Reefer Madness hits Blue Barn


June 16th, 2011

Omaha, NE – One musical in Omaha is hoping to the raise the bar a bit “higher” than its silver screen predecessor.

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The subject is marijuana, and the film that described the potential dangers of it was “Reefer Madness”. It was made in 1936 as a propaganda film designed to showcase the detrimental effects of the drug. According to the filmmakers, some of the side effects include the potential for manslaughter, suicide, rape, and insanity.

The picture is now considered a cult classic and has found much success as an unintentional comedy. This success led to a musical remake of the film in 2001 that has also enjoyed popularity throughout the United States.

Reefer Madness hits the stage as a musical at the Blue Barn. (Photo courtesy of Blue Barn Theatre)

Now the Blue Barn Theatre in Omaha is running its own production of the modern musical.

“They took certain aspects from the movie and blew them way out of proportion, even more than they are in the movie,” said Susan Clement Toberer, Producing Artistic Director of the Theatre. “The movie’s crazy in and of itself.”

Toberer said the show fits perfectly with the theatre’s format.

“You know Blue Barn, we’re always looking for fun, campy, extreme types of show you’d normally just see in New York off Broadway. This fits the bill. It’s fun, campy, crazy and just really full of good humor,” she said.

And it’s actually the second time around for Blue Barn. Toberer said the show was put on two seasons ago and was met with a great reception.

“It’s just a really smart, funny musical,” emphasized Toberer. “From all ages, I’ve had 16-year-olds coming with their parents up to 80-year-olds belly-laughing about it. It’s just fun. It’s a smartly written spoof, which is kind of hard to find.”

The show began June 5th, and is running through June 25th at the Blue Barn Theatre in Omaha.

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