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06Mar

Urinetown @ Eastern Regional High School

Free the pee-ple! That’s what this satirical comedy will have you shouting, but is it that simple? Eastern’s production of Urinetown will have you second-guessing your stance on the privilege to pee.

Urinetown opened on Broadway on September 20th, 2001, and had an incredibly successful run until its closing on January 18th, 2004. This completely original musical was written by Greg Kotis with music and lyrics written by Mark Hollmann. This show surrounds the lives of the upper class and the lower class of this mythical town in which a seemingly never-ending drought has led to a limited water supply, causing the townspeople to need to pay to use public restrooms, as the lower class is too poor to afford private ones in their homes. This show plays on the ideals of a capitalistic society and the issues that reside within the legal system and its bias toward the upper class.

From the energetic cast to the symbolistic lighting, this show took heart and smarts to accomplish, and that was exactly what this cast and crew had. For a show surrounding the concept of politics to be successful, it takes a cast-wide understanding, and just from viewing this show, it was clear that the cast and crew took the time to dig deep into what exactly the story they were telling was about, and what it meant to the audience that would be viewing it.

The two protagonists of this story are Bobby Strong (Evan Alena) and Hope Cladwell (Zoey Blackman), two star-crossed lovers, divided by their social statuses. Alena captivated the audience with the raw emotion that went into his voice and character. Blackman charmed the audience through the use of her character's joyous optimism as soon as she walked onto the stage.

The ensemble and supporting cast were truly what glued this show together, the upper and lower classes alike. From Officer Lockstock’s (Andrew Rickey) physical comedy to Penelope Pennywise’s (Sydney Steiner) booming presence and matching voice, just like the drops of water in this town, not a single person's talent went to waste. The ensemble's high-energy performance and expert background acting made sure to keep the audience enthralled within the scenes happening on stage, never leaving an ounce of room for a dull moment.

Where this show truly stood out was its technical areas, from the lighting to the costumes, each piece was placed with precision and a purpose. The lighting stood out as one of the most integral points of the show, as it carried symbolism from scene to scene in different manners, including when it came to the moments such as the split lighting that divided the classes. The costumes and makeup as well did an excellent job of keeping up the idea of division, as the rich were dressed in green while the poor were kept patchy and dressed in dull colors. The technical aspects within this show was truly what made this cast and crew shine.

Eastern’s production of Urinetown is a smart show with symbolism and political themes around each corner and ends by leaving the audience with a warning and a bit of hope.

About the Author

Flood-Orion, Jeffrey

Flood-Orion, Jeffrey

Program Director - FY20 Season

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