Urinetown Tour Launches June 24 at San Fran's ACT With Holgate, Noll, Hewitt

By Kenneth Jones
24 Jun 2003

Christiane Noll as Hope Cladwell and Charlie Pollock Bobby Strong in Urinetown, the Musical.
Christiane Noll as Hope Cladwell and Charlie Pollock Bobby Strong in Urinetown, the Musical.
Photo by Kevin Berne

Soon, your town will be Urinetown. The national tour of the unlikely-sounding Broadway hit begins June 24 in a not-for-profit engagement at the respected regional theatre, American Conservatory Theatre, before visiting other cities under a commercial contract.

Tony Award-winner Ron Holgate is Caldwell B. Cladwell, Tom Hewitt is Lockstock, Christiane Noll is Hope and Charlie Pollock is Bobby in the new tour, directed by John Rando, who took home the Tony for Best Direction of a Musical in 2002. Urinetown also won 2002 Tonys for Best Book (Greg Kotis) and Best Score (lyricist Kotis and composer Mark Hollmann).

The tour, which also spotlights Beth McVey as Miss Pennywise and Meghan Strange as Little Sally, continues to Aug. 17 (representing an extension beyond the previously-announced July 27) at ACT, before spreading the satiric tale of a drought-stricken city where water usage is controlled by an evil corporation.

Opening at ACT is July 1. This marks the West Coast premiere of the Broadway show, which many consider the funniest musical comedy this side of The Producers. The New York production is on the verge of recouping its investment, according to a production source.

Tour stops following ACT's production include Denver, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Cleveland.



The national tour of Urinetown, The Musical, is produced The Araca Group and Dodger Stage Holding with TheatreDreams, Lauren Mitchell, and American Conservatory Theater.

The darkly satiric musical with the most unlikely title on Broadway was first seen in 1999 at the New York International Fringe Festival, where commercial producers plucked it up and the writers refined it toward an Off Broadway run in summer 2001, and then to a Broadway move in September 2001.

The staging continues at Broadway's Henry Miller Theatre, with TV star Tom Cavanagh starring as Bobby, John Cullum as Cladwell and Carolee Carmello as Miss Pennywise.

The show is currently being developed for the movies by The Araca Group, Dodger Theatricals and Killer Films.

Tickets for Urinetown, The Musical at ACT range $16-$66 and can be purchased at the Geary Theater Box Office, located at 405 Geary Street. Call (415) 749-2228 or visit www.act sf.org.

*

Hewitt might be best known as Frank N Furter from the recent Broadway production of The Rocky Horror Show (for which he was Tony-nominated). He takes on the role of the oily narrator of Urinetown, Officer Lockstock.

Holgate often cuts an elegant figure in shows, and he'll be "clad well" again. He won the Tony for playing American patriot Richard Henry Lee in the musical, 1776. His credits include Lend Me a Tenor and the recent Annie Get Your Gun.

Noll starred as Emma in Broadway's Jekyll & Hyde. Pollock comes from Broadway's Urinetown, where he played rebel Bobby Strong after original star Hunter Foster left for Little Shop of Horrors.

McVey was a member of the original companies of The Phantom of the Opera and 42nd Street.

The company also includes Katie Adams (Soupy Sue), Anne Allgood (Josephine Strong), Jim Corti (Old Man Strong/Hot Blades Harry), Frank Holmes (Billy Boy Bill), Todd A. Horman (Robbie the Stockfish), Dennis Kelly (Senator Fipp), Jamie Laverdiere (Mr. McQueen), Richard Ruiz (Officer Barrel) Sheri Sanders (Little Becky Two Shoes/Mrs. Millenium) and Christopher Youngsman (Dr. Billeaux).

Reprising their Broadway chores, John Rando directs, John Carrafa choreographs and the Broadway design team remain intact: Scott Pask (sets), Gregory A. Gale and Jonathan Bixby (costumes) and Brian MacDevitt (lighting).

Ron Holgate (center) portrays Urinetown's corporate villain Caldwell B. Cladwell.