In case you don’t know, the original Reefer Madness was a 1936 propaganda film that preached the evils of marijuana. Its melodramatic story of mayhem, murder and madness—all sparked of course by that dreadful hallucinogenic plant from “the garden of Satan”—spawned a musical satire and a tongue-in-cheek 2005 movie version as well as this original adaptation by Keith Morrison of Halifax’s Lions Den Theatre.
The play opens with a lecture by Doctor Carroll (Jesse Robb, who adopts the perfect and hysterically- funny patronizing tone), local principal and anti-marijuana crusader. Carroll relates the cautionary tale of Bill and Mary (Dan Bray and Heather Beresford), an oh-so-square teenage couple led astray by low-life pushers.
A play as tongue-and-cheek as this one allows for some pretty broad acting, and this cast has a lot of fun with that—particularly Eric Fitzpatrick as Mary’s gosh-golly innocent younger brother Jimmy. The fumbling get-to-know-you scene between Jimmy and the shy-gal Agnes (Kaleigh Flemming) is both truly funny and delightfully charming.
The play itself is framed by projections that set up both the era and satirical tone of the show really nicely.
This production of Reefer Madness is campy fun, well-done, and sure to be a high point of your week.
Running from May 15-May 19, 8 PM nightly with special matinee on the 18th at 2 PM! Tickets are $15 artist/student/senior/unwaged; $20 regular! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to secure your seat!