Preview by Doug Iden of Silence: Falcon Theatre
Silence! The Musical, a parody of the movie Silence of the Lambs, opens Friday at the Falcon Theatre and promises to be a sheer delight. In keeping with the offbeat, quirky musicals often performed at the Falcon, Silence spoofs both the movie and the actors playing the primary roles. “I have been trying to get the rights to this show for eight years,” stated Ted Weil, Artistic Director of the Falcon and play director for this show. “We are very excited to be able to locally premier this show which originally opened at the New York Fringe Festival”, Weil continued. The show has been a cult favorite ever since.
The Falcon often opens their season with a “Halloween” show and Silence provides both the trick and the treat. Based upon the Thomas Harris novel and subsequent movie, Silence tells the story of FBI agent Clarice Starling (portrayed by Jodie Foster in the movie and Lauren Bailey in the play) who is trying to catch a heinous serial killer called Buffalo Bill (played by Brandon Bentley). To help her investigation, Starling interviews incarcerated serial killer, Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins in the movie and Mike Hall in the play) seeking a way to catch Buffalo Bill. The dark, macabre battle of wits and personalities between Lecter and Starling is the basis for the story. Because the play is both a satire of the movie and the movie actors, Weil had to cast actors who could impersonate and spoof the characters at the same time. Mike Hall had a “good look” for Hannibal and brings the right qualities to the role, commented Weil. In the movie, Jodie Foster has a slight lisp which is exaggerated in the play as another example of the parody of the screen actors.
One of the highlights of the show is five dancing lambs who function as narrators, a Greek Chorus and the “vocal chords” of the play. How can you go wrong with five dancing and singing lambs getting a “leg up” on the action?
Weil said this show fits the personality of the Falcon. An early production was the Rocky Horror Picture Show which was a big success. The first production in the current theater on Monmouth Street in Newport was Gilligan’s Island, the Musical which established the quirky nature of their shows that helps differentiate the Falcon from other local theaters.
The show should be a hilarious romp filled with clever but naughty songs played by Music Director Sherry McCamley. Caution: this is an adult production with adult language and is not intended for children.
Come and enjoy the rampant silliness of murderous cannibals, off-color lyrics and dancing lambs. What’s not to like?
SILENCE! The Musical runs September 25 through October 10. All performances are at Falcon Theatre, 636 Monmouth Street in Newport. Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for students and available on Falcontheatre.net. Performances are at 8 p.m.