Michigan Marijuana Musical Makes Waves

September 9th, 2023 Events & Conferences
Cover Image

When Okemos High School senior, Zachary Barker, shares that he's involved in a project about growing and selling marijuana at a high school, eyebrows raise. But the surprise turns to intrigue when he reveals it's for a musical.

"I had them at the edge of their seats until I clarified – it's a musical!" Barker chuckles.

Barker lends his voice to the chorus of "Rocky Mountain High," a budding musical under development at Michigan State University as part of the annual New Musical Laboratory (previously ĭmáGen). This collaborative effort ropes in Broadway veterans, MSU scholars, and local high school talents, representing a partnership between Wharton Center's Institute for Arts & Creativity and the MSU Department of Theatre.

The musical is scheduled for public performances at the Pasant Theatre on September 15th at 7 p.m. and September 17th at 2 p.m.

A Unique Narrative

Helmed by luminaries like Mark Hollmann of "Urinetown The Musical" and the creative duo Kia Beth and Cooper Kofron, "Rocky Mountain High" paints a whimsical picture. The story revolves around a football-centric high school on the brink of financial collapse. The solution? Transform their state-of-the-art stadium into a marijuana greenhouse – a plan not just to save the school but also to counter a conservative televangelist with ulterior motives.

Hollmann expresses his fascination with the script, emphasizing the blend of humor, reality, and larger-than-life characters. He highlights the contemporary relevance, pointing to school funding challenges, the legalization of marijuana, and the ongoing debate around religious influence in education.

Barker and Lucy Prush, a junior from Holt High School, have prior experience with the program and were eager to return. Both laud the script for addressing compelling issues with a comedic twist.

Journey of the Musical

Having been in the works since 2018, "Rocky Mountain High" has undergone several revisions. Workshops in Colorado and New York paved the way for its current iteration at MSU. Hollmann, now the chief composer, appreciates the diversity of musical styles, combining the pop rock vibes from former composer Drew Gasparini with his classic musical theater touch.

A segment in the second act, the marijuana dream ballet, particularly stands out. It offers a blend of diverse musical materials intertwined with dialogue, making it one of the musical's more experimental pieces.

A Platform for Young Talents

Both Barker and Prush vouch for the program's immense contribution to their growth in musical theater. They emphasize the unparalleled exposure, performing alongside seasoned professionals at the Wharton Center, and the discipline and etiquette inculcated by the rigorous routine.

Moreover, the program offers them invaluable networking opportunities with industry stalwarts and fellow students, which Prush sees as a significant advantage.

Witnessing her enthusiasm, it's evident that "Rocky Mountain High" is more than just a musical; it's an experience, a learning journey, and perhaps the stepping stone to many bright futures in the world of theater.

For more details or to snag your tickets, click here and dive into the musical mayhem of "Rocky Mountain High"!

Share this article:

Spotted a typo, grammatical error, or a factual inaccuracy? Let us know - we're committed to correcting errors swiftly and accurately!

Event organizers are encouraged to reach out to us with information about upcoming gatherings and conferences. Not only do we enthusiastically cover and list diverse events, but we also offer advertising options for those looking to amplify their reach and engage with a broader, yet targeted, audience within the vibrant Michigan marijuana community.

Missed an issue? Browse our newsletter archive to stay updated on past news!

Recent Cannabis News

Michigan Marijuana News thrives thanks to the dedication and support of its readership. If you depend on our comprehensive cannabis coverage to keep you updated and enlightened, we kindly ask you to think about making a monthly commitment through Patreon. Every pledge fuels our mission and ensures the continuity of quality cannabis journalism in Michigan.
Become a Patron!