"Urinetown" Makes A Big Splash

Picture a world where backroom deals, corporate conniving, capital punishment and a corrupt political system shape the landscape of everyday life; where poverty, privatization and years of drought have dried up access to even the most essential of services for all but a fortunate few. It is in this world, not entirely unlike the one you and I inhabit, that a story of social unrest, romance and revolt unravels to a chorus of song, dance, harmony and humor. This is the world of "Urinetown, the Musical."

"Urinetown" opened on Saturday, March 13 to a sold-out audience at the Morgan-Wixson Community Theatre. Directed by Valerie Rachelle, the Tony Award-winning play revolves around the privatization of public amenities and payment for the privilege to pee.

The play stars David Laffey as Bobby Strong, a boy who works at Amenity Number 9, one of the many privatized pay-toilets controlled by the corporate giant Urine Good Company. Along the way, Bobby leads a revolt against the evil UGC's tyrant CEO, Caldwell B. Cladwell and simultaneously falls in love with Cladwell's daughter, Hope, played perfectly by Keaton Talmadge. Laffey and Talmadge excel vocally with stunning solos that add to the already powerful ensemble numbers.

Supporting the standout lead performances are Michael Heimos as the ruthless Caldwell B. Cladwell and AnnaLisa Erickson as Ms. Pennywise, a UGC employee and boss at Amenity Number 9. Erickson showcases her amazing range going all the way from a low G to high C in her rendition of "It's a Privilege to Pee".

While Laffey, Talmadge and Erickson's solo numbers shone, Justin Waggle gave the best all-round performance of the night. Waggle played Officer Lockstock and also narrated the night's events. Waggle's comedic timing was precise and kept the crowd engaged and erupting in laughter throughout the two-hour production.

"Urinetown, the Musical" plays Friday through Sunday from March 13 to April 10 at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre at 2627 Pico Street. The theatre offers attendees the opportunity to enjoy musical theatre in an intimate and personal setting. The comfortable 201 seat auditorium allows for excellent acoustics and offers HD-quality views from nearly every seat in the house.

The Morgan-Wixson Theatre offers discounts for all SMC students and tickets are available at the box office or online at www.SantaMonicaMusicals.com.