“It’s a hard, cold, tumble of a journey. Worthy of a gurney, a bumble down. A slapped face, smacked with a mace. Certain to debase is our stumble down. It’s a path that leads you only one place…to Urinetown!” A bit dark and somewhat frightening but this is the “Cop Song” and my favorite tune in the musical “Urinetown” playing at the Jungle Theater now through August 11th.
Set in a time when it’s a privilege to pee, citizens must use public amenities due to a 20-year drought. As we flow through the story we find love, greed, corruption and meet a strong-willed boy who works to bring freedom to the people. Having gone to Europe myself, and being charged to use the public restrooms, I can see why Greg Kotis who wrote the music and book chose to expand on this idea.
Fortunately, before the show I had the honor of interviewing Bradley Greenwald who played Officer Lockstock. You can read more of that here: http://bit.ly/161hXR2. As the leading player and narrator of the story he does a wonderful job taking the audience for a ride through this mysterious place. Kersten Rodau who plays Penelope Pennywise and sings the famous song “It’s a Privilege to Pee” commands the stage. In every show I have seen her in, I have been in awe. I cannot get enough of her voice and acting ability. Far more often than not, my jaw drops when I hear her hit the “money notes”. She is insane and I mean that in the kindest way. Gary Briggle (Caldwell B. Cladwell) and Elisa Pluhar (Little Sally) both looked and acted their parts to a tee.
The ensemble did a fantastic job with their tight harmonies and dance steps. Piling twenty-three people on a small stage and having them move around has to be difficult. Yet, they stood up to the challenge and made it work. The choreography meshed many different show tunes and genres together. It was a delight to watch and hear. The Jungle tends to focus on their sets but this show was scaled back a bit and I for one appreciated it. There was one major set piece that doubled between Public Amenity #9 and Cladwell’s office. Instead of getting caught up in the set, I was able to focus on the players.
I’m in agreeance to what my mom said afterward “I see a lot of musicals and I am picky. I’d see this show again.” Now you see where I get my critical eye from! For more information on “Urinetown” check out the Jungle Theater’s website: http://www.jungletheater.com/