Photo Flash: Jonathan Demme Visits SILENCE! The Musical
SILENCE! The Musical, 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, officially opened on July 9th to unanimous rave reviews at Theatre 80 and immediately became a sold-out smash hit. Saturday night, September 10th, the Academy Award-winning director of The Silence of the Lambs, Jonathan Demme, attended the show along with the film's producers, cinematographer and production designer. At the end of the performance, Jonathan Demme was the first to jump to his feet, leading the standing ovation. He praised the company afterwards for "hitting all the right notes" and happily posed for photos on stage. On the way out of the theatre, he and his guests practically depleted the merchandising booth of all the remaining posters and T-shirts. He promised the cast that he would personally tell Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins to get their butts over to Theatre 80 pronto!
Originally announced as an eight-week limited engagement, the show's Producers extended the run twIce To accommodate the overwhelming demand for tickets. Due to firm October and November booking commitments at Theatre 80, SILENCE! The Musical must end its triumphant run there on September 24th.
SILENCE!'s original cast recording, produced by Michael Croiter and Rich Affannato, will be released by Ghostlight Records in October and finally musical comedy fans outside of New York will be able to enjoy the critically acclaimed score, including such song selections as "If I Could Smell Her C---" and "Put the F--king Lotion in the Basket."
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 must face her own demons and race the clock to unlock Lecter's clues before another innocent girl is killed and skinned by Bill. It's a hair-raising thriller that's kept countless millions on The Edge of their seats and permeated the pop lexicon with delightfully creepy quotes like "I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti" and of course "It places the lotion in the basket." And now, at last, this delicate symphony of suspense has been turned on its ear and retold in the only way it can be - as a musical. A singing chorus of floppy eared lambs narrates the action; Buffalo Bill gleefully dances a hoedown while kidnapping hapless Catherine Martin; and even Dr. Lecter, scary as ever, sings about the life he'd like to lead someday outside the prison walls.
Brent Barrett and Jenn Harris head the cast of SILENCE! The Musical, which also features Stephen Bienskie, Harry Bouvy, Ashlee Dupré, Deidre Goodwin, Jeff Hiller, Howard Kaye, Nick McGough, and Lucia Spina. 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.
SILENCE! The Musical is produced Off-Broadway by Victoria Lang, Rich Affannato and Donna Trinkoff. The playing schedule for the final eight performances is Thursdays and Fridays at 8 PM, and Saturdays at 8 & 10:30 PM at Theatre 80, located at 80 St. Marks Place (between First & Second Ave.) Tickets are $25 - $65 and are available by calling 212-352-3101 or through www.SilenceTheMusical.com.
Jonathan Demme and cast
Jonathan Demme (center) with the SILENCE! The Musical company