For two weekends, Temecula’s quaint, picturesque Old Town was transformed into a terrifying police state where if you want to pee, you have to pay the fee. And if you’re caught trying to sneak a free one? Well, the punishment is a one-way ticket to a place where you won’t need bail – a place of no return – a place called Urinetown.

Are you frightened? There’s no need to be. Yet. Right now this world exists only on stage, and only in this hilarious musical satire. And it’s received a terrific production of it at the historic Old Town Temecula Theater directed by Jillian Stones and featuring a great cast filled with amazing voices. Like the voice of the hero of our tale, the young man Bobby Strong played by Mitchell Peck who goes from innocent, wide-eyed public urinal assistant to the inspirational, charismatic leader of a full-fledged rebellion against the profiteering company who controls the public urinals – Urine Good Company. His remarkable vocals help make that rebellion all the more inspiring highlighted by his big Run Freedom Run number joined by his ensemble of delirious followers.

In fact, it was so inspiring, it even made their hostage deliriously happy. That hostage is Hope Cladwell, the daughter of Urine Good Company’s CEO, and the girl who only hours before had fallen in love with Bobby when she taught him to “follow his heart” (prior to his becoming a rebel leader). And Melissa Smith is sensational in the role – a great comedian, actor, and singer who has a terrific feel for the character with all her unbridled and naïve optimism, romance, and idealism.

Eric Ruiter guides us through the story as the narrator Officer Lockstock, the ruthless enforcer of the urine laws who is tough enough to taste the liquid on the finger of his rubber glove to ensure it’s urine before arresting Bobby’s father, yet sensitive enough to break into jealous sobs when he sees Hope falling in love with Bobby, and groovy enough to shake his groove thing hilariously in the Cop Song. Courtney Duncan is kind of creepy as the thickly unibrowed, deeply frowning Little Sally with twitchy mannerisms – an amusing product of being born into this scary future society. Shannon Kilpatrick makes for a strong Penelope Pennywise, the tough supervisor of the public urinal. And C.J. Essary is the dynamic Caldwell B. Cladwell who is adored by his impossibly happy employees who wear impossibly wide grins as they sing his praises while twirling purple clipboards, and who join him in the bunny hop as Caldwell warns his daughter Don’t Be the Bunny.

The deep cast includes amusing cameos by Shane Boyer as Caldwell’s very vain and very gay assistant Mr. McQueen and Bryan Inman as the angry Hot Blades Harry and as the ghost of Bobby’s father who stiffly waves his arms in a sort-of hypnotized Jack-in-the-Box fashion. Together the ensemble shines as the UGC employees, as the bitter mob in Snuff That Girl, and as the inspired freedom fighters in Run Freedom Run, all filled with choreography that perfectly captures the spirit and absurdity of the numbers in this outrageously fun musical.

Performs August 3-12, 2007.

Rob Hopper
National Youth Theatre

~ Cast ~

Officer Lockstock: Eric Ruiter
Little Sally: Courtney Duncan
Penelope Pennywise: Shannon Kilpatrick
Bobby Strong: Mitchell Peck
Hope Cladwell: Melissa Smith
Mr. McQueen: Shane Boyer
Senator Fipp: Eric Durbin
Old Man Strong/Hot Blades Harry: Bryan Inman
Tiny Tom: Kevin Ruiter
Soupy Sue: Adrienne Tooley
Little Becky Two-Shoes: Ashley Darrow
Robby the Stockfish/UGC Employee: A.J. Pacheco
Minnie The Moocher/UGC Employee: Eryk Waligora
Billy Boy Bill: Anthony Croupe
Old Woman/Josephine Strong: Nichole Lohre
Officer Barrel: Antony Purpura
Caldwell B. Cladwell: C.J. Essary
Dr. Billeaux: Eric Petricka
Mrs. Millennium: Nicole Radovich
Rebels/UGS Employees/Cops:
Riley Drexel
Olivia Furtado
Nikol Holdges

Director: Jillian Stones
Musical Director: Charles Finn
Lighting Design: JMT Production, Matt McGill
Set Design/Construction: Mark McCullough
Costume Design: Mickie Grunwald
Stage Manager: Heather McClain


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