Those of you who follow my occasional theater trips to New York know that I have a soft spot for weird, small, offbeat or downright bizarre musicals. So it’s probably no surprise that a few years ago I jumped at the chance to see “Silence: The Musical,” a parody of the movie “Silence of the Lambs.”
Which is why I want to give a plug for the new San Francisco production at the Victoria Theatre, which runs through Feb. 25. If it’s anything like the New York production, I can guarantee it as a completely over-the-top, hilarious, raunchy and ragingly offensive show.
“It takes little nuggets from the movie that in the movie’s context are scary, but when you pull them out and add a country-western soundtrack, it’s hilarious,” says Anne Norland, who landed the plum role of Clarice Starling – rookie FBI agent who faces off against Hannibal Lechter – in the San Francisco production. (It’s presented by Cloud 9 Theatricals, in association with
Lang Entertainment Group and Ray of Light Theatre.)
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All the favorite references are there: the moths, the fava beans, the “nice Chianti,” the “put the f------ lotion in the basket” line. Plus a Greek-like chorus of actors dressed as lambs.
The show features a book by Tony Award nominee Hunter Bell ‘[title of show]’ and music and lyrics by Jon and Al Kaplan. It’s those lyrics, many of whom can’t be published here, that can be so hilarious. (If you’re not easily offended by such things.) Don’t believe me? Look up the lyrics to the “Smell” song that Hannibal sings.
Norland jumped at the chance to play Clarice, and polished up a Virginia drawl to do it. She’s a full-time sixth-grade teacher in San Francisco.
“Let’s just say none of my kids are going to be able to come and see me,” she says.