It’s been running through the halls ever since the first call for auditions came out: This year’s GMHS musical is all about pee.
But let’s get our minds out of the gutter: “Urinetown” is three-time Tony-award winning musical written by Greg Kotis and Mark Hollman.
Performances of “Urinetown” by the Mason theater department will run from November 17-19 at 7:30 p.m.
Described by Music Theatre International as a “musical satire of the legal system, capitalism, social irresponsibility, populism, bureaucracy, corporate mismanagement, municipal politics and musical theatre itself,” “Urinetown” tells the story of a dystopian future in which water shortages are so severe that private toilets are, in the words of the show’s self-aware street urchin Little Sally, “unthinkable.” Toilet access must be bought—public urinators in the show are banished to the mysterious colony of Urinetown, lending the show its title.
However, most of the Mason population doesn’t seem to know that.
“[I thought] it was either a pun or that we were about to be in for a bunch of pee jokes, or both,” senior Jack Rasmussen said when he first heard the title of the show. “[I thought it’s about] a town named Urinetown, and it’s about citizens trying to come up with a name less terrible than Urinetown.”
To be fair, he’s sort of right. “Urinetown” is full of black comedy, including puns, lines about how bad the name “Urinetown” is, and, yes, pee jokes. But it’s also about much more than that.
“It’s the story about what happens when corporations get so corrupt they charge us for our basic human needs,” said director and theater teacher Mr. Shawn Northrip. “Mostly, I think it’s about…laughing at the darker side of life, accepting the fact that bad stuff happens and sometimes we have to giggle at it.”
“When it’s all said and done, it’s just a fun show,” said senior Alec Reusch.
Reusch will feature in Urinetown as the male lead Bobby Strong, who he describes as “the young, brave, idealistic poor person who leads the rebellion,” a parallel to Enjolras in “Les Miserables.”
And whether you come for the laughs or the underlying political messages, it promises to be a great show.