A wild musical satire of the campy 1936 anti-marijuana propaganda film, Reefer Madness seemed poised to repeat its Los Angeles success when it announced a 2001 Off-Broadway production. But the show had the misfortune of opening shortly after 9/11 (the first preview was delayed from September 15, 2001, to September 18) and never found an audience.
But, though the musical closed October 28, much like its predecessor it found a cult following and a 2005 adaptation on Showtime. And a decade later, much of the film's cast reunited at Feinstein's/54 Below for an evening dedicated to the show's score, written by Dan Studney and Kevin Murphy.
The show, directed by Andy Fickman and choreographed by Paula Abdul, starred Roxanne Barlow, Kristen Bell, Christian Campbell, Andrea Chamberlain, Gregg Edelman, Robert Gallagher, Jennifer Gambatese, John Kassir, Paul Leighton, Erin Matthews, Michele Pawk, Michael Seelbach, Robert Torti, and Molly Zimpfer. Reefer Madness had sets by Walt Spangler, costumes by Dick Magnanti, lighting by Robert Perry, and sound by Lew Mead. David Manning served as musical director.
Look Back at Kristen Bell, Christian Campbell, and More in Reefer Madness Off-Broadway
On the West Coast, Reefer Madness won five Ovation Awards, including Ensemble and Best Musical in a Small Theatre; and seven L.A. Drama Critics Circle Awards, including outstanding production (a tie with Interact's The Cherry Orchard), Musical Score, Lead Performance (for Campbell), Direction and Choreography.