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Trey Parker’s first attempt at a full-fledged musical, conceived while a University of Colorado student, Cannibal! The Musical is as improbable as this year’s Tony-winning juggernaut The Book of Mormon. Developed as a film in 1993, Cannibal focuses on the real-life story of Alferd Packer, convicted of cannibalism during a 19th Century gold-seeking expedition in the Colorado Territory. It glimmers with the uproarious wit, topical fearlessness and cheerful tunes that Parker has made his stock in trade. Directed by Andrew Lloyd Baughman, the Landless Theatre production features a ragtag ensemble of attractive actors really biting into the roles, even while occasionally, understandably struggling to refrain from laughing at some of the most outrageous antics. Among the zany highlights is a song sung by Packer, played with glee by Patrick M. Doneghy, to his beloved horse Liane, “When I Was On Top Of You,” complete with suggestive thrusting. Heather Bagnall Scheeler’s choreography — as well as actor/choreographer Steve Custer’s fight scene moves — adds still more hilarity to an already ridiculous show. Factor in Jared Davis’s South Park-esque whimsical Western set paintings and Amanda Williams and Melissa Baughman’s comical props, and you have a show almost guaranteed to have you laughing your ass off. But don’t worry: Your ass is safe. As the show’s cannibals explain, they don’t eat butt. Weekends to Dec. 23. DCAC, 2438 18th St. NW. Tickets are $25. Call 202-431-4704 or visit dcartscenter.org.
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