Combining music, dance, love, murder, and marijuana into an on-stage musical may seem like a heavy task, but the Annie Russell Theatre did just that with their latest musical Reefer Madness.The musical, directed by Associate Professor of Theatre Arts and Dance Missy Barnes, is a satire of the original 1936 film.
“The goal of the piece is to use humor to expose the fear mongering present in the original film,” said Marketing and Box Office Manager Chelsea Hilend.
The Annie also hopes to bring light to some of the controversy around marijuana.
“Reefer Madness is in no way a definite response to the complicated issues that surround medical and recreational use, but in its own goofy way, the play raises some really important questions,” said Hilend. “The play asks us to consider the forces at play in the marijuana conversation—political, social, and economic.”
This musical is by no means tame, and playgoers unfamiliar with the original film may struggle to understand exactly what this musical is making fun of. Regardless, Reefer Madness offers something for everyone through its catchy songs, crazy dances, and the psychopathic tendencies of its many doped up characters. It even has zombies—a perfect precursor to the month of Halloween.
Reefer Madness runs through Oct. 3. The musical is intended for mature audiences, and tickets can be purchased online via the Annie Russell Theatre webpage.