students will take the stage tonight at 7:30 p.m. to tell a tale about greed, corruption, love and revolution with their production of Urinetown.
“I decided to do the show because I saw it at the University of Michigan a couple of years ago,” Farmington High School English teacher and play director Carrie Ray said. “It was an up and coming, new, contemporary show, and I loved the messages behind it.”
The musical is about how a terrible water shortage, caused by a 20-year drought, causes a government enforced ban on private toilets. Citizens must use public amenities, regulated by a single company that charges admission for the basic need.
Urinetown satirizes the legal system, corporate mismanagement, municipal politics and much more. Ray said the show even makes fun of musicals, so those people who typically don’t like musicals, might enjoy this one.
“It’s not easy to do a satire, it’s not easy to do a comedy like this,” Ray said. “This is a risk for me as a director. This is such a different show that I’m curious of what people are going to think. Are they going to get it?”
Ray told the show's 45 cast members after the last dress rehearsal Wednesday night that she was proud of what they have accomplished and excited to invite people to see the show.
“We have some incredible talented kids in this show, many who are going to pursue acting and musical theatre professionally,” Ray said.
Two of the musical’s main characters, Caldwell B. Cladwell and Penelope Pennywise are played by seniors Joseph Zimmer and Kimberly Hay. Both have been involved with school’s theater productions since they were freshmen.
“This musical makes me step outside my comfort zone,” Hay said. “The music is so vocally challenging that it has forced me to grow and expand my range. It also enforces a lot of cast unity because it’s really difficult to be on cue.”
Zimmer likes the fact that Urinetown is not a famous or traditional musical.
“My favorite part is that I get to build my character, the way I want to, from the ground up,” Zimmer said. “It feels like a really personal, kind of pointed experience.”
Lily Talevski, a freshman, plays the role of Little Sally in the musical. Talevski has always been involved in theater and since it had always been a great experience for her, she decided to try out for a role in Urinetown.
“You get into a mindset,” Talevski said about preparing for the role. “You have to learn to become this character. The character is you after a while, it grows on you. You’re experiencing things like it’s the first time you’re on stage.”
Performances will be Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Farmington High School Auditorium. Tickets will be sold a half hour before each performance and cost $10 for adults and $8 for students and senior citizens.