Urinetown: The Musical! I know what you’re thinking: Why would anybody want to put on a show about bodily functions? Truth is, this show is much more than that. Urinetown is a story about love, standing up for what you believe in and conservation of natural resources.
The director, Tony Horne, and UWM’s theatre department were gracious enough to let me sit in on a tech rehearsal. Amidst the Mainstage Theater, students and faculty were running around preparing for their run-through; setting sound and lights, the orchestra tuning their instruments, actors in costumes working through scenes and marking choreography.
This family friendly musical provides a satirical look at the abusive power the rich have over the poor, and how the poor rebel against them. The production is most influenced by the musicals The Threepenny Opera and The Cradle Will Rock while paying homage to many other classic shows through staging, choreography and costumes.
This is a predominantly student-driven production with minimal, yet supportive faculty to guide them. Both highly professional stage managers are students of the theatre program, along with the master carpenter who designed and constructed the set. All props were also created by students in a class this semester.
The cast of Urinetown seems like one big, supportive family. From lively pre-show banter to the collective onstage interactions, these actors have each other’s backs. And it shows. This ensemble gives an entertaining and artistically skilled performance filled with chemistry and charm.
Horne notes that this musical conveys “a serious message about natural resources; water resources, and about bad things that could happen to all of us depending on where we live in the world.” But the show is not bleak or depressing.
“It is done with a lot of love and a lot of humor,” Horne said.
Urinetown will give audiences a quality theatrical experience with spectacular vocal and acting performances, cheeky choreography and costumes that play with five decades of American dress (1930-1980s). Long story short, this is a show that you do not want to miss!
Performances are for one weekend only, beginning at 7:30 pm Wednesday through Saturday and closing at 2pm on Sunday. Tickets range from $5 to $17 and are free to theatre majors.