PV Theatre presents “Urinetown: The Musical”

Tara Healy, Staff Writer

PV Theatre is proud to present “Urinetown: The Musical”, and yes, you read the title correctly.

The show is not all bathroom humor, though; it is deeper than that. It is a satire, regarding business, youth, and the high stakes surrounding the preservation of the world’s most precious natural resource: water.

It is hilarious, though,  with it being filled with flashy musical numbers the students of PV Theatre have made their hallmark in the past few years.

“Urinetown” will be presented in the Joseph Poli Auditorium this Thursday through Saturday, nightly at 7 p.m. with a matinee performance Saturday at 1 p.m.

Tickets are $5 for students and $17 for adults, and may be purchased in advance through PV Theatre’s website, by calling the box office at 201-312-4122, or at lunch from PV Theatre students at their ticket booth in the cafeteria. Tickets will also be available one hour prior to performances in the lobby.

All seats are reserved.

The premise of the show is that a 20-year drought has caused a water shortage so severe that the government has outlawed private toilets to save water. Everyone must pay a fee to use public bathrooms, which means the rich get to use more water and live more comfortably, while the poor suffer. Those who do not use or cannot afford to use the public restrooms are arrested and exiled to a mysterious place called “Urinetown,” from which they never return. One day, Bobby Strong, a young custodian at one of the public bathrooms sees his father get hauled off to Urinetown. He is upset by his inability to help, but becomes inspired when he meets Hope, a lovely and optimistic girl who encourages him to simply follow his heart to make things right. When he does, he leads the poor in a revolt against their oppressors and changes everyone’s world forever.

If all that sounds a little strange, don’t worry, it’s supposed to.

“Urinetown presents a scenario so ridiculous that we can’t help but laugh at it, populated by characters that are absurd exaggerations of common types,” PV Theatre co-director Merielle Lupfer said. “By focusing on humor, the show is able to get across important messages without hitting you over the head with them. Audiences will find that part of the fun of the show is that it really makes them think about things that matter. It’s presented as a lighthearted entertainment, but there’s darkness underneath.”

Sophomore Ryan Muska, who plays Bobby Strong, the hero of the show, agreed.

“This is a really entertaining musical that you should all come out to see,” he said. “And don’t get turned away by the name.”

Muska is one of almost 80 students working on the production. In addition to the cast members who appear on stage, there are even more students behind the scenes. These students play the music in the orchestra, construct and paint the sets, create and organize props and costumes, and are responsible for all of the sound and lighting during the performances.

Co-director Tom Lupfer said, “We are, as we always are, in awe of what our PV students can do, and the way they meet every challenge thrown their way.”

Laura Santo, a senior, plays the role of Officer Lockstock, who narrates the show and speaks directly to the audience throughout. Having appeared in all of the fall plays and spring musicals PV Theatre has produced in her years at Pascack Valley, she knows how much time and effort all of her fellow students put into the productions.

“PV Theatre has been a large portion of my life for four years now,” Santo said. “I have no regrets about spending countless hours working towards every show I’ve done here. Even when it seemed that there was no way the show was going to come together, it always did, and I’ve never regretted putting my all into this wonderful group.”

Also appearing in leading roles in “Urinetown” are junior Ben Daniel, seniors Maggie Capone and Vanessa Rutigliano, and sophomore Amy Santo.

Alongside the Lupfers, who have been directing PV Theatre since the spring of 2007, there are many staff members who help the students bring the show to life.

Mr. Michael Mahadeen, a musician and composer who has worked on Broadway, is “Urinetown’s” musical director. PV Italian teacher, Signora Francesca Silvano, and class of 2012 PV alumnus Kelsey McGrail are both choreographers. They are assisted by two student choreographers and dance captains, senior Anastasia Maltsev and sophomore Jessica Snyder, who have each stepped into important leadership positions.

Several other PV graduates have also contributed to the production, including crew supervisor Adam Farnan (class of 2012), lighting designer Curtis Shields (class of 2013), and set design consultant Tim DiGregorio (class of 2008).