Archikulture Digest

Reefer Madness: The Musical

Reefer Madness: The Musical

Book and Music by Kevin Murphy and Dan Studney

Lyrics by Kevin Murphy

Directed by Steve MacKinnon

Choreographed by Spencer Morrow

Starring Sage Starkey, Shannon Bilo-Zepf, and John Gracey

Theatre Downtown, Orlando FL</strong>

Back when Midnight Movies were the rage, you may have nodded though the original film version of this rabidly dull anti-marihuana flick. If not for Cab Calloway’s frenetic piano scene there wouldn’t be any real reason to light up for that antiques, but I’m happy to report this stage version is MUCH better. It’s got great songs, great acting, and never feels a need to stick to the original script or deliver any sort of message. Clean cut Jimmy Harper (Starkey) and his milkshake-loving girl Mary Lane (Bilo-Zepf) slip from innocent youth to manically pot heads under the guidance of slick Jack Stone (Ralphy Colon) and his femme fatal girls Sally (Jackie Prutsman) and dragged out Mae (Victor Souffrant). Overseeing all this debauchery is our moralistic Lecturer (Gracey) backed by his sexy placard girl (Stacey Fulford) in a tight dress and blunt messages. What pushes this show from “ho-hum” to “hooHAH!” is the sparkling music conducted by Spenser Croswell and that band high up in the rafters. Everything clicks from high energy opener “Reefer Madness” to “The Orgy” to the sexy and racist “Brownie Song”. Jimmy is lithe and bends like a Gumby toy while Ms Bilo-Zepf still has that clean cut innocence she mastered in 2006’s “Psycho Beach Party.” Adam Del Medico’s Jesus radiates inspired comedy, and even Mr. Lecturer engages in a little human sacrifice. With superb production values and non-stop energy, this is one of the best Theater Downtown shows I’ve seen this year.

For more information on Theatre Downtown, please visit http://www.theatredowntown.net


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