A call of nature finds its funny side
There was a risk that Act II Theatre Company might have pushed the boundaries for young people on stage a bit too far with Urinetown The Musical.
New York playwright Greg Kotis’s idea of a 20-year drought opening the way for a corrupt tycoon to monopolise the pay-per-use public toilets market, complete with songs like Privilege to Pee and Don’t Be the Bunny, raised fears of a show short of taste and decency.
But apart from one four-letter word, Urinetown The Musical left Act II’s Advanced Skills members in a very favourable light.
Director Charlotte Gernert, backed by a tight orchestra conducted by producer-husband Karl, inspired fine performances from Sarah Green (Penelope Pennywise), Bobby Strong (Harry Higgins) and Little Sally (Molly Riches), some of whom took rare leading roles.
Jack Harrison (corrupt boss Caldwell B. Cladwell) and James Girard (Hot Blades Harry/Joseph Strong) kept up their usual high standards, along with Morgan Agate (Hope Cladwell) and Dominique Spinks (Little Becky Two Shoes).
Urinetown The Musical is one of those shows where we push the group to tackle more adult themesCharlotte Gernert, co-director of Act II Theatre Company
But in sending up their own production of Les Miserables last year, plenty of young talent did well in banging on Act II’s precious doors of talent.
Writing about the show, Charlotte said: “One of the best parts about our job is introducing our students to new shows they may not otherwise encounter.
“Urinetown The Musical is one of those shows where we push the group to sing more harmonies, tackle more adult themes and not give the group the opportunity to hide in a large chorus.”
Review by Winston Brown