Reston Community Players Urinetown, the MusicalBy Laura & Mike Clark • Mar 5th, 2008 • Category: Reviews
Listen to our review of Reston Community Players’ production of Urinetown, the musical [MP3 5:24 2.5MB].
Reston Community Players
Reston Community Center, Reston, VA
$17/$14 Seniors and Students (Friday, Sunday)
$20 (Saturday – all tickets)
Through March 22nd
Mike: Some of the singing got a little muddy and I couldn’t understand all the lyrics, but a couple of the performances were very good. It’s a funny show and had a pretty good sized audience. There were some youngsters there that I’m not sure quite “got it.” All in all this was a good show.
Laura: Urinetown is a musical with book by Greg Kotis, lyrics by Greg Kotis and Mark Hollman, and music by Mark Hollman. Urinetown, the Musical is a winking love letter to the conventions of musical theater-an untempered satire where no one is safe from scrutiny. In a world wracked by ecological disasters, a single malevolent company profits by charging admission fees for one of humanity’s most basic needs. A tale of greed, corruption, love, and revolution in a time when water is worth its weight in gold-complete with a hero named Bobby Strong and a heroine named Hope.
Mike: So of course the first question you have to ask yourself is, what is this about? I did hear a few people before the show asking, “What is this show about? I wasn’t sure I wanted to come.” It is about a company at some point in the future that is charging everyone to be able to go to the bathroom. If you don’t pay, you don’t go. Bushes are off limits. They make that very clear. There is the corrupt politician who is helping to make this happen. It sounds like a downer of a musical, but at the same time all that is going on, it’s also making fun of musical theater and the characters and stereotypes we’ve learned about in different musical theater shows.
Laura: Who gave strong performances at Saturday night’s show?
Mike: Katie McManus playing Penelope Pennywise, an employee and guardian of Public Amenity Number 9, gave a very strong performance. She had a great song, ‘It’s a Privilege to Pee.’ Her voice filled the room and she did a good job as Pennywise.
Another good performance was John Loughney playing Bobby Strong. He was the hero and the revolutionary. His voice didn’t quite fill the room or carry as well, but he did a good job. He was very sympathetic. I did like his relationship with Hope Cladwell (played by Sharon Grant). He was innocent and not quite understanding what was happening when his father, Joseph “Old Man” Strong (played by Buz Ringler) was taken away to Urinetown.
Laura: Was there a narrator for Urinetown?
Mike: There were two narrators. Officer Lockstock played by Jay Tilley, and Little Sally played by June Schreiner. Little Sally’s costumes were made to make us think of other well known small girl characters. She was wearing an Annie outfit at one point and then later she was dressed like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. There wasn’t anything said about the different costumes, it was just part of her character and costume. It worked really well. The two of them had a nice rapport, they were very comfortable together. They also broke through that fourth wall when they were talking to the audience. It worked really well in those scenes. The other cast members moved away from them. It wasn’t distracting to hear them say that the audience wouldn’t like something.
Laura: What about the set for Urinetown?
Mike: It was a very creative set design. It was designed by Andrew JM Regiec, the show’s director and Greg Steele. There were several different levels of the stage. The orchestra was off in the back behind a locked gate. They were kind of stuck in the show, despite their attempts to escape. I like the visual difference between the area of the town, especially the sewers and the area of the public amenity, and the offices of the Cladwells at the UGC (Urine Good Company). The lighting assisted with that. The lighting was designed by Franklin Coleman. When they were at the UGC offices, the lights were very bright and very focused.
Laura: How about the special effects for Urinetown?
Mike: There were some good special effects for Urinetown. I don’t want to give away the surprise of the special effect that I thought was very well done, so I’m not going to talk about that specifically. There was an interesting effect the first time someone was sent to Urinetown. That was used a few times throughout the show. When one of the characters went to Urinetown late in the show, it was a surprise how they did it. I really liked the effect. It was a little funny clearing that scene though.
Laura: Urinetown ran two hours and twenty five minutes with one intermission. It is playing through Saturday, March 22nd. Friday and Saturdays and 8 and a Sunday matinee on the 9th and 16th at 2:30 pm at the Reston Community Center in Reston, Virginia.
Mike: This is a great show to go see if you’re familiar with some of the in jokes that will be shared. They are very subtle. They don’t come out and say this is a joke. If you know about theater you’ll have a good time. It’s not quite appropriate for young kids. There were some in the audience that I think had a good time, partially because everyone was talking about urine and pee.
Laura: We’d like to invite you to join our free mailing list so you can stay informed with community theater events in the DC metro Region.
Mike: And now, on with the show.
- Officer Lockstock: Jay Tilley
- Penelope Pennywise: Katie McManus
- Bobby Strong: John Loughney
- Little Sally: June Schreiner
- Hope Cladwell: Sharon Grant
- Mr. Mc Queen: David Tremaine
- Senator Fipp: Jim Bumgardner
- Officer Barrel: Greg Glofak
- Joseph “Old Man” Strong/Ensemble: Ruz Ringler
- Tiny Tom/Ensemble: Ryan Green
- Soupy Sue/Ensemble: Sally Kiernan
- Little Becky Two-Shoes/Ensemble: Courtney Basich
- Robby the Stockfish/Ensemble: Sam Nystrom
- Caldwell B. Caldwell: Rob Ashby
- UGC Executive/Ensemble: Mark Hidalgo
- Secretary/Ensemble: Laura Anne Knockenhauer
- Dr. Billeaux/Ensemble: Ashley Edminston
- Josephine Strong/Ensemble: Jolene Vettese
- Hot Blades Harry/Ensemble: Kevin Johnson
- Billy Boy Bill/Ensemble: Nathan Williams
- Mrs. Millennium/Ensemble: Kate Keifer
- Ensemble: Keren Schlumpf
- Piano/Conductor: Elisa Rosman
- Reeds: Mitch Bassman, Allen Howe
- Trombone: Scott Fridy, Bill Wright
- Bass: Randy Dahlberg
- Drums: Arthur Garrison
- Producer: Eileen Mullee
- Director: Andrew JM Regiec
- Stage Manager: Kaiti Parish
- Assistant Stage Manager: Amy Frank
- Music Director: Elisa Rosman
- Audition Accompanist: Alan Margolis
- Choreographers: Matt Anderson, Catherine Oh
- Dance Captains: Mark Hidalgo, Kate Keifer
- Set Design: Andrew JM Regiec, Greg Steele
- Master Carpenter: Greg Steele
- Set Decoration: Andrew JM Regiec
- Properties Design and Acquisition: Mary Jo Ford, Andrew JM Regiec
- Special Props: Greg Steele
- Properties Mistress: Joanne Quan
- Master Electrician: Ian Claar
- Lighting Design: Franklin Coleman
- Assistant Lighting Designer: John Shea
- Sound Design: Greg Pennington
- Costume Design: Carol Steele
- Combat Choreography: Karen Schlumpf, Brian Farrell
- Makeup Design: Karen Steele
- Hair Design: Karen Steele
- Special Effects: Greg Steele, Andrew JM Regiec, Skip Larson, Herb Pierce
- Running Crew Chief: Bob Bean
- Flyman: Rick Schneider
- Publicity: Kay Vakrics
- Showbill: Jerry Morse, Jody Al-Saigh
- Front of House: Judy Cook
- Photographer: Joe Douglass
- Sign Language Interpreters: Michelle Sumner, Danielle Hunt
- Understudy Interpreter: Shelby Harchar
- Set Construction: Greg Steele, Skip Larson, Lara Birkhead, Herb Pierce, Bruce Marson, Eileen Mullee, Amy Frank, Andy Regiec, Judy Whelihan, Hannah, Rohlfs, David Holt
- Set Painting, Andy Regiec, Eileen Mullee, Greg Steele, Skip Larson, Sara Birkhead, Melissa Tilley, Amy Frank, Laura Baughman, Sue Pinkman, Cindi Webb, Dana Schreiner
- Light Crew: Ian Claar, Mary Ann Hall
- Sound Crew: Jeff Baumgardner, Jason Willet, Fern Black, Rich Claar
- Running Crew: David Bolt, Greg Steele, Heather Grover, Karen Schlumpf, Laura Baughman, Jason Parker, Stacey Sherrard
- Properties Crew: Emily Besuden
- Dressers: Carol Steele, Sherry Singer, Mary Catherine Williams
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/2198.
Laura & Mike Clark started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.