Urine for a treat!

Wee can’t wait for you to watch Van Nuys’ newest musical production of Urinetown.

By Katrina Gomez, Arts & Entertainment Editor

As the people of “Urinetown” line up for a chance to pee at THE poorest, filthiest urinal in town, the audience laughs, cries and claps alongside them. 

Van Nuys’ long-awaited musical production, Urinetown, has finally arrived and has gathered many positive reactions from students. With its opening night, which took place on March 16, and continued the following weekend, the cast plans for more shows on March 23, 24 and 25. However, showtimes may vary on the Thursday performance due to the scheduled LAUSD strike. 

The name of the musical itself may strike a chord with many students who aren’t familiar with it, but the intriguing title is bound to turn heads. With the musical being named Urinetown, the story takes place during a severe water shortage. In attempts to prevent this hardship, the tyrannical Caldwell B. Cladwell and his company UGC restrict the use of private toilets and enforce the “privilege to pee”. Instead, the people of the town are forced to pay to use public amenities, but if these regulations are broken, one is sent to a punishable place. Although for many, they feel as if they’re already living in this undesirable place called Urinetown.

Thankfully, the audience is introduced to Bobby Strong, who hopes to save his people from the corruption which tethers them from this normal bodily function. Alongside him, the cast fights for their right to pee, and soon more join the revolution. Conflicts and turmoil erupt as the story develops and more characters come and go.

From the set, costumes and cast, the second theater performance of the year exceeded many expectations. Regardless of whether audience members had or had not seen a Van Nuys High School performance before, the set was detailed and impressive compared to other productions. From the signs and two-story design it displayed, it did not disappoint reactions from the audience. The rustic rails of the structure made the scenes even more alluding to the idea of a run-down town. 

The charisma and vocals from the entire cast also made the performance fun and enjoyable to watch. Characters like Mr. Cladwell, played by Julian Pankowski, and Little Sally, played by Ella Robinson, showed outstanding performances in numerous scenes through their singing and dancing. The voices of the cast went together like Bonnie and Clyde, creating beautiful harmonies and enhancing the scenes even more. The dances were fun and exciting to watch, making the audience almost feel the urge to get up and dance with them. The costumes that each cast member wore also gave great personality to their characters. Hope Cladwell, played by Maddie KC Jordan, wore a white floral dress with a vibrant yellow cardigan, which garnered her character’s innocent and sweet personality. 

Alongside all the visuals and the performance of the story, numerous plot twists made the audience gasp and laugh for more. The narrator of the story, Officer Lockstock, played by Jake Ruckman, made each scene feel more intense and kept the audience on the edge of their seats. In all, the chemistry between each of the cast members overall made an exciting performance and made me want to see more from the characters. But the entire production from the lighting, design, cast and costumes made Urinetown one of my favorite Van Nuys musical performances, which deserves a 10/10. So, if the opportunity presents itself, tickets are available for purchase at the door, online at booktix.com, and in Room 303.