JMU Schools Stage Tony Award-Winning Musical

From: Public Affairs

Briana Marcantoni (Hope Cladwell) and Joel Adam Gerlach (Bobby Strong) Photo: R. Finkelstein

February 11, 2008

HARRISONBURG James Madison University's School of Theatre and Dance and School of Music will present "Urinetown, The Musical" with music and lyrics by Mark Hollman and book and lyrics by Greg Kotis.

Tuesday-Saturday, Feb. 19-23, 2008, 8 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 24, 2 p.m.
Latimer-Shaeffer Theatre, Duke Hall, JMU

Kate Arecchi, assistant professor of musical theater, directs the uproarious two-act show set in a Gotham-like city, sometime after a 20-year drought, where all public amenities are controlled by a monopolizing, private corporation.

Inspired by the works of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill, the original idea for the show came from the personal experiences of book writer Kotis, who ran out of money during a two-week trip bumming around western Europe. What started as a silly idea for a musical became the hit of the 1999 New York International Fringe Festival, moved to off-Broadway, to Broadway and won three Tony Awards in 2002 for best book, score and direction.

Rex Reed of "The New York Observer" described "Urinetown" as "fresh, unique, original, impudent, colorful, exciting, irreverent, surprising and wonderful!"

Former Baltimore-area Patapsco High School and Center for the Arts actors Joel Adam Gerlach (Bobby Strong) and Briana Marcantoni (Hope Cladwell) renew their association on the musical theater stage after also having appeared together in their high-school productions of "Oklahoma," "The Music Man" and "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat."

Patrick Walders and Suzanne Miller-Corso of the JMU faculty are musical director and choreographer, respectively.

Tickets are $12 general admission and $8 for children under 12, senior citizens and JACard holders. For tickets and information, call the JMU Masterpiece Season box office at 540-568-7000 or 877-201-7543 (toll free). The box office, located in Room 1107, Harrison Hall, is open from noon to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

JMU Public Affairs contact: Janet Smith, 540-568-8008 or

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