Who’s In Town? Urinetown!

Urinetown

Urinetown: The Musical is a hilarious satirical comedy filled with greed, corruption and relationships. The compelling plot stems around a town deep in a drought with catastrophic water shortages. Officer Lockstock, played by Harley Fisher ’19, is an omniscient, 4th-wall breaking cop who guides the audience through Urinetown, introducing the backgrounds of both poor and wealthy citizens. The evil corporation, U.G.C., or Urine Good Company is led by Caldwell B. Cladwell, played by Casey Semple ’18, who has taken over the town. The company regulates the town’s water supply by taxing people for peeing at public “amenities.” There are strict laws set in place prohibiting people from bypassing the fee to pee, and if they urinate anywhere other than one of the public “amenities,” they are banished to Urinetown.

After the opening number you are led to Public Amenity Number 9, the filthiest amenity of the town, and are introduced to the poor throng of people who impatiently wait to relieve themselves after paying Ms. Pennywise, played by Kali Chapas ’18. Bobby Strong, played by Sasha Davis ’18, is heartbroken when his father his taken to Urinetown, causing him to revolt against the powers that be.

The musical premiered in 1999 at the New York International Fringe Festival and quickly landed on Broadway. Urinetown: The Musical was nominated for ten Tony Awards and won three: best director, best book, and best score. The Araca Group produced the musical and was founded by three Cleveland friends: Hank Unger, Michael Rego, and Matthew Rego ’88, a Western Reserve Academy alum.

Months of rehearsals went into creating the show. Students like Semple ’18 explained, “This was my first production here at Western Reserve Academy, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. But I loved doing it and plan to participate in similar events in the future.” Head of Music Department Midge Karam ’79 was the director of this musical and discussed how she made it different from a production of Urinetown: The Musical she had done before. “I purposefully didn’t go back to watch the tapes for the other show because I wanted it to be different. I let the kids make a lot of suggestions, so it could really be theirs.”

The WRA cast performed the show on the 27th, 28th and 29th, keeping students and faculty entertained with great music, dancing and acting.

– Abigail Richardson ’19

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