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Reefer Madness musical returns to Plano


Reefer Madness the musical is returning to the Art Centre Theatre in Plano after a successful run this past year.

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. Their previous run of the 1930s documentary-turned-mockumentary was a hit, and for those that missed it, or want to see the stage production once again, there will be seven shows this month, including a special April 20 showing.

The director of the musical, Alese Watson-Johnson, say’s that “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.”

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 Art Centre Theatre describes it as,

Marihuana makes fiends of boys in thirty days; hashish goads users to blood lust, declared a Hearst newspaper article in 1936, the same year the anti-drug propaganda film Reefer Madness was released. Though time has shown us that a little Mary Jane neither creates fiends nor induces blood lust, the exploitation film’s anti-“marihuana” message continues to entertain, this time via the ACT performance of this over-the-top stage adaptation of the now cult-classic. Following a group of teens lured into a world of death, destruction and — gasp — jazz! after hitting a single joint, Reefer Madness is a tongue-in-cheek comedy that embraces the movie’s wackiness with style!

Texas Marijuana Policy Advocacy Workshops — January 2018
Texas Marijuana Policy Advocacy Workshops — January 2018

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.

For details on showings and tickets, click here.

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Stephen Carter

Stephen Carter is a journalist and information technology specialist living in Waco, Texas. He has been working with the cannabis movement since 2009. He founded Texas Cannabis Report in 2013 to bring Texans accurate cannabis related news.

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