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"Urinetown the Musical" Opens at SUNY New Paltz

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10/04/2006


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NEW PALTZ -- One of the funniest musicals in years will be presented by the Department of Theatre Arts at SUNY New Paltz when Urinetown the Musical opens on October 12. The show features music by Mark Hollman, lyrics by Mark Hollman and Greg Kotis, and a book by Greg Kotis.

Praised by critics for reinvigorating the very notion of what a musical could be, Urinetown melds an outrageous viewpoint with modern wit and a sustained ability to produce unbridled laughter. An energetic and talented cast of 25 and a five member music ensemble create this compelling live theatrical experience.

First produced on Broadway in 2002, Urinetown is a satirical tale of greed, corruption, love, and revolution in a time when water is worth its weight in gold. In a Gotham-like city, a terrible water shortage caused by a 20-year drought, has led to a government-enforced ban on private toilets. The citizens must use public amenities, regulated by a single malevolent company that profits by charging admission for one of humanity's most basic needs. Amid the people, a hero decides he's had enough, and plans a revolution to lead them all to freedom!

Urinetown speaks to the here and now of the American psyche,” say director Anita Gonzalez. “It’s tongue-in-cheek humor, and upbeat songs and dances mask a terrifying story of self-interest and political neglect. Human rights are trampled, and the destruction of the environment is the inevitable result of the musical’s unfolding events.”

Urinetown is populated by cast of archetypal characters including Caldwell B. Cladwell, a nefarious corporate leader who is the personification of avarice and brutality; Penelope Pennywise, a sellout to the forces of evil whose brassy manner hides a broken heart; Bobby Strong, the handsome leader of the revolution; Hope Cladwell, the innocent lass torn by loyalties to her father and Bobby; Officer Lockstock, a charming but corrupt cop; and Little Sally, a street urchin wise beyond her years.

“Structurally, Urinetown lampoons the entire musical theatre genre,” says Gonzalez. “Musical theatre enthusiasts will recognize send-ups of showstoppers from Fiddler on the Roof, Les Miserables, and West Side Story. For the cast, it requires fluency in a variety of musical theatre styles, and a Brechtian understanding about how to expressively perform and comment upon character within a theatrical moment.”

Urinetown the Musical is performed October 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21 at 8 p.m. Matinee performances on October 15 and 22 begin at 2 p.m. Tickets are $18 General Reserved, $16 Reserved Senior/Student/Staff. They are available by calling the McKenna Box Office at 845-257-3880 or ordering online at www.newpaltz.edu/theatre. Urinetown is performed in McKenna Theatre which is handicapped accessible and equipped with an assisted listening system.

Additional Related Events:

It's a Privilege to Pee: An Open Forum on the Environmental Issues of Today's World
Thursday, October 12
Post-Show discussion, free and open to all
Join us for a conversation with members of New York Public Interest Research Group NYPIRG and Professors Brian Obach and Alvin Konigsberg from the Environmental Studies Program about the environmental issues addressed in the show.

It’s All in the Timing: Urinetown on Broadway
Friday, October 20, free and open to all
Post-show discussion with three people involved with the original Broadway production. They will talk about how Urinetown opened just days after September 11, 2001.

Speakers include:
Edward Strauss – Music Director and conductor of original Broadway run. Mr. Strauss’ additional credits include Anything Goes with Patti LuPone, Evita, Jerry Zaks’ production of Guys and Dolls, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum with Nathan Lane and Whoopie Goldberg.

Carol Fox-Prescott – Investor in the original production.

Hank Unger – Producer. Unger’s additional credits include Wicked, The Wedding Singer, The Twenty-fifth Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

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