by enA MOAts
This year’s student production of Greg Kotis’ Urinetown: The Musical recently opened on the Page Theater stage on Thursday, March 20 and ran through Sunday, March 23rd, bringing in a full audience each night. The show came to life on the stage through the work of director Gary Diomandes, Judy Myers as musical director, and choreographer Christine Martin, along with over 35 students in both the cast and behind the scenes.
Since the beginning of semester, the Page Theater stage has been slowly transformed into the Gotham-like, futuristic city of Urinetown by the cast and crew of this musical comedy that satirically comments on themes of capitalism, the legal system, bureaucracy, environmental sus- tainability, greed, and of course, love. The sets, constructed by Tamara L. Honesty plus assistants, lights designed by John Goblirsch, and sound run by Charlotte Deranek all contribute to the destitute setting of the city where a water-shortage has devastated the citizens who also have to survive the monopolizing company called “Urine Good Company” that controls the water supply and enforces an oppressive tax upon the only public toilets available in the town.
From this oppression rises the hero Bobby Strong played by Gabriel Verges who leads the troubled citizens to freedom from the company and its leader Caldwell B. Cladwell who was played by SMU freshman Zach Hillman. Along the way to freedom, Bobby meets and falls in love with Cladwell’s daughter, Hope Cladwell (Katie Sapper).
Actors in the show say they really worked on character development especially in this particular show where interactions with each other were essential both on stage and off, while Goblirsch played with over 200 light cues, and set crews built an entire city out of styrofoam. The students spent four hours a day for six days a week since the beginning of second semester in rehearsals, working to create Urinetown.
Because of the characters, sharp satire, musical spoofs, and memorable music in its own right, the show was one that Diomandes and Myers had “been wanting to tackle for some time now.” Surely the laughs and applause from the audience for this production were worth the wait.