‘Urinetown: The Musical’ continues at West Liberty University Theater | News, Sports, Jobs

West Liberty University students, left to right, Calian Byard as Caldwell B. Cladwell (standing), Odessa Hores as Hope Cladwell and Issac Cardot as Bobby Strong (far right ), rehearse a scene from “Urinetown: The Musical”. (Photo provided)

WEST LIBERTY — West Liberty University students are performing “Urinetown: The Musical” as their spring production throughout this weekend at the Kelly Theater, located in the Hall of Fine Arts.

Winner of three Tony Awards, three Outer Critics Circle Awards, two Lucille Lortel Awards and two Obie Awards, “Urinetown” is a hilarious musical satire of the legal system, capitalism, social irresponsibility, populism, bureaucracy, corporate mismanagement, municipal politics and musical theater itself.

The musical was previously staged at WLU in 2006, and the theater company is inviting cast members of that production to join in for a social “Coffee Before the Curtain” reception at the Nutting Gallery ahead of the show. Saturday April 9.

“We invited the 2006 cast for a sort of informal get-together just before the show,” said WLU theater manager Michael Aulick. “We are thrilled and this show is something to celebrate as it is also our first production without a face mask (COVID-19) since February 2020.”

With a great ensemble show and a few small roles, “Urinetown” gives students a chance to shine.

Described as hilarious, funny and touchingly honest, the musical is set in a Gotham-like city where there is a water shortage, caused by a 20-year drought.

This leads to a government-imposed ban on private restrooms and citizens must use public amenities, regulated by a single malevolent corporation that profits by charging admission for one of humanity’s most basic needs. Until a hero rises and plans a revolution.

“He uses the medium of theater to examine what is happening to rampant capitalism. As part of my research for the show, I read a lot about what is called “disaster capitalism”, which is when a for-profit company takes advantage of people due to a natural disaster,” Aulick said.

Inspired by the works of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill, music and lyrics are by Mark Hollmann and book and lyrics are by Greg Kotis.

The musical’s assistant director is WLU biology professor Dr. Melinda Kreisberg, and the musical director is music professor Dr. Douglas McCall. Instructor Jill Warren is the choreographer. The technical director is Meta Lasch and the lighting designers are alumni Alex Franke and Crystal McNamara. The sound designer is Andy Blum, alumnus and employee.

The stage managers are WLU students Benny Mounsey and Len Batson.

The curtain is at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday, April 8 and 9, and at 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 10.

Tickets can be purchased online at wluurine.brownpapertickets.com or at the box office on the day or night of the show. The box office can be reached by phone at 304-336-8277.

WLU’s theater department is housed in the College of Liberal and Creative Arts.

For more information about WLU’s theater program, please visit westliberty.edu/theater.

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