What happens when you put a classic crime / suspense thriller movie into the world of musical theatre? MAGIC! That is what you get! Currently Doctuh Mistuh productions is presenting Silence! The unauthorized Silence Of The Lambs Musical Parody at The Austin Playhouse Highland Theatre. This production directed by Dr. Michael McKelvey is comedy at it’s finest. Every scene, every action, every prop is well thought out and adds to the humor of the already terrific source material.
The stars of this musical parody are not Jodi Foster and Anthony Hopkins (although I wouldn’t mind seeing that), instead they are Austin theatre icons Amy Downing and Huck Huckaby who portray Clarice Shtarling and Hannibal Lecter respectively. Both Downing and Huckaby are reprising their roles from the original Doctuh Mistuh Production in 2014. The magic that garned the production, Dr. McKelvey, and Amy Downing B. Iden Payne awards is still there, alive and well.
Some of my favorite highlights from the show are, the entrances of Papa “Shtarling”…
Any moment that Scott Shipman is trying to speak and is interrupted, and Downing’s perfected vocal impression of Jodi Foster. The entire show is a “tour de farce” with everything from Honey Booboo, silly string and classic art thrown in for laughs. However, there is one moment of the show that always does it for me, David Ponton as Buffalo Bill! Ponton has a way of making you laugh and be uncomfortable at the same time. His solo moment of the show “I’d F*ck Me” is perfection, and the answer to his question is “Yes we would!” Pairing Ponton’s Buffalo Bill with Libby Detling’s portrayal of both Catherine and her mother Senator Martin is match made in heaven ( or hell in this case).
The costumes by Glenda Barnes are impeccable, you can see the attention to detail and the thought put into each one. The “Dream Hannibal” and the “Dream Clarice” costumes are my personal favorite. The lighting by Sam Chesney is spot on, adding to the humor and whimsy of the show but not overdone and interfering.
All together the only thing missing from this production is you, and maybe some fava beans and a glass of chianti. Make plans to see this irreverent and hilarious spoof of one of the most loved thrillers of all times before it goes away. Silence! The Unauthorized Musical Parody of Silence of the Lambs runs through September 4, 2016 for more information and tickets check out doctuhmistuh.org