Musical Overcomes Facility Limitations

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Joan Harris

Joan Harris, Staff Writer

This year’s musical, UrineTown, a satire that draws inspiration from other well known musicals such as Les Misérables and The Cradle Will Rock opened March 13, and ran through March 23.  Performances were held in the Campolindo Performing Arts Center (CPAC).

Earlier in the year it was uncertain as to whether or not that music department would be able to put on the event. Cafeteria reconstruction limited their set, props and costume storage, scene shop, and the department could not use the multi-use room for rehearsal or dressing rooms.

According to the published program, they “squeezed into cramped quarters near the football field for set building, conducted rehearsals in churches, storefronts, classrooms, lobbies and dance studio attics.”

The play is about a 20 year drought which has caused terrible water shortages. The local townspeople have to pay to use the bathroom. People can only use public restrooms that are controlled by the “Urine Good Company.”

The poor masses, lead by Bobby Strong, rebel against Urine Good Company and the wealthy, demanding to use the restroom without having to pay. They hide in the sewers and hold Hope Cladwell, the daughter of CEO Cladwell B. Cladwell, hostage.

The production featured two separate casts, the Plunger cast and the Brush cast, which performed on alternating dates.

The casts incorporated actors of all grades, and the play included musical numbers complete with dancing. The song “Run Freedom Run” was a cast favorite. “I really get into the choreography, which is the same choreography as the broadway version” said freshman Jocelyn Purcell.

Senior Jennifer Reiches, who played Betty the Stockfish, said, “Our characters didn’t really come with backgrounds so they gave us a lot of artistic freedom to come up with backgrounds and personalities for our characters. So I kind of decided to make mine have a sort of troubled past which has made her kind of moody and paranoid and overall sassy.”

According to sophomore Brooke Finegold, students in the music department auditioned for a role in the play, but they did not audition for a particular part. Instead, if the director wanted a student for a certain part, they were called back to audition a second time. 

Finegold played Ms. McQueen, Cladwell’s assistant. “I follow behind him, and I am just very servile and obedient to him, and after Cladwell dies, I open a bottling company in Brazillia, but then the Amazon dries up so I move, and end up in UrineTown,” she said. “I am really lucky because I am only a sophomore, and sophomores don’t usually get parts, so it was a great experience,” Finegold said.

Junior Marissa Monopoli teamed up with director Dave Pinkham to construct the sets for the show. Monopoli said, “We started ever before the show started rehearsals, so we started in September or October. I helped with the posters, banners, the t-shirts and programs. I finished the designs a while ago, but actually finishing all of the pieces took until about a day before the first show.”

Finegold was proud of the cast’s performance. “The performances have gone really well, almost surprisingly well, not that we haven’t been prepared or anything but usually opening night is pretty rocky but both of our opening nights were really strong,” she said.