Summer theater season runs through Aug. 16

Abigail Sparrow

Princeton Summer Theater will plunge into its 2009 season with a production of "Urinetown" June 18-July 5 in the Hamilton Murray Theater. The Tony Award-winning satirical comedy focuses on the people of a town where water is scarce and times are tough. Above, Penelope Pennywise (Abigail Sparrow, a student at New York University's Stella Adler Studio), the proprietor of Public Amenity Number 9, a public urinal, emotionally defends the reasoning behind Urine Good Company's oppressive public amenity fee hikes to the poor in the song "It's a Privilege to Pee."

Photos: Brian Wilson

Princeton Summer Theater will open its 2009 season on Thursday, June 18, with a production of "Urinetown," the Tony Award-winning satirical comedy about greed, corruption, love and revolution.

The show, featuring a live, five-piece band, will be performed at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, June 18-20, June 25-27 and July 2-4, and at 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, June 20-21, June 27-28 and July 4-5, in the Hamilton Murray Theater.

Urinetown heroes

Bobby Strong (2009 Princeton graduate Spencer Case) leads a port-a-potty barricaded brigade against the wealthy in the exciting (and aptly titled) song "Act 1 Finale."

Based on the book by Greg Kotis with music by Mark Hollmann and lyrics by both, the story revolves around a terrible water shortage, caused by a 20-year draught, which has led to a government-enforced ban on private toilets. The citizens must use public amenities, regulated by a single malevolent company that profits by charging admission for one of humanity's most basic needs. A hero decides he's had enough, and plans a revolution to lead the citizens to freedom.

Dance lineup

Mr. Cladwell (2009 Princeton graduate Jon Feyer), the CEO of Urine Good Company, basks in the glory of his subservient employees in the song "Mr. Cladwell."


Officers Lockstock and Barrel

From left, Officer Lockstock (Princeton senior Billy Hepfinger) and Officer Barrel (2009 Princeton graduate Kelvin Dinkins) rejoice in their tyrannous trouncing of the less fortunate in "The Cop Song."

The Princeton production will be directed by Sara-Ashley Bischoff, with music direction by Brian Gurewitz. Both are members of the class of 2009.

Other mainstage season shows this year will be:

  • Tennessee Williams' masterpiece "The Glass Menagerie," July 9-19.
  • "No Time for Comedy," which was adapted by S.N. Behrman into a blockbuster film featuring Princeton's own Jimmy Stewart, July 23-Aug. 2.
  • Steve Martin's retelling of the German classic, "The Underpants," Aug. 6-16.

All shows are at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and at 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Season subscriptions for mainstage shows give patrons four tickets, which they may use however they wish. All shows are family-friendly.

Mr. Cladwell and Mr. McQueen

From right, Mr. McQueen (Patrick Harvey, a Stella Adler Studio student) brown-noses his boss, Mr. Cladwell (2009 Princeton graduate Jon Feyer) in the song "Mr. Cladwell."

Princeton Summer Theater also will once again offer a series of family programming, including two children's shows and a series of six weekly children's workshops.

The two children's shows are:

  • "East of the Sun and West of the Moon" by Nancy Willard, 11 a.m. July 2-4 and July 9-11.
  •  "Rumpelstiltskin" by Mike Kenny, 11 a.m. July 23-25 and July 30-Aug. 1.

All children's shows are $6, and admission is free for children 3 years of age and younger.

In the six children's workshops, which run weekly beginning Friday, July 3, children ages 7 through 12 will work closely with Princeton Summer Theater company members to explore various aspects of theater. Workshops run weekly from 1 to 4 p.m. Fridays, and cost $30 per workshop or $135 for the six-workshop series.

Season subscriptions are available for purchase until June 25, and can be obtained online or by calling the box office at (609) 258-7062.

Single show tickets also are by calling the box office between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, or at the door 45 minutes before the performance. Princeton Summer Theater has been completely student-run since 1968 and strives to share world-class theater at affordable prices with the community.