November 20, 2014
Urinetown, the Musical Opens at Wesleyan
The West Virginia Wesleyan College Department of Theatre & Dance will present the comedy Urinetown, the Musical on December 4 – 6 at 8 p.m. in the Culpepper Auditorium of the Virginia Thomas Law Center for the Performing Arts. There will be an additional matinee Saturday, December 6 at 2 p.m.
The musical is a side-splitting send-up of greed, love, and revolution in a time when water is worth its weight in gold. The show is directed by Associate Professor of Musical Theatre Thomas Schoffler, with musical direction by Associate Professor of Music Dr. R. Daniel Hughes, sets and lighting by Keith Saine, technical theatre director, costumes by Angela Post, costume designer, and featuring choreography by guest artist Donald Laney.
In a Gotham-like city, a terrible water shortage caused by a 20-year drought has led to a government-enforced ban on private toilets. The citizens must use public amenities, regulated by a single malevolent company that profits by charging admission for one of humanity’s most basic needs. Amid the people, a hero decides he has had enough and plans a revolution to lead them all to freedom.
With a cheeky title, the musical is a fun PG-13 show that is perfect for families with older children. Winner of three TONY Awards, three Outer Critic’s Circle Awards, two Lucille Lortel Awards, and two Obie Awards, Urinetown is a hilarious satire of capitalism, social irresponsibility, populism, bureaucracy, corporate mismanagement, municipal politics, and musical theatre itself.
Commenting about the over-the-top style of the show, “It is interesting to work on characters of this scale,” remarked Logan Darnell, a musical theatre major from Danville, WV, Darnell, double-cast as Old Man Strong and Hot Blades Harry. “You have to make huge acting choices in it, which is really fun.”
The production features students Zach Bolon, a vocal performance major from Beckley, WV; Dakota Burdette, a biochemistry major from Cross Lanes, WV; Alliyah Corley, a musical theatre/technical theatre double major from Elkton, MD; Rachel Barnhart, a musical theatre major from Lewisberry, PA; Darnell; Marilyn Evans, a musical theatre major from Delaware, OH; Bethany Gardner, a musical theatre/vocal performance double major from Eighty Four, PA, who is portraying Little Becky Two-Shoes; Charles Harper, a musical theatre major from Silver Spring, MD; Tony Hawks, a theatre major from Baltimore, MD; Haruna Isayama, a musical theatre major from Hokkaido, Japan; Katlin Kouns, a musical theatre/arts administration double major from Charleston, WV; Collin Nelson, a marketing/communication double major from Charleston, WV; Abby Scott, a musical theatre major from Malvern, PA; Sarah Smith, a musical theatre/English double major from Clarksburg, WV; Cal Stroud, a music/computer science double major from Williamsburg, WV; Corinne Weaver, a public relations major from Oakland, MD; James Young, a communication major from Teays Valley, WV; as well as Christopher Evans from Buckhannon and Wesleyan’s Residence Life Coordinator Nicholas Garbark, who hails from Wheeling, WV. The show is stage managed by Elizabeth Clever, an English major from Martinsburg, WV; assisted by Gracie Cotton, a communication major from Clarksburg, WV. The rehearsal and show accompanist is Kayoko Funada, a piano performance major from Japan.
“It is great working with the cast, directors and guest artists who bring something different to the table,” remarked Harper, who plays Officer Lockstock.
“I love how challenging this show is, in every aspect,” said Weaver in the role of Pennywise. “Not only is the music very complex and fun to sing, but comedy is a very taxing genre. Each joke has to be carefully crafted, and the cast has to work as a team to set the moment up.”
Tickets are available in the lobby one hour before show time, and the house opens a half-hour before curtain. Prices are $8 for adults, $5 for seniors and students, and $3 with a WVWC ID, cash or check only. For more information, email director Thomas Schoffler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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