New RMRT play flush with humor
June 20, 2008
Just after two sold-out nights of their first summer show “Oklahoma!” which started last weekend, the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre is excited to present the second show of the season, “Urinetown.”
“I can just imagine our potential audience members standing out on the boardwalk in Grand Lake, looking up at the sign above the town square, and seeing this title,” said Michael Querio, director of the show and artistic director for the company. “Fans of the show, like all of you, I hope, will love seeing this quirky blend of social and political satire, the loving homage to musical theatre history, and the hilarious plot and characters taking part in the dark comedy.”
The first act begins at a public urinal in town. Police Officer Lockstock (played by Peter Durkin), is determined that all is to be in order. Penelope Pennywise (fourth-year veteran Emily Kish) and Bobby Strong (Sam Prince who plays lead Curly in “Oklahoma!”) share gossip about someone being carted off to Urinetown just the other day.
Officer Lockstock addresses the audience directly, telling them that Urinetown is a mythical bad place that they won’t see until Act Two. After a brief chat about how much discourse an audience can digest, Lockstock and Little Sally (played by Mallory Good who plays supporting lead Ado Annie in “Oklahoma!”) discuss the current water shortage that has made private toilets unacceptable.
Public restrooms have replaced them and patrons may use them for a fee ” controlled by a private company that keeps the prices so high people down on their luck have to come to a place like the one the play starts off at ” one of the poorest, filthiest urinals in town. Since using the bushes is illegal, Little Sally has been saving her pennies and is just a few short from being able to find relief. Songs include the title theme “Urinetown,” the town known to the cast as the place you are sent if you try to pee for free.
“One of the most uproariously funny musicals in recent years, ‘Urinetown’ is a hilarious tale of greed, corruption, love, and revolution in a time when water is worth its weight in gold,” states Music Theatre International. “Inspired by the works of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill, ‘Urinetown’ is an irreverently humorous satire in which no one is safe from scrutiny. Praised for reinvigorating the very notion of what a musical could be, ‘Urinetown’ catapults the ‘comedic romp’ into the new millennium with its outrageous perspective, wickedly modern wit, and sustained ability to produce gales of unbridled laughter.”
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Querio once again leads the artistic team that, after three seasons, is selling 96 percent of the available seats and turning away approximately 68 individuals per day at the box office. Denver Post Ovation Award winner Jesus Perez is back for his fourth summer as resident costume designer. New to RMRT are Scenic Designer Glen Anderson and Lighting Designer Kent Barrett. Third-year actor Clark Ausloos doubles up as choreographer for “Urinetown” and as Hot Blades Harry, one of the many wild characters audiences will meet in “Urinetown.”
The team, together with the other familiar faces of RMRT: Executive Director Carol Wolff, Company Manager/Youth Theatre Administrator Sally Scott, Managing Director Chad Scott and the highly dedicated 25-member Board of Trustees and Advisory Board (led by President Judy Jensen), comprise another guaranteed outstanding season.
“How can a theatre that produces ‘Oklahoma!’ produce a show with a title and subject matter like this?” Querio asks. “Hopefully, after you’ve seen the show and your laughter subsides, you’ll recognize that in the nearly 60 years that have transpired between the premieres of that Rodgers and Hammerstein classic and this show, that ‘Urinetown’ is a logical and understandable heir and successor.”
Following the opening-night show, performances of “Urinetown” will intertwine with “Oklahoma!,” with dates scheduled June 21, 25, 27 and *30; July 2, 8, 11, 16, *19, 24 and 30; and Aug. *2, 5, 8, 12, and 14. Most shows open at 8 p.m. with other times indicated (*). Sponsors are Vivian and Eddie Wedelstedt.
The company opens “Big! The Musical” July 5 and its fall show, “Why Do Fools Fall in Love” Aug. 22.
With the way things are going, and with the company’s successful history these past few years, Chad Scott predicts a completely sold-out season. To reserve your tickets for what is expected to be RMRT’s record-breaking season, call (970) 627-3421.