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"Urinetown" Flows into Brockport for April 20 Opening

Award-winning Musical Honors Uprisings, Musical Theatre, and Love, in its Own Irreverent Way

Urinetown: The Musical opens on April 20 at the Tower Fine Arts Center

Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis’ musical Urinetown is the final offering in the 50th anniversary season of the Department of Theatre and Music Studies. The production opens on Friday, April 20, 2018, at 7:30 pm. Performances take place in the Tower Fine Arts Center Mainstage Theatre. Tickets are $17/General, $12/Seniors, Alumni, Faculty and Staff, and $9/Students.

After its premiere during the New York International Fringe Festival, and its off-Broadway run, the musical took the Broadway community, and then the world, by surprise and then by storm. The New York Times called it “sensational… hilarious,” and likened it to a combination of The Cradle Will Rock and South Park. Following in the footsteps of musicals about gang riots and cannibalistic pie-makers, here was a new one to shock us all: Fed by an appetite for money and power, one man controls all the water supply and therefore, all of the “public amenities” in the aptly named Urinetown. He has raised rates for water so high that toilets in private homes are unaffordable, forcing its residents to pay to pee. With its tongue firmly planted in its cheek, and characters willing to stage an uprising, the show can be construed as an object lesson in the current climate of student protests, proving that activism can work.

For Ruth Childs, associate professor in the department and director of the show, these recent protests should be “inspiring to the cast,” helping awaken their political awareness. But the show, “with its depictions of corporate greed, workers’ rights, political payoffs is so timely. The way big corporations can control us—the way Facebook and some other media companies can—helps the cast, and the audience, make the connections to the real world. A real world in which a city like Cape Town, South Africa, can actually be running out of water any minute.” After a pause, Childs continues, remembering that “there is so much singing and dancing in this show. It’s a show for people who don’t like musicals, because of what it says about society, and a musical for people who do love musicals, with so many sequences in which other musicals are referenced. It’s a love letter to musicals, really.”

Performances of Urinetown will take place on April 20, 21, 26, 27, and 28 at 7:30 pm. There is also a 2 pm matinee on Sunday, April 22, which will be ASL interpreted for the hearing impaired.

contact: Tower Fine Arts Center Box Office: (585) 395-2787
submitted: Wed, Apr 4, 2018 by ssoloway
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