Tell 'Em the Truth

dan studney Tell 'Em the Truth
Do you ever wonder what the writers of a show were thinking or how the show even came about? So do we. So Dominion scored an exclusive interview with Dan Studney, one of the writers of “Reefer Madness: The New Hit Musical”. Check it out!
According to Wikipedia (the most reliable source ever), you and Kevin came up with the concept and first song for the show during a road trip. Did you know by the end of the trip that you were seriously going to pursue this? When did the show really become a reality for you guys?

That is true. Kevin was reading the liner notes to Frank Zappa’s Joe’s Garage and there was a comment about reefer in there and I wondered aloud why no one had turned Reefer Madness into a musical. I did know by the end of that trip. In fact, I went right home and looked up information on it. When we did the first reading, though, is where we really knew we had something good on our hands.

At one point did you realize that the show was going to be a hit?

When we named it “Reefer Madness: The New ‘Hit’ Musical” of course. :)

What’s your favorite part of the show?

“Murder” — when it’s done well, which is difficult because there’s a lot going on. It’s just kind of a personal triumph to have replaced 20 minutes of somewhat stagnant stage time with that rockin’ 8 minute song. I also like Mae getting bloodied up during “Stuff (Reprise)” and hate when productions cheap out and don’t douse her with blood. Part of the fun!

Can you personally identify with any of the characters or situations (I do realize that question’s a little ridiculous)?

Jesus. I think ours is the most accurate depiction to date of the guy in all of song and story. He’s the sanest character in the show, somewhat aloof, he rocks the house, has backup boys and girls and he’s dead sexy. I also like Goatman, because if he can look like that and still get laid, there’s somethin’ goin’ on there…

Now that it’s been staged in LA and Off-Broadway, made into a movie, and is performed by a gazillion colleges and community theatres, do you have any more goals for this piece? Anything else you’d like to see happen with this?

I keep hearing about potential productions in foreign countries where it will be translated. I can’t wait to hear “The Stuff” in Japanese.

Final question…You wouldn’t just happen to be in the DC area at the end of January would ya?

No plans to, but you never know. I have in fact been to several productions. My mom just went to one in New Jersey. I have spies everywhere…

Best of luck with the show!

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