HARP, co-presented with La MaMa

Cannabis! A Viper Vaudeville

July 14-July 31

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 MarijuanaCANNABIS! A VIPER VAUDEVILLE weaves the music of icons such as Bob Marley with the stories of grassroots activists Dennis Peron 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 was originally planned to open its run during HERE and BMP’s Prototype Festival on January 7, 2022. Due to COVID, the 2022 Festival and our first performance was postponed. We are thrilled to be sharing this special work with you today!

This production contains strobe lights and haze.

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 Dr. Suzanne Miller, 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.

Special Guests


Artist Talkback: A Look Into the Making of Cannabis! A Viper Vaudeville with the Creators
July 17, Following the 4PM performance

Kristin Marting (moderator) – HERE Founding Artistic Director
Baba Israel – Librettist, Creator, Co-Director, and Performer
Grace Galu – Composer, Performer and Music Director
Talvin Wilks – Dramaturg, Co-Director


Cannabis: The Unique History and Evolution of One of the Most Widely Grown Plants
July 23, 8PM

Martin A. Lee – Author of Smoke Signals
Colleen Mairéad – Deputy Director, NYC NORML, President, TRAEHNY Partnership & Development Corp
Esther Lelievre – CEO Canna Equity Group


Cannabis: Understanding the Pharmacology and the Benefits of Conscious Consumption

July 27, 8PM


David Knowlton – Chariman and CEO, Cannabis Education & Research Institute (CERI)
Sephida Artis – President | National Cannabis Party
Shellise Rogers (moderator) – NYCNorml ED
Jessica Naissant – CEO of Wake and Bake Cafe & Co-Founder of Cultivated Community Foundations



P.U.D.G.E: July 16, 23, 30 @ 8:30PM



Mikal Amin: July 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29 @ 8:30PM

Squala Orphan: July 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29 @ 8:30PM

Prophet AKA Not4Prophet: July 21, 22 @ 8:30PM

Luquantumleap: July 28, 29 @ 8:30PM

Keiona “Freakquencee” Josey: July 28 @ 8:30PM



Tosin Ajayi: July 14, 15 @ 8:30PM

Miriam Aristy-Farer: July 16, 17 @ 4PM | July 17 @ 8:30PM

Zulai Romero: July 19-21 @ 8:30PM

Nicole Ricci: July 22,23 @ 8:30PM

Emily Marie Ramos Rodriguez: July 24 @ 4PM | July 26, 28 @ 8:30PM

Mike Zaytsev: July 27 @ 8:30PM

Brittany Carbone: July 29 @ 8:30PM

Kait Caridi: July 30 @ 8:30PM

Health & Safety


All staff, artists, and audiences must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 to be at La MaMa and to attend performances.

La MaMa requires proof of complete COVID-19 vaccination by the date of attendance for admittance to the theater. As proof of vaccination, please show your CDC vaccination card, a photo of your CDC vaccination card, or your New York Excelsior Pass. The name on your vaccination card must match your ID.

No one will be admitted without proof of vaccination.

Face Coverings

Masks are required at all times when in the building.  N95 or KN95 masks are strongly suggested.

Other Guidelines

Audience members are encouraged to get tested before attending.

We ask that if you are not feeling well to please not come to the show. You can email boxoffice@lamama.org to exchange your ticket.

Please exit the building immediately after the performance.  If you are waiting for someone involved with the show, please wait for them in front of the building.

Hand sanitizer stations are installed throughout the building for your convenience.

La MaMa’s performances will be presented in accordance with applicablepublic health requirements as of the date of the performance.

La MaMa’s full Health & Safety Policy

Photo Credit: Paula Court
Photo Credit: Paula Court
Photo Credit: Paula Court
Ellen Stewart Theatre
La MaMa
66 East 4th Street
(btw Bowery & 2nd Ave)
New York, NY 10003
120 minutes with intermission

Buy Tickets

Baba and Grace

Grace Galu & Baba Israel