Chita Rivera attended SILENCE! The Musical at P.S. 122 this past Thursday, February 2nd, and she remained afterwards to praise the cast and pose for photos.
SILENCE! The Musical, the unauthorized parody of The Silence of the Lambs, with book by Hunter Bell, music & lyrics by Jon and Al Kaplan, and direction & choreography by Christopher Gattelli, opened July 9, 2011. Originally announced as an eight-week limited engagement, the show’s producers have extended the run five times.
Accomplished and versatile actress/singer/dancer, Chita Rivera has won two Tony Awards (Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Rink) and received seven additional Tony nominations. In 2002, she received the coveted Kennedy Center Honor. Her recent starring roles include Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life, Nine with Antonio Banderas, the new Kander/Ebb/McNally musical The Visit (Goodman Theatre), and The House of Bernarda Alba (Mark Taper Forum). Chita's electric performance as Anita in the Broadway premiere of West Side Story (1957) brought her stardom, which was repeated in London. Her career is highlighted by starring roles in Bye Bye Birdie, Chicago and Jerry’s Girls (original Broadway casts), Guys and Dolls, Can-Can, Seventh Heaven, and Mr. Wonderful.
About the show: "In the Academy Award-winning film The Silence of the Lambs, rookie FBI agent Clarice Starling matches wits with the brilliant but insane cannibal, Dr. Hannibal Lecter, to catch the serial killer known only as Buffalo Bill. Clarice must face her own demons and race the clock to unlock Lecter’s clues before another innocent girl is killed and skinned by Bill. It’s a hair-raising thriller that’s kept countless millions on The Edge of their seats and permeated the pop lexicon with delightfully creepy quotes like “I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti” and of course “It places the lotion in the basket.” At long last, this delicate symphony of suspense has been turned on its ear and retold in the only way it can be – as a musical. A singing chorus of floppy eared lambs narrates the action; Buffalo Bill gleefully dances a hoedown while kidnapping hapless Catherine Martin; and even Dr. Lecter, scary as ever, sings about the life he’d like to lead someday outside the prison walls."
David Garrison (Hannibal Lecter), Jenn Harris (Clarice Starling) and Stephen Bienskie (Buffalo Bill) head the cast of SILENCE! The Musical, which also features Callan Bergmann, Harry Bouvy, Ashlee Dupré, Annie Funke, Deidre Goodwin, Howard Kaye, Topher Nuccio, Pamela Bob, and Doug Trapp. Music Supervisor is Mark Hartman, with orchestrations by Brian J. Nash.
Created by Jon and Al Kaplan in 2002, SILENCE! began as a collection of songs on the internet which immediately attracted a staggering number of fans. The Kaplans' subsequent screenplay SILENCE! The Musical was adapted by Hunter Bell into a live stage show, which also featured newly composed songs by the brothers. Fueled by a rabid cult following, SILENCE! shattered every box office record at the 2005 FringeNYC Festival, winning the award for Best Musical. SILENCE! The Musical met with further success in London where it garnered ecstatic reviews at the Above The Stag Theatre.
Set design for SILENCE! The Musical is by three-time Tony winner Scott Pask, with costume design by David Kaley, lighting design by Jeff Croiter, and sound design by Carl Casella.
SILENCE! The Musical is produced Off-Broadway by Theater Mogul. The playing schedule is Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at 8 PM; Friday and Saturday at 7:30 PM; and Sunday at 5 PM at The 9th Space Theatre at Performance Space 122, 150 First Avenue (at 9th St.) Running time is 89 minutes with no intermission. Tickets are $25 - $79 and are available by calling 212-352-3101 or through www.SilenceTheMusical.com.
Photos: Ritchard Druther, Michael Duling
Christopher Gattelli, Chita Rivera
Deidre Goodwin, Chita Rivera, Howard Kaye
Christopher Gattelli, Chita Rivera
Chita Rivera with the SILENCE! THE MUSICAL Company
David Garrison, Chita Rivera, Jenn Harris
Chita Rivera, Jenn Harris