#REVIEW: “CANNIBAL! THE MUSICAL”
Review by George Kozera for Mr. Will Wong
Even before the house lights dimmed, the atmosphere at the Panasonic Theatre for the World Premiere of CANNIBAL! THE MUSICAL was electric. Celebrities strutted on the Red Carpet including the likes of Shohreh Aghdashloo, Sarah Gadon, Natalie Brown, Damon Runyan, Katie Boland and more! The packed lobby was abuzz with local Media and Artists. Hot on the heels of yet another successful Toronto run of The Book of Mormon, everyone wondered how this collaboration between Oscar Nominee and Tony Award Winner, Trey Parker, and Director/Co-Creator/Co-Composer of Evil Dead – The Musical, Christopher Bond, would pan-out by their revisiting and re-conceptualizing this off-Broadway Hit.
Within minutes, the eight über-talented Cast of this insanely funny musical force of nature had the Audience eating from its hands, wiping-away copious tears from laughter.
Led by Liam Tobin and Elicia Mackenzie (who is best known as the Winner of the national search for Maria on CBC’s How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? and starring in The Sound of Music), this raucous Musical is based on a True Story of six Men on an expedition to find gold in the Colorado Territory. Things go wrong. Terribly wrong.
CANNIBAL! THE MUSICAL is a riotously-funny rollercoaster of a Musical. I was in a constant, off-kilter frame of mind throughout the Production as I was never sure what shockingly funny bit I would see and hear next. This is a Show where the most romantic Song is sung by our Hero to his horse. That’s not enough? How about a Bollywood- inspired song and dance routine? Want more? How about meeting up with Oedipus, who is a Giant hiding in the woods with a constantly leaking eye and has a hankering for some southern hospitality? Then there’s an Indian Chief with a very “zen” aura about him and his Princess Daughter, Yuki, who may or may not understand English. Poop jokes. Fart jokes. Religious jokes. Every race, colour and creed is a target. The Audience are even subjected to a blizzard as it snows inside the Panasonic Theatre. And, honestly, you have seen or heard anything like the discussion on HOW to start eating a dead body in order to survive. Sweet cheeks anybody? And I don’t mean the ones that Aunt Flora pinches every time the Family gets together during the Holidays! Yes, this is a profane, rude and definitely not for them Disney-loving Kiddies! This is one for the Adults to “let it go” and laugh themselves silly.
The entire Cast is letter-perfect. Alongside Tobin and Mackenzie, recognition must be paid to Marty Adams, Mark Andrada, Lana Carillo, Trevor Martin, Mike “Nug” Nahrgang and Tim Porter. They all play a number of different Characters and many of these Performers have a strong foundation in Comedy, many Second City Alumni. As an Ensemble, their timing is impeccable and they sure do sing and dance up a storm.
Horror stories and Movies have been successfully transformed into original Musical Comedies in the past. From Little Shop of Horrors to Sweeney Todd and Night of the Living Dead Live, it’s a Genre rife with comedic, musical possibilities. CANNIBAL! THE MUSICAL will now be the benchmark on how to do this right. See it.
We also recently attended a special Media Preview of Cannibal! The Musical. More on that here.
CANNIBAL! THE MUSICAL plays at Panasonic Theatre through March 8, 2015.
(Photo credit: George Kozera/Mr. Will Wong)