If ‘Silence of the Lambs’ can be a musical, so can these!

Tampa Bay Times
Column: If ‘Silence of the Lambs’ can be a musical, so can these
By Stephanie Hayes, Times Arts and Entertainment Editor
Wednesday, October 14, 2015 12:11pm


Tampa’s Jobsite Theater is putting on a musical version of Silence of the Lambs, just in time for Halloween. Yes, that Silence. The one with the lotion and the basket and the fava beans. It’s for adult eyes only, and as performing arts critic Andrew Meacham tells us, some of the song titles are not even printable in a family newspaper.


Silence! The Musical – The Unauthorized Parody of the Silence of the Lambs, won’t be the first or last movie to transition to the stage. Some adaptations (Hairspray) fare better than others (Ghost). It got me thinking about Halloween movies with potential to one day win a Tony, or at the very least make compelling audition fodder for a broody eighth-grade thespian.

This movie already has the makings of an epic jukebox musical. It has an on-theme soundtrack built in, from Creedence Clearwater Revival‘s Bad Moon Rising to Van Morrison’s Moondance. Then there’s the jarring moment when Bobby Vinton croons out Blue Moon just before the end credits. And let’s be honest – this story could benefit from a better ending, and no part of me is opposed to that ending being a star-studded musical number complete with jazz wolf hands.

I should bite my tongue, because John Carpenter’s Halloween is not only my favorite Halloween movie of all time, it’s one of my favorite movies of all time. But, the original has been remade so much by now that a musical treatment isn’t going to make things any worse. To me, this could be a moody dramatic work, like Phantom, with The Shape lurking around corners and singing softly through a voice changer. This is 2015, so Carpenter’s cigarette smoke wafts by softly on a digital screen.

Frankly, I’m surprised this hasn’t already been made into a musical. It’s getting close, with a live show at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party in the Magic Kingdom. But who would play Disney’s wacky, witchy Sanderson sisters on a bigger stage? My armchair casting goes like this: Sutton Foster in the Sarah Jessica Parker role, Da’Vine Joy Randolph in the Kathy Najimy role, and… well… Bette Midler in the Bette Midler role. Come on! It’s Bette Midler! If we can’t have her as Winnie Sanderson singing I Put A Spell On You, no one can.

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