Published in the Bennington Banner on Nov. 14, 2013
Original article: http://www.benningtonbanner.com/news/ci_24519188/mt-anthony-union-high-school-performs-lsquo-urinetown
BENNINGTON — Last weekend the Mount Anthony Union Drama Club staged their production of the hit Broadway show “Urinetown: The Musical,” bringing the satirical play to life with student talent.
Set during a 20-year drought, “Urinetown” tells the story of a struggling society where a corporation controls all toilet facilities, forcing the impoverished city-dwellers to pay a mandatory fee to use the public restrooms. While it admittedly contains a few bodily-function jokes, the play spends most of its time skewering corporate America and making fun of the musical theatre genre with witty self-conscious asides.
Some of the show’s funniest moments come from an unlikely pair of narrators: A young beggar named Little Sally, played by MAUHS senior Sarah Mattison, and a villainous police officer/corporate henchman named Officer Lockstock, played by senior Sachel Lefebvre. Sophomore MaryHope Coffield and Travis Cordeau also played the pair in some of this weekend’s showings.
Once the scene is set, “Urinetown, The Musical” develops into an unexpected retooling of the classic “Romeo and Juliet” story, with the people’s hero Bobby Strong (played by junior Tim Downs and senior Davi Hojnowski) and his upper-class love interest Hope Cladwell (juniors Jessie Kuzmicki and Sarah Solari) taking on her corporate bigwig father, Caldwell Cladwell (senior Vincent Tatro and sophomore Sebastian Durfee). The script does a good job of manipulating the audience’s Broadway show expectations — Officer Lockstock often explains what would happen in a “happy musical” before reminding the crowd that “Urinetown” is not, in fact, a happy musical.
MAUHS’ production of the show featured some especially impressive acting performances, especially Vincent Tatro’s perfectly hateable depiction of the evil Caldwell Cladwell. The entire cast did a respectable job with the show’s demanding songs too, keeping the energy consistent as the show bounced from song to dialogue.
In keeping with tradition, the MAUHS drama club will move on from “Urinetown” to start working on a drama over the winter, followed by their spring comedy.
Jack McManus can be reached on Twitter at @Banner_Arts or via email firstname.lastname@example.org