LOVELADIES –Bellarine Theater Company’s final production of the year is “Urinetown,” a musical satire of the legal system, capitalism, social irresponsibility, populism, bureaucracy, corporate mismanagement, municipal politics and musical theatre itself.
It will be presented at the Long Beach Island
Foundation of the Arts and Sciences in Loveladies for five performances, from Friday Nov. 18 through a closing matinee on Sunday Nov. 20.
“The musical takes place in a “Gotham”-like city where a terrible water shortage, caused by a 20-year drought, has led to a government-enforced ban on private toilets. The citizens must use public facilities, regulated by a single malevolent company that profits by charging admission for one of humanity's most basic needs. Amid the people, a hero decides he's had enough, and plans a revolution to lead them all to freedom,” read the synopsis on the “Urinetown” Website.
Bellarine has once again chosen a production that is out of the mainstream of what most small and community theater companies produce. “We look to present shows that many people would never get to see otherwise, to provide them with alternatives to what is done all the time,” said director Jim McCabe, who is also a member of the company’s board of directors.
“Urinetown”’s music was written by Mark Hollmann with lyrics by Hollmann and Greg Kotis, who also wrote the book. It opened off- Broadway in 2001 and then ran for close to 1,000 performances and winning three Tony Awards before closing at the Henry Miller Theater in 2004.
McCabe said the space at the Foundation lends itself to this and other productions they have produced there because it is more intimate than larger venues. “We try to do shows here that draws the audience in and make them feel involved,” he said.
That was certainly true of the their past production of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” in which a member of the audience was selected each time to come on stage and be part of the production.
The space also present some challenges. The small stage and backstage area make set changes difficult, said McCabe.
In many cases cast members also double as stagehands and props and scenery are utilized in different ways throughout a production. At a recent dress rehearsal, McCabe was not only directing the actors’ performances but showing them how the rearrange office furniture into a barricade for the next act.
“I try to keep the down time to a minimum to keep things moving a long,” he said. Also, the musical has a cast of 18, so adding more bodies was not an option, he added. "Actors aren’t the greatest stagehands, but we make it work,” he said.
Lighting and set designer Rob Hilliard also keeps that in mind while contributing his part to Bellarine’s productions. He and McCabe have work together for years at Southern Regional High School where McCabe teaches and directs the school’s plays. Hilliard is contracted to design the lights and scenery for many of those productions. The school also provides Bellarine with many of its cast members said McCabe. Auditions are open for the productions but McCabe said he has many of his former students and alumni in the company’s shows.
Tickets $20 VIP (first three rows, assigned seating), $18 Adults (general admission), $15 Students/Seniors (general admission) and $12 Children 12 & Under (general admission).
They can be purchased online at: https://btco.booktix.com/ or calling 609-661-2083.