‘Reefer Madness, the Musical’ Continues Run at the Waterfront Playhouse (Paradise)

‘Reefer Madness, the Musical’ Continues Run at the Waterfront Playhouse (Paradise)

Posted Thu, Mar 13, 2008 in Articles

Lock up the youngsters, cover grandma’s eyes and batten down the hatches because the Key West Players production of “Reefer Madness, the Musical” is now playing, at 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturdays at the Waterfront Playhouse in Mallory Square.Based on the 1936 propaganda movie, this is an outrageously twisted musical of sex, drugs and show tunes.The music, lyrics and book were the brain-child of Dan Studney (“Desperate Housewives”) and Kevin Murphy (“The Simpsons,”) who felt the campy movie was begging to be made into a musical. USA Today calls “Reefer Madness” “a delirious romp, which reaches highs of intoxicating goofiness.”The Waterfront’s Artistic Director Danny Weathers will direct the South Florida premiere of “Reefer Madness.” He has assembled a talented cast of 14 performers. Musical direction will be by Michael Fauss, with choreography by Penny Leto. Along with Weathers, this is the same creative team that produced last year’s smash hit, “Urinetown, the Musical.””Reefer Madness” tells the story of Jimmy Harper, an upstanding youth who becomes a whacked-out pot fiend after just one “toke” of the evil reefer. We first meet Jimmy and his plucky girlfriend Mary Lane (wink) at the local soda shop.The cast is a mind-blowing high of talent. Jimmy is played by Marc Crow, who recently moved from Fort Lauderdale where he did “West Side Story” and “Les Miserables.”His girlfriend Mary Lane is played by Kristen Bussiere, who was imported for this role, but has also been seen locally in “Bat Boy” at the Barn and last year’s “Follies” Pops concert.David Black (“The Best Man,” “Educating Rita,” “Urinetown”) plays the narrator, who has created this play within a play featuring himself as a multitude of characters.Denis Hyland (“Rocky Horror Show,” “Equus,” “The Nutcracker Key West’) plays Jack the super smooth proprietor of the Reefer Den, with Mary Falconer (“The Best Man,” “Urinetown,” “Jeffrey”) playing Mae the long-suffering hostess of the Den. Nulita Loder (“Urinetown,” “My Way,” “Little Shop of Horrors”) plays Sally, the seductive Reefer Slut, and Michael Aaglan (“The Best Man” and many New York credits) plays Ralph, a former fraternity man who’s become a giggling reefer addict. Kristen Wilson (“Urinetown,” “The Best Man,” “Bat Boy”) plays the Placard Girl who parades lessons to be learned from imbibing in too much ganja. ness” is a highly-stylized show that contains adult humor, suggested violence, sexual situations, religious parody and simulated marijuana use. It may prove too shocking for the conservative-minded!Tickets for “Reefer Madness” cost $35, or $20 with a student or college ID, and may be purchased through the box office at 305-294-5015, or online at www.waterfrontplayhouse.com.For information on the locals’ special, call the box office.Sylvia returns tothe Red Barn Theatre The Red Barn Theatre is going back to the dogs with the highly anticipated revival of playwright A.R. Gurney’s romantic comedy “Sylvia,” opening with a premiere at 8 p.m. March 18 at the theater, located behind the Key West Woman’s Club, 319 Duval St.The smash Broadway hit, first staged at the Barn in 1997, returns with all its biting wit, directed by Joy Hawkins and starring original cast members Marjorie Paul Shook, Mimi McDonald and Richard Grusin. Bruce Moore joins the company playing three disparate characters as they follow a Central Park mutt named Sylvia from the mean streets to a chic uptown brownstone where the fun and games begin. Dramatic literature is stuffed with memorable love scenes, but none is as delicious and dizzy as the one that begins the redeeming affair in Gurney’s classic canine comedy. When middle-aged Gregg, played by Grusin, returns to his Upper West Side apartment accompanied by Sylvia, a frisky blonde he has just picked up in the park, he turns his life upside down. The trouble is the little blonde is an irresistible bitch who is about to chew a hole in his 22-year marriage. This show is a hilarious commentary on mid-life and the role pets play in our lives. Reprising her tour de force performance in one of Red Barn’s most beloved tales is Paul-Shook as the adorable pooch with Grusin as the new man in her life and McDonald as the jilted wife. Moore promises to be a show-stopper as a macho dog owner, an alcoholic society matron and an androgynous marriage counselor with multiple piercings who is definitely not another Dr. Ruth.Top dog Marjorie Paul Shook attended the American Conservatory Theatre and appeared in the long-running camp classic “Beach Blanket Bingo Goes Bananas” in San Francisco, before moving to the island over 20 years ago. She has made a lasting impression on local audiences in that time as one of the busiest and most popular stage stars in town. She originated the role of Mother Superior in the smash musical comedy “Nunsense” and has been featured in “Song of Singapore,” “Pete ‘n’ Keely,” “Irma La Douce,” “Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know,” “La Vie Ennui,” “A Musical Tour Around Town” and other Red Barn hits too numerous to mention. She is a frequent guest vocalist for both the Key West Pops and the Paradise Big Band. and was seen just last month in “Jacques Brel Reprised” onstage at Tropic Cinema. Her performance in the 1997 production of “Sylvia” was heralded by sold out audiences and praised by The Key West Citizen critic who wrote “Paul-Shook sparkles, shines, bounces and flounces.”Richard Grusin, a graduate of the Goodman School of Drama and Yale School of Drama, has also made a huge mark on island theatre appearing in strong leading roles in “Proof,” “Z” “Tru” and “Opus” at Red Barn and in “Angels in America” at the Waterfront.He has appeared in numerous national television shows and been featured in such major motion pictures as “Lean on Me” and “Born on the Fourth of July” with Tom Cruise.Mimi McDonald, who is the third member of the original cast returning to “Sylvia,” is a founding member of the Red Barn Actor’s Studio and its current managing director. She was seen as Sister Leo in the early Barn production of “Nunsense” and most recently directed the Keys Kids production of that show. She has appeared in “Pippin,” “Barbra’s Wedding,” “Betty’s Summer Vacation,” “Sordid Lives” and in the title role in “The Heidi Chronicles,” all at the Red Barn.Bruce Moore arrived in Key West after a busy career on Broadway, touring with national road companies and recording many Disney soundtracks. He was featured in last season’s “Five Course Love” and also has been seen at the Barn in “My Way” and “Show Tune.”He was most recently seen as a singing dog in Red Barn’s wildly successful stage production of “Bark! The Musical.”He has been heard as a guest artist singing with the Key West Pops and the Paradise Big Band and premiered his solo show “Bruce Moore Broadway or Bust” at Waterfront Playhouse last year.The play will be performed at 8 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays through April 12.Tickets are priced at $30 each with discounts available on “Thrifty Thursday,” and can be purchased at the theater box office, by calling 305-296-9911 or online at www.redbarntheatre.com.Waterfront Playhouse hosts charity bridge tournamentThe Key West Players at the Waterfront Playhouse are hosting an evening of party bridge at 6 p.m. April 1 at the Key West Yacht Club. Check-in is 5:45 p.m. The entry fee is $50 per person and proceeds will benefit the theater. All skill levels welcome. Top scorers will receive subscriptions for the 2008-09 season at the Waterfront Playhouse. There will be complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar.Sue Clay Moloney is hostess and sponsor of the event.For reservations, call 305-849-9424 or e-mail [email protected] made to “Key West Players” can be mailed to P.O. box 724, Key West, FL 33041.Final Island Opera Theatre concerts this SundayThree stars of the operatic world will help celebrate the final season of Island Opera Theatre at a performance at 8 p.m. Sunday at the Tennessee Williams Theatre, 5901 College Rd., Stock Island.Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Barbara Conrad, New York City Opera tenor Bruce Reed, and Boston bass-baritone David Cushing will join forces with the 70-voiced FKCC Keys Chorale, and local artists Heather Carruthers, Melody Cooper, Lina Robles, Joaquin Romaguera, John Rudolph, Melissa Tausche and Dean and Sandy Walters in a vocal extravaganza.Sponsored by First State Bank of the Florida Keys, the evening will feature highlights from the world’s greatest operas including “Carmen,” “Il Trovatore,” “The Marriage of Figaro” and “Tosca,” just to name a few. The evening will be hosted by co-founder Vincent Zito, who will accompany the performers along with pianist George Bedell. A champagne and dessert reception will follow.First State Bank is also sponsoring the “Kids Go Free” program, in which seats have been set aside so the children under 16 can attend free. For more information, contact the box office.This one night of opera’s best will feature our world-class guest artists, highlight the talents of our local performers, and pay tribute to Island Opera’s dedicated artistic service to our community.Tickets cost $30-$55 and may be purchased at the box offiice, by calling 305-295-7676, or online at www.keystix.com.

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