SHOW: Federal Detention: The Musical
GROUP: The Panic Hour
ATTENDED: Sat., Sept. 14, 4:20 p.m., Underground Arts
CLOSES: Sun., Sept. 15, 4:20 p.m.
BRIEF SELF-DESCRIPTION: “FD:TM tells the true story of the imprisonment of marijuana activists N.A. Poe and Adam Kokesh, targeted by Park Police at a protest on 5/18/2013. The pair spent six days in federal detention. Now their struggle is told hilariously through song!”
WE THINK: “Happy 420, everyone!” was the only introduction given to the show, starting immediately at 4:20. The musical may be based on a true story, but definitely very loosely. Federal Detention” was a fun set of parodies of well-known songs (“Pumped Up Kicks,” “Sugar, Sugar,” “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)”). As you might expect, the atmosphere was pretty weed-heavy (figuratively, not literally) — as the 90-minute show paused for intermission, the guy sitting next to me joked, “Please enjoy a brief intermission while our cast gets stoned."
The Panic Hour takes the "true story" of two protestors arrested at a weed-legalization demonstration this past May on Independence Mall and adds musical numbers and a bunch of made-up characters and situations like an evangelist, random protesters, an appearance by Jesus, and a SEPTA police officer who breaks out into a song a la Mama Morton: “When you fuck with SEPTA, SEPTA fucks with you.” Although Federal Detention tried to create an interactive experience by having singalongs, technical issues made this fall a bit short. But overall, the musical was enjoyable because of the fun the cast was having with the show.
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