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Sue Bush
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March 22 Starts "Reefer Madness"

12:00AM / Tuesday, March 21, 2006

North Adams - Actors with the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Harlequin Musical Theatre Club have announced that performances of "Reefer Madness:The Musical" are scheduled to open on Wednesday, March 25 and run until Saturday, March 25.

All performances begin at 8 p.m. at the campus-based Venable Theater. Admission is free.

This production will be the New England premiere of the "hit" new musical, as well as the first time the musical has been performed on a college stage.

The musical, is a satire of the famous 1930's drug propaganda film, "Reefer Madness." This controversial film was used to scare parents into talking to their local officials about getting rid of weed.

According to information contained within a theater club press release about the MCLA production, the original film showcased "ridiculousness and clear exaggeration, as well as horrible acting and lackluster character and plot development made it into an instant cult hit, especially among college crowds."

The musical follows the story of young Jimmy Harper as he gets pressured into trying the demon weed, Marihuana, and transforms from "good egg" to "bad apple". The plot and characters come from the original film, but have been altered to be more appealing to a stage audience.

These characters include: the abusive dope pusher, Jack; owner of the Reefer Den, abused girlfriend of Jack, Mae, former college student turned reefer junkie, Ralph, sexy reefer vixen, Sally, the adorable ingénue Mary Lane and the all-knowing anti-marihuana Lecturer, who provides ridiculous and absurd commentary throughout the play.

The cast is an amazingly talented group of 40+ dedicated student actors, and minor roles range from a cat to FDR to Jesus Christ himself.

The entire production is student run, including the production staff, which includes MCLA senior Derrick A. Martin as director, MCLA senior Katie A. Toohil as choreographer, MCLA senior Vanessa White as Musical Director, and MCLA junior Christopher Mailman as Technical Director.

Harlequin is MCLA's only musical theatre outlet. In the past, they have performed three full-length plays, "Chicago", "Bat Boy: The Musical", and "Something Funny Happened on the Way to the Forum."

With "Reefer Madness: The Musical", Harlequin is seeking to innovate,
doing a new and fresh show and introducing it to the local crowd.

To reserve tickets please call (413) 662-5366. The show contains adult themes, drug use, language and strong sexual content, and is therefore not recommended for young children or those who may be easily offended.
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