By Meg Massaro
When the Beverly Theatre Guild (BTG) announced they were producing “Urinetown,” I knew had to audition. I’ve played several roles in BTG productions over the years, but I really hoped that I would land a part in this show because I have a special connection to the playwright.
Many years ago, I was a supervisor of support staff at Bank of America (formerly Continental Bank), when a young man was brought in to help as an administrative assistant. He and I hit it off, not because of his word processing abilities that benefited the bank, but because of our shared love of improv and musical theater. He was very involved with the improv scene and musical theater here in Chicago, performing at The Second City and other venues.
Behind the scenes, the young man was writing satirical and political musical comedies, including a crazy dark show he was working on with an improv partner. He confided to me that one day he hoped to bring a show to a larger audience, like New York.
That former bank employee with a dream to make it big is playwright Mark Hollmann who, in partnership with Greg Kotis, created “Urinetown,” which went to Broadway in the late 1990s and earned 12 Tony Awards, including one for best original score and one for best book.
I’m thrilled to say that I will have the privilege to “pee” in the role of Josephine Strong in the BTG’s production of the hilarious “Urinetown” this month.
“Urinetown the Musical,” a satire of greed, corruption and revolution, will be staged Fri., Oct. 11 and Sat., Oct. 12, 8 p.m., and Sun., Oct. 13, 2 p.m., Morgan Park Academy Art Center, 2153 W. 111th St. “Urinetown” is set in a big city in the throes of a severe water shortage. The government has banned private toilets, forcing citizens to use – and pay for — amenities regulated by a greedy company. A hero decides he’s had enough and plans a revolution that will bring the city relief. Tickets are $24 at www.beverlytheatreguild.org or 773-BTG-TIXS.