Reefer Madness [The Movie Musical Soundtrack and Original Los Angeles Cast Recording]
Here is the mother lode of off-Broadway shows cum cable cult classics. About halfway through the soundtrack to Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical, you realize you are hearing the best thing to hit the Great White Way -- and the Showtime cable television -- since Little Shop of Horrors, only this is far funnier, raunchier, and way more subversive. Kevin Murphy and Dan Studney are this production's Menken and Ashman, but the show itself is the star. And the disc dedicated to the movie soundtrack is definitely the highlight: starring the divine Kristen Bell (who can do no wrong) in one of her best roles, Christian Campbell, Ana Gasteyer, and Amy Spanger among a perfectly picked and perfectly pitched ensemble cast, director Andy Fickman's interpretation of the story of two teenagers pulled into a ludicrous plot of "hooligans and whores" on account of the "demon weed" is spot-on. Even the timing of the dialogue between the musical numbers is flawless. This is a phenomenal cast performing a remarkable musical under the guidance of a peerless director. For comparison's sake, there is also the original Los Angeles cast recording (produced by none other than Lee Curreri). The show is unfortunately not as complete here -- certain numbers needed to be switched around and changed -- and the comparison of the two discs is a great way to see the right way to go about doing things. The best part about the album is that it serves as a reminder of a great musical motion picture event -- one that, in a perfect world, should still become a midnight phenomenon someday. Seriously, this thing is a gold mine. There is not a bad song, casting choice, or incorrect line delivery made in the bunch. It's as close to a perfect musical movie soundtrack as you could come. There is also one more piece of evidence of Murphy and Studney's talent, "Weather Changes," a bonus track from another project of theirs, revealing all of the musicality, wit, and emotion that make Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical the greatest musical achievement of its generation. One hopes it's not too long before the next Murphy and Studney opus.