TJ Drama performs “Urinetown”


Hannah Pho and Alex Le Floch star as Hope Cladwell and Bobby Strong in TJ Drama’s production of “Urinetown.”

Lindsay Williams, Online Editor

On May 4-5, TJ Drama performed their final production of the year, the musical “Urinetown,” starring seniors Alex Le Floch, Hannah Pho and Will Ashe. It also featured seniors Jordan Goodson, Liesl Jaeger and Adam Friedman, junior Misha Ryjik and sophomore Nova Zhang.

“Urinetown” is the story of a small town suffering from a terrible drought that has used up nearly all the water. Residents of the town must pay steep fees to Urine Good Company (UGC), owned by Cladwell (Ashe) and supported by the government, each time they use the restroom. Anyone who breaks this law is sent to an unknown place called Urinetown, which secretly means they are executed. The story focuses on the impoverished frequenters of Public Amenity Number 9, owned by Pennywise (Zhang) and is narrated by Officer Lockstock (Ryjik) and Little Sally (Jaeger).

Bobby Strong (Le Floch), after witnessing the “deportation” of his father Joseph Strong (Friedman), incites a rebellion among the poor residents of the town to make using the bathroom free. The rebels take Cladwell’s daughter, Hope (Pho), hostage in order to gain leverage over UGC. Strong is sent to negotiate with Cladwell but is instead executed. Hope then takes up the fight against her father and kills him, taking control of the city. Free bathroom usage eventually uses up all of the remaining water and everyone dies.

Ashe and Le Floch had a great hero-villain dynamic, facing off and attempting to steal the sympathy of the audience with just the right amounts of seriousness and humor. Pho shone as Hope Cladwell throughout the play, exhibiting intense character development, but she brought it to the next level at the very end while attempting to convince the rebels that they didn’t need water to live.

Although the lead actors showed considerable skill, the secondary characters made the show. Zhang’s acting during her song, “Privilege to Pee,” was exceptional, bringing to life the struggles of the non-elite class. Friedman was inspiring in the beginning and then continued to offer comic relief, making appearances as an angel. Senior Yena Seo was in the smaller role of Soupy Sue but put everything into her character, making hers one of the best performances of the night.

The dancing in the show was complex and was aesthetically pleasing, but it momentarily brought some of the actors out of character while they concentrated on the moves. However, this was compensated for by the commendable performance during the rest of the play.

“My favorite parts were the unexpectedly funny ones, like when one of the characters pretended to be a bunny and the ghost of Bobby Strong’s dad appeared,” senior Jane Werntz said.