Pier One Theatre’s “Cannibal! The Musical” opens July 20 at the Pratt Museum Park stage at 7:30 p.m. Performances run this weekend and next. The production is directed by Christine Kulcheski with assistance from Cristen San Roman.
Based on an early film by Trey Parker (co-creator of “South Park” and “The Book of Mormon”), “Cannibal! The Musical” tells the story of the only person convicted of cannibalism in America, Alfred Packer. The sole survivor of an ill-fated trip to the Colorado Territory, he tells his side of the harrowing tale to news reporter Polly Pry as he awaits his execution. The Pier One version of his story includes a belly-dancing horse, dancing snowmen, time traveling hippies, nauseating gore and toe-tapping songs. The musical is a highly fictionalized version of a true story.
Director Christine Kulcheski describes the tone of the show as, “definitely a comedy in the same irreverent vein as ‘South Park,’ but adapted to be relatively appropriate for all ages. There are some gory scenes related to the theme of cannibalism, but everything is obviously fake and should be more fun than scary for kids over 7 or 8. The songs and dances alone are worth coming to see,” Kulcheski said by email.
The story is compelling too, a classic adventure tale gone wrong.
“The characters include gold-thirsty miners, blood-thirsty trappers, time-travelling hippies, and a salsa dancing horse involved in a love triangle with two humans,” Kulcheski said.
Cristen San Roman assisted Kulcheski in direction and the play features the musical talents of Tyler Munns on piano through the entire show and stars many familiar Pier One players.
“The stage in the woods is a small space to hold the entire cast at times, but it’s a fun opportunity to watch local music and dance,” Kulcheski said.