Historical entertainment planned for joint celebration of three Southwest Arkansas milestone anniversaries
The Weekend Theater, Jan. 18
By the middle of Scene One of “Urinetown,” the Weekend Theater had morphed from a civilized room into a rowdy circus tent. The packed house was captivated by an exuberant, vibrant performance of this quirky send-up of musical comedies and capitalism by Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis.
“Urinetown” — which had a three-year Broadway run — is set in the “not-so-distant future,” when water resources are so scarce that personal bathrooms have been outlawed and people must pay to use corporate-owned facilities. Lawbreakers are sent to Urinetown, an ominous place from which no one ever returns.
Actors address the audience directly in this self-aware bit of theater that requires two hours of histrionics. In this, Weekend Theater delivered (despite some strained vocal performances). P.J. Clark magnificently played the evil Caldwell B. Cladwell, the heartless tycoon who owns and profits from the “public amenity” facilities. Clark threw himself into the role, nailing his comedic choreography and dialogue, pouring wonderful ridiculousness into every scene. Ms. Pennywise, who operates “Amenity No. 9,” found a perfect medium in Monica Clark-Robinson. Part slimy, part sultry, and all sass, Robinson wore the Pennywise character as easy as her own skin.
The satire is also speckled with hilarious subtleties, undoubtedly tossed in by director and choreographer John Thompson. When you go see “Urinetown,” and you should, make sure you keep your eyes wide open.