Nov

19

Golden Showers Fill Your Eyes

Written by

Photo via Urinetown

Bwog’s Musical Correspondent Lily Icangelo reports with a full bladder:

When I found out that the Columbia Musical Theatre Society was putting on a show called “Urinetown: The Musical” and that it’s general premise was about a town where private bathrooms were outlawed and peeing was regulated—I knew I had to see it. I may pretend to go to an Ivy League institution but in reality I am a flamboyant four year old boy whose two favorite things in the world are bathroom humor and over the top dance sequences. Both my four-year-old boy and nineteen-year-old lady student selves were pleasantly surprised to find everything they love, plus much, much more in Columbia’s production of Urinetown.

I must say, I was curious to see how an intricate musical such as Urinetown would play out in the small setting of a Black Box theatre rather than on a traditional stage. Luckily director Hillary Kritt, along with the rest of the creative team, really made the black box work to their advantage. With some very creative and original staging, lighting, and choreography, the show was not at all hindered by the use of a black box, but rather helped as it allowed for the show to be a more interactive and intimate experience.

One difficulty I did find, a problem found in really any school production, was that the words in many of the songs were a bit hard to hear.  Although the rapping and hip hop dancing in the “Cop Song” were most certainly one of the high points of the show, it was a hard to understand the actual words of the song, especially over the laughing of the audience. But because both Reni Calister and Evan Johnston (the main cops) proved to be quite the hip hop dream team and were both exceptionally funny during this scene, it didn’t really matter that not all of their words were fully understood.

I was surprised to find so many strong singing voices in the cast. The musical talents of the actors allowed each number to feel effortless rather than falling flat (which I have found to be the case in the past musicals). Actors Emily Wallen, Jill Schackner, and Rebekah Lowin hit notes that I didn’t even know existed, prompting the man sitting behind me to make some positive (but extremely annoying) commentary including, “yeah girl,” “mmm,” and “get it.”

The real standouts of the show came from the costume designs and art direction. Rolando Rodriguez completely outdid himself as costume designer; from the garb of the poor townspeople decorated with scraps of newspaper and neon paint, to the colorful suits of the employees at Urine Good Company, no costume looked under-prepared or ill-fitting to the character and scene it was a part of.

The emotional intensity of the last couple of scenes not only made the annoying man sitting behind me sniffle loudly, but also sparked tears in many of the other members of the audience. While managing to be both hilarious and extremely dark, the end of this show is something you have to see to truly understand.There are three more shows left for Urinetown: The Musical, and although each show is sold out, there will be a waiting list that I highly recommend you get on if you have not already bought a ticket. It is completely worth it, even if you have to wait until intermission to pee.

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15 Comments

  1. yo bwog  

    When is CU assassins gonna kick off again?

  2. Anonymous  

    it's a privilege to pee!

  3. i really wish i could have seen it  

    WILL HUGHES IS A GENIUS OF THEATRE

  4. yay!  

    Go Rolando! So proud of you :)

  5. yay!  

    Rolando rocks my socks. Keep designing; you're awesome!

  6. Anonymous

    'its' not 'it's'. first paragraph

  7. boh  

    ROLANDO IS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! One of the best people I have been at Columbia hands down!!!!

  8. woot woot!

    Rolando's designs MADE this show, people. Fact.

  9. just saying...  

    shout out for art direction!! set and lights were amazing!

  10. officer lockstock  

    is HOTTTTTTTT!

    (but seriously)

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