Don’t let the name fool you
As our community heads into the dog days of summer the Ye Olde Opera House in Spring Grove has been preparing for its annual musical treat for the community.
Every year since 1979 the Ye Olde Opera House stages a summer musical, and this year’s production promises to be one of the more unique shows.
This year’s production will be the Musical Comedy “Urinetown: the Musical” by Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis. Urinetown is the winner of the 2002 Tony Awards for best book of a musical and best original musical score.
Urinetown is an unconventional musical that deals with heavy subject matter in humorous fashion. The musical is full of memorable one-liners and catching upbeat tunes.
Set in a world where water is scarce, the citizens of an intentionally unnamed town are forced to use pubic pay toilets that are monopolized by a corrupt company. It is only a matter of time before the lower classes revolt. This leads to several witty musical numbers, expertly performed by the production’s wonderful cast.
The cast has been in rehearsal for the last few weeks, and the production is shaping up to be another great success for the Ye Olde Opera House. The production this year is directed by Scott Solberg.
“The cast has been a blast to work with and they are having a lot of fun,” Solberg said. “When it’s not work to go to practice, it really shows on the stage. This production is going to be a lot of fun to perform.”
During a recent rehearsal of the musical, Solberg informed the cast he had goose bumps during the closing of the first act, which after years of directing, rarely happens.
Urinetown may not be a typical musical, but despite its silly subject matter, it is a great story with surprising depth. For many audiences the biggest challenge will be getting past the title.
“This is a super-funny musical that knows it has a bad title and makes fun of itself for that,” Solberg said. “At the end it doesn’t wrap up the issues in a perfect little package with all problems solved; it might make people walk away thinking about issues and understanding that there are two sides to every story.”
Opening night is Thursday, July 19, and it runs through Sunday, July 22. The show begins at 8:30 p.m. The audience is invited to come early to enjoy desserts on the green prior to the show. The gates open and desserts are served beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Ye Olde Gray Barn is located on the east side of Spring Grove on Hwy. 44. Enter by the Farmers Coop Grain elevator and follow the parking assistants’ directions. General admission seats are available at the gate for $10 for adults (18 and up) and $5 for students.
– Clay Schuldt