‘Urinetown’ is unquestionable success


Julianna Markus

It’s Friday night, and there’s a sort of buzz to the air of the Mason auditorium as the audience sits in expectant wait for the second night of this year’s Fall musical: “Urinetown.” The theater seats are packed, the warm chatter of friends and family filling the space. The ensuing play will both sicken and delight the audience alike, and well, if you expected just a whole bunch of pee jokes, urine trouble.

An unflinchingly honest but sarcastic dramatic comedy that makes a very real comment about corruption in large corporations, Mason’s production of “Urinetown: The Musical” was a brilliantly-acted, wonderfully-staged, well-rehearsed musical. Ringing oddly true, the show satirized the legal system, capitalism, and corporate mismanagement evident in the real world.

As the lights dim and the crowd grows quiet, the first notes of the musical sound out, the reedy voice of the soprano sax shining as the actors file onstage. Members of the George Mason High School band, featuring seniors Korinne Wills and Ellen Rhee, make up the pit orchestra that serves as the soundtrack for the play, creating the perfect atmosphere to the night.

“The music is hard, but the pit has done a great job,” Acacia Wyckoff, soprano sax, said. “We’ve all worked really hard: cast, band, and stage crew.”

As the lights rise onstage, the music, intricate set, and detailed makeup create an image of poverty and suppression. The plot chronicles the experiences of the poor townspeople of Amenity #9, who, under the corporation “Urine Good Company”, are forced to use public restrooms only. If the citizens don’t obey, then it’s off to Urinetown with them, never to be seen again.

The intrigue of Urinetown (the place) holds the audience’s attention, as well as amazingly awkward and hilarious moments, including onstage chemistry, courtship, and (excuse my language) piss-poor pee jokes.

Junior Blake Hopkins shines in his role as Cladwell B. Cladwell, evil manager of the monopolizing company that runs the restrooms, in partnership with his good-hearted daughter, Hope Cladwell (played by senior Lydia Gompper). Senior Alec Reusch dazzled as Bobby Strong, the hero of the story. Reusch was both perfectly winsome and engaging. With comic relief by both Charlie Boland (Officer Lockstock), Justine Stolworthy (Little Sally), and Miles Jackson (Tiny Tom), the cast strikes the perfect balance of sweet and salty. The audience on Friday night laughed hysterically, gasped, and even cheered throughout.

Even the set design was popular with the audience.

“I loved how they used the projector, especially when they made shadow puppets… some sort of metaphor about a bunny, I think,” sophomore Maggie Hicks said.

In short, the GMHS theater and music department knocked this one out of the park.