Better look out for No. 1

Tickets go on sale today for musical “Urinetown”
By: Paul Cambra Journal Staff Writer
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That’s right, you read the posters correctly. The Placer Union Summer Theatre Academy is putting on a play called “Urinetown: The Musical.” While this may spur the obvious wisecracks about certain American cities with dubious reputations, the play is actually a thought-provoking study on capitalism, populism and environmentalism. If it pokes fun at anything, it’s the genre of musical theater itself. “It deals with themes we can relate to: sustainability, drought, corporate greed,” said director Josh Brown. “These are relevant to our current times.” Brown graduated from Placer High School a decade ago and welcomes the chance to direct students at his alma mater, along with kids from Foresthill, Del Oro and several middle schools in the area. “The kids absolutely love the show, doing something more contemporary,” Brown said. “They’re having a lot of fun with it. There’s some very complicated vocals and a lot of dancing, but they are definitely rising to the challenge.” From a directing standpoint, the biggest challenges for Brown were the ensemble pieces, where all 34 actors are on stage at one point. For the audience, the biggest challenge may be getting past the play’s name. “When I first heard it I thought they were saying ‘Yer’ in Town,’ and I thought ‘Oh no, just another hokey welcome home musical,’” said Placer junior Connor Soejoto, who plays Officer Lockstock, the play’s narrator. The premise is this: Due to a severe 20-year drought, water is at a premium and personal toilets have been outlawed. One must use public restrooms and pay a fee to do so. Anyone caught urinating for free will be sent to – you guessed it – Urinetown, a sort of penal colony for free-flowing offenders. It’s an unusual concept that follows an unconventional plotline to an unpredictable ending. “Auburn needs something different,” said Placer freshman Hannah Kile, who plays Penelope Pennywise, the tough warden of the filthiest urinal in town. “We’re asking them to step outside the box and open their minds.” Just watch where you step. It’s Urinetown after all. ------------------------------------ ‘Urinetown: the musical’ Who: Placer Union Summer Theatre Academy What: “Urinetown: The Musical” Where: Placer High School Auditorium When: 7:15 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, July 30-Aug. 1 and Aug. 7-9; with two Saturday matinees at 2:15 p.m. Aug. 1 and 8. Tickets: $8 to $12, on sale today Info: (530) 852-7076,