately attracted a staggering number of fans. The Kaplans' subsequent screenplay SILENCE! The Musical was adapted by Hunter Bell into a live stage show, which also featured newly composed songs by the brothers. Fueled by a rabid cult following, SILENCE! shattered every box office record at the 2005 FringeNYC Festival, winning the award for Best Musical. SILENCE! The Musical met with further success in London where it garnered ecstatic reviews at the Above The Stag Theatre.

Set design for SILENCE! The Musical is by three-time Tony winner Scott Pask, with costume design by David Kaley, lighting design by Jeff Croiter, and sound design by Carl Casella.

The playing schedule for SILENCE! The Musical is Wednesday through Saturday evenings at 8 PM, and Sundays at 3 & 7 PM at The 9th Space Theatre at Performance Space 122, 150 First Avenue (at 9th St.) Running time is 88 minutes with no intermission. Tickets are $25 - $79 and are available by calling 212-352-3101 or through www.SilenceTheMusical.com.

Photo Credit: Ritchard Druther

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