If you’ve seen The Human Centipede, then you know what Centipede! The Musical is about. The Fringe show follows the basic plot of the movie: A deranged German scientist captures three tourists and as part of an experiment, connects them “mouth to anus” (as the peppy verse goes in the musical). I knew enough about the film to know what I was walking into on Sunday night. The idea of a “Siamese triplet” is almost unbearable, but for as horrendous as it is, Centipede! The Musical makes it absurdly funny.
Even though Centipede! The Musical is a parody, I’m still astounded at Timothy Maurtiz’s ability to shift the mood 180 degrees without changing the content (just condensing it to fit the alloted time). The music by Joseph Yé is upbeat and hummable (a funny part comes when the rear of the human centipede starts to shake her butt to the beat). All of the obvious foreshadowing and puns make it funny instead of horrifying. The back of the program actually gives instructions on how to change a tire … you know, just in case you get lost in German woods and find yourself on a makeshift medical bed.
This show isn’t for the faint of heart. But if you have the stomach for it, Centipede! The Musical is worth it. The production as a whole is well done and a perfect size for the Fringe. It’s also the best musical I’ve seen at the Fringe so far.