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April 19, 2018 / GO Brooklyn / Bushwick / Theater / Leaves of Grass

Hitting the high notes! Musical comedy ‘420’ celebrates weed

In the weeds: Producer Laura Lonski, left, leads Devyn White, Lia-Shea Tillett, and Madeline Shaffer in a rehearsal for “420: The Musical,” which will make its debut in Brooklyn on — of course — April 20.
Brooklyn Paper
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This musical will be high-larious!

A musical comedy celebrating the calming power of cannabis will make its Brooklyn debut on April 20 — the unofficial, international holiday designated for marijuana consumption. “420: The Musical,” playing at the Unruly Collective in Bushwick, is a wacky tobacky–celebrating take on a well-known children’s story, said the show’s music writer.

“It’s like ‘The Wizard of Oz’ on weed,” said Laura Lonski.

The musical follows an average Joe who, anxious about asking out his crush, opts for a pot-smoking session to clear his head. He soon finds himself in a magical world where the grass is greener, tripping down a green brick road to find the Mighty High — a stoned version of the wonderful wizard, according to Lonski.

The rock musical — or stoned musical, more accurately — was created in 2012 in Buffalo, New York, and has been produced annually since then. Over the years, it has puffed up the cast with new songs and characters, said Lonski, and it will change further for its Brooklyn debut.

“Since this is our first year in Brooklyn and we’re in an alternative art space, we’ve changed the format of the show and the way we tell the story,” said Lonski.

Instead of using a traditional stage, the action will surround the audience, turning the 90-minute musical into an immersive experience, man.

“We make it outside of the box and it’s constantly evolving because we want people to watch it that way, so it’s going to be half party and half celebration,” said Lonski.

And the party will continue after the show, with acoustic and New Orleans music performances happening in two spaces, and a menu of munchies, including popcorn, chips, candy and other stoner cravings — although alcohol or other mind-altering substances are strictly BYOP.

Lonski says the marijuana musical is as much about opening people’s minds as well as entertaining them, and that many report that the show has given them newfound respect for 420 and cannabis overall.

“We want people to get the experience and the spirit of 420 for themselves, and the show helps nail that down,” she said. “People have come up to me frequently and say how the show helped them look at the day differently.”

“420: The Musical” at Unruly Collective (200 Cooper St. between Wilson and Central avenues in Bushwick, www.420themusical.com). April 20 at 8 pm. $15 ($10 advance, plus $5 BYOB charge).

Updated 5:46 pm, July 9, 2018
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