March 18, 2004

Cumming, Weber swing to 'Reefer'

By Andrew Wallenstein

Alan Cumming and Steven Weber are among the actors hooked on "Reefer Madness," the upcoming Showtime original movie musical.

Also joining the cast of the off-Broadway adaptation are Neve Campbell and Ana Gasteyer. The stage "Reefer" is a lighthearted satire of the 1936 film about the evils of marijuana from writers Kevin Murphy and Dan Studney and director Andy Fickman, who are reuniting for the Showtime version (HR 1/30).

"Reefer" also will bring back several stars of the stage version, which ran at the Hudson Backstage Theatre in Hollywood in 2000. Campbell's brother, Christian Campbell, reprises his role, as do Kristen Bell, John Kassir and Robert Torti.

Cumming ("X2: X-Men United") stars as the Lecturer, the film's narrator. Weber ("The D.A.") plays Jack, the pot dealer who runs the Reefer Den. Both actors have Broadway musical experience, with Cumming having starred in "Cabaret" and Weber in "The Producers."

Campbell ("The Company") will enjoy a musical number of her own as Miss Poppy, the proprietor of a local teen hangout. Gasteyer ("Saturday Night Live") will portray Mae, the hostess of the Reefer Den.

Scheduled to begin shooting in Vancouver next month in anticipation of a 2005 airdate, "Reefer" is the first longform effort greenlighted by Robert Greenblatt, who joined Showtime as entertainment president in July.



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