‘Urinetown’ takes pointed look at bureaucracy

‘Urinetown’ takes pointed look at bureaucracy

Posted on Friday, February 07, 2020

"Urinetown: The Musical opens Feb. 19

When Tim Fitz-Gerald, Assistant Professor of Musical Theater, tells people what show he is currently directing for LaGrange College Theater, they are often taken aback.

“I tell them that ‘Urinetown’ is exactly about what they think it is,” he said. “But I also tell them the title is part of the show’s humor. The author (and characters) know it’s a terrible title. In fact, one character says, ‘A bad title can ruin a show pretty good!’”

The show opens Feb. 19 and runs through Feb. 23. Show times are 7 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

Despite its off-putting name, “Urinetown: The Musical” won two Tonys when it premiered in 2001, and is one of the most popular shows to be performed in regional, academic and community theaters.

Fitz-Gerald knows it well.

“I saw the original Broadway production a couple of times, and was cast in a regional production of the show as an actor,” he said. “Many years later, I was asked to associate direct a college production while I was earning my master’s degree. It is one of my all-time favorite musicals.”

“Urinetown” is a satirical comedy musical that targets the legal system, capitalism, social irresponsibility, populism, bureaucracy, corporate mismanagement and municipal politics. One critic wrote, “If you like doom and gloom accented with zany satire, this is the show for you.”

The plot revolves around a severe water shortage in the town. The government, steered by the evil Caldwell B. Cladwell, has instituted public toilets that people must pay to use. Those who are caught “doing their business” elsewhere are sent to the dreaded Urinetown by Officer Lockstock (who serves as the show’s narrator) and Officer Barrel. No one has ever returned from Urinetown.

When fee increases are announced, the poor rise up to fight the tyrannical government to make the public amenities free for all to use. “Urinetown” is called a hilarious tale of greed, corruption, love and revolution.

Fitz-Gerald said there is much to enjoy in the show.

“The music is fantastic,” he said. “It is wickedly funny and has specifically drawn characters.”

It also is an ode to musical theater.

“If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then I would consider ‘Urinetown’ to be a love letter to the art form itself,” Fitz-Gerald said. “It spoofs the genre over and over again, but always in a way that makes the audiences feel as if they are in on the joke.”

But the director warns that the play makes an unexpected turn in the second act.

“Just when you feel you know what is coming, the show gets turned on its head,” he said. “The audience is finally introduced to the moral of the story that was hiding in plain sight the entire evening.”

And while the show is dark, that darkness is always balanced by its humor, Fitz-Gerald said.

“‘Urinetown’ is an eminently fun show to do and to watch. And it truly is a brilliant piece of theatre.”

This production is intended for mature audiences. It is not for children.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for senior citizens (55 and older) and non-LC students and free for LC students faculty and staff. The box office is open noon to 4 p.m. weekdays and one hour before curtain. Email the box office to make reservations at, or call 706-880-8080. If emailing or calling, please leave name, the performance date/time and number of tickets desired, type of tickets and a call-back number and email address for confirmation.

Campus notes


Dr. Beverly Tatum, president emerita of Spelman College, and Dr. Alicia Bonaparte, author and scholar, visited campus on Thursday to present the annual MLK observance. Dr. Bonaparte served as moderator while Dr. Tatum discussed the “cancer” of racism, especially in today’s society, and ways we all can work to eradicate the “disease.”


Five faculty and staff members with a total of 135 years of service were honored recently at the annual appreciation luncheon. Dr. William Pascal, Dr. John Cook and Dr. William Yin were recognized for 25 years on the faculty. Dr. Nina Dulin-Mallory was congratulated on her 35 years at LC. Not pictured is Susan Laforet, 25 years.


Juanita Jackson, Food Services Director, was recently awarded Aramark’s Regional Service Star award for Exceptional Client Relationship. Pictured are, from left, David Vandenberg, Southeast divisional manager; Janet Walker, regional manager for Aramark; and Jackson.

Price Theater's box office opens Monday for tickets for “Urinetown: The Musical” and will be open noon to 4 p.m. weekdays and one hour before curtain. Email the box office to make reservations at, or call 706-880-8080.

Dr. John Tures, Professor of Political Science, is one of the panelists at the 2020 Georgia Humanities Symposium in Columbus, Georgia.  He will be speaking about undergraduate research and getting students to work with elected officials to solve problems.


Mark your calendars now - October 16-18


Cultural Enrichment events


  • Jan Term 2020 Presentation: Barcelona to Marrakesh; 11:15 a.m., Bailey Room
  • Pathways to Medical School; 11:15 a.m.; Corn Auditorium in Lewis Library
  • Faculty recital: Dr. Tracy Xian and traditional Chinese Instrumentalists; 4:30 p.m.; Beason Recital


  • Applying for and serving with the Servant Scholars Program; 11:15 a.m.; Jolly Room 104 (Callaway Science Building)
  • Jan Term 2020 Presentation: La Belle France; 11:15 a.m.; Bailey Room
  • The Dangers of Vaping and Marijuana Use; 11:15 a.m.; Corn Auditorium




Men’s Basketball

Henry Blair and Lincoln Anderson scored career highs of 25 points each to lead the Panthers (5-14, 4-8 USA South) to a 103-97 win at Berea last Saturday. Anderson also set a career high with 15 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season.



Women’s Basketball

Mykelli Taylor had her first career double-double to lead the Panthers (13-8) to a 66-26 win over Toccoa Falls in Mariotti Gym on Wednesday. Taylor tied for game honors with 11 points and pulled down a career-high 12 rebounds.



Men’s Lacrosse

The LC men’s lacrosse team will play its inaugural game Saturday at Birmingham-Southern.




The Panthers open their 2020 season Saturday against Roanoke at Cleaveland Field in Williamson Stadium.


Upcoming Events

Saturday, Feb. 8

Men’s Lacrosse at Birmingham-Southern, Birmingham, Alabama, 1 p.m.

Baseball vs. Roanoke (doubleheader), Cleaveland Field at Williamson Stadium, 2 and 5 p.m.

Women’s Basketball vs. Wesleyan (Senior Day), Mariotti Gym, 2 p.m.

Men’s Basketball at Brevard, Brevard, North Carolina, 2 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 9

Baseball vs. Roanoke, Cleaveland Field at Williamson Stadium, noon

Tuesday, Feb. 11

Men’s Basketball vs. Piedmont, Mariotti Gym, 7 p.m.

Baseball at Oglethorpe, Atlanta, Georgia, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, Feb. 12

Women’s Basketball at Huntingdon, Montgomery, Alabama, 7 p.m.


Video of the Week

Get ready for some Panther Baseball – first home game is this Saturday against Roanoke, a doubleheader that starts at 2 p.m. Meet the team here. Go Panthers! #LCPantherProud #lagrangecollege


Alumni giving

Panther meter showing 415 donors as of Feb. 7, 2020 - make a gift today at

Did your time on the Hill make a lasting impression on your life? Why not help a current student have a similar experience by giving back. If at least 1,140 alumni join us in supporting students by June 30, 2020, it will show how passionate our alumni are about higher education, providing great opportunities for the next year. Go to or call the Development office at 706-880-8039 to make your gift.


In the headlines

Panthers earn USA South road win – LaGrange Daily News, Feb. 5, 2020

MLK speaker to lead dialogue about race at LaGrange College Monday – LaGrange Daily News, Feb. 5, 2020

Category: Events, College, Academics, Students, Arts and Culture, Service

Keywords: theatre Urinetown musical faculty and staff service

Press Contact

Debby Baker

Last updated: 02/21/2020