The Truth! 10 Years Later, Alan Cumming, Neve Campbell and "Reefer Madness" Cast Share Memories From Set

News   The Truth! 10 Years Later, Alan Cumming, Neve Campbell and "Reefer Madness" Cast Share Memories From Set
 
The cult classic musical Reefer Madness, which was adapted as a television movie musical in 2005, celebrates its 10th anniversary. Alan Cumming, Neve Campbell and members of the cast share their favorite memories from the filming with Playbill.com.

In celebration of its anniversary, the musical will be presented in concert April 19-20 at 54 Below, starring a slew of original cast members from the stage production and the film.

Reefer Madness features a book by Kevin Murphy and Dan Studney with music by Studney and lyrics by Murphy.

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Directed by Ilana Ransom Toeplitz, the concerts will feature original cast members Christian Campbell, John Kassir, Harry S. Murphy, Amy Spanger and Robert Torti as well as several guest stars to be announced.

The film cast also featured Alan Cumming, Kristen Bell, Neve Campbell and Ana Gasteyer.

Produced by Shoshana Feinstein, show times for the "4/20 concert event" are April 19 at 11:30 PM and April 20 at 7 PM and 9:30 PM. For tickets, visit 54Below.com.

Click through for memories and pictures from the cast!

Christian Campbell (Jimmy)
I've gotta say that my favorite memory on the set of "Reefer Madness" was my sister and I being there together. Neve and I grew up in and around the theatre back in Toronto. Our parents were both involved in the theatre world; theatre was the church we attended as a family. For Neve and I, it was fun getting to go play around on a stage whenever our parents threw us into whatever productions they were producing or directing. When it came down to our studies, Neve took the dancer/actor path and I took the actor/singer path, and since then we've made life of it. So here we are in Vancouver, acting in a movie together in our home country, and she's dancing, and I'm singing. It was a sweet moment to know that as siblings we were both living out our separate lives and dreams, and yet we still got to play on a stage together.

Neve Campbell and Christian Campbell
Neve Campbell and Christian Campbell

Neve Campbell (Ms. Poppy)
For me, it's tough to think of a favorite memory as the entire experience was a blast, but getting to shoot a song-and-dance number with my brother Christian, written by my great pal Dan Studney, who I met when he was on the crew of "Party of Five," was a pretty magical and fun experience. I'd become such a fan of the play when my brother was doing it in L.A. that getting to be a part of it in the film was an honor.

Alan Cumming (Lecturer)
I loved the scene when Jimmy first smokes the Mary Jane and is transported into a den of devilish sin, where I have turned into Goat Man and appear from a smoking revolving volcano and have horns, pierced nipples, cranial overhang and an entourage of nearly naked strippers who were recruited from the local Vancouver strip clubs and were all very nice girls. I liked it best because it has the ingredients that make up my favorite kind of experience: nudity, humor, taboo subjects and song. We were all very well behaved and professional during the shoot because, in a way, the story we were telling was so much wicked and anarchic we were all already on a natural high!

Alan Cumming
Alan Cumming

John Kassir (Ralph)
"Reefer Madness" has always been a labor of love. So many different people have been involved in it since its first full production in a small 99-seat theatre in L.A. in 1998. Seven years later, during the Bonfire scene at the end of the movie, we brought back a good number of those people to be in the crowd. Actors, writers, designers, you name it. We shot all night 'til the sun came up! THAT was a blast!

Amy Spanger
Amy Spanger

 

Amy Spanger (Sally)
I can't pick a favorite memory from shooting the "Reefer Madness" movie because every day was magical. It was my first film, and I hit the jackpot. I got to play this ridiculous character, fall a lot and hang out with the most hilarious people in show business. I honestly almost ruined every scene I was in because I was laughing so hard. I cried in the make up chair on my last day because it was a dream come true!

Amy Spanger
Amy Spanger

Robert Torti (Jesus)
My favorite memory was actually making the film. I was involved with "Reefer" from the beginning. Being a part of the process from Equity Waiver to Off-Broadway and then to film and seeing the different transformations that a bigger budget would allow. For example, the original reveal for Jesus in the waiver production was popping out from behind a shower curtain, and in the film I got to fly in. Amazing.

Kevin Murphy
Kevin Murphy

Kevin Murphy (Lyrics and co-book writer)
I was happy that my cocker spaniel Darby got a cameo in the movie. She's the dog that pulls away from her walker and runs across screen during the cacophony that follows Mae's power note out the window at the end of "The Stuff." Big pressure, as there was a car stunt, breakaway milk bottles and a lot of moving parts. Two takes, fading light, and Darby nailed both of them. Best of all, she worked for meat — I am crouched just off camera with a hamburger patty calling her name. Good dog. Other fun bit of "Reefer" movie trivia — the cop on the giant road-sign in the very last shot of the movie (Alan Cumming drives past it) has my face. The prop currently resides in my backyard.

Dan Studney (Music and co-book writer)
My favorite part was transforming the music from the five-piece rock combo we used in the stage show to a full live orchestra for the movie. I was a taskmaster, as I'm sure our orchestrators Nathan Wang and David Manning would tell you, but their work was stellar, we had the best union musicians in Hollywood, and the proof is in the Shirley-Temple-dipped-pudding.

Other fun memories: Kristen Bell was such a scream. I was particularly tickled by her earnest delivery of such ridiculous lines like, "A moment on the lips, forever on the hips" that between takes and after-hours I would make her say other stupid maxims like, "Jimmy, a stitch in time saves nine!" or "What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, Jimmy!" God bless her for letting me turn her into a party trick.

We shot the opening number at an abandoned mental hospital in Vancouver. One time, several Reefer Zombies and I went on an exploratory late night adventure through the dank underground corridors and found an old wrought-iron bed at the end of one in a recessed, caged-off area. What the f*** went on there in the past is anybody's guess! Spooky.

Week Two, my mom and grandmother came to visit, and we were shooting the satirical Jesus number. Just as we gathered to rehearse on the first day, an overhead light randomly exploded. My mom and I gave each other an "uh-oh" look, and I said, "I hope we're not making a terrible mistake…" Ever play that word game Taboo? Well, we did, night after night in my hotel room. And, let it be known: God forbid you should play slightly incorrectly, forget to hit the buzzer or in any way not take it seriously enough. Because Alan Cumming is a Taboo Nazi, and you will be sorry.

I could go on…

…but I won't.

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