Pittsburg High School Music Rep Theatre will bring to life a side-splitting send-off of greed, love, revolution (and musicals!), in a time when water is worth its weight in gold, with “Urinetown” on Nov. 17-19 at PHS.
Winner of three Tony Awards, three Outer Critics Circle Awards, two Lucille Lortel Awards and two Obie Awards, “Urinetown” is a hilarious musical satire of the legal system, capitalism, social irresponsibility, populism, bureaucracy, corporate mismanagement, municipal politics and musical theatre itself!
In a Gotham-like city, a terrible water shortage, caused by a 20-year drought, has led to a government-enforced ban on private toilets. The citizens must use public amenities, regulated by a single malevolent company that profits by charging admission for one of humanity's most basic needs.
Amid the people, a hero decides that he's had enough and plans a revolution to lead them all to freedom.
The show, directed by Greg Shaw, is accompanied by a live band under the direction of Cooper Neil, with vocal direction by Susan Laushman. As part of their semester-long rehearsals, the cast completed a master class with Broadway actress Janine DiVita, who once played the lead female role of Pennywise.
Performance times are 7 p.m. Nov. 17 and 18, and 2 p.m. Nov. 18 and 19.
Tickets will be available for purchase at the door: $7 for adults, $5 for students.
Clearly we're a bit behind at blogging: We've already wrapped the first show of the school year! "Leaving Iowa," performed Oct. 12, 14, and 15, was a hit, making audiences laugh and cry!
Now, PHS Theatre is focused on the first musical of the season: "Urinetown," being produced by Music Rep Theatre class. Directed by Greg Shaw, with vocal direction by Susan Laushman and pit band direction by Cooper Neil, it follows a string of hit Music Rep shows including "Band Geeks" and "The Addams Family," both Jester Award winners. It will be performed at PHS Nov. 17-19.
So far, so good: Broadway actress Janine DiVita (Rizzo in "Grease," among other roles) spent Sunday afternoon in a master class with the cast and proclaimed the first act she saw "awesome," "impressive," and "hilarious." DiVita should know what she's talking about: She played Pennywise in "Urinetown" while attending the University of Michigan — one of the leading schools for music theatre in the nation. In fact, DiVita had this to say on her visit to PHS:
While at PHS, DiVita did scene work with the cast, including Alexis Daniels as Senator Fipp, Aidan Harries as Cladwell, Dominic Stefanoni as Cladwell's lackey McQueen, Addy Campbell as Cladwell's daughter Hope, Matthew Buck as Bobby Strong, and the ensemble.
She also worked individually with five cast members (McKenna Shaw, Alexis Daniels, Cassie Hurt-McLarty, Gabe Anderson, and Matthew Buck) on solo numbers they're preparing for State Thespian Conference IE's, college auditions, and Music Rep Recital Night.
And, before leaving, she performed a number on stage herself, and answered questions from the cast, parents, and others in attendance.
Thanks, Janine, for sharing your time and talent with students from Pittsburg High School! And thanks to a private donor and the Community Foundation of Southeast Kansas for providing a grant that made the experience possible!
This blog is authored by Friends of PHS Performing Arts.