By MIKE CHAIKEN
Take a step away from the typical and move over to the idiosyncratic starting Aug. 13.
That’s when the GetUp Stage Co. production of “Urinetown” (say, “You’re in Town”) opens at Trinity-on-Main in New Britain.
GUSCO is a stage company of teens from a variety of towns across the state including numerous performers from Bristol and Southington.
On the website for its publisher, Music Theatre International, the Tony-Award winning musical is described as “In a Gotham-like city, a terrible water shortage, caused by a 20-year drought, has led to a government-enforced ban on private toilets. The citizens must use public amenities, regulated by a single malevolent company that profits by charging admission for one of humanity’s most basic needs. Amid the people, a hero decides he’s had enough, and plans a revolution to lead them all to freedom.”
Michael Ricciardone of Southington, who plays one of the romantic leads, Bobby Strong, said he likes “Urinetown” because it’s different from other musicals. “It’s very unique. I think the script is awesome. And all of the characters have a lot of personality… some are more quirky and some are more tough.”
Michael Gibbons of Bristol, who is one of the narrators Officer Lockstock, said, “I think it’s hilarious in really, not in subtle ways, but in clever ways. It likes to hit you over the head with how clever it is.”
“It’s interesting, it’s kind of weird. That’s why I did it,” said Tessa Coleman of Southington, who plays Officer Barrel.
“I’m a huge theater kid and it’s created to spoof a whole lot of other Broadway shows,” said Katerina Belales of Southington, when asked why she liked the show. “It’s quirky fun…The music is phenomenal,” said the Southington High School student who plays the role of Little Sally, the show’s co-narrator.
Kevin Michaud of Bristol, who plays Tiny Tom, said: “It’s not your traditional show. It breaks the fourth wall… There are easy laughs. There are hard laughs. It has a little bit of everything. The guy gets the girl. A little bit of action. A little bit of romance.”
The musical was originally performed by an adult cast, but the teen actors said it still holds appeal for them.
Teens like it, Belales said, because “it’s fun. It’s different.”
“It’s weird,” said Ricciardone, a student at Southington High School, describing the show’s appeal to teens. “People will like it.”
“There’s a little love story… A lot of teenagers could relate to that,” said Belales.
“‘Urinetown’ sounds unfitting… but once you get into the plot and the characters… It’s a huge revolution,” said Ricciardone. “It’s not just about paying to pee but it’s about change… It focuses on love of two worlds that aren’t meant to be together. It focuses on the Romeo and Juliet aspect.”
“There’s a lot of depth to the story,” said Ricciardone
This is a musical and Michaud, a Bristol Central High School student, said the songs are “upbeat… It’s got a little bit of everything. It’s slow. Then you have these alternative songs.”
“It’s like a ride with different speeds,” said Gibbons, another Bristol Central student.
As for adults, Tessa—a student at St. Paul Catholic High School in Bristol—said, they’ll like it too. “Most adults like my mom, she knows the typical shows… the classical shows everyone does… (But she’ll like this.) It’s just a different thing to see.
Both Ricciardone and Belales were part of the recent Southington High School production of “Urinetown,” but they noted this production has its own character and that’s why they wanted to do the show again.
“It brings in teens from several towns,” said Ricciardone of the GUSCO production. “It’s just not your typical high school kids you know. It brings in a lot more talent.”
“This production… is much more quirkier (than the SHS show)… which captured the dark serious side of ‘Urinetown’,” said Belales.
People should see the show, Tessa said, because “it’s different… it’s about paying to pee but it’s way deeper than that…. It’s funny weird show.
“It’s funny. It’s unlike any other musical. It’s a mash-up (of genres)… they’ll really love it,” said Michaud.
“We kind of have taken our own spin on it,” said Gibbons. “Some people are just amazing.”
“Urinetown the Musical” will be performed by the Get Up Stage Co. at Trinity-On-Main, 69 Main St., New Britain Aug. 13 to 15. Show times are Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 and are available at TrinityonMain.org
PHOTOS by MIKE CHAIKEN