Courtesy Dark Horse Company Theatre Natalia Noble as Mary Lane and Justin Banks as Jimmy Harper in Dark Horse Company Theatre’s production of “Reefer Madness: The Musical."

The horrors of marijuana rolled into a musical

Stage » Dark Horse Company Theatre gives pot the comic treatment with “Reefer Madness.”

First Published Apr 26 2013 01:01 am
Last Updated Apr 26 2013 01:01 am

Park City • Marijuana has been called a "gateway drug" that leads those who smoke it into heavier and more destructive narcotics and life of crime.

That was the premise of the 1936 propaganda film and cautionary tale "Tell Your Children," which resurfaced 40 years later as "Reefer Madness."

The story is about Jimmy Harper and how his and his girlfriend’s lives are ruined through a haze of drugs, sex and murder. Of course, all this happens after a hostess named Mae and her pusher boyfriend, Jack, lure them into attending pot parties at a nearby reefer den.

Although the original actors’ earnest anti-cannabis portrayals remained intact when the film re-emerged in the 1970s, they were seen as campy and over-the-top, which helped relaunch the film as a cult comedy, said William Richardson, the director and choreographer of the Dark Horse Company Theatre’s production of "Reefer Madness: The Musical," which continues this week at The Egyptian Theatre.

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