Performances at Hammond High--8800 Guilford Road, Columbia, MD
Thursday, March 1 at 7pm
Friday, March 2 at 7pm
Saturday, March 3 at 2pm (STARS performance)
Saturday, March 3rd at 7pm
Tickets: $10 presale, $12 door
Presale tickets can be purchased through cast or crew or through the front office at Hammond High School during school hours.
One of the most uproariously funny musicals in recent years, URINETOWN is a hilarious tale of greed, corruption, love, and revolution in a time when water is worth its weight in gold. In a Gotham-like city, a terrible water shortage, caused by a 20-year drought, has led to a government-enforced ban on private toilets. The citizens must use public amenities, regulated by a single malevolent company that profits by charging admission for one of humanity's most basic needs. Amid the people, a hero decides he's had enough, and plans a revolution to lead them all to freedom! -MTI
Director: Lauren Tobiason
Vocal Director: Ross Rawlings
Conductor: TJ Lukacsina
Choreographers: Alex Krebs & Julie Rose
Set Design: Linda Wieman
Costume Design: Katie Waterworth
Lockstock: Gary Malveaux
Penny: Mea Agazio
Bobby: Jon Beahm
Little Sally: Audrey Zahlis
Dr. Billeaux: Sean Kwon
Mr. McQueen: Roberto Lopez
Senator Fipp: Jesse Trainor
Barrel: Aine Mangan
Hope: Valerie Kamen
Old Man Strong: Kevin Walker
Tiny Tom: Tex Pardue
Soupy Sue: Maddie Borowski
Little Becky: Lili Evans
Robby the Stockfish: Chris Rose
Cladwell: Alex Pecas
Josephine: Janet Dabu
Mrs. Millenium: Sara Pecas
Hot Blades Harry: Christopher King
Billy Boy Bill: Minhwan Kim
Boy Cop: Bryce Rosenberg
Girl Cop: Emily Cerwonka
Cops: Emily Jacobs, Kelly Rugel, Kristen Rutherford, Minhwan Kim
For more information, please visit:http://www.hammondhs.org/UrineTownInfo.htm
“Penny for a pee?” This unique and remarkably catchy slogan was heard frequently throughout the course of a unique musical. A fantastic rendition of Urinetown: The Musical was held by the Hammond High School Theatre Department.
Urinetown: The Musical transports the audience to a drought stricken town and the regulation of water that is necessary for survival. To avoid the consequences of water misuse, a powerful corporation by the name of “Urine Good Company” (or UGC) forces the citizens to pay a fee (by law) to use a public bathroom, or else a trip to the mysterious “Urinetown” is in their future. The musical is about the citizens’ responses to the law. Written by Greg Kotis (lyrics and the novel) and Mark Hollmann (music and lyrics), and directed by Lauren Tobiason, the musical is a satire of human nature, corporations, government, and Broadway in itself (there are references to Les Miserables, West Side Story, and Fiddler on the Roof throughout the musical).
Urinetown: The Musical was indubitably held together by the sinister smirk of Gary Malveaux, who portrayed Officer Lockstock. Malveaux, although I am sure he must be a class-act out of character, perfected an aura about him that made the audience genuinely seem to hate him. Tobiason set the stage (pardon the pun) for the role of Officer Lockstock before the show had even begun. Two members of The Poor went up and down the aisles, begging the audience for a “penny to pee.” Armed with a truncheon and the threat of Urinetown, Officer Lockstock and colleague Officer Barrel, portrayed by Aine Mangan, followed closely behind; and implored audience members if they had been “harassed.”
The leads of Bobby Strong (Jon Beahm) and Hope Caldwell (Valerie Kamen) were both impeccable, unsurprisingly gracing the audience with soaring vocals. However, Alex Pecas, who transformed into Caldwell B. Caldwell, stole the show. Pecas’ deep, rumbling voice sent shivers down my spine, and would have made John Collum (who initially depicted Caldwell B. Caldwell) proud.
The entire cast was immensely disciplined; they all stayed in constant character. They were so engaging that at various intervals I wanted to join the fight against the UGC. The most notable culprit of this dedication was Audrey Zahlis, who represented Little Sally. Her constant animation extended to her stuffed animal companion and illustrated the innocence the role demands.
Albeit some interesting prop placement choices by Tobiason, the overall work of the technical crew was outstanding. The stationary set was intricate and engaging, it was littered was the type of trashy paraphernalia associated with a run-down town, including hub caps and rickety wooden steps, with costumes to match. Whether it was the gray-haired Old Man Strong (Kevin Walker) or the dirt strewn faces and raggedy clothing of The Poor, the costumes perfectly matched the characters. The multi-level stage also added dimensions that were properly utilized by Tobiason to give the musical variety.
Urinetown: The Musical the epitome of a satire and leaves the audience walking away with a good life lesson in hand: Watch where you pee!
Even if one were blindfolded, kidnapped, and ushered to a surprisingly theatre-like seat in complete silence, the voices—louder then softer, louder then softer—upon arrival would give away one’s location. Even if the blindfold were to be lifted seconds before the curtain would have parted had not the poverty-stricken players already been strewn across a scene of urban blight replete with unsanitary sewage pipes and rusting aluminum sidings, the telling voices—louder then softer, louder then softer—would have turned one’s outrage at having been kidnapped into childlike anticipation for a performance of one of contemporary theater’s most hilarious satires. “A penny for a pee,” the voices would plead until the authoritative reply, “no congregating,” would send them scuttling off to another corner of the theater. Luckily, Hammond High School’s production of Mark Hollman and Greg Kotis’s Urinetown required no clandestine kidnapping to fill its theatre on March first, second, and third.
Satirizing everything from capitalism to musicals to happy endings, Urinetown, overtly narrated by the flippant Officer Lockstock, tells the story of a world after twenty years of drought in which the luxury of private toilets is unthinkable. Rather, the townspeople are forced to take care of their business in pay-per-use “public amenities,” regulated by the highly-corrupt Urine Good Corporation, the “amenities” being anything but amenities. Once protagonist Bobby Strong’s father is taken off to mystery-laden Urinetown, (never to return,) for relieving himself on the street when his cash ran “a little short,” Bobby takes a stand against the incorrigible UGC monopoly, with the townspeople, furious over the fee hikes, joining the cause. In order to safeguard the revolution, they take Hope Cladwell, the big-hearted daughter of sleazy UGC CEO Caldwell B. Cladwell and love interest of Bobby as hostage. In its original Broadway incarnation, Urinetown won 2002’s Tony Awards for its book, score, and direction.
The cast’s commitment to the dystopian world of Urinetown was commendable. Despite the absurdity inherent in the show’s toilet-centric conceit, that high school actors were able to convey genuine emotion—from the need to pee to true love—was truly a testament to their talent and direction. In today’s financially and environmentally turbulent world, Urinetown’s not-so-subtly-concealed social commentary resonated deeply with the audience.
Valerie Kamen made for a truly remarkable Hope Cladwell. From her incredible vocal range to the heart-touching emotion with which imbued each note, her portrayal of the naive, yet well-meaning stock heroine was instantly likable. Garry Malveaux, playing Officer Lockstock, provided highly-amusing commentary from his flamboyant rendition of the customary pre-show notices. His overt exaggeration of the play’s satire by means of irony-laden vocal inflections and rich facial expressions greatly added to the comedic qualities of the show.
Mea Agazio played the parsimonious Ms. Pennywise as an especially complex and compelling character. Her dynamic presence varied vocality made her character much more than another link in the chain of corruption. Alex Peças was well-suited to play the UGC’s money-minded CEO. His booming baritone and compelling bearing convincingly commanded the complicity and cooperation of the Mayor and the company’s underlings. The cast’s overall energy heightened the stakes and drew the audience into the show.
In its chaotic disarray, the stark set of a dismal hubcaps and rickety ladders had an aesthetic symmetry to it, with the effectively-utilized intimate corners on both sides of the stage. The sinister red lighting and urban jungle on the cyclorama added to the ambience. Ragged costumes in autumnal colors and brown smudges on the actors and actress’s faces added to the realism of Urinetown.
Kidnapping certainly wasn’t required to bring a healthy audience to Hammond’s stellar production of this terrifying tale of greed and corruption.
Hammond High School’s Urinetown, Just Try to Hold Your Pee!
It’s a privilege to pee in Urinetown, but that doesn’t mean it’s a privilege to laugh! At Hammond High School’s marvelous performance of Urinetown, the audience was kept entertained and laughing throughout the entire show.
Urinetown is a comedic, satirical musical that tells the story of Bobby Strong, an assistant urinal custodian at Public Amenity #9. The musical, written by Mark Hollman and Greg Kotis, is about Bobby Strong’s attempt to eliminate the fees people must pay in order to use the restroom. Strong is inspired to rebel against the Urine Good Company (UGC) by Hope Cladwell, the daughter of the CEO of the UGC and Strong’s love interest. Throughout the musical, Officer Lockstock, who serves both as the narrator and a supporting character in the musical, and Little Sally both narrate and discuss stereotypes of musicals, including that all musicals have happy endings. However, just as Lockstock told Sally, Urinetown’s ending is far from the usual, happy ending.
Overall, the performance was exceptional and the actors wonderfully portrayed the unusual, yet entertaining, characters in Urinetown. The entire cast had fantastic comedic timing that kept the audience laughing throughout the show, and their acting, singing, and dancing accented the hilarious satire that is Urinetown.
The talented and comedic leads in Urinetown superbly played their roles, had great comedic sense, and were fantastic singers. Gary Malveaux, who played Officer Lockstock, a part that serves as both the narrator and role in the plot, performed wonderfully. His comedic timing when giving his tongue and cheek narration was exceptional, as was his acting and singing at other times. Jon Beahm (Bobby Strong) and Valerie Kamen (Hope Cladwell) both brought to the stage great skill to perform their parts naturally, or as naturally as one possibly could play any part in Urinetown, and with enthusiasm. Their soaring notes and humorous comments kept the audience entertained throughout the entire show.
However, the supporting characters and ensemble, including the Cops, UGC employees, and the poor, brought the show to life with their satirical performances of business officials, the police, and society in general. The ensemble accented the spectacular singing of the leads with their brilliant group singing that brought chills to the listener. The vibrant personalities of the supporting characters, especially Little Sally, played by the talented Aubrey Zahilis, complimented the leads and got many laughs from the audience. The ensemble’s excellent, synchronized dancing emphasized the allusions to other musicals that are spread throughout the show. Overall, the ensemble’s performance was excellent and did a fantastic job in the show.
The stage crew, lighting, and sound did a splendid job with the production. Although there were a few sound malfunctions, they were quickly fixed and the actors continued on as if they never occurred. Also, the microphones were too quiet at times, but the actors spectacular voices made up for this. The costumes in the show were also amazing, and although they seemed simple at first look, upon closer inspection they demonstrated precision and attention-to-detail.
The cast of Hammond High School’s Urinetown put on a truly impressive performance, which left the audience laughing and glad that it was not a privilege to laugh, but a necessity.