Archive » August 31, 2007
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
By India Allen, Staff Writer
A Musical with an Unconventional Name
California is in a drought, it’s a fact. We see the consequences of it daily, farmers having to sell calves early, the threat of wildfires and the decreasing water that seems to be evaporating from Cachuma Lake by the minute.
All of these seem quite drastic for us, but what if we were faced with such conditions lasting over two decades? Where would we be? How would we respond?
Thank goodness, for us, that Solvang’s PCPA Theaterfest will be the first to dive into these sorts of questions in its presentation of the very clever and humorous musical “Urinetown.”
You may be tempted to
prejudge the musical and expect bathroom humor, but “Urinetown,”
with it’s clever satire on society may give you
the comedic and satirical satisfaction you crave during a time when
“The play is hot off of Broadway and it fits into our commitment to doing new contemporary theater in addition to the old standards and classics,” said PCPA Communications Director Craig Shafer. “And it’s a heck of a lot of fun.”
Opening at 8 p.m. Sep. 1 at Solvang’s Theaterfest, the musical is based on the book “Urinetown” written by Greg Kotis.
The story, told in multiple musical numbers, is about the effects a 20-year drought, which causes the government to enforce a ban on the use of private toilets, has on society and the break down between the haves and have-nots. Because the use of private toilets is prohibited, citizens are forced to pay for amenities; those who cannot afford to pay and are caught using nature or violating the law are carted off to Urinetown.
The Hero, Bobby Strong (
“The play is a very, very funny show,” said Erik Stein, who plays the main enforcer of the law, Officer Lockstock. “Everyone has to use public restrooms, one evil corporation owns all the public restrooms and they control the cost as well, so if you’re down on your luck, then you have to use some really nasty bathrooms.”
“It’s very smart and funny and on top of that it’s got a little bit to say, It asks questions like do corporations have too much power and deals with politicians ruling the classes with fear, and then it has an overall environmental question to it, about where we are headed environmentally,” Stein said.
Directed by Roger DeLaurier, “Urinetown”
combines a parody of traditional musicals, such at “West Side
Story,” “Fiddler on the Roof” and “
“The production is very colorful,” said Ballam. “Through the set and costumes, audience members will be able to see the difference between the classes. Since the costumes don’t prescribe to any particular time and place, it makes the social commentary, hopefully, quite profound for the audience, and the idea of ‘Urinetown’ not so far fetched.”
“The director’s perspective is very different, it’s very brechtian, the audience sees us as our actor selves as well as our characters, Roger DeLaurier put a lot of time and attention to who these people are,” she added. “I hope people will come to the play because every character has a back-story, the choreography is brilliantly done by Michael Jenkinson, and Erick Stein as Officer Lockstock could rival any officer Livestock you see in this musical around the county.
“I hope everyone will come and support us, but they need to come prepared to laugh.”