(Photo: Allison Upchurch)
Last week, the Regis Ramblers took over the Mountain View room and brought laughter and entertainment with their musical production of Urinetown. With a live band of six led by one of Regis’ Jesuits, Matt Stewart S.J., the cast of Urinetown brings to light the logic of a revolution in a dystopian society while also making fun of the entertainment format that is the stage musical.
During the opening scene of Urinetown, we meet the narrator and the town’s police chief Officer Lockstock, portrayed by Luke Heter, as he and his co-narrator and fellow townsperson Little Sally, portrayed by Joslyn Fellows, explain that their city has been plagued by a long drought and a corporation called the Urine Good Company has taken charge of the rationing of water. As a result, private toilets are banned and everyone must pay a fee to use a public amenity. When new fees cause the poor townspeople distress, Bobby Strong, depicted by Clyde Johnson, janitor of one of the public amenities, encourages the townspeople to go against the new price increases and speak up for better treatment. The rest of the show illustrates the townspeople’s attempt to negotiate with the corporation which results in interesting circumstances and revelations for the characters.
Every cast member, no matter how big or small his or her role was, got to take a moment in the spotlight and show off their special dance skills, comedic facial expressions, or developed vocal range. Every Rambler brought his or her talents and passion for musical theater to the stage and those talents were received with much laughter and applause from the audience at every performance of the show.
At its heart, Urinetown is a comedy. The Ramblers played out that comedy by the script with great comedic timing and repetition, like the phrase “whaaaat?” being said in a dramatic but comedic tone when something unbelievable happened. The Ramblers even made this show their own by adding in their own jokes, like a change to a famous political slogan (“make this town great again”) and a blunt recognition of the lack of male cast members in the ensemble (“Ladies and…. ladies”). Even with these comedic elements, Urinetown also bring up serious issues of climate change, the responsibility of power, and how the interest of one person is not always the best interest of another person.
The Ramblers and their production of Urinetown bring up an important view of the Jesuit value of contemplatives in action. They do this by showing how Bobby and the townspeople recognize the injustice that has been placed upon them and they take action against the Urine Good Company to try to bring a change in their society. While the actions that the characters of Urinetown took to achieve their goal might have been questionable at times, the Ramblers did not hesitate to put full effort into portraying these actions in order to exhibit the show’s lessons of social change to our community in a comedic and entertaining way.
Allison Upchurch Staff Reporter