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Open: 07/09/11- Close: 07/16/11 Silence! The Musical
Reviewed for By: Brianna Essland

Silence! The Musical sure swings hard.  And while it’s not exactly a homerun, it’s rounding third base.  A parody of the Oscar-winning classic The Silence of the Lambs, this is an outrageous, vulgar musical in a perfect venue (Times Scare, 42nd and 8th) for those looking for a raunchier, adult-oriented alternative off-Broadway.

In Silence, we meet Clarice Sterling (Pamela Bob hamming it up, lisp and all), an ambitious FBI agent ready to take on a big case.  She’s assigned to track Jaime Gumb aka Buffalo Bill (Topher Nuccio, appropriately creepy and filling in for Stephen Bienskie) whose latest victim is Catherine Martin (Kimberly Stern, okay as Cat but priceless as her mother who repeats Catherine’s name to hilarious excess).  The clever Buffalo Bill, who targets only overweight women so he can thin and skin them, is not an easy catch.  That’s where the brilliant but incarcerated Dr. Hannibal Lector (Harry Bouvy, excellent at deadpan) comes in.  With his guidance, Clarice can free Catherine from the hands of a vicious psychopath and all will be well.  But alas, there are obstacles abound.  Like visits from the ghost of Sterling’s father, who laments about the loneliness of being dead.  And a whacky, inept boss who’d rather travel than solve murders.  And two whacky, inept newscasters - one of whom says not a word.  Oh, and of course, Hannibal Lector singing longingly about what he’d do if he could smell Clarice’s c***.

The show plays just like a Naked Gun film.  An over-the-top absurdity fills every single moment: an actor can’t even roll a chair offstage without another actor yelling “Ow!!” from the wings.  There are some inventive bits - the use of chalkdust to represent flashbacks, Lector’s stick figure drawings, Clarice’s awkward encounter with a handless man named Stubbs – and there are some that don’t take off.   For instance, “Are You About a Size 14?” is a well-sung but bleak song detailing Buffalo Bill’s intentions for fat people.  Another part where Clarice swears up a storm starts funny but grows tiresome.

Yet for every moment that doesn’t quite land, there are two or three or four that do.  So while you may not laugh aloud for ninety minutes straight, there won't be much Silence in the audience of this R-rated musical comedy.

GRADE: B for tickets and info.

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