Home » Downtime, Events, Featured, Humor, On Campus, Theater Review, Woodbridge

A Bit of Reefer Madness

20 June 2011 One Comment

The NoVa Woodbridge Theatre Group has done it again with their spring musical, Reefer Madness: The Musical! This challenging show is a parody of the 1938 anti-marijuana propaganda film. It depicts the story of a pair of young lovers, Jimmy Harper (William Hayes in this production, double cast with Steve Poulsen) and Mary Lane (Heather Hahn), who wander off the straight and narrow path into the deadly hands of Reefer with the help of drug lord Jack Stone (Mark Shaffstall). The entire show is presented as a video shown to parent-teacher groups, emphasized by the presence of a lecturer and a ‘Placard Girl’ (Alexia Poe) who walked across the stage every so often carrying a large card with a new warning about the heinous consequences of Reefer.

According to director Katy Chmura, the cast rehearsed since February. Zachary Fletcher, stage manager and playing the part of Satan, described the audition process as beginning with a song, followed by a read-through. He added that they learned the music numbers before the rest of the script, starting with choreography by Melanie Marie Gibson and followed by the songs.

The show ran in May.

Every moment provided an unexpected or funny twist or turn during the performance, whether it was zombies in the audience, Jesus Christ (Mike Rudden) in sunglasses or the solo by the oversized, abandoned baby of Sally (Shelley Rubiani), who sold it for drug money without even giving it a name. Nothing is free of parody, as evidenced by Jesus pitching Triscuits at the crowd (“Body of me…”), or the sudden transformation of Mary into a sexual predator (complete with spooky lighting) from her first taste of Reefer.

Of course, such parody is the whole point. The black-and-white 1930s film, while interesting and informative, uses scare tactics and exaggeration, said Fletcher. There are far more dangerous drugs to attack than marijuana, a commonly-held view on Woodbridge campus, as evidenced by the presence of the club Students For a Sensible Drug Policy.

The difficulty of the show was enhanced by the small cast, forcing the ensemble to change clothes within minutes and be ready to go back on as a different character.
Although the cast “struggled a bit” with performing it, “I think we put on a really good show,” said Chmura. “I’m a proud mama of my show.”

By: Sally Little

Stay updated by liking us on Facebook or following us on Twitter.

One Comment »

  • Katy Chmura said:

    Thank you so much for covering our show! I really hope that you enjoyed it as much as the audiences did. This was a simple yet effective piece. Again, I really appreciated it and hope you come out to cover more of our shows soon!

Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.

Blue Captcha Image