Plano Reefer Madness musical a non-stop riot
Tucked away in Plano’s business district is a community theater which offers aspiring local actors and actresses the opportunity to sharpen their skills and put their talents on display. Right now, they’re performing a little musical called Reefer Madness, and it induces nearly non-stop laughter.
The Art Centre Theater is currently in the middle of its production run of the 1930s documentary-turned-mockumentary.
Reefer Madness was originally produced in order to instill fear in young people about the dangers of marijuana. It instead became a cult-classic, an absurd display of the depravity of those who preached marijuana’s evils. The movie also induces a laugh or two as it takes you through the story of an upstanding young man and his descent into hell as he becomes hooked on the reefer, ultimately becoming a burned out murderer.
The musical, directed by Alese Watson-Johnson, takes that absurdity and turns it into a gut-busting full on comedy with the help of an outstanding cast.
“After directing a fabulous production of The Rocky Horror Show last October, I was asked to direct Reefer Madness, and I jumped at the opportunity,” states Watson-Johnson. “Speaking as a board member at the Art Centre Theatre, we made the decision to perform Reefer Madness based on our audience’s desire for irreverent productions. We have had much success over the years with productions of Rocky Horror, Evil Dead The Musical, as well as numerous burlesque productions.”
She adds, “Reefer Madness takes some of the best elements of these productions and blasts them across the stage with gleeful abandon in a scathing satire of the 1936 propaganda film. Given the current political climate, particularly the admission just yesterday by the DEA that marijuana is not as dangerous as heroin, I think the message behind the humor is particularly relevant.”
Through the comedy and satire you can almost see a serious side to the show as they preach the need to tell the truth about marijuana.
Complete with full on musical numbers from gifted performers, including an appearance by Jesus, Satan, and FDR, the show also delves into some of the history involved while tongue-in-cheek dubbing itself as a “re-enactment of true events” some of which are “so graphic that we could not reproduce them.”
Even in moments of improvisation, the cast stays in character, incorporating anything that happens into the show.
Scenes at times are definitely inappropriate for children, with occasional vulgarity, which adds even more flavor.
A full evening spanning two plus hours of entertainment, this is not your usual musical.
While refreshments are sold for a donation at the theater, it is also BYOB, meaning you can bring a small ice chest full of your favorite beverages.
The production runs each weekend through August 30, and tickets can be purchased at the theater’s website for $14 each.
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