"Urinetown The Musical," directed by Randal Stewart, plays through March 9 at Southern Oregon University’s Center Stage.

Courtesy Southern Oregon University Department of Theatre



"Don't you think people want to be told that their way of life is unsustainable?" &

Officer Lockstock.

With the look of "Beat-Up Barbie" and the voice of a bicycle horn, Little Sally (Libby Barnard) and her foil, Officer Lockstock (Samuel Dinkowitz), lead us through "Urinetown The Musical" with startling revelations and caustic commentaries, — and the title's awful."

The Tony Award winning musical, by Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis, is now playing at Southern Oregon University's Center Stage through March 9. This is an extraordinary must-see production.

"Urinetown The Musical" provides an absurd premise: A devastating drought has left the town in a severe water crisis. Through the "Water Preservation Act" local politicians (along with the Urine Good Company) squeeze profits out of the population by installing and enforcing the use of pay toilets.

The play begins with a crisis. Fees have been hiked so high that poor folk no longer can afford "the amenity." As infractions arise, people are arrested and hauled away to Urinetown, never to be seen alive again.

When blond, buff Bobby Strong (Tim Homsley) falls in love with the boss's daughter, the adorable Hope Cladwell (Monique Bernadette Barb&

233;e), he finds the courage to question authority: "What if the law is wrong?" Revolution ignites, complete with a hostage situation, as blind idealism turns into misguided revolutionary fervor.

If it weren't for the preposterous title and abysmal setting, one might forget the seriousness of the message. This is a politically conscious black comedy within a hilarious musical framework.

Diverse musical styles, rhythms and harmonies performed by the actors, chorus and orchestra parody the musical comedy genre with delightful virtuosity.

The multi-level set with corporate flags and propaganda posters designed by Roger Wykes offers numerous dramatic settings, from manholes and revolutionary hide-outs to corporate skyscrapers.

Superbly directed by Randal Stewart, with stunning choreography by Jim Giancarlo and rich musical direction by Jennifer Schloming, "Urinetown The Musical" is thoughtfully stimulating and hugely entertaining.

For tickets and information call the SOU box office: 552-6347.