Matt Stone and Trey Parker clearly aren't keen on letting people produce Cannibal! The Musical, the first project they worked on together back when they were at the University of Colorado in 1993 -- but apparently if the offer's right, they're not totally opposed to it, either. "It's interesting," says Fred Bowers, executive producer of the Next Pony production of the show. "When you apply for the rights, it says there's no script, no score and they don't understand why anyone would want to do it, but if you tell us why you want to do the show, maybe we'll let you."
Bowers was determined to do the show, though, and since Cannibal! is an upbeat musical about famous Colorado cannibal Alfred Packer's unspeakably ill-fated journey through the Rockies -- during which he resorted to, uh, eating his companions -- he figured the best way to make his case was to be equally silly. So he submitted a top-ten list of why he loved the show (which included such items as "teaches valuable winter survival skills"), and it worked: Next Pony got the rights. And as it turns out, both a script and a score for the show do exist, though Bowers notes that companies like his are encouraged to make the work their own.
In any case, it's certain that Cannibal! is the most obscure entry in the Stone/Parker canon, and performances of it are rare. So you won't want to miss Next Pony's version, which includes local characters Little Fyodor and Babushka in its cast, when it hits the stage at the Bug Theatre, 3654 Navajo Street, at 8 p.m. tonight. Performances continue through November 26; for showtimes, tickets, $15, or more information, go to www.bugtheatre.org.
Fridays-Sundays, 8 p.m. Starts: Nov. 11. Continues through Nov. 26, 2011