It’s not what you think! Urinetown the Musical is a curious combination of comedy, biting social commentary, and tragedy. The theater department of Providence High School performs it with utmost vigor and energy. Written by Greg Kotis, with the music and lyrics by Mark Hollmann, the themes are timeless. Imagine the combination of Greek chorus, West Side Story, and Les Misérables. But it works majestically.
The story employs classic construction and plot development. After a twenty-year drought, a city is forced to use drastic measures, basically charging for use of toilet facilities. The cost is too high for the simple folk, and revolution is but a whisper. We are greeted by narrator Officer Lockstock (a persuasive Joey Nussbaum) as he divulges how precarious the situation is. For those who have not, that is. For those who have live quite well. Enter Hope Gladewell (an enchanting Sakile Odimo), daughter of the city boss. Her eyes are opened to the people’s plight. What is she to do, but fall in love with the hero, Bobby Strong (RJ Godinez)? Bobby proposes a “pee-for-free” revolt, despite the protests of his boss, Penelope Pennywise (engaging Alice Ross).
What is to happen to our hero? Will true love win out? Will the people have the use of facilities? Some of the answers may surprise you, but by all means will entertain you. These kids are good. They stay in the moment and bring a certain daring and acute enthusiasm. Director Dominic Catrambone highlights the cast’s strengths by allowing structure to enhance the narrative. The Choreographer Ginger Goldbaum does an excellent job of capturing the raw energy of the performers. The songs are charming. It is inspiring to see such promising young talent. Recommended.
Urinetown – The Musical runs through March 24 at Providence High School located at 511 S. Buena Vista St. in Burbank. For more information, visit providencehigharts.org.