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Onstage: Reefer Madness

By Tom McElfresh · October 3rd, 2008 · CityBeat Recommends

When Reefer Madness: The Musical is cooking, it cooks. Know Theatre is kick-starting its season with a rowdy, just-for-the-hell-of-it musical that decries (wink, wink) the evils of smoking marijuana.

Thanks to attitude infused by director Eric Vosmeier, Know’s show does it with tongue, teeth and tonsils wedged in its cheek — just as did original productions in Los Angeles (1999) and New York (2001) and a version filmed in 2005.

What composer Dan Studney and lyricist Kevin Murphy satirize in their clever songs and campy libretto are hysterical claims of moral degradation and reprehensible behavior — murder, rape, unsafe driving habits, fornication, laughing at inappropriate times — that are said to result from smoking the evil weed and from listening to godless Jazz music created by known smokers. It all started with a schlocky 1936 exploitation film originally titled Tell Your Children.

Click here for the full review.



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