“Urinetown” uses comedy to criticize real life issues

The frosh-soph musical portrays real life conflicts through comedic satire

Katie Kim

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The frosh-soph musical, “Urinetown”, will be playing in the Cornog auditorium, on Wednesday, Dec. 6 to Saturday, Dec. 9.

“Urinetown”, written by Greg Kotis and lyrics by Greg Kotis and Mark Hollmann, is a satirical comedic musical, about a water shortage and a 20 year drought that eventually causes the government to ban public toilets, and add a proliferation of paid public toilets.

However, the twist is that all of these public toilets are owned by one company called the Urine Good Company.
The consequences of breaking the public toilet rules include being sent to a mysterious area called “Urinetown.”

Eventually getting sick of the ridiculous restriction on one’s need to pee, the protagonist leads a revolt so that every individual has the right to pee “wherever you like, whenever you like, for as long as you like, and with whomever you like.”

Sophomore and antagonist of the show Elias Wachtel said that “Urinetown” is a satire of the music theatre genre, life, modern politics, but also more than that. The show has dark subject matter and themes. “So dark, in fact, that I think Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis knew they couldn’t tackle these issues head on. The show uses the satire and the comedy to give us a view of the present and the future that, while there are absurd aspects, is rooted in realism,” he said.

“Ideally, ‘Urinetown’ should be extremely entertaining but should also leave the audience thinking that ‘their way of life is unsustainable’, as Lockstock says in the show,” said Wachtel.

In the same regards, sophomore Reilly Oh said “‘Urinetown’ is a satire on not only the concept of musicals itself, but also our governmental system. It’s a show that makes fun of almost every musical pre 2001, and also the state of the society we live in.”

“I feel that ‘Urinetown’ brings out tons of humor. Not only is it very entertaining, but it also brings the message of leadership and confidence. It represents the true conflicts of society,” said sophomore Rachel Miller.

“Mr. Malouf, our director, really wanted us to not only understand the lines that we are saying, but also the reason why they were written. Whether it’s a simple Les Mis joke, or one about systemic oppression of the lower class.

Especially with our current political climate, I think that a good message is one that inherits the ridiculousness and hypocrisy of our political system,” said Oh.

Another insight of the musical is the problematic state of our environment. Sophomore Spencer Rosin said “I think the message is about the environment and how we are treating it poorly. If we keep going down the road we are on, it is going to get worse.”

“It portrays is that the government is corrupt and is not honest because of the power they have. I also think this musical was used to make fun of the stereotypes of musical theatre and try and open people’s eyes to how it should change,” said Rosin.

“It was a wonderful experience to be a part of a cast, and it was amazing to spend time with old friends, while also making new ones. The rehearsal was long and hard, but it brought us all closer together,” said Wachtel.

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