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The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

Urinetown Review

I am not much of a fan of musical theater.  My experience has either been of the overly melodramatic variety (I’m looking at you, “Cats”), or a play in which every line is delivered in song.  While interesting for the first few minutes, both types wear down the sensibilities after two hours.

That being said, “Urinetown,” DVC’s newest production, is a perfect storm of over-the-top musical bits and hilariously self-aware dialogue. 

It takes place in a town where 20 years of drought has caused strict control of the water, and private toilets are outlawed. As a result, anyone who urinates without paying the proper fee is carted off to Urinetown, where they are never heard from again. 

The unusual staging sets “Urinetown” apart from other DVC productions.  Instead of props, the action unfolds in three spots on the stage.  One is a large turntable that acts as a centerpiece, with two other circles at the front corners of the stage. 

While this setup may seem odd at first, it forces the audience to focus  on the actors, who deliver their lines with wit and confidence. 

Officer Lockstock (Daniel Rubio) and Little Sally (Melody Perera) open the musical and act as narrators of sorts.  Their exchanges usually occur during “time out” portions when no other actors are on stage or when the action is literally freeze framed.

A comedic streak is maintained from the opening act to the play’s ironic finale and is the show’s biggest strength.

But a musical isn’t a musical without music, and here “Urinetown” does not disappoint.
The musical portions act like exclamation marks in a sentence.  A scene may comprise a long section of dialogue, followed by a musical piece that acts as a crescendo and neatly wraps it up. 

In particular, the opening piece, “Urinetown,” is almost epic in its delivery.   With the full company singing, one expects the rafters to start shaking at any moment. 

Another notable piece, “Why did I Listen to that Man?” involves a rotating musical structure, with the actors fading in and out.

As a whole, “Urientown” is a memorable theatrical experience that shouldn’t be missed. 
It runs through Nov. 18, with shows  at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Sundays. 

Tickets are $17 for the general public, $16 for seniors, $14 for students with a valid student ID card and $12 if you have a current ASDVC sticker on your ID card.

They can be purchased at the box office which is open from noon to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and one hour before each show. You can also buy tickets by calling (925)-687-4445

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About the Contributor
Troy Patton
Troy Patton, Arts & Features Editor
Arts and features editor, spring 2013.

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Urinetown Review