Actually, Cannibal! The Musical! came first. And it shows it. It's pretty sophomoric. But it does have Trey Parker's twisted wit, though the music Parker and Rich Sanders came up with won't win any Grammies.
The movie they created about Alferd Packer and the men he led to their deaths served as sufficient fodder for producers Brian and Suki Peters to create a stage version. Suki Peters directs, and she's good and smart, so the direction is clear and clever – often better than the script deserves. And she has her cast well focused, sharp and with lots of good comic timing. Producer Brian Peters has pulled together a team that comes up with an appropriately low-rent and very effective mise-en-scene – Juan Schwartz's set, Beth Ashby's costumes, Jeff Roberts sound, Bob Singleton's blessedly clear videos, and Deech Mestel's FX and lighting. Bradley J. Behrmann is the musical director, Maria I. Straub the choreographer with Juan Schwartz the fight choreographer, and Larry Kornfeld the music tracks designer.
Keith Parker, with fine singing voice and convincing innocence, plays the hapless Packer. Caitlin Mickey lends her voice and beauty to the newspaper reporter who saves him, and Betsy Saule charms as the horse who enthralls Packer before he meets Mickey's character – a flatulant horse, because this is a Trey Parker show. Chris "Mr." Jones, with miserable judgment, hires Parker to lead his group of miners to the Colorado gold fields, a varied group played by Eustace Allen, Bradley J. Behrmann, Ben Ritchie, and Sean Green. A trio of trappers, led by Dennis Folwarczny, perhaps the best singing voice on the stage, challenges and mocks the miners at every turn. Several Magic Smoking Monkey veterans condescend to help fill this large cast, as well they should – it's their kind of territory. Several of their comrades were in the audience the night I attended, whooping it up. My laughter was not as frequent nor as loud.
Cannibal! The Musical! gets a production that usually outshines the material, but it is what it is, probably a two-martini show, and if you like this sort of thing, you'll like it.