Sunday, May 3, 2009
Cannibal, the Musical
The spring show at Mt. Pleasant High School was one of the most controversial, most over-the-top shows they've done in years.
"Cannibal! The Musical" was performed Friday and Saturday.
The story is that of Alferd Packer, the only American ever convicted of cannibalism, in Colorado in the early part of the 20th century.
The back story, according to the official Web site:
Originally a student of music, director Trey Parker (who later went on to fame and fortune as a creator of "South Park") transferred from the prestigious Berklee School of Music to Colorado University at Boulder to study film, and it was there he gave birth to his twisted brainchild "Alferd Packer: The Musical". Parker not only wrote, produced, directed and played the leading role in the film, he also wrote the songs and collaborated on the score.
The film began as a three-minute fake trailer made for an advanced film production class and, as a joke the director said he was going to make the actual film. "People kept asking 'Where's the movie?" says Parker "The response was so positive, we decided we'd do it"
Together with fellow students Matt Stone, Jason McHugh and Ian Hardin (average age 23) they formed the Avenging Conscience Inc production company and raised $75,000 from private investors, friends and family by the day they needed to start shooting. They employed fellow students as cast members and took parts in the film themselves each stepping into each others shoes behind the camera when necessary. From conception to being in the can the film took around twelve months.
When Troma picked up the film in 1996, they realized that few people outside of Colorado had ever heard of Alferd Packer, so they re-released it under the name, Cannibal! The Musical.
Mt. Pleasant High School senior Matt Boles pushed hard to put on a stage adaption of the film, and succeeded. The script had to be heavily edited and reworked to get rid of the obscenities.
The topic - "All Singing! All Dancing! All Flesh-Eating!" made it controversial, and other challenges raised a lot of skepticism.
But ultimately, the show was hilarious - for people with the right mind-set, of course.
Robert and La Madamoiselle were part of the five-piece pit band.
And Matt - the director, adapter and driving force behind the show - has been familiar to us since the days when he was part of the youth staff at Cub Scout camps 'way back around the turn of the century.
He's always been like this.
Posted by Mark at 9:56 AM