When nature calls, Canadians can decide to go to the bathroom without first having to check and see if they have any money.
But imagine a future where water shortages have turned one of the most basic and vital human needs into an industry. Brookswood Musical Theatre shares this futuristic vision in Urinetown.
“The show’s message of how important it is to create a sustainable way of life is so relevant now. I love how the show satirizes greed and conspicuous consumption with upbeat musical numbers,” said teacher Sheri Eyre.
In the future a water shortage, caused by a 20-year drought, has led to a government-enforced ban on private toilets. The citizens must use public amenities, regulated by a company that charges admission.
A hero emerges who decides he’s not going to take this anymore. But can a revolution to allow people they can relieve themselves as they choose succeed?
Eyre saw Urinetown performed at the Firehall Arts Theatre in Vancouver and thought Brookswood should do the show.
“It’s hilarious, the music is fantastic and it allows for so many actors to shine in character parts. I’m so proud of all the fun details each cast member has brought to their roles,” she said.
Students ranging from Grade 8 to 12 – 54 in all – are involved, and some former students have even come back to work on the tech side of the production.
“Being in a musical is an incredible experience. It takes months of dedicated work. It requires students to work collaboratively and creatively,” she explained.
“So many important life skills are developed and practiced during the rehearsal and performance process. Students work together towards a common goal, demonstrating incredible grit and determination and they put in hundreds of hours in order to have this show come to life.”
The show is at once social satire, comedy, social commentary, a musical and more.
“The best part of the show, for me, is the discussions between Officer Lockstock (played by Marcus Loden) and Little Sally (played by Ally Ray) about the fact that they are in a badly named show called Urinetown, The Musical,” Eyre said.
The show pokes fun at itself as well as the musical genre. All the while it is a perfect example of what a musical can be; smart, funny and heartfelt, she added.
Urinetown runs Feb. 10 to 13 and 17 to 20 at the school, 20902 37A Ave. Showtime is 7 p.m., and admission is $12. Tickets are at bssmusicaltheatre.brownpapertickets.com.