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Flat River Community Players presents “Urinetown, the Musical”

Flat River Community Players presents “Urinetown, the Musical”

The Rebel Poor citizens prepare for revolution in “Urinetown, the Musical.” Back row, from left: Caleb Kellogg, Raymond Koren, Kent Schuster, and Christian Sowers. Middle row, from left: Dennis Hess, Sandy Cote, Greg VanderMark, Tim Addis, Jamee Gunn, Jody Butler, and Katy McDonough. Front row, from left: Mary McDonough, Deb Dieckman, and Donita Coughlin

The Flat River Community Players continue their 2018 theatre season with “Urinetown, the Musical,” the Tony Award winner sometimes known as “the terrific show with the terrible title.” 

What can one say about a show with a title so unpleasant it’s a running gag in the dialogue? Bathroom jokes aside, “Urinetown,” a musical comedy modeled off the satire and parody of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht, is about a person’s right to pee for free. One Broadway critic dubbed it, “The Spend-a-Penny Opera.” 

The story is rather dystopian. In the not-too-distant future, a 20-year drought has caused such a severe water shortage that private toilets have been banned by law. People must pay increasingly high fees to use public facilities. Run by a mercenary company, the monopoly over these pay-toilets has made poor citizens desperate and rebellious and the corrupt officials wealthy and cruel. Anyone caught going in the bushes to avoid the fees is arrested and sent to the dreaded and mysterious “Urinetown.”

Book writer and lyricist Greg Kotis came up with the idea for “Urinetown” after encountering pay-per-use toilets while traveling in Europe. Shortly after that trip, Kotis joined with composer and lyricist Mark Hollman to create this completely original musical. They’ve written a clever show filled with smart lyrics and surprisingly fun rhymes and rhythms. It may not be a typically happy musical, but it sure sounds like one!

Director Timothy Addis and Music Director Valerie VanderMark have chosen a largely veteran cast for “Urinetown,” with a few newcomers thrown in for good measure. Leading roles are played by Tim Addis, Cassandra Jansma, Kent Schuster, Brenda Jolls, Jamee Gunn, and Donita Coughlin.

Supporting them are Christian Sowers, Katy McDonough, Dennis Hess, Greg VanderMark, Deb Dieckman, Sandy Cote, Katrina Nelson, Caleb Kellogg, Jody Butler, Raymond Koren, Cynthia Karaba, Lori Engelbrecht, Mary McDonough, Patty Rockafellow, and Shawn Jansma.

Working with Addis and VanderMark on the production are Brittany Bassett as tech director and stage manager, Roxanne Hutchinson as house manager, and Jessica Gilbertson as costumer. Addis also designed the set. Mary McDonough serves as assistant director, and Carolyn Johnson as consulting director. Deb Dieckman is show producer.   

The FRCP production of “Urinetown, the Musical” runs for five performances:  June 29 & 30 and July 6 & 7 at 7:30 p.m., and July 1 at 2:00 p.m. All performances are at the Greenville Area Community Center.

Tickets are $13 for adults, $11 for senior citizens 60 and over, and $11 for students 18 and under. General seating admission tickets are available at the Greenville Area Community Center during regular business hours Monday through Friday.  Tickets may be reserved online with MasterCard or VISA at  www.flatriver.showclix.com (or by phone at 1-888-71-TICKETS).     

If you have any questions about tickets, this show, or anything else about the FRCP, call the Players at (616) 754-8207. You can also visit the website www.frcplayers.org, where there is a link to the FRCP Facebook page.

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Ray Winnie
Kent County Credit Union


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