Music any Lyrics by Mark Hollman
Book and Lyrics by Greg Kotis
Directed by David Lee
Starring Kyle Adkins, Amanda Wansa, Brock Yurich, Lacey Angerosa
UCF Conservatory Theater, Orlando FL
This is one of the finest meta-theatrical experiences you will ever have. In the not too distant future, water is so scarce that urination becomes a privilege and not a right. One doesn’t drain their lizard without paying tribute to Urine Good Company, a very successful organization run by rotund Caldwell B. Cladwell (Tad Ingram). His ammonia soaked tentacles reach to the lowest levels of society where public amenities are run by publicans like the no nonsense Penelope Pennywise (Wansa). You don’t get relief with out spending your pennies at her place, and officer Lockstock (Adkins) keeps the peace and rattles off any necessary exposition to Little Sally (Angerosa). There’s a Hero (Yurich), a romantic lead (Stephanie Lloyd), and a comic sidekick (Benjamin Smith), and just enough information on hydrology to keep the show aimed where the writers pointed. Peeing in the bushes will get you sent down to Urinetown, and that’s not a place anyone returns from.
Director Lee takes this self referential musical and hangs tributes (or rip offs) of every major theatrical convention of the last century. “What is Urinetown” looks like act 2 of Fiddler on the Roof; the Act 1 Finale is “Les Miserables” without the nasty head rolling, and “Mr Caldwell” might be a Cole Porter piece from the 30’s. All of this makes for a hugely entertaining payoff with the brilliant choreography of Christopher Niess (doubling as Old Man Strong) and clever sets designed and lit by Vandy Wood and Bert Scott. The acting didn’t miss the porcelain either, with Lockstock vamping like the Joker and Little Sally (Angerosa) jeteing across the stage in search of enough pennies to pee.
This Urinetown is a delight to look at, listen to, and even the shakedown at the Men’s Room door adds to the festivity. (I used the guest biffy down by the Black Box, and Pennywise nearly called Lockstock on me.) This may be a college production, but it sparkles with the best professional shows I’ve seen in Central Florida.
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