You gotta go: ‘Urinetown’ is latest New Rockford productionJust imagine if people had to pay to potty. That’s the premise behind “Urinetown” — the summer production of the Dakota Prairie Regional Center for the Arts in New Rockford.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
Just imagine if people had to pay to potty.
That’s the premise behind “Urinetown” — the summer production of the Dakota Prairie Regional Center for the Arts in New Rockford.
“We like to change it up a little bit every once in a while,” said Deb Belquist, managing director for DPRCA, and production director. “I love this show. It presents some social arguments and it lambasts every idea.”
After a 20-year drought, the Urine Good Company partners with politicians to charge people a fee to use public restrooms as private ones are rendered useless because of the lack of water.
Those who don’t pay the fee and relieve themselves outdoors are arrested and brought to Urinetown.
“You have to pay for some basic necessity. If you think about it in a larger context … this is what happens when you run out of water,” Belquist said. “Social interactions go down the drain because of basic need.”
The show pokes fun at all walks of life from politicians to corporations to the Everyman, Belquist said.
“It just grew in popularity because it is so funny, the songs are funny, the statements are funny, but it’s very satirical,” Belquist said of the musical.
The music is also equal in jest.
“It’s very clever, I think the best word is clever,” she said. “The humor is satirical. The numbers they kind of go through every genre.”
Some songs may sound like they belong in “Les Miserables” while others may have a “Wicked” feel to them, Belquist said.
“The music is really good and I think we have excellent vocalists for the show,” she said.
“Urinetown” will run for seven weeks and is one of the few shows in the area to have extended performances.
The cast is also compensated for its time and paid for its performance, which allows Belquist to bring in some college talent for this production.
She said the cast has a nice mix of talent from younger college students to DPRCA veterans used to the stage in New Rockford.
“Urinetown” will also showcase DPRCA’s newest addition — the Old Church Theater on Central Avenue in New Rockford.
As the name implies, the church was used by the community for nearly 100 years before it closed.
A few renovations have made it accessible for bigger productions, like “Urinetown,” which has a cast of 16 with four musicians.
“This was a bigger show to pull people in and try to get a good mix of people (for the cast),” she said.
“Urinetown” opens at 7:30 p.m. today and will run through Sunday, when the curtain opens at 2:30 p.m. The show then runs Sunday through Thursday until Aug. 12.
Tickets are $22 and can be reserved by calling 701-947-2174 or online at www.dprca.com.
This is the 20th year of theater in New Rockford.
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at email@example.com