A Look Inside: Weed Shop the Musical

A Look Inside

Weed Shop the Musical

What’s better than a night out on the town with good friends, good entertainment and good weed? I can’t think of much, and that’s why I’m in love with Weed Shop the Musical: given an extended run, January 13-29, 2017.

Originally a six-minute short film, Weed Shop the Musical is a fun and campy production about weed that has a message anyone can relate to—stoner or otherwise. Created by Becca Grumet and directed by Madelyne Heyman (both of whom also share the roles of writer and producer), the musical is everything you could want from a show about weed.

weed shop the musical
(Left to Right) Mandie Hittleman, Julia Finkelstein,Gabriel Mark (as Funky Time Traveler), Christine Martini, Beckie Blosser, and Erin Cote in “Weed Shop the Musical”

“The story follows Dave, a dispensary owner, and Alicia, an infectiously cheerful doctor who decides to set up her new marijuana-friendly practice near Dave’s shop in Los Angeles: Hollyweed,” explains Heyman. “The two meet through an online dating service and have an instant connection, but are both nervous about disclosing their true career identities to each other for fear of facing rejection from the taboo nature of pot. Ironically, they both lie to each other about their jobs—when in reality, they are the perfect match. At the same time, Dave must thwart the evil advances of his ridiculous ex-girlfriend Stephanie, who threatens to shut down the weed shop after finding out he has a new love in his life.”

Weed Shop the Musical isn’t your typical off-Broadway production, but that only means it’s definitely worth your time. The show is fun; the songs are catchy; and the performers are extremely talented. The entire cast has incredible comedic timing, and their excellent singing voices will guide you through the story one enjoyable scene after another.

“They never asked about the plot of the show; they just focused on the fact that it was called Weed Shop the Musical and they were hesitant to be associated with that.”

But it wasn’t easy to make it to production. “It attracted a lot of people, and it turned a lot of people away at the same time,” remembers Grumet.

When Grumet and Heyman first presented the idea to their small theater company two years ago, it immediately drew excitement from some individuals and worries from other. “There were a lot of older and conservative members of the company who were worried that it would give the theater a bad reputation,” describes Heyman. “They never asked about the plot of the show; they just focused on the fact that it was called Weed Shop the Musical and they were hesitant to be associated with that.”

But once the show got off the ground, it was obvious that all those worries were groundless. “We’ve seen our show compared to past shows here at the theater company, and our show has sold more tickets and gotten more notice,” says Grumet. “So, we’re pretty proud of that.”

weed shop the musical
Christine Martini and Julia Finkelstein in “Weed Shop the Musical”

And it’s not just the theater community that has fallen in love with the show. “The show has been very well received,” says Heyman. “We’ve had very diverse crowds, especially when it comes to age. Some of my favorite conversations have been with older audience members who are both frequent theatergoers and long time fans of marijuana. They really loved the message of the show and the way we brought weed into a mainstream musical.”

It’s also successful because “it’s about weed, but it’s also not,” says Grumet. “The beauty and the positive effects of marijuana are what get people in the door, but it’s the production that brings people together. Whether because of the characters in the show or the people laughing in the audience everyone is going to have a great time.”

“It’s really not a story that you need to know anything about weed or weed culture to appreciate and have fun,” explains Heyman. “It’s a really accessible musical. I’ve had friends who don’t like musicals, but they like our show because we kept the story simple and we had a lot of fun writing the songs, and that’s what’s the most important part.”

Weed Shop the Musical is a story set in the world of medical marijuana that offers a much deeper story about humanity, relationships and being true to yourself. Its goal is to open up conversations about cannabis and to take away the taboo and stigma that people have about marijuana.

weed shop the musical
Mandie Hittleman as Kyle and Nate Werner as Dave in “Weed Shop the Musical”

“We’re in California and marijuana is legal to use recreationally, but people still don’t want to talk about it,” explains Heyman. “So I think getting to come to see a show where people are out about their love for marijuana has encouraged a lot of people to be more open about their use.”

If you’d like to see Weed Shop the Musical during its limited extended run (January 13-29, 2017), get your tickets today. Seats sell out quickly so don’t wait.

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