Preview- Urinetown- TheatreLab HK



TheatreLab HK is debuting onstage next week with the musical Urinetown. Written by Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis, it premiered in 2001 at New York International Fringe Festival; the musical is a satirical comedy that pinpoints the flaws of the legal system, capitalism, social irresponsibility, and bureaucracy.



TheatreLab HK is proud to present this show as their first public project, yet this group has been active for quite a while;  a branch of Dove Tales Theatre Company, the team has toured shows with the latter, and also lead workshops to schools throughout Hong Kong.




"We created TheatreLab HK with the goal of creating a space for performers to collaborate, explore, and take risks. We want to provide a playground for artists to create new works and re-examine classics. Our core belief is that theatre has the power to create life-changing experiences" founders Nathan Koval and Ben Margalith tell us.



Audiences shouldn't be put you off by the title. Winner of three Tony Awards, Urinetown is a wickedly funny and engaging satire of almost every musical you can think of. It is a farcical tale of greed, corruption, love, and revolution in a time when water is worth its weight in gold. Urinetown takes place in a time of desperation and desolation. A massive water shortage (caused by a twenty-year drought) means that private toilets have been outlawed and the public now has to pay “for the privilege to pee.” These public amenities, as they’re known, are run by the evil Urine Good Company (or UGC) headed up by the villainous Caldwell B. Cladwell. If citizens relieve themselves in public or refuse to pay the fee, they’re sent to the infamous Urinetown.





"Ever since coming to Hong Kong and meeting Ben Margalith, we have wanted to produce this musical. It is one of our favorites. We finally decided that we had talked enough about doing it and that it was time for us actually to make it happen. And, honestly, the main reason we’re mounting this production of Urinetown is that we love the joy that this musical can bring and want to share it with the community in Hong Kong." Nathan says. 



"Directing this musical has been incredible," he continues. "The cast is incredibly talented. This show has so many opportunities for the actors to explore and go wild with their roles. Often, in musicals, the ensemble is a rather small part of the show. In Urinetown being in the chorus is almost a more prominent role than being the lead. Every character is unique with their quirks. It has been fun to see the journey the actors have gone on to create and discover each of their characters. The show is just pure comedy. Even in the rehearsal room, we struggle to keep a straight face. We are sure that it will particularly delight fans of self-referential and irreverent meta-comedies like 30 Rock, Arrested Development, and Rick and Morty. More than that, Urinetown is the perfect theatrical experience for an HK audience that wants an engaging show that also touches on the current political climate. I truly think that the local HK audience will love it as much as we do."





We genuinely think that HK audiences love to have a good laugh, as laughing is the best way to relieve stress. We also believe that the team had shared a few laughs during the process.... "One member of the cast accidentally tripped and fell during a song a dance number. It was a perfect slapstick retinue fall, and it fit perfectly with the style of the show."



We are looking forward to watching this musical, as well as TheatreLab HK future projects. "We are producing a concert, A Night on Broadway, January 31st and February 1st at 8:00PM at the YTheatre, Youth Square in Chai Wan. We are flying in three Broadway actors for the concert, as well as the former music director for Hong Kong Disneyland to accompany them. A few of their Broadway credits include Mamma Mia, Newsies, and In Transit.  Along with the concert, we will be running a workshop to give students an opportunity to work and perform with Broadway actors. After working with the Broadway actors during the week, the workshop will culminate with the students performing a song and dance number in the 643 seat YTheatre during the concert with the Broadway actors."

Urinetown opens next week at the McAulay Studio Theatre, HK Arts Centre, Wan Chai, from Nov 22 through Nov 26. For more information, click here. 


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