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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

UMass Boston’s production of ‘Urinetown: The Musical’

Cast+of+Urinetown
Cast of ‘Urinetown’

The Performing Arts Department at the University of Massachusetts Boston held performances of “Urinetown: The Musical” from Dec. 4-7. “Urinetown” is a story of greed and corruption that ultimately leads to revolution. In a town facing a severe water shortage, every citizen is forced to only use public toilets owned by a single corporation called Urine Good Company.
After the protagonist, Bobby Strong, watches his father get taken away by police officers for refusing to use the toilets, he begins a rebellion against Caldwell B. Cladwell’s company. The rebellion takes a toll on the budding romance between Bobby and Cladwell’s daughter, Hope. The musical is a satirical comedy and pokes fun at other musicals and musical theater in general.
UMass Boston’s interpretation of “Urinetown” was extremely well-done. A few of the cast members interacted with the audience in the opening of the show, which had the audience engaged right away. The entire cast was charismatic and full of energy, and there were few dull moments.
A couple of stand-out characters were Penelope Pennywise, played by Kendra White, and Hot Blades Harry, played by Junior Cius. White was a frequent scene-stealer throughout the show, never failing to make the audience burst into laughter with a ridiculous line or by pulling a comical face. Cius’ character, Hot Blades Harry, wasn’t focused on much until Act II when he had one feature song. Cius did an amazing job portraying Harry’s crazy and dangerous side, as he gets a little too enthusiastic about threatening to kill Hope Cladwell.
The set consisted of two main pieces: the public toilet Bobby works at with Pennywise and the Urine Good Company building that opened to turn into Cladwell’s office. The set and the props came off as authentic, as well as the costumes.
The poor rebels and Bobby Strong wore ratty clothes, mismatched patterns, and earthy tones to reflect their lower social status. Cladwell and his wealthy workers wore mostly silver and black to represent their higher status. Caldwell B. Cladwell’s hair was even a gold color, which was fitting as he was the greediest of the characters. Hope Cladwell wore the same tones as her father but with an addition of red. The red could be a symbol of her and Bobby’s love, or it could symbolize her turning against her father and joining the revolution.
There were many highlights of UMass Boston’s production of “Urinetown.” Throughout the show, Little Sally would ask Officer Lockstock about the typical structure of musicals. Their exchanges added to the satirical element of the musical. An unexpected part of “Urinetown” is the death of the main character, Bobby Strong.
Although, Hope takes over the revolution after Bobby dies and takes over control of Urine Good Company after the downfall of Cladwell. Hope allows everyone to use the toilets freely, which causes the town’s water supply to run out. Despite Hope’s optimism and good-heartedness, the play ends with the living conditions being much worse than before the revolution began.
“Urinetown” is a musical that everyone can enjoy, especially if you aren’t looking for a typical happy ending.