Posted on: November 3, 2022 Posted by: Glacier Staff Comments: 0

Imagine it is the year 2027. A water shortage caused by a 20-year drought has left the world hopeless. In a desperate attempt to preserve what water is left, a government ban has been placed on all private toilets in the town. To relieve themselves, citizens must use public pay-to-pee amenities owned by Urine Good Company (U.G.C), which is owned by Cladwell B. Caldwell.

Citizens attempting to relieve themselves elsewhere or attempt to refuse payment are sent to Urinetown: an infamous and symbolic place that none of the citizens know anything about. Not even the town officers are sure of what Urinetown is or what happens to those that go there.

In Moraine Valley’s current production of “Urinetown, The Musical,” directed by Craig Rosen, audience members should expect to laugh out loud and at the same time consider the evils of selfishness that is consumer society run amok. The show opened Friday and runs through next weekend.

Angel Ovalle

Freelance Contributor


Written by Mark Hollman and Greg Kotis, “Urinetown” is a story of uncompromising criticisms against disaster capitalism and shoddy municipal government, all done with the most biting humor imaginable.

Even though Urinetown was written in 2001, its portrayal of political corruption, corporate greed, climate change and the dangerous relationship they all have together remains relevant to this day. In today’s age when one sees more and more of the world becoming commercialized and sold for a profit, Urinetown uses urinating as a metaphor for living. It shows townspeople being led by a young man taking a stand for themselves and their dignity, against the commercialization of basic human needs even in times as desperate as is shown in the musical. 

Buy tickets for ‘Urinetown’ here
Next performances on Friday/Saturday at 7:30 pm.
Sunday at 3 pm.

While criticizing capitalism, Urinetown smartly shows us its advantages during times of crisis. Even the musical makes a great effort for the audience not to take it too seriously as it gives its characters various gags that pay off, some of which continue as running jokes within the show. For example, it often breaks the fourth wall.

Leading the people’s struggle is protagonist Bobby Strong, played by Aron Gomez. Bobby is a strong, heroic and bold young man who works as the assistant to the amenity clerk for U.G.C. As he begins to stand up for the people, Gomez hits every note with accuracy and range. With his incredible voice and acting, he perfectly embodies Bobby, such as in the “Run Freedom Run” number, where he takes center stage and rallies the hopes of the ensemble to stand up for themselves and their dignity.

It is Gomez’s ability to captivate the audience with his singing that makes this number so memorable and keeps it in the audience’s head long after the musical is over. Gomez also has great chemistry with all the other actors. 

Officer Lockstock, played by Dean Papadopoulos, is the main authoritative figure that enforces the draconian rules of U.G.C. Papadopoulos has great fun with his lines, blocking and choreography, providing an entertaining comedic relief to ease the audience through Urinetown’s deep subject matter. For much of his time onstage, Papadopoulos steals the show when he breaks into song and dance in humorous fashion, or when he repeatedly breaks the fourth wall by addressing the audience directly.

Lena Werner goes the extra mile in playing Hope Cladwell, the CEO’s naïve daughter with a pure heart. Her ability to act and sing is what makes her a delight to see on stage. She acts the entire performance in an impressively high-pitched tone and never drops it. 

Cladwell B. Caldwell is played convincingly by Ryan Flynn. He is the controlling and high-handed CEO of U.G.C. Naturally, Flynn carries his character with an air of authority not to be tested. Much of Caldwell’s parts involve playful interactions with the other characters and playful moments with the audience. His character is treated by the others with the utmost respect and with an almost god-like authority. 

Moraine Valley’s political, tongue-in-cheek production of Urinetown offers a meaningful message on the state of our world, and the consequences we face if we want to change it. But it does so in a way that is not forced or trite. Rather, the playfulness and humor of the performances help to drive the message of disaster capitalism home without becoming too self-serious.

Tickets to next weekend’s performances are available online through Moraine’s Fine and Performing Arts website or in person on the day of the show. Friday and Saturday shows start at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday’s show starts at 3 p.m.