Urinetown the Musical is full of surprises!!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

I attended the opening of Urinetown last night.  WOW!  Urinetown has to be one of the strongest musical theatre productions in the history of the UNI Department of Theatre!  The student performances, the work of the directing team, the design team and crew are all OUTSTANDING!  If you love musical theatre, if you are a supporter of the UNI Department of Theatre, you don’t want to miss this one.

The first act was awesome and well-received by the audience.  And then, because I chose to remain in my seat during intermission, I witnessed a special show.  It began after the houselights had come up and patrons had begun making their way to the aisles and exits.  A group of about five or six run crew members emerged from backstage right, and made their way down to the grate in the floor downstage right.  They appeared to be inspecting the grate, as if to identify a problem.  As they stood on the four sides of the grate and bent down to touch it, a loud pulsing bass beat enveloped the theatre and they began to move in unison.  To my surprise, as the music progressed, I looked around and noted that more than half of the Urinetown patrons, including President Ben Allen, were participating in the same wild dance!  What was up?

There are times when I feel like I’ve transitioned to somewhere beyond the fringe of mainstream culture.   This was one of those times.  I was clueless.  What could this mass hysteria be about?  So I did what I always do when I need accurate and insightful information:  I asked a student, in this case, a group of students sitting directly behind me.  The answer came clearly and with nonchalance:  “Interlude.”  I also learned that the dance has become a sensation particularly during this season’s basketball games, and that the young man credited with creating it was a former student of mine in Creativity and Performance:  NISG Vice President Ian Goldsmith!  An old adage proven true:  you’re never too old to learn!

Kudos to all those dedicated and hardworking members of the UNI community who are making Urinetown a success!

--Leonard Curtis

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