‘Urinetown The Musical ’ comes full circle at the SCPA
By Heidi Sutton
The Smithtown Center for the Performing Arts closes out its 14th season with the award-winning satirical comedy, “Urinetown The Musical,” which opened last weekend. With superb direction by Ken Washington, the 16-member seasoned cast guides the audience through two and a half wonderful hours of greed, love, corruption, regret, rebellion, fear, justice and long lines to the bathroom! Oh and it is very funny!
The incredible Michael Bertolini returns as Officer Lockstock, a role he played 10 years ago in the same theater, and serves as narrator to set the scene. The town is experiencing a 20-year drought, he explains, which has caused a severe water shortage, causing the government to ban all private toilets. Everyone must use public bathrooms in order to “take care of their private business.” However, all the urinals are controlled by corporate giant Urine Good Company run by the greedy Caldwell B. Cladwell (Michael Newman). In other words, everyone must “pay to pee.” Anyone who doesn’t pay is arrested and sent to Urinetown, “a mystical place, a bad place, filled with symbolism,” never to be seen again. “Whaaat!”
Mary Ellin Kurtz
Dondi Rollins Jr.
When Cladwell’s daughter Hope (Samantha Carroll) returns from college to work at UGC, she meets Bobby Strong (Jeremy Hudson), an assistant janitor at one of the cheapest toilets in town, run by Miss Pennywise (Mary Ellin Kurtz). Bob and Hope fall in love and she encourages him to follow his heart. His heart tells him to form a rebellion and the fight to pee for free is on. Will good win over evil or will Bobby be sent to Urinetown?
Musical director Melissa Coyle, on keyboards, leads a powerful ensemble with Alexandria DeVries on reeds, Ken Mahoney on trombone, Michael Molloy on bass and Jim Waddell on drums. The musical numbers, choreographed by M.E. Junge, are all top notch. Carroll and Hudson’s duet, “Follow Your Heart,” is very sweet (there’s clearly some chemistry there), while Michael Newman is hilarious as he hops around the stage singing “Don’t Be the Bunny.” Other stand-out numbers include “Cop Song,” which incorporates flashlights and batons into the choreography and the gospel number, “Run, Freedom, Run!” and the cast shines in “Snuff That Girl” and “What Is Urinetown?” both clearly inspired by “West Side Story” and “Fiddler on the Roof.”
As Little Sally says to Officer Lockstock at the end, “This isn’t a happy musical but the music is happy …. and the title is awful!” True, but you should still go see it!
The Smithtown Center for the Performing Arts, 2 East Main St., Smithtown will present “Urinetown The Musical” through Nov. 6. Tickets range from $20 to $35. To order, call 631-724-3700 or visit www.smithtownpac.org.