February 3, 2004

Musical Comedy Reefer Madness Slated for Screen Version by Showtime

By Ernio Hernandez

Showtime will bring the campy Off-Broadway musical marijuana satire Reefer Madness to the small screen in 2005.

Reteaming the original collaborators -- composer Kevin Murphy, lyricist Dan Studney and director Andy Fickman -- the screen adaptation will begin shooting in Vancouver starting in April, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Reefer Madness with music by Dan Studney, lyrics by Kevin Murphy, and a book by the duo, is based on a 1936 cautionary film meant to discourage young people from using marijuana. The film has since gained a cult following -- amusing rather than enlightening audiences.

Christian Campbell, Gregg Edelman and Michele Pawk lead the cast of the spoof, which has choreography from pop star and "American Idol" judge Paula Abdul. Andy Fickman, who directed the acclaimed west coast staging of Reefer Madness, returned to direct for the 2001 Off-Broadway run at the Variety Arts Theatre.

Showtime's "Reefer" will be the first joint production between Showtime and German production company Apollo Screen. Jim Veres and Jan Korbelin will serve as executive producers.



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