Cedar’s annual musical was unveiled this past weekend, and theater teacher Mrs. Rosemary Milsap and her students captivated audiences with its production of Urinetown. The play was incredibly humorous in nature with dry satire that beat around the bush, so to speak.
Complete with a live musical pit, the tunes and spirits were high Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings during the performances.
Set in a dystopian society where the townspeople have suffered from a drought for 20 years, a private company, blank blank, controls public facilities where people have to pay to use the toilets (even the pregnant mother played by junior, Davita Reid). The theme touches upon the irony of capitalism in society in terms of monopolistic corporations manipulating large masses of people, and the end result is an uprising of the oppressed people.
The notorious money hungry villain Caldwell B. Cladwell, played by senior Zach Welsh, controls the private business (Ur in Good Company (UGC) His naive daughter Hope, played by senior Riley Hefner, becomes the love interest of rebellion leader Bobby Strong, played by junior Havivah Saltz.
In the end the plot is jam packed with hilarity, and quite a few drama worthy twists, such as the revealing of who Hope’s mother actually is or even when the truth of Urinetown is revealed from great heights. The symbolic theme of corruption in those who hold power is demonstrated by their ability to keep the impoverished under their control by bribing the political elite: in this case, the police force, played by seniors Elainal Banks and Tom Eberhart.
Powerful female vocal arrangements, including Saltz’s strong gusto, Dameria Jordan’s commanding swell of emotion, and Riley Hefner’s high and sweet melodies, occur several times throughout both acts, taking songs to a more seasoned and cultivated audio range. The music portfolio was refreshing and amusingly upbeat even for the darker feeling scenes. Most of the songs had a positively joyful foundation of short energized notes which highlighted the irony of the performance; as corruption, oppression, and even death occurred during the musical which are decidedly not happy aspects of the story. A jovial and rather refreshing idea implemented by the theater crew was an actual slow motion scene during the uprising, where the narrator, also played by Eberhart, takes time to address the audience. They slow down the fight to make everybody’s actions and movements, even facial expressions, more exaggerated to create effect.
The story sheds attention on a controversial issue while using humor and appealing to students’ attention. It wasn’t just me, the actors received standing ovations, and the audience was cracking up throughout the performance.
Milsap and her drama students did a phenomenal job presenting this performance to our community, with it being received as a hit, and a hoot, to people of all ages.