Box Office – Urinetown - performed at ACT

Urinetown - performed at ACT

Apr 6 – May 26, 2019

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A Co-Production with & Presented  at ACT – A Contemporary Theatre
Music and lyrics by Mark Hollmann Book and lyrics by Greg Kotis
Directed by Bill Berry

This hilarious multi-Tony Award® nominee is an outrageous satire set in a fictional future where a terrible 20-year drought has crippled the city’s water supplies. The citizens must now use the public pay-per-use amenities owned and operated by Urine Good Company. Citizens who try to circumvent the peeing-fee by relieving themselves in the bushes risk being taken away to “Urinetown,” a mysterious place where many have been sent but no one ever returns. With fee increases in the pipeline, the poor rise up to fight the tyrannical to make the public amenities free for all to use. Urinetown is a hilarious tale of greed, corruption, love and revolution.

“A declaration of the power  of theatre!” –The New York Times

Nominated for 10 Tony Awards® Winner of Best Book and Best Score!


A Co-Production with & Presented  at ACT – A Contemporary Theatre
Music and lyrics by Mark Hollmann
Book and lyrics by Greg Kotis
Directed by Bill Berry

The cast includes:

Andi Alhadeff - Ensemble
Kurt Beattie - Caldwell B. Cladwell
Sarah Rose Davis - Hope Cladwel
Chris Ensweiler - Senator Fipp
Mikko Juan - Bobby Strong
Brian Lange - Joseph "Old Man" Strong, Hot Blades Harry
Leslie Law - Josephine Strong
Arika Matoba - Little Sally
Mari Nelson - Penelope Pennywise 
Brandon O'Neill - Officer Lockstock
Matthew Posner - Officer Barrel 
Sarah Russell - Ensemble
Nathaniel Tenenbaum - Mr. McQueen


Urinetown, which ran on Broadway from 2001 to 2004 and won Tonys for Best Book and Best Score in 2002, is a satirical comedy that lampoons political corruption, economic inequality and irresponsible handling of the environment.

In the world of Urinetown, as Officer Lockstock informs us, “Everyone has to use public bathrooms to take care of their private business;” this is the result of a catastrophic twenty-year drought, which has made water scarce and precious. As the play opens, The Poor are waiting in front of “Public Amenity # 9”; admission is high (the facilities are run by a private corporation – Urine Good Company), so the Poor must wait in line for hours to use “the poorest, filthiest urinal in town.” Anyone caught “peeing for free” is exiled to the mythical Urinetown. As the guardian of “Public Amenity #9 sings, “The politicians in their wisdom saw/That there should be a law.”

Adult Language:

Adult language is mild in Urinetown (there is some use of “damned” and “damn it”), but there is a lot of bathroom humor. Ms. Pennywise, who manages Public Amenity #9, sings, “The Good Lord made us so we’d piss each day / Until we piss away.”

Cladwell, the owner of Urine Good Company, observes to his staff: “I made flushing mean flush at the bank/I’m the man with the plan/So who should you thank?”

Sexual References:

A character is unable to wait and begins peeing in public, objecting, “This is no way to live!” (There is no nudity.) The police arrive to arrest him for breaking the Public Health Act, an exiling offense.

Senator Fipp, a corrupt politician being bribed by UGC, meets Hope, the young daughter of Cladwell; innocent and idealistic, she has just finished school. The senator attempts to flirt with her, and is quickly dismissed by Cladwell.

Officer Lockstock, a crooked cop, also attempts to flirt with Hope. He says her father failed to mention “the size and purity of your beauty” and kisses Hope’s hand.  “Does beauty have a size, Officer?” Hope asks.

When it looks as if the rebel poor will kill Hope, a character confesses to being her (unwed) mother.


A character is dragged off by the police for deportation to Urinetown when he is unable to pay for access to a public facility.

When asked what Urinetown is like, Officer Lockstock demurs: “Its power depends on mystery. I can’t just blurt it out, like ‘There is no Urinetown! We just kill people!’ Oh, no. The information must be oozed out slowly until it bursts forth in one mighty cathartic moment.  Somewhere in Act Two.”

Bobby Strong, who becomes the leader of the Rebel Poor, believes that “Urinetown’s a lie/A means to keep the poor in check/Until the day they die.”

Little Sally, on the other hand, believes Urinetown is “here/It’s the town wherever/ People learn to live in fear.”

Eventually, the poor people at Public Facility #9 refuse to pay, rescind the Public Health Act and the Water Preservation Act and begin “peeing for free.”

They revolt and seize the company head’s daughter (Hope) as a hostage.

They threaten to string her up in the song, “Snuff That Girl.” (Bobby arrives to object: “This has got to be about more than revenge and stringing up someone who can’t defend herself.”)

A character is arrested and fights with her captors as they attempt to deliver her to Urinetown; she escapes. Another character is taken to “Urinetown,”  which turns out to be the roof of the UGC, where he is to be thrown off.

One of the policemen is killed in an attack by the Rebel Poor.



Important Themes:

As the chorus of the Poor sings, “Rich folks get the good life / Poor folks get the woe; / In the end it’s nothing you don’t know.”  The poor beg for pennies for a pee; Ms. Pennywise, who guards the door and collects the money, informs them, “No one’s getting’ anywhere for free! Don’t you think I have bills of my own to pay?! Don’t you think I have taxes and tariffs and payoffs to meet too?” She tells them, “It’s a privilege to pee / Water’s worth its weight in gold these days.”

Meanwhile Senator Fipp is waiting for the “dough” he will get from the hike in facility fees (if the vote passes) so he can escape on a “fact-finding” mission to Rio. He is worried that it’s a “powder keg” out there because of possible public reaction. Hope, assured that this is all for the general welfare, innocently remarks, “Gosh, I never realized large monopolizing corporations could be such a force for good in the world!”

Bobby, as he leads the Rebel Poor, declares he made himself “A promise that from this day on, no one man would be denied his essential humanity because of the condition of his pocketbook. That no man in need would be ignored by another with the means to help him.  Here and now, from this day forward,  because of you, and you, and you, we will look into the faces of our fellow man and see not only a brother, but a sister as well.” (The idealism of the rebels and even the innocent Hope is eventually undercut, however, because  it turns out they have no solution for the water shortage.)