Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 16
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
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HAPPY INNOCENCE: Before their lives are shattered by “the dread marijuana,” Mary Lane (Holly Linneman) and Jimmy Harper (Joey Barnett) sip hot cocoa and think pure thoughts while studying Shakespeare for English class in a Princeton University Players — Theatre Intime production of the musical comedy spoof “Reefer Madness,” playing through April 24 at the Hamilton Murray Theater on the Princeton University campus.

Beware! The Demon Weed May Be Poisoning Your Children! “Reefer Madness,” Campy Musical, Spoofs 1936 Propaganda Film

Donald Gilpin

The 1936 “instructional” propaganda film Reefer Madness (also known as Tell Your Children) became a cult classic during the 1960s and ‘70s, widely mocked for its alarmist views — “Something must be done to wipe out this ghastly menace!” — and exaggerations of the effects (orgiastic sexuality, criminal behavior, violence, insanity, suicide) of “the devil weed.” The musical version, which opened in Los Angeles in 1998, moved to Off-Broadway in 2001 and was made into a film in 2005, takes the ludicrous excesses of the original movie further over the top (Add cannibalism and sado-masochism here to the shocking consequences of marijuana smoking.) and creates a wild, campy, tuneful, often hilarious, relentlessly fun, occasionally tasteless show.

New Territory for Boheme Opera Company In Gilbert & Sullivan’s “Pirates of Penzance”

Nancy Plum

For its 21st anniversary season, Boheme Opera Company has taken a new direction in its programming. Departing from the operatic standards, this year’s performances have included Handel’s Messiah, a preview of the Broadway-bound musical Warsaw, and this past weekend the company’s premiere production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance. Boheme Opera Company has been a staple of Trenton area stages for many years, providing operatic opportunity for seasoned professional singers, up-and-comers, and apprentices alike, and Saturday night’s performance of the Gilbert & Sullivan classic was no exception, with a cast including both international opera performers and students from area music schools.

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