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A lesson in bad company
Photos and Story by James Hill
Don’t let the title fool you. The new production by the Portland Community College theater arts program doesn’t stink.
"’Urinetown’ is one of the newest and most exciting musicals available right now," said Michael Najjar, director of the play and PCC theater arts instructor. "I wanted something edgy, fresh, and really challenging. This musical has a terrific look and really wonderful music."
"Urinetown," is a musical by Greg Kotis and Mark Hollmann about a world on the verge of ecological disaster, trapped by corporate greed and a revolution by the masses that just want to pee for free. The leader of the revolution (Bobby Strong) inadvertently falls in love with the daughter of Urine Good Company (Hope Cladwell) regulating the toilets in the city, which leads to a confrontation with UGC’s president Caldwell B. Cladwell. What ensues is a hilarious tale of love, greed and revolution.
The curtain on "Urinetown" will be raised at 7:30 p.m., March 9-11 and 16-18 in the Performing Arts Center at the Sylvania Campus, 12000 S.W. 49th Ave. There will be a special matinee showing at 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 19. A sign language interpreted performance will be held on March 17.
Set in a "Monopoly" game-style world, this make-believe drama with a touch of comedy pits the 1930s rich against the depression-era poor.
"This inspired me to think of the idea of monopoly and how the entire musical is a game between the rich and the poor, the powerful and the powerless, and the good versus the evil," Najjar said. "Over and over the images of the game came to mind, so we’ve used the art of the original board game and the 1930s in which it was created, as our inspiration."
Musical direction for the show is by John Mery (music instructor), vocal direction by Chrisse Roccaro, choreography by Kimm Mahoney-Watson (theater instructor), and set design by Dan Hays (theater coordinator) and Margaret Chapman (costumer).
The student cast includes David Galic (Officer Lockstock), Monica Daily (Little Sally), Nartan Woods (Bobby Strong), Donzelle Richardson (Hope Cladwell), Chris Green (Caldwell B. Cladwell), Anne Applegate, Evan Aldrete, Adam Jones, Joseph Vermire, Doug Martell, Kat Arno, Kim Stites, Sara Gomez, Mattie Ellis, Lia Elliot, Katherine Ogilvie, McKenna Twedt, Brittney Hancock, Matt Nieves, Cary Smith and Patrick Compehos.
"Urinetown" is the winner of three Tony Awards, three Outer Circle Critics Awards, two Lucille Lortel Awards and two Obie Awards. After a successful Broadway run, "Urinetown" has become a hallmark musical of the past decade.