Thursday, November 28, 2019

Pee Power to the People!

Peeing is a very personal matter. And unless you're in a third world country with limited resources or are transgender in a hostile political climate in which where you pee is a matter of debate, urinating is something we generally take for granted. For most of us, when we've GOT to go, we GET to go. 

In Urinetown, the power struggle between the poor and the wealthy centers around a 20-year drought which has caused a water shortage. Private bathrooms are a thing of the past. And the evil corporation Urine Good Company, run by CEO Caldwell B. Cladwell , controls the city's bathrooms.

If you ain't got the dough, you don't get to go.  But mother nature is a bitch, and sometimes that means you go wherever you can. In Urinetown, public urination is a jailable offense. And Officers Lockstock and Barrel are deadly serious in their pee patrol. 


Photo Credit: Tom Topinka


When Cladwell's daughter, Hope, falls in love with Bobby Strong, the leader of the people's resistance, all hell breaks loose and hilarity ensues. Urinetown is a uproarious comedy about class warfare.

I love new discoveries. I came to Urinetown with no idea what it was about. I left a fan.

Under Matt Polson's skillful direction, and with a stellar cast, this was a theatrical experience I won't soon forget. Kudos to Matt Shofner (Bobby Strong), Madison Hatfield (Hope Cladwell), Michaela Nicole (Penelope Pennywise), Caldwell B. Cladwell (Luke Schares), Kelsey Cordrey (Little Sally), Bianca Bryan (Officer Lockstock), Travis West (Officer Barrel/Piano), Levi Meerovich (Hot Blades Harry/Piano), Allisan Paige Gilman (Little Becky Two Shoes), Lennon Hu (Senator Fipp/Bass), Maggie Bavolack (Josephine Strong/Clarinet), Anne Michelle Forbes (Soupy Sue) and Joe Lubman (drums). Each and every one  had stand-out performances with top notch voices and acting. 

And congratulations go to Travis West for his clever musical direction. And Nicole Morris-Anastasi  knocked it out of the park with her choreography. Set design, costuming, lighting, and sound were all exceptional. 

Urinetown is a true ensemble performance without a weak link. 


Urinetown (music and lyrics by Mark Hollmann and Books and Lyrics by Greg Kotis) first debuted in 2001, and is set in the early 1900's, however it's timeless in its depiction of power versus poverty. There's another musical in town right now. Thousands are paying top price to see a show with similar themes. Wouldn't it be wonderful if even just one percent of the people paying top dollar for *that* show could support local theatre. With Urinetown, they'd get their money's worth tenfold. 

Urinetown runs through December 28 at TheatreLAB's The Basement. For tickets, click here

Not only do you experience great theatre,  but you can pee for free without being arrested. Although Bryan's Officer Lockstock is so sexy you might just want to be handcuffed.

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