TIPP CITY — This weekend, the Tippecanoe High School theatre program will present “Urinetown the Musical.”
But don’t let a bad title keep you from going, director Jim Sagona said, the story has everything a good musical should have — humor, rebellion, and a love story.
This unusually named comedy poses the question, what if water supplies were so scarce that people had to pay to pee?
“It is very much a satire,” Sagona said.
The show is set in a town suffering through a 20-year drought, where water is such a precious resource that all private toilets are shut down, and everyone is forced to pay for the privilege of using public facilities.
This toilet industry is controlled by Caldwell B. Cladwell, played by senior Payton Wilks, the evil president of the Urine Good Company, who also has control over the police and lawmakers.
He is challenged by a young hero, Bobby Strong, played by senior James Weimer, who is an assistant custodian at the poorest amenity in town and who falls in love with Cladwell’s daughter Hope, played by senior Lydia Etchison.
The story is narrated by Officer Lockstock (Maria Baldasare, senior) and Little Sally (Maya Vyas, junior), who comment on everything from the events of the show to the audience’s presumed desire to leave early.
“Urinetown” pokes fun at a wide variety of popular culture, from zombie films to other musicals like “Les Miserables” and “West Side Story.”
The cast also includes seniors Brendan Barney, Alisha Bhagwat, Reece Brown, Ally Chitwood, Emily Doll, Emily Duff, Jasmine Fletcher, Emily Gootzeit, Paige Jacobs, Ali Merrick, Riley Powers, Olivia Shirley, and Sam Williams.
They are joined by a combined high school cast, crew, and orchestra of 70 students.
The sets are all student built, Sagona added.
The 2001 satirical musical ran for three years on Broadway — almost 1,000 performances — and earned 10 Tony Award nominations and three awards.
“Urinetown” won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, Sagona said. But fans of comedy and other musical satires such as “Spamalot” or “The Little Shop of Horrors” will want to go while they still can.
Performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 17, Friday, March 18 and Saturday, March 19. A matinee will be performed at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 20 in the Tippecanoe Center for Performing Arts.
Senior citizens are invited to the Thursday performance on March 17 for free.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students in grades 12 or below. All seating is reserved. The show content may not be suitable for children under the age of 10.
For more information or to purchase tickets online, visit tippdrama.com.