Trey Parker's CANNIBAL! THE MUSICAL to Make Bay Area Premiere
TO END A SEASON
It wouldn't be a prudent choice for most theatre companies.
It wouldn't be a wise choice for a first musical endeavor.
And it certainly wouldn't be the keenest choice for an inaugural season closer.
For The Other Other Theatre Company (or TOOTCo), however, an "Oklahoma!"-style musical about cannibalism is a perfectly scrumptious choice.
The company-- dedicated to only performing on nights when most theaters are dark--started off its inaugural season with three one-acts by Academy Award winner Ethan Coen called "Almost An Evening", which they then followed in October with a gender-and-race-bent, author-approved reimagining of Aaron Sorkin's "A Few Good Men". Their most recent production, that of Sarah Ruhl's behind-the-curtain comedy "Stage Kiss", premiered this past February.
And for a company with an already established M.O. of being more than slightly off-kilter, a Bay Area premiere from the "South Park" and "Book of Mormon" auteur was right on target.
"It's exactly our style," says TOOTCo Artistic Director Joel Roster. "The bending of the 'established' way of doing things, the explicit joy that's taken in the art of the ridiculous... there was only one director that was in my mind from the very beginning."
In just a few years, Danny Cozart has made a deep impact on the Bay Area theatre scene. He was nominated for a Theatre Bay Area Award for his direction of Berkeley Playhouse's smash production of "Avenue Q", but it was his flawless execution of that company's "Urinetown: The Musical" that garnered him the award the following year.
Roster and Cozart met as actors in 2007, and would later work as directorial colleagues on Tony Kushner's "Angels In America" at Town Hall Theatre. The production would later earn more awards than any show in the company's history.
The musical, as mentioned, is based on true events, as a group of miners traveling from Utah to Colorado with dreams of gold and riches met an unfortunate and sinister end. This version is colorfully told through toe-tapping songs, high-kicking dances... and perhaps a dream ballet.
Starring as Alferd Packer--the first man in the United States ever convicted of cannibalism-- is TOOTCo founding company member and Bay Area theatre mainstay Kevin Thomas Singer, who previously appeared as a benevolent God Who Loves in "Almost An Evening" and the male lead of He in "Stage Kiss".
The also-historically-accurate investigative reporter known as Polly Pry is played by Caroline Schneider, who makes her Other Other Theatre debut.
Rounding out the team are returning TOOTCo actors Alan Coyne ("Stage Kiss"), Benjamin Rafael Garcia ("A Few Good Men" & "Stage Kiss"), Henry Perkins ("Almost An Evening" & "A Few Good Men"), LaMont Ridgell ("A Few Good Men"), and Chris Totah ("Almost An Evening" & "A Few Good Men"). Making their company debut are Jennifer Brookman, Darrien Cabreana, Alexander Gomez, Jasen Jeffrey, JEANINE PERASSO-KACZMARCZYK, and Ryan Meulpolder.
BRITTNEY MONROE, a familiar face in Bay Area musical theatre, will choreograph.
As per the company's mission, the limited performances perform strictly on Sunday and Monday evenings at 7:30PM. All performances will be at MoonSpace, located at 250 Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco, right across from City Hall. Civic Center BART is located two blocks from the venue.
In an effort to keep theatre as accessible as possible, ticket prices are $20 for General Admission and $17.50 for seniors and students. Tickets may be purchased online at otherothertheatre.com, at brownpapertickets.com, or by calling 925-878-8869.
Photo courtesy of Erin Gould