Meat Ball

Rocky Horror, eat your heart out. Or just leave it to the cult followers and cutups behind Broadway Bound and Gagged's shadowcast production of Cannibal! The Musical, set for Saturday, September 11, at Spectrum Mall.

"If it's up to my doing," says Cannibal casting director Justin Reed, "it will be the next big cult movie night."

Reed and his Bound and Gagged groupies -- in the tradition of The Rocky Horror Picture Show -- will perform onstage while Cannibal, a movie made by South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker when they were film students, rolls behind them. The movie -- "a highly ingenuitive [sic] adaptation of musical history, parodying not only the musical as storytelling fanfare, but itself simultaneously," according to BB&G -- is based on the story of Alfred Packer, who, in 1890, while working as a miner in the Colorado mountains, was the "only man in U.S. history" to be convicted of cannibalism.

"It's singing, dancing and flesh-eating!" says Reed, 32, who proudly plays Packer onstage. "Everything's accurate, except the musical aspect. But the flesh-eating is totally factual."

Reed, who's been involved with Rocky for 15 years, has enlisted a few of the regulars from Saturday-night Rocky showings to perform in Cannibal. He also cast Tucson Rocky cast member Sara Lohman as Cannibal's female lead, Polly Pry, who "in real life, got Alfred off the hook." But Reed's most excited about casting several former Rocky regulars from its days at the Valley Art Theatre on Tempe's Mill Avenue.

"I put a lot of extra thought into this," he says. "I had to do a lot of homework and track down a lot of people."

Reed says if all goes well -- he plans to tour BB&G and Cannibal to Tucson and Long Beach later this year -- Cannibal will become a regular Friday-night event at Spectrum. "But I don't want it to go head-to-head with Rocky. It's meant too much to me."

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Joe Watson