Well, it’s the usual story: boy meets girl, girl meets boy; it’s love at first sight and a love song ensues. Then boy kidnaps girl to use her as blackmail and leverage against her father, who owns a monopoly on all the toilets in the city and charges for their usage. Okay, well maybe Urinetown isn’t the typical musical after all.
“It’s really funny. I loved how it just ripped on all other musicals the whole time,” said sophomore Jake Pearlman of the show.
With three performances in the Palace last weekend, Urinetown surprised students, who were expecting the usual song and dance that most musicals provide. From the first song though, audience members discovered that this was going to be a very different and extremely entertaining show.
“I had no idea what the show was about, but I assumed that it would follow the usual musical format of a happy ending after some obstacles on the path of love,” said first-year Rachael Million-Perez. “Urinetown really surprised me, especially the second act,”
With two narrators, a cop and a little girl, that prepare you for the catastrophic ending and continually explain that Urinetown isn’t a happy musical throughout the show’s progression, combined with the constantly hopeless outlook of most of the show, one would think that Urinetown would be a flop. But instead most find it refreshing due to its non-Disney ending and hilarious because of its awkward characters and harsh realism.
The actors as well had a wonderful time performing in such a different and unique musical. Not only did they act and sing on stage for the three performances, but they also constructed the set, giving them a greater appreciation and view of all that goes into a performance.
“The cast build the set; it was a very hands-on experience. In high school I never had to build sets and it was great learning all the behind the scenes work that goes into a musical. Since the musical was student-directed and cast with mostly freshman and sophomores, we also had a really fun atmosphere to rehearse in. We had a lot of fun together,” said first-year Emily Shaw.
This was evident on the night of the performance; the actors were obviously having a great time up on stage. Their comfort level with one another was great and added to the performance immensely. Even when such disruptions as pouring rain made focus difficult, they held their composure and kept the audience enthralled in the action. It was evident that the actors were extremely prepared for their performances, proud of what they were doing and having a great time.
A musical would be nothing though without the music, and the band in the pit did a wonderful job. Once again, composed of all sophomores and first-years, the band was always on cue and sounded amazing. At times, though, it was hard to hear the vocals of the actors over the music; this sound problem was eventually corrected a bit near the end of the show.
Urinetown’s intelligent humor, great music and amazing performances were all brought together extremely well through Colgate University’s Student Musical Theater Company and the talent that participates in this club. Not only was most of the cast and all of the band filled with sophomores and first-years, but even the director, Rachel Wassel, was only a sophomore. And with all that young talent, the show was a hit.
“Try putting yourself in an adult-rated spoof with anti-capitalist and anarchist humor. Then add ? cup of music and a dash of reality, and you have the makings of the musical Urinetown,” said Million-Perez.