WAYZATA — With braces-covered teeth and painted grey hair, the young actors of Blue Water Theatre Company take on the roles of businessmen, bureaucrats and beggars in “Urinetown.”
The teenage actors played opposing sides of a town struggling with a water crisis. The poor citizens scrounge up change to visit the public toilet facilities. The lower class citizens do not have private bathrooms — illegal under the city government’s water conservation plan.
Those who cannot pay to use the toilets and relieve themselves on the streets are arrested and sent to Urinetown — an ominous toilet-themed punishment that has no real official definition.
This pits the chorus of citizens against the chorus of businessmen and women who work for Cladwell B. Cladwell, CEO of Urine Good Company, which owns all the public amenities.
Cladwell continues to jack up the price of the amenities under the guise of fixing the water crisis — instead, the money lines his and his employees’ pockets.
The citizens rebel against the price increase and conflict ensues while the leader of the rebellion and Cladwell’s daughter fall in love.
Theater-goers learn early on from the narrator and police officer, Officer Lockstock, that Urinetown doesn’t exist and those who break the law are killed, raising the stakes for the hero and his rebellion.
The musical is self-aware, breaking the fourth wall many times to give the audience information the characters don’t know and to crack jokes about musicals and the depressing nature of the show.
The small Blue Water Theatre Company theater puts the audience in the lap of the young actors as they put their talents on display — singing and dancing in synchronization.
“Urinetown” presents attendees with the intriguing question of how to solve a crisis like water scarcity while keeping the citizens free and unoppressed. The answer? That’s for you to decide.