School musical ‘Urinetown’ opens for public

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Urmilla Kuttikad

 

The show opens tonight at 7 p.m in the PAC. Performances will also be on Nov. 9 at 7 p.m, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m and Nov. 11 at 3 p.m. Photo by Laurel Critchfield.
As soon as the fleeting days of summer folded into biting fall ones, the cast of “Urinetown”, Rock Bridge’s fall musical, began rehearsal. After a grueling month of long hours spent learning lines, vocals and choreography, the cast is finally ready to put on a show.
“Urinetown” paints the grim picture of a future where overpopulation has created a shortage of critical resources like water. In this dystopia, a private water company called Urine Good Company, or UGC, seizes the government and monopolizes water, forcing people to pay each time they go to the bathroom.
However, if anybody is caught trying to relieve themselves for free, the police immediately send them to “Urinetown”, a vague and sinister place no one knows anything about – except that they don’t want to go there.
The possibility of overpopulation stripping the world of its resources was most popularly theorized by British economist Thomas Malthus. This theory sparked the idea for the musical “Urinetown”. Though this may seem like a dark subject matter for a musical, senior Ian Meyer, who plays the male lead, Bobby Strong, believes the depth of the musical is what makes it so good.
“The thing ‘Urinetown’ does so well is it creates a two-layer show,” Meyer said. “The first layer is that it’s just a typical musical. It’s got great big numbers, it’s got extreme characters that are really fun to watch, and there’s a lot of breaking the 4th wall. The second layer is that ‘Urinetown’ is actually based on the theory that if human population grows, and resources remain the same, there will come a point where there are too many people and not enough resources. And so companies will have to start regulating resources and forcing some people to die off and live in poverty or else all of humanity will die off … And so at the end [of the musical], it’s like wait a minute, was this a musical or was this a political statement?”
“Urinetown” opens tonight, and although opening night can often bring with it chaos and panic, junior Megan Kelly, who plays the female lead, Hope Cladwell, feels unusually prepared. The cast began rehearsing in costumes with microphones far earlier than they normally do, and therefore they’ve had time to sort out any issues.
“Mr. Pierson wanted us starting to get into character more, and getting into the show more, and I think that’ll help us,” Kelly said. “It’s always scary before [the musical opens], not knowing if you’re going to be ready, but I think we all are … I think it’s going to go well. It’s going to be a really good show.”
Meyer said that though people may be wary of the musical because of its unconventional name and premise, “Urinetown” is one to see. Not only are the music, writing and characters of the musical exceptional, but Meyer believes the people in the musical have worked incredibly hard to ensure the quality of the show and deserve to see their hard work pay off.
Kelly believes the exhausting amount of time and effort put into the musical has been overwhelmingly worth it. Not only does she feel like she’s gained a veritable treasure trove of warm memories and experiences bonding with her fellow cast-mates, but she’s gotten to indulge her passion for the fine arts.
“It’s doable, it’s definitely doable,” Kelly said. “You get it done, you just might not get as much time or sleep as most other people do, but it’s what I love, so I don’t mind giving things up.”
The show opens tonight at 7 p.m in the PAC, and will continue on Nov. 9 at 7 p.m, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m and Nov. 11 at 3 p.m.
By Urmila Kutikkad