Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Albert Einstein High School Urinetown

By • Mar 23rd, 2009 • Category: Cappies

A stage is set with two gigantic toilets and the words “Urinetown” written on a ratty old sheet hanging between them. Not exactly the typical set for a supposedly brilliant musical. Even Little Sally, a character in the play, says, “Urinetown? Who would want to see a musical with a name like that?” Although the name may spark some doubt in prospective audience members, Albert Einstein High School, who performed Urinetown this past weekend, relieved all of those doubts and put on a spectacular show.

Urinetown is a musical comedy, which manages to poke fun at politics and corporate mismanagement while also keeping the audience laughing. It revolves around a town where, due to a drought, the UGC or “Urine Good Company,” controls the public restrooms where “it’s a privilege to pee.” The plotline and eventual surprise ending make it an amusing show for any audience to see.

The wonderful ensemble was lead by the bold Officer Lockstock (Malika Cherifi), whose narration of the play was a joy to watch. Although Lockstock is normally a male role, she mastered the part, using her outstanding voice and committed stage presence. Alongside her was Officer Barrel (Awate Serequeberhan), who kept the audience laughing with his dead-on New Jersey accent. The vocal and theatrical chemistry between the two was fabulous and shone through, especially in “The Cop Song.”

The cameos and smaller parts throughout the show added a lot. One memorable character was that of Little Sally (Tracey Gearhart), performed with excellent facial expressions and cute pronunciation of her lines. Another unforgettable character was Hot Blades Harry (Milton D. Garcia). Even though he wasn’t a major part until the second act, his body movement and voice made him stand out and captured the audience’s interest.

The energy of the entire cast was infectious. In big numbers such as “Run Freedom Run” and “Urinetown,” everyone added their own spark to the play, proving that even a small role has a big part. While sometimes the lead vocals sounded a bit weak, the ensemble made up for it, providing well-rounded harmonies that blended together remarkably.

The sets of the play, although unusual, made a great backdrop for the actors to work with. The two huge toilets on either side of the stage were used in a notable way; deceased characters would come back through the toilets and then be “flushed back down to Urinetown.” Another point of interest provided by the set was the placement of the orchestra. They were placed on stage, behind the “Urinetown” sheet, in between the two toilets.

Altogether, Albert Einstein did an awesome job and proved that even if a musical has an awful title, like Urinetown, it can still be a fabulous show.

by Shannon Bartnick of Seton School

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