'The Marijuana-Logues' Light Up New York

Discussion in 'Marijuana Legalization' started by Superjoint, Apr 4, 2004.

  1. By The Associated Press
    Source: Associated Press

    New York -- The narrow, winding staircase that descends into the subterranean theater at off-Broadway's venerable Actors' Playhouse goes a bit deeper underground these days. At the bottom, the new three-man comedy "The Marijuana-Logues" is emitting an air that is slightly subversive and laughter-inducing.
    Comedians Arj Barker, Doug Benson and Tony Camin parody Eve Ensler's hit, "Vagina Monologues," with fast-moving stories, sketches and observations about the life of a pot smoker.

    They begin the show by unashamedly and lovingly repeating the m-word in express resistance to societal taboos and drug laws.

    The actors, all seasoned stand-up comics, have the appearance of passive revolutionaries - shoeless and dressed entirely in black except for thick, white athletic socks. Besides scoffing the illegality of their subject, the men defy basic conventions of stand up by performing from high stools and reading their material from bulky black binders.

    One monologue flows seamlessly into the next under the direction of Jim Millan, best known for his work on the television series "The Kids in the Hall."

    But this talented and complementary trio breathes new life into pot humor. The inventive writing includes a sketch on things pot would say if it could speak, Camin's rationalizations for smoking so much and Barker's "herb-an" poetry jam. Barker also puts on an irresistibly funny British accent to take us back in time 300 years to attend a wild "Bach concert."

    The show comes with the disclaimer that it doesn't intend to glorify drug use but rather to bring to light the funny peculiarities of "cannabis culture." At the outset, the performers explain the monologues are based on countless interviews with stoners of all denominations, allowing themselves a certain theoretical distance from the characters they portray.

    Unlike Ensler's play, the M-Loguers offer very little serious substance behind their smoky subject. There are fleeting moments of political pretense, such as interludes about the irony of tough drug laws in the otherwise hedonistic state of Nevada, the alcohol industry's anti-marijuana advertising and the war on drugs. But these allusions are always made with tongue firmly planted in cheek and serve the purpose of hilarity more than any pro-marijuana platform.

    The cast rambles on for about 80 minutes without coming up for air. The strict adherence to the subject of all things reefer may require more endurance and higher tolerance than some theatergoers can muster. But "The Marijuana-Logues" seems likely to find an audience that craves its special brand of comedy.

    And when polled at a recent preview performance about whether pot should be legalized, a large majority of the late-arriving but eager crowd burst promptly into applause.

    Source: Associated Press
    Published: Tuesday March 30, 2004
    Copyright: 2004 The Associated Press

    The Marijuana-Logues

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