Cannibal! The Musical, the campy Off-Off-Broadway comedy, extended and extended and extended, but now with Fringe Festival shows pushing into the Kraine Theatre space, the Trey Parker musical will close Aug. 4. The musical, originally an independent film by Parker, was produced under the auspices of a new theatre company, the Saturday Players.
Cannibal! The Musical is the fictional account of Alfred Packer, the only American ever convicted of cannibalism. In this telling, Packer and his beloved steed Lianne set off with a group of gold miners hoping to strike it rich in California. When they become lost in a snow storm in the Colorado Rockies, however, the gang gets hungry and musical numbers ensue, including the man-horse ballad "When I Was on Top of You," "Hang the Bastard," "Let's Build a Snowman" and "Shpadoinkle Day" ("the sky is blue and the leaves are green/my heart's as full as a baked potato") as well as references to West Side Story, "Dixie," and, in two ballet sequences, Strauss' "Blue Danube" and "Swan Lake."
All the tasteful (and tasty) titles belong to Academy Award nominee Parker, whose "Blame Canada" was performed on the Oscars last year. He co-created "South Park" and "That's My Bush!," a parody of the new First Family.
The Saturday Players' artistic director Lisa Gardner adapted the film to be directed by Joan Eileen Murray. Starring in Cannibal! are Yoshi Amao, Ryan Brack (Packer), Kasey Daley (Polly Pry), Joshua Gilliam, Nadine Klein (Lianne), Paul Lang, Jeremy Manta, Rob McDonald, Matt Parson (Bell), Elizabeth Quinn, Mark Ramsey, Scott Sanborn and John David West.
Designing Cannibal are David Hein (sets, lighting) and Julia van Vliet (costumes). Wendy R. Seyb and Jennifer MacQueen are the choreographers. Cannibal! also recently added Friday night performances. Tickets are $12 with reservations, $15 at the door. The Kraine is located inside KGB at 85 East 4th Street. For reservations, call (212) 539-7686. Cannibal! The Musical Live on Stage is on the web at http://www.canniballovers.com.
— By Christine Ehren