“Reefer Madness” the Musical at MSUM Through April 13

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By Alexis Walstrom, walstromal@mnstate.edu

The curtain went up on the MSUM Theater Departments latest musical performance, Reefer Madness the Musical, on Wednesday, April 10.

With a name like that, you may be wondering what it’s about. The musical is based on a 1936 public service announcement (PSA) that was used to warn parents about the dangers of marijuana.

Director Craig Ellingson talked about how perceptions and understandings of marijuana were based in the 1930’s, and that these views lasted for the majority of the twentieth century. He also said that before the PSA was released, marijuana was legal in several forms.

It should be noted that this musical is a parody of the original PSA from 1936.

“It’s a totally tongue-in-cheek, over the top parody … filled with ruckus and adult themes,” Ellingson said. “but it’s done with purposeful intent.”

The show contains many adult themes, such as sexual assault, violence, rape, drug use, the use of (fake) weapons, swearing and flashing lights which may be a trigger for those who have epilepsy or other health conditions.

Parental discretion is advised as the show may not be appropriate for younger children. However, Ellingson said that warning isn’t for everyone.

“It depends on your kids and what kind of conversation you want to have with them,” Ellingson said.

If you’d like to see the original 1936 film, click here for the link to the trailer and the full hour-long version.

Reefer Madness the Musical runs through Saturday, April 13, in Hansen Theatre in the Center for the Arts building.

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