The Skylight Music Theater Presents Urinetown
By Livia Peterson
The title Urinetown is pronounced You're In Town despite the fact it may be a bit offensive to some folks. Yet, the show is relevant and outright hilarious.
The government patrolled Urine Good Company (UGC) and Caldwell B. Cladwell (Steven M. Koehler) implement fees to visit the bathroom, as the town is suffering a twenty year drought. Officer Lockstock (Rick Pendzich) and Penelope Pennywise (Amber Smith) enforce the rules. While the revolution ensues, the romance among Hope Cladwell (Rachael Zientek) and Bobby Strong (Lucas Pastrana) blooms. Little Sally (Kaylee Annable) provides the adolescent perspective throughout the show.
Some cast members portray multiple characters and provide brilliant performances. Ms. Zientek, Ms. Annable, and Ms. Smith are easily the scene stealers, literally carrying the show all themselves and leaving the ensemble in the dust. All the performances are amazing, proving one does not need to travel to New York City to attend Broadway caliber productions. Despite the fact most of the cast is under non Equity contracts, they flawlessly demostrate genuine chemistry.
The technical components of this production are magnificent: Ryan Cappleman's infectious choreography, Brandon Kirkham's lifelike scenic design honoring musical theater, and Holly Blomquist's lighting design impeccably allows every actor to have their moment (even during the ensemble scenes). However, Megan Henninger's sound design and Karin Simonson Kopischke's costume design emerge as the obvious highlights.
Ignore the ridiculous title and Urinetown simultanaeously taps into the zeitgeist and mocks musical theater, even though it was performed on Broadway in 2001. The production examines corporate greed, our needs and wants and differentiating the two, and relationships among communities. The timely message extremely hits close to home even though the humor completely misses during Act Two. Act One provides brilliant toilet humor and yet, it is a bit redundant during Act Two.
Urinetown may allow one to appreciate privileges (whatever that may be) and even though we may be busy living our lives, reminders of enjoying the little things in life is sometimes necessary. The Skylight Music Theater concluded the 2017-2018 Season with a bang. B+
Urinetown continues through Sunday, June 10, 2018.
Skylight Music Theater
Broadway Theatre Center's Cabot Theater
158 North Broadway, Milwaukee WI 53202
Official Website │414-291-7800