Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

UATD set to perform ‘Urinetown’

Although it may sound off-putting, “Urinetown” is actually a musical comedy about a town where private bathrooms do not exist. In order to save on the town’s water consumption, citizens must use public, pay-per-use amenities that are owned by Urine Good Company, which is run by the evil Caldwell B. Cladwell.

This Tony Award-winning musical is now being performed in the Marian Gallaway Theatre on the University of Alabama campus. The show’s hero, Bobby Strong, must save the daughter of Mr. Cladwell and the rest of the town, all while trying to escape Mr. Cladwell’s reign of tyranny. William Rowland, a second-year master’s theatre student, said he thinks Cladwell is only doing what he thinks is best for the people.

“I don’t really play the evil characters a lot, so this is a walk on the wild side,” he said. “My favorite part has been that there is so much of a metatheatrical element to it. It’s fun to play with what we call the mask of the character and how we can bend that mask and break that fourth wall.”

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Playing the role of the corrupt Mr. Cladwell’s daughter is Kaylee Macknight, a sophomore majoring in musical theater. Hope Cladwell is the love interest of Bobby Strong in “Urinetown” and has just returned from the Most Expensive University in the World. Hope is torn between her father and Bobby and eventually joins Bobby in the revolution.

“She’s kind of like every Disney princess put together, so that kind of bubbly character who is always so animated and aware of what is going on is just such a fun character to play,” Macknight said. “I think she’s intelligent in her own way. She’s definitely not the brightest bulb of the bunch, but she is very smart in the fact that you always need to do what is right. She’s very naïve, and I wouldn’t say stupid, but naïve.”

(See also “Tuscaloosa theater group to perform classic comedy“)

The cast said one of the hardest things about the play was learning all of the dances as well as trying to keep up with singing the music. Mary Catherine Waltman, a sophomore majoring in musical theater, said once they learned the dances, and it became muscle memory, it became second nature to them.

As the title of the musical does pertain to urine and the bathroom, Waltman said she has been describing the musical in her own words to get her friends to come see the show.

“’Urinetown’ is a farce, and it’s really funny. I describe it to my friends as a musical that makes fun of musicals, and it’s something where you don’t have to be an aficionado to come and see it,” she said. “It’s a comedy, and I think that comedy is universal and relates to everyone, but it also has a lot of references to other musicals so if you do know those things then it’s funny either way.”

“Urinetown” will premiere Monday, April 14, at 7:30 p.m.

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