Hilary Holbrook has worked as an actor and violinist in Chicago since graduating from Loyola in 2008. When not in the theater, Hilary enjoys knitting, antiquing, and adventures of all kinds!
Pictured: Henry McGinnis and Courtney Mack. Photo by Katie Long.
Review: URINETOWN at BoHo Theatre
By Hilary Holbrook
Ok not really, but it is pretty funny.
The musical, set in a nondescript dystopian future, tells the story of corporate greed gone awry when the “Urine Good Company” Corporation capitalizes on the ban on private restrooms, thus forcing the town to pay for the “privilege to pee” by controlling all public amenities. Rebellion, forbidden love, plot twists, and a whole lot of sarcasm and puns fill out the story.
Staged in the Box Theatre at Stage 773, Director Stephen Schellhardt does a lot with an extremely limited amount of space. Tony Churchill’s set provides multiple levels for actors to play. The overall world is decidedly dark and desolate, and Churchill’s set definitely reflects that. To contrast, G. “Max” Maxin IV’s lights provide that “pop” of Broadway-style spectacle that easily makes audience members giddy for more. The live band balanced well with the actors, although any low notes were difficult to hear. Excellent choreography by Aubrey Adams helped the audience forget the limitations of the space and relish seeing a Broadway caliber show.
The only drawback came when any actor was down on the floor, as the only people who could really see them were in the first two rows. Given that multiple levels were provided, eliminating the sightline of half the audience seems unnecessary.
Henry McGinniss (Bobby Strong) leads a varied and dynamic cast with relative ease. Scott Danielson (Officer Lockstock) keeps the audience laughing from beginning to end. Molly Kral (Penelope Pennywise) was hysterical, moving from menacing to bizarrely caring. Courtney Mack (Hope Cladwell) shines as the unlikely heroine, and her voice is simply gorgeous. BoHo has a knack for finding exceptional voices, and this production is no exception.
There are definite themes and lessons one could draw from this piece, especially given our current political climate. Make no mistake; this musical is designed to poke fun at conventions, not teach a lesson. Like seeing Melissa McCarthy on SNL, it’s a welcome reprieve from the heavy-handed dialogue currently dominating every facet of our lives. Do yourselves a favor. Don’t be the bunny. See it!