Reefer Madness: The Musical

It began as a small church-funded morality film, Tell Your Children, which aimed to caution America’s youth against the inevitable consequences of (as they spelled it) marihuana use, such as giggling uncontrollably and committing homicide. The story was subsequently turned into an exploitation film, which became a ‘70s cult movie, which was turned into a campy musical, which was turned into an equally campy movie-musical. It’s the tale of all-American high-school boy Jimmy Harper, who is, quite literally, forced into smoking pot, leading to a downward spiral of orgies, theft, and death. Reefer Madness is a high-energy, song-driven production with the added bonus of nearly naked young men and women writhing around on stage. Director Kate Jaeger, also excellent in the role of the semi-reluctant drug dealer, has compiled a group of vocalists whose belting voices are perfectly suited for their roles. Yet for all its campy glory, satire sans subtlety grows old, and at the end of two hours, Reefer had made the same point—and the same jokes—many times over. The cast does an admirable job of pushing forward in a musical that, while usually entertaining, doesn’t always want to move with them. BRENT ARONOWITZ 7:30 p.m. Thurs.-Sat., 10:30 p.m. Sat. Ends March 22.

Thursdays-Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 10:30 p.m. Starts: Feb. 22. Continues through March 22, 2008