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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Musical Satire at Marquette

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The story is set in a dystopian world. A recent drought has caused water to become very, very scarce. Now the simple act of using a toilet has become a challenge. Now every toilet in town is a pay toilet. If this sounds at all absurd, that's because it is. If this sounds like a strange idea for a musical, there's probably a reason for that as well.

Urinetown: The Musical comes from one of those rare theatrical moods where the traditional American Broadway-style production gazes in on itself in a witty satirical look at the very nature of storytelling. The opening song is called, "Too Much Exposition."  It gets a little weird from there.

Though it won a few awards when it was first staged on Broadway back in 2001, it wasn't the kind of huge hit that one would expect from a Broadway comedy that took itself more seriously. That's the real charm of Urinetown, though. It's the type of classy, intelligent satire that simply doesn't get staged enough. And that's why it's a relief—so to speak—to see that Marquette University Theatre is staging the show this month. Tony Clements directs the musical on the stage at Marquette. Trust me, you have plenty of opportunities to see some cheesy piece of marketing roll through the Marcus Center. Treat yourself to something far less expensive and far more entertaining. And enjoy your trip to Urinetown.

Marquette University Theatre' production of Urinetown runs April 18-28 at the Helfaer Theatre. For ticket reservations, call 414-288-7504.

 

Theatre Happenings

Carroll University's Carroll Players stage a production of Tom Stoppard's modern classic Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, April 19-20. For ticket reservations, call 262-524-7633.

Members of the improv group T.I.M.: The Improvised Musical performs alongside a smattering of stand-up comics and others at Joe K’s Ranch (4840 S. Whitnall Ave., Cudahy) to raise funds for the Greendale Community Theatre. The comedy show—referred to as “The Buffoonery Project”—runs April 19-20 at 7:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. each night. Tickets are $10 at the door.