Hard to Enjoy “Silence!” When You Laugh So Hard

by Kevin M. Thomas, @ReelKev

San Francisco’s talent has been bringing us the best of theatre and the current production of “Silence! The Musical” is no exception.

Having seen the Off-Broadway version TWICE, I held at bay any preconceived notions I had wondering if the local production can top the amazing work by Jenn Harris and Brent Barrett who played the Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins roles in the original cast of this spoof of “Silence of the Lambs.”

The answer is YES! Anne Norland as Clarice almost makes one forget Harris (sorry Jenn!). Those who aren’t theatre nerds like me and have never seen the original, will be wowed by Norland, who makes the role her own as does Scott Hayes as Hannibal Lecter.

Both actors eat up the scenery in this tongue-and-cheek spoof and it seems like they relished it as much as Lecter enjoys eating someone’s liver with fava beans and a nice Chanti.

The entire cast is at the top of their game with standout moments from Hayley Lovgren as Senator and Catherine Martin, Brendon North as Dr. Chilton and a big showstopping number by Angel Adedoklun as Clarice’s friend. Brian Watson also does amazing work as Buffalo Bill, especially in the number he dances across the stage with his penis tucked in his early stages of transitioning to a female. 

Add solid direction by Jason Hoover and new choreography from Alex Rodriguez and you have a great evening at the theatre.

But no matter how good of a production, this show is as amazing as it is thanks mostly to the book by Hunter Bell and the songs from Jon and Al Kaplan.

These parody songs are the most creative and fun songs that help elevate this show to a higher sphere and truly makes it one of the funniest shows I’ve ever seen.

Even if the San Francisco production was subpar, there’s no way to ruin any of the wit and cleverness to the songs. Furthermore, the songs help advance the plot and aren’t just melodic breaks in the show. The Kaplans carefully reviewed the script of the Oscar winning movie and were able to capitalize on the content and even incorporate some of the movies lines, leaving us with laugh out loud funny songs “If I Could Smell Her Cunt” and “Are You About a Size 14?,” among others.

Apparently I am not the only one who thinks this way as the show has already been extended to March 18.

Get your tickets and information at www.rayoflighttheatre.com