Review of “Silence! The Musical” at the Actors Company Theatre

This is my very first “Silence.”

The show was developed in 2005 for Off-Broadway and has been produced many many times all over the world. After seeing the Bucket List Theatre’s production I can now understand why.

Basically, the show is a parody of the 1991 movie “The Silence of The Lambs,” which is an adaptation of the book by Thomas Harris about a young FBI agent and her first case involving a renown cannibal serial killer and his protege.

1) Jesse Merlin and Amanda Conlon
Jesse Merlin and Amanda Conlon

The musical takes the original characters and plays off their fascinating quirks masterfully.

Clarice Starling becomes a hilarious caricature of herself, her drawl more prominent, her eyes rolling and bugging as she over enthusiastically tries to prove herself to be more than her poor beginnings and her suicidal father.

Hannibal Lector is slightly camp and gloriously somber. He manipulates everyone perfectly and his baritone reverberates around the stage in god like waves. Buffalo Bill, the killer they seek, is a flamboyant, crude, grotesque bully and is just as marvelously disgusting as his movie counterpart. The rest of the characters are all equally heightened, they fit their parts brilliantly and as the story unfolds the actors all lean in exquisitely.

3) Nick Dothe as Buffalo Bill
Nick Dothée as Buffalo Bill

There is a wonderful chorus of lambs, with pricked up ears and little trotters and wool. This chorus sings us through the story in beautiful harmonies, the comedy of it all played as straight as possible, which is of course why it is so brilliantly funny.

There are actual ballets to heartbreaking ballads of yearning and twisted minds.

There are intricately choreographed dance sequences to delight us and very, very cleverly designed set pieces to bring us fully into the dark world of Clarice and her lambs. Oh and there are the songs…hilarious, bawdy, expertly sung and heroically performed. The songs are what makes this musical work. They are funny and poetic, memorable and brilliant, shocking and sublime. The Bucket List Theatre Company can do no wrong with this production. Casting every role so extraordinarily well that there is no doubt who each of these characters are. The players are powerful, supremely talented and masterful in their interpretation. The music, played with passion and excellence by the Musical Director Edgar Cardoso at the edge of the stage on his piano was so wonderful. Nothing beats live accompaniment in a musical, especially when it’s in such an intimate setting as The Actors Company. Yet the stage felt huge somehow…the magic of theatre and the talents of the actors I have no doubt.

4) Nick Dothe and Amanda Conlon
Nick Dothée and Amanda Conlon

This is such a brilliant show. Funny, smart, inventive and full of wonderful songs and so many opportunities for brilliance from the performers. I absolutely loved it!!

Please, please do yourself a huge favor and get yourself out to Hollywood to see “Silence! The Musical” I guarantee you won’t regret it…I’m definitely going back for more before November 3rd…


The Cast:

Jesse Merlin (Dr. Hannibal Lecter), Amanda Conlon (Clarice Starling), Nick Dothée (Buffalo Bill), Julie Ouellette (Catherine Martin), Brian Dyer (Jack Crawford), Kevin Michael Moran (Dr. Chilton), Courtney Bruce (Ardelia, Lamb), Philip McBride (Papa Starling, Lamb), Suzanne Slade (Senator Martin, Lamb), Jesse Gavin (Stone Rockbrockmanrock, Lamb), Jeff LaGreca (Bimmel, Lamb), Michael C. Silva (Miggs, Lamb), Patrick Pizzolorusso (Jack Crawford understudy)

Production Team:

Amanda Conion – Director, Choreographer, Production Design

Edgar Cardoso – Musical Director

Peter Flanigan – Producer

Nick Foran – Lighting Designer

Best Paul-Rick – Stage Manager

Shari Barrett – Publicist

Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros
Author: Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros

Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros is a British writer and filmmaker living In Los Angeles.