JULY 14- JULY 31, 2022
A theatrical concert exploring the history of cannabis using music, dance, and spoken word grounded in the Hip Hop tradition of the remix and mashup. Inspired by Martin A. Lee’s book Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana, CANNABIS! A VIPER VAUDEVILLE weaves the music of icons such as Bob Marley with the stories of grassroots activists Dennis Perron and Brownie Mary with personal narratives. From Congo Square to the speakeasies of the jazz age, from the revolutionary happenings of the ’60s to the AIDS activism of the San Francisco buyers club, our time traveling tale invokes a tradition of rebel spaces — sites of music, healing, and resistance.
The team includes Grace Galu as composer/music director/creator/performer, Baba Israel as writer/performer/co-director, Talvin Wilks as dramaturg/co-director, and Nic Benacerraf as environment designer/associate director, in collaboration with hip hop and spoken word collective, Soul Inscribed (Robert Knowles, Sean Nowell, Juan Carlos Polo, Osei Kweku, and Jonathan “Duv” Zaragoza), and an ensemble of dancers that includes members of the revolutionary Urban Bush Women – Courtney Cook, Chanon Judson and Mame Diarra (Samantha) Speis, dance sensation Tatiana Barber, and mesmerizing street dancer Twice Light.
Cannabis! A Viper Vaudeville is sponsored by the Cannabis Education and Research Institute (CERI), Dr. Bronner’s, and The Living Theatre. Additional support for CANNABIS! A VIPER VAUDEVILLE is provided by the MAP Fund; The W Foundation; the New England Foundation for the Arts; and made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.