Gunn Theatre Program to Present "Urinetown, The Musical"

Urinetown, The Musical promotion

The Frederick Gunn School Theatre Program will present the Tony Award-winning musical, Urinetown, on February 22, 23, and 24 at 7 p.m. in the Tisch Family Auditorium of the Thomas S. Perakos Arts and Community Center. Family, friends, and the community are welcome to attend. No registration is required. Admission is free.

Parking is available in the Upper Parking Lot off Kirby Road (no. 37 on the Campus Map), with a limited number of accessible parking spaces outside the Thomas S. Perakos Arts and Community Center.

Urinetown, The Musical features music and lyrics by Mark Hollmann, book and lyrics by Greg Kotis, and is presented by special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).

“A sidesplitting sendup of greed, love, revolution (and musicals!) at a time when water is worth its weight in gold,” Urinetown is a hilarious musical satire, and the winner of three Tony Awards, including Best Score and Best Book, MTI said. “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 [called Urine Good Company, or UGC for short] 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!” 

According to the show’s history, Kotis came up with the idea for the musical while traveling in Europe. “He had all of $300 and found himself instantly broke, sleeping in Parisian train stations and parks, down to his last franc,” the Chicago Tribune reported in a 2002 article on the “inelegantly named” show.

"A big problem was going to the bathroom," Kotis told the newspaper. "I was so dirty I couldn't go into restaurants. And I was too timid to go outside. In Paris, the only alternative is a pay toilet, and I'd wait to go for hours to conserve my money.”

“Walking down the street, I was struck with the idea of a musical in which the bathroom facilities in a city are all controlled by one corporation. If fleshed out, it could be a wonderful metaphor,” Kotis said, according to the Tribune.

He began writing Urinetown shortly thereafter, according to MTI, “joining with composer/ lyricist Mark Hollman for the journey to Broadway. The musical debuted at the New York International Fringe Festival, where it was an instant hit with audiences. Word of mouth spread quickly and the show was picked up for an Off-Broadway run.” After receiving “wildly enthusiastic” reviews, the show moved to The Henry Miller Theatre on Broadway, running from September 20, 2001, through January 18, 2004, totalling 25 previews and 965 performances. 

The Gunn Theatre Program cast includes: Daisy Moriarty ’25, Sonia Romanenko ’24, Taylor Sall ’25, Oliver Severino ’27, Colin Hall ’24, Ezekiel Hatcher ’27, Henry Abbate ’25, Sophie Smart ’26, Joe Shaker ’25, Siena Castonguay ’27, Poppy Mand ’27, Dylan Ram ’27, Grace Harlow ‘25, Ava Hu ’26, Julie Dowden ’27, and Liz Watt ’26.

The student design team includes: Katherine Aguirre-Felipe ’26, Jade Vu ’25, Chensu Wang ’26, Giovana Liu ’24, and Joanna Jin ’24.

Urinetown is directed by Kent Burnham, Director of Theatre Arts, and choreographed by Mikki Ferrigno, adjunct dance faculty, with music direction by Sarah Fay, adjunct music faculty, costume design by Terry Hawley P’08, lighting design by Al Chiappetta, and sound design by Greg Fisher. The assistant to the production is Leo Jhang of the Mathematics Department faculty.

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