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"Urinetown" to be number one

by Tori Martinez - Managing Editor
Tue, Apr 17th 2018 08:00 pm

During times of crisis, it is far too easy for a few people to gain power and control the masses. When a 20-year drought leads to a terrible water shortage, it isn’t surprising that a corporation like “Urine Good Company” is able to seize public restrooms and force the community into paying to pee.

Like any capitalistic mega-corporation that has a monopoly on a scarce necessity would, the company continues to increase the price of using the bathroom. Since laws require that people can only use the public restrooms, they soon become oppressed and are forced to pay to stand in line for a filthy public urinal. Anyone who is caught urinating anywhere other than a public bathroom is exiled to Urinetown, never to return.

This three-time Tony Award winning musical, “Urinetown,” is The Department of Theater and Music Studies’ final production in this year’s 50th anniversary of the department. Ruth Childs, an associate professor in the department and director of the musical, says the show mirrors some of the issues we see in modern society, and tells the story of young people starting revolutions in the face of injustice.

“It really is timely because it hits on climate change and water shortages and big corporations … there’s the threat of very powerful and aggressive police controlling the masses, so there’s lots of connections to present day,” Childs said. “But it’s also one of the most fun musicals you’ll go and see because it’s taking serious issues but presenting them in a fun and compelling way.”

Childs said “Urinetown” answers questions like whether an individual can make a difference in society at large and whether you can really love someone who comes from a completely different background. Overall, aside from just the story line, Childs knew the show was a good fit for Brockport’s mainstage.

“It’s a real ensemble piece. There are definitely major characters in the musical, but nearly everyone is in every scene,” she said. “You can’t help but develop a wonderful ensemble of performers and that was just very appealing to me as a director. That seemed like a fun show to work on. One where it’s really about community, and that’s the reason most of us get into theater, to build a community.”

Theater lovers will get a real kick out of this show, Childs said, as it makes multiple references to some of the greatest musicals, such as “Les Misérables,” “Chicago,” “Westside Story,” and “Fiddler on the Roof.”

 For more reasons that she can seem to count, Childs knows she chose a great musical to end the year with.

“Everyone should come see the show because they’ll have a great night out, they will be thoroughly entertained, and they’ll see the students and alumni working really hard on stage and off,” Childs said.

“Urinetown” opens this weekend, premiering Friday at 7:30 p.m. on the Tower Fine Arts Center Mainstage. Other performances will take place April 21, 26, 27 and 28 at 7:30 p.m., as well as a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, April 22. Tickets are $17 general admission, $12 for seniors, alumni, faculty and staff, and $9 for students. They can be found online at fineartstix.brockport.edu, by calling 395-2787 or visiting the Tower Fine Arts box office.

For more information, visit brockport.edu/academics/fine_arts.

 

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