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posted: 2/26/2014 6:01 AM

Jacobs to present 'Urinetown: the Musical'

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  • Colin Bokowy plays Bobby Strong and Katie Conomikes plays Penelope Pennywise in Jacobs High School's production of "Urinetown: the Musical."

      Colin Bokowy plays Bobby Strong and Katie Conomikes plays Penelope Pennywise in Jacobs High School's production of "Urinetown: the Musical."
    Courtesy of Tom Resnick

Submitted by Jacobs High School

Don't let the title fool you; "Urinetown: the Musical," which opens this weekend at Jacobs High School in Algonquin, is not a show about toilet humor.

"Urinetown" is the hit musical comedy by Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis that takes a somewhat ... unpleasant premise, and turns it completely upside down, producing a wonderfully witty and entertaining evening of contemporary musical theater.

The show runs Thursday, Feb. 27 though March 8, in the Jacobs auditorium, 2601 Bunker Hill Drive, Algonquin.

"Urinetown: the Musical" is set in the future where a 20-year drought has forced a government enforced ban on private toilets. A single malevolent company profits by charging for one of humanity's most basic needs; those caught breaking the law are carted off to the mysterious Urinetown, never to be seen or heard from again.

Amid the people, a hero arises to lead them to freedom. Along the way, this irreverent, laugh-out-loud, musical pokes fun at every imaginable musical and theatrical convention with biting humor and catchy music.

The unlikely idea for the show came to Greg Kotis during an underfunded backpacking trip through Europe. Doing whatever he could not to spend money, he wandered the Luxembourg Gardens debating with himself whether or not to use one of the city's pay-per-use toilets. This sparked the idea which he later pitched to his friend and fellow Chicago fringe theater alum, Mark Hollmann. Their collaboration produced "Urinetown: the Musical," a work which was resoundingly rejected by theaters, agents and development organizations, until the New York International Fringe Festival added it to their 1999 roster.

A hit at the festival, "Urinetown" went on to Broadway where it claimed an abundance of awards including 2002 Tony Awards (Best Director/Best Original Score/Best Book); the 2002 Outer Critics Circle Awards (Outstanding Broadway Musical/Director); the 2002 Drama League Award (Distinguished Production of a Play) and the 2001 Obie Awards (Best Lyrics/ Music).

A dynamic ensemble of Jacobs students will be directed by Rob Scharlow with musical direction by Greg Matushek and choreography by Heather Olcott. The cast includes Joey Weng as Officer Lockstock, Meghan Meehan as Little Sally, Colin Bokowy as Bobby Strong, Delaney Resnick and Alissa Teadt as Hope Cladwell, Katie Conomikes as Penelope Pennywise, and Adam Huckeby as Caldwell B. Cladwell. The scenic design is by Jerry Buirge and Adam Curtis, costume, makeup, and hair design by Sarah Weinstein, lighting and sound design by Adam Curtis and Kamil Molczyk. Producer is Jake Stouffer.

"Urinetown: the Musical" plays for six performances only; 7 p.m. Feb. 27, 28, March 1, 7; and 2 and 7 p.m. March 8. Tickets are $10 and are available at the school office, or by calling (847) 532-6100 or emailing

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