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Uptown Players' Movie Spoof Silence of the Clams Commits Mollusk Aforethought

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For filthy fun, get your merkin to Jamie Morris' Silence of the Clams. Uptown Players is doing the outrageous drag spoof of the movie thriller about the cross-dressing serial killer and the butch FBI trainee who tracks him down.

In this version, performed in the Rose Room theater above the S4 bar on Cedar Springs, actor Austin Tindle tucks into the Jodie Foster role, now called "Clarice Startling." The character knows a bit about "clamming" from growing up with some mollusk-loving cousins. Her dad had run off with a truck driver named Vince "and a Labradoodle named Miss Liza Minnelli."

Clarice has to visit the evil prisoner "Dr. Lichter" (rhymes with "kicked her"), played with a creepily accurate Anthony Hopkins leer by Mathew Butler. The same actor also plays the other killer, called "Beaver Bob" here. Instead of making himself a girl suit, he's only collecting a certain fleshy mound. Never heard the term "fupa"? You will in this show, along with "gunt." Playwright Morris isn't exactly Oscar Wilde.

It's all gross, giggly fun, however, especially when the three-actor cast (Mikey Abrams plays all the other roles) has to quick-change between scenes. On opening night, Tindle entered without his skirt at one point. Good thing he has great gams.

Director Linda Leonard has set a frantic pace for the show, which adds some punch to a script that's almost too loyal to the original screenplay. Those long speeches by Clarice could be waxed, or maybe substituted with better jokes.

But all the best bits from the flick get sent up, like Dr. Lichter mocking Clarice's wardrobe: "Your expensive bag and cheap shoes. Did you BOGO? Does it feel good to pay less?" And instead of fava beans with his victim's liver, this time he dines on a victim's "prostate with Swiss chard and an unassuming pinot noir."

Order a cocktail (there's full bar service at the Rose Room) and put your inhibitions (and lotion) in the basket. The Silence of the Clams is murderously silly.

The Silence of the Clams continues through May 20 (no show May 19) at the Rose Room (above the S4 bar, Cedar Springs at Throckmorton). Call 214-219-7218. (No one under 21 admitted.)

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