I’d seen the posters and heard the promos. The University of Indianapolis Department of Theatre is producing Urinetown the Musical. Ewwww. The name is just so, well, so yuck. But my daughter was visiting the south side campus and they had invited us to attend a free preview of the show, which officially opens Friday, October 17. So, being fans of musicals and free stuff, we decided to stay — and I’m so glad we did.
Urinetown the Musical tells the story of a greedy business owner who has manipulated the government into giving him sole ownership of public bathrooms after private bathrooms have been outlawed due to a water shortage. In short, people have to pay to pee. If they are caught relieving themselves without paying, they are sent to Urinetown, a place no one has seen, no one has returned from, and everyone fears.
The romantic catch — every good show has one, right? — is that the daughter of the greedy guy falls for the poor son of a man who was indeed shipped off to Urinetown. Can true love prevail? Or will it circle the drain?
The musical numbers done by the ensemble cast were fabulous. I found myself smiling and enjoying the dance routines and the harmonizing just as much as I have at “Broadway Across America” performances. While the leads — Andy Wegg as Bobby Strong and Elise Campagna as Hope Cladwell — did a fine job, there were a few supporting characters that really stood out.
India Van Camp as Little Sally left me wondering if her voice really is high pitched and nasally, and if not, how did she sing like that? Darryl Hollonquest, Jr. and Stephen Cox as Officers Lockstock and Barrel were hilarious in “Cop Song.” And Tim Allen as Mr. McQueen gave a performance that had my daughter comparing him to Chris Farley on the Saturday Night Live news.
As Officer Lockstock said, “It’s not a happy musical.” (Spoiler: Not exactly a happy ending.) But that doesn’t mean you won’t laugh. Honestly, this show was laughs from start to finish.
Urinetown the Musical is on at the Ransburg Auditorium on the campus of the University of Indianapolis (1400 E. Hanna Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46227) October 17-18 and 23-25 at 8:00pm. There is a 2:00pm show on Sunday, October 19.
Tickets, which can be purchased online, are $12 for general admission; $10 for UIndy alumni, seniors, groups of eight or more and non-UIndy students with ID. The Thursday, October 23 show is a half-price show (full laughs included) for just $6 per ticket.