Opera Theatre to present 'Urinetown: The Musical'

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One of the most uproariously funny musicals in recent years has been selected for six performances by the Grand Valley State University Opera Theatre. “Urinetown: The Musical” is a satirical comedy from 2001, with music by Mark Hollmann and lyrics by Hollmann and Greg Kotis.

Performances January 31 and February 1, 7, 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Matinees February 2 and 9 at 2 p.m.
Louis Armstrong Theatre, Performing Arts Center, Allendale Campus


Tickets are $14 for adults, $12 for seniors, faculty, staff, and alumni, and $6 for all students and groups over 10. Call the theatre box office at (616) 331-2300.

The winner of three Tony Awards, including Best Original Score, “Urinetown” has been praised for reinvigorating the very notion of what a musical could be. The satirical tale of greed, corruption, love and revolution is set in a time where water is worth its weight in gold. The citizens of Urinetown have been forbidden to use private toilets and must instead use public, pay-per-use amenities. A hero, the character Bobby Strong, plans a revolution, leading everyone to freedom.

Urinetown debuted at the New York International Fringe Festival and was produced Off-Broadway at the American Theatre for Actors, before opening on Broadway at Henry Miller’s Theatre in September 2001, running nearly 1,000  performances through January 2004.

Grand Valley’s production is directed by Dale Schriemer, professor of music and artistic director the university’s Opera Theatre, now in its 16th season. Dorothy Danner is guest stage director, and worked with cast members in November. A dedicated and inspiring teacher, Danner has served on the faculties of the Juilliard School, the Curtis Institute of Music, and the Chautauqua Institutions. Guest Music Director James Barnett, an active pianist and conductor based in Chicago, will conduct the student orchestra that will perform live.

Key roles are double-cast to allow opportunities for more students to perform. Gregory Papas and Alex Williams perform as Bobby Strong, the dashing young protagonist and romantic hero who starts a revolution. Gabe Reitemeier and Papas alternate performing as Caldwell B. Cladwell, the evil president and owner of the Urine Good Company. Amanda Furstenburg and Alexandra Papas perform as Hope Cladwell, who is torn between her love for her father and her new love for Bobby. Andrew Steward plays the principal narrator, police officer Lockstock. Maggie Bickerstaff is co-narrator in the role of Little Sally, a precocious street urchin who always outsmarts Lockstock and constantly questions the play’s logic.