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Newtown High School’s Spring Musical ‘Urinetown’ Set To Open This Week



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Newtown High School’s spring musical production of Urinetown will open Thursday night. Performances will be staged at the high school, 12 Berkshire Road, with evening curtain at 7 pm March 14-16 and matinee curtain at 2 pm March 16-17.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for students and seniors, and are available for purchase online at nhsc.booktix.net.

Urinetown is a musical satire set in a dystopia where a terrible drought and water shortage lead to a government-enforced ban on private toilets and public urination. Citizens are forced to use public, pay-for-use amenities managed by a corrupt private company, where anyone who refuses to pay is hauled off to the mysterious Urinetown.

The story follows the innocent Hope Cladwell, whose father Caldwell B. Cladwell owns the corrupt private company that runs the public amenities. As Hope encounters a wide variety of characters, such as the rebellious custodian Bobby Strong, sweet but smart Little Sally, and the bold and authoritative Officer Lockstock and their partner Officer Barrel, she discovers the truth of her family, town, and the world at large.

The show is being managed by NHS Choral Director Jane Matson as the director and Staci Stamm as the producer and technical director. Matson said she specifically picked Urinetown as the spring musical because “it’s very ensemble driven, which means that you can see that everybody is on stage a lot of the time.”

“I like musicals that do that because they give the opportunity to many people to sing, dance, perform, and act for all of it,” she said. “And when you’re choosing a musical for a high school, it’s important to choose something that gives that chance to as many people as you can.”

Matson also said she chose for the different styles of music within it. The show parodies various tropes and numbers seen in musicals such as Les Misérables, Chicago, and Hello, Dolly! An homage and love letter to musical theater, students experiment with big choreographed numbers featuring characters tapping in one scene and then characters yearning for each other pushed around on large staircases in the next.

“It’s just fun and silly. It doesn’t take itself too seriously at all,” Matson said. “It’s all about loving musical theatre, the big numbers, the dancing, the singing, the silliness. It’s great.”

Matson was especially proud of the students who helped build and design the set, with its cracked tunnels, dirty walls, fencing decorated with street signs, and black, brown, and gray color scheme reflecting the dystopian environment.

“I’m just looking forward to the kids getting to do it in front of an audience; for everybody to see how funny and amazing and talented they are because they’re funny and amazing and talented,” she said.


Reporter Jenna Visca can be reached at jenna@thebee.com.

Newtown High School students practice their first run-through of Urinetown on March 4. The spring musical will open with a senior citizen preview on March 13; public performances begin the following night. —photo courtesy Staci Stamm
Todd Ingersoll, owner of Ingersoll Auto of Danbury, recently presented the cast and crew of "Urinetown the musical" a donation of $7,500 in support of their work toward the approaching production. The NHS Drama Department is in rehearsals for its spring musical, which opens March 13 with a senior citizen preview and March 14 for the public. —Bee Photo, Tanzer
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