Andrea McArdle Leads CRT's URINETOWN at the Jorgensen Theatre, 4/ 14

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Connecticut Repertory Theatre (CRT) will present the smash-hit Broadway Musical Urinetown, featuring Broadway star Andrea McArdle, April 14 - 17 & 27 - 30, 2011 in the Harriet S. Jorgensen Theatre on the Storrs campus. For tickets and information, call 860-486-4226 or visit www.crt.uconn.edu.

Connecticut Repertory Theatre will close its main stage season with the surprise Broadway hit Urinetown, the musical, book and lyrics by Greg Kotis, music and lyrics by Mark Hollman.

Urinetown sends up corporate greed, ecological disaster and musical theatre itself, through hummable music, old fashioned dance numbers, and sharp humor. This entertaining and crowd-pleasing show started at the 1999 New York International Fringe Festival, a launching pad for new non-traditional works. Its success at the Fringe led took it to off-Broadway and a transfer to Broadway where it delighted audiences and won several Tony Awards, including Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Musical Score. Tony Nominee Andrea McArdle will star as Penelope Pennywise alongside Broadway veteran Bob Walton and newcomer Ken Clark.

In this mythical town, scarce water is worth its weight in gold after a 20 year drought. Private toilets are illegal, and the monopoly on public bathrooms held by a malevolent corporation is driving up the costs. From the midst of these downtrodden people a hero emerges to lead a revolution to freedom! This satirical musical was a hit on Broadway, winning three Tony Awards and reinventing the very notion of what a Broadway musical can be. Urinetown takes a witty, irreverent, and uniquely "musical" look at corporate greed, corruption and human survival. You'll leave the theatre humming these tunes about people who have to pay to pee!

In a world where a 20-year drought has forced the removal of private bathrooms, a megacorporation called "Urine Good Company" is forcing all citizens to use pay-as-you-go public "amenities. " Within this satirical context, Urinetown mocks city politics and municipal utilities, boy-meets-girl romances and classic Broadway musicals. The quirky collection of happy carefree show tunes belies the show's powerful insights into the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as expressed by the freedom to pee.

Director Paul Mullins said, "Urinetown: The Musical is a hilarious, beautiful, bitter, biting tribute to the musical theatre. It sends up and pays adoring homage to the great musical theatre traditions."

Dramaturg Elysse Yullo said, "Urinetown is a hysterically funny satire that highlights the absurdities of corruption, greed, and even itself as a musical. It will have you clutching your sides with laughter and thanking your lucky stars that you do not have to pay to pee!"

The CRT production will feature Broadway Star Andrea McArdle as Penelope Pennywise. McArdle first captured the hearts of theatergoers everywhere in 1977 when she originated the title role in the mega-musical Annie, based on the popular Harold Gray comic strip "Little Orphan Annie". She has honed her craft by working with some of the great legends of the entertainment industry including Ethel Merman, Liza Minnelli, Julie Andrews, Bob Hope, Liberace, Frank Sinatra, Steve Martin and Martin Short, to name a few, and was privileged to have appeared on television with Johnny Carson, Merv Griffin and Dinah Shore.

As "Annie," Ms. McArdle became the youngest performer ever to be nominated for a Tony Award as Best Lead Actress in a Musical. She also received the Theater World and Outer Critics' Circle Awards for her performance and went on to star when the show was produced on London's West End with Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Also on Broadway, Ms. McArdle starred in the Jerry Herman musical Jerry's Girls alongside Carol Channing and Leslie Uggams; she portrayed the sassy Smoking Car, Ashley, in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Starlight Express; and starred as Margy Frake in State Fair; as Fantine in Les Miserables and, most recently as Belle in Disney's Beauty and the Beast. She toured nationally starring as Sally Bowles in Cabaret and as Eponine in Les Miserables and appeared in The Vagina Monologues, which she appeared in Off-Broadway as well.

In addition to Annie, Andrea's film and television credits include starring as Judy Garland in Rainbow, appearing in The Leading Ladies Of Broadway on PBS, All My Children on ABC and headlining her own PBS special Andrea McArdle On Broadway.

THE CREATIVE TEAM

Paul Mullins (Director): At CRT Paul directed The Comedy of Errors last season. He is a company member at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey and his credits there include Richard II, King John, Noises Off, The Lion in Winter, The Time of Your Life, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Rhinoceros, The Threepenny Opera and many others. Other credits include The Old Globe: Twelfth Night, Macbeth, Merry Wives and Measure For Measure; The Studio Theatre in Washington, DC: Tynan, Fat Pig, The Seafarer, This Is How It Goes and The Russian National Postal Service. He has also directed productions for Portland Stage Company, Chautauqua Theater Company, The State Theatre, The Juilliard School, Yale School of Drama, and The University of Texas.

Gerry McIntyre (Choreographer): Broadway credits include Once On This Island - Martin Beck Theatre. As a Director/Choreographer his credits include Soon of a Mornin - Off-Broadway - Lions Theatre; His regional theatre credits include: Virginia Stage Co., Actors Theatre Of Louisville, La Mirada Theatre (Robby Award for Best Director, Ovation nomination for Best Choreography and Best Musical); Ain't Misbehavin - Actors theatre of Louisville; Chicago - Ogunquit Playhouse; Joseph....Dreamcoat starring Diana DeGarmo and Anthony Federov - Lyric theatre; Bells are Ringing - Pasedena Playhouse; Anything Goes - Madrid Theatre. As a Choreographer his credits include Side by Side - Berkshire Theatre Festival; A Saint She Aint - Westport Playhouse; Laura Comstocks Bag Punching Dog (LA weekly nomination Best Choreography).

Musical Director (Ken Clark): has been a lecturer in the music department since 1981 and has worked with the Drama Dept. since 1979. Recent work includes: Orphan's Home Cycle, Our Town and A Christmas Carol (Hartford Stage Co.); Hair, and Abraham Lincoln's Big Gay Dance Party (CRT); Endurance (CRT/Split Knuckle Theater); Sweeney Todd (EO Smith High School); the Fantasticks (Windham Theater Guild).

The cast will feature Equity actors, Andrea McArdle as Penelope Pennywise, Ken Clark as Bobby Strong, and Bob Walton as Caldwell B. Cladwell. It will also feature graduate acting student, Robert Thompson, Jr. as Officer Lockstock, and undergraduate acting students Alexandra Perlwitz as Little Sally, and Ali Barton as Hope Cladwell.

THE CAST

Ken Clark (Bobby Strong) Ken graduated in 2010 from the University of Miami's Musical Theatre Conservatory. Select regional credits include The Winter's Tale (Leontes), Altar Boyz (Matt), Guys and Dolls (Sky), and The Mikado (Ko-Ko). Most recently he was in a production of Rent (Roger) at Syracuse Stage.

Bob Walton (Caldwell B. Cladwell) Bob's Broadway credits include 42nd Street (revival), Once Upon A Mattress, Show Boat, and City Of Angels. Other New York credits includeThe Drowsy Chaperone, The Ziegfeld Follies of 1936, I Love You/Perfect/Change, Forbidden Broadway Strikes Back, and Preppies. Bob's TV credits include Law And Order: SVU, Hope And Faith, and Newhart. With brother, Jim Walton, they have written Mid-life! (The Crisis Musical), Double Trouble! and A Day In Gloucester. Bob has written A High School Musical - 1973 and is co- author of the Off-Broadway play Game Show. www.midlifethecrisismusical.com www.doubletroublethemusical.com

Robert Thompson, Jr. (Officer Lockstock) is a 3rd year MFA Actor. CRT credits include Othello (Duke of Venice), The Who's Tommy (Uncle Ernie), The Comedy of Errors (Solinus, Duke of Ephesus), Galileo (Bertolt Brecht/Ballad Singer), The Exonerated (Prosecutor), Hair (Tribe), Pericles (Pander) and The Winter's Tale (Camillo). His other credits include Frank Butler in Annie Get your Gun at Rocky Mountain Repertory, Bill Calhoun in Kiss Me Kate at the Hope Summer Repertory Theatre, Oberon in A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Hainnline Theatre, Roger Debris in The Producers at The New Bedford Theatre Festival and Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing and Pride and Prejudice at The Utah Shakespeare Festival.

Ali Perlwitz (Little Sally) is a senior BFA Acting major. Her CRT credits include Wendla Bergman in Spring Awakening, Marina in Pericles, Antigone in Too Much Memory, Desdemona in Othello, Octavius Caesar in Antony and Cleopatra and Lizzy Bennet in Pride and Prejudice. Ali grew up in Westport, CT and attended Arts at the Capitol Theater Magnet High School (ACT), where she played Queen in The Cave Dwellers, Maggie in The Shadow Box, Dotty/Mrs. Clackett in Noises Off! and Katharine Hepburn, in the original script of Rewind: 80 Years Behind the Silver Screen. She has studied acting with Larry Silverberg, creator of the True Acting Institute, inspired by Sanford Meisner's Neighborhood Playhouse.

Ali Barton (Hope Cladwell) is a senior BFA Acting major. Past CRT credits include: Pride and Prejudice (Jane Bennet), A Flea in Her Ear (Olympia), The Who's Tommy (Feat. Ensemble), Abraham Lincoln's Big, Gay Dance Party (Harmony, Mom), Hair (Feat. Ensemble) and Skin of Our Teeth (Ivy). Playhouse on Park: This is Our Youth (Jessica). British American Drama Academy: The Merchant of Venice (Jessica).

The ensemble cast will also feature MFA actors: Brooks Brantly, Kevin Coubal, Gretchen Goode, Christina Greer, Ryan Guess, Phil Korth, Philip AJ Smithey, and Brian Patrick Williams; BFA actors: Jack Fellows, Michelle Goodman, Seth Koproski, Aaron Lloyd, Molly Martinez, James Turner, Krystal Sobaskie, and Laura Zabbo.

The Design team includes: Marija Plavsic, Scenic Designer; Calvin Anderson, Lighting Designer; Maureen Fitzgerald, Costume Designer; Jack Nardi, Sound Design; Michelle Mann, Projection Design; Gerry McIntyre, Choreography; Miron Gusso, Puppetry; Elysse Yulo, Dramaturg, and Mary P. Costello, Stage Manager.

INFORMATION

Please call 860-486-4226 for tickets or for more information. Please call or visit the box office for specific show dates and times because performance schedules vary and are subject to change. Tickets available online at www.crt.uconn.edu.

Weeknight evening performances start at 7:30 p.m. Weekend evening performances start at 8 p.m. Matinee performances start at 2 p.m.

Ticket prices range from $6- $35.

For more information or press tickets contact Frank Mack at 860-486-4799.

 

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