South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut," the film version of Trey Parker and Matt Stone animated TV show, is offensive, obnoxious and wildly popular. But the movie, which opened across the country June 30, is also chock-full of musical theatre references and 11 musical numbers.
Musical references, especially to Disney's animated films and subsequent stage productions, begin with the opening number, "Mountain Town," where the South Park boys celebrate their "quiet little white-bread, redneck mountain town" a la Belle in Beauty and the Beast. Satan's ode to longing for a better life (think Beauty's Beast) has the Dark Prince stepping out onto a balcony to sing the song, "Up There." The number ends with a shot reminiscent of Disney's "The Little Mermaid" and sounds, in theme, suspiciously like "The Hunchback of Notre Dame"'s "Out There." "I'm Super," Big Gay Al's USO show number, parodies cabaret acts and classic movie musicals, complete with an Esther Williams swimming dance moment.
One of musical theatre's own, Howard McGillin, is even the singing voice of Gregory, a pro-revolutionary and political organizer of the South Park playground. McGillin, a vet of Kiss of the Spider Woman and Encore's Ziegfeld Follies of 1936, leads a Les Miserables parody called "La Resistance (Medley)."
A cartoon of Death of A Salesman's Brian Dennehy also makes an appearance during the "What Would Brian Boitano Do?" number but is banished from helping out the "South Park" boys in favor of Boitano.
Also of note is the presence of frequent Broadway and Off-Broadway producer Scott Rudin. A film producer ("A Civil Action," "The Truman Show"), Rudin served as an executive producer on "South Park." His Broadway producing credits include Passion, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Blue Room, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, Amy's View and the upcoming Wise Guys. "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut" is on the web by http://www.southparkmovie.com. "South Park"'s movie melodies, including McGillin's performance, have been preserved on disc by Atlantic Records.
-- By Christine Ehren