Lisa Gauthier


Footlite Musicals

Directed by Ed Trout

Through March 19

When two theaters do the same show within six months of each other, you can't help but make comparisons. So, those of you who saw Urinetown at the Phoenix Theatre back in September are probably wondering how Footlite Musicals' version stacks up.

Overall, Footlite's Urinetown is well-done. The leads have strong voices that can handle the music, and the live orchestra does an exceptional job with the score. But, yes, the Phoenix production was superior. However, I think some of that conclusion is drawn because the audience at the show I attended opening night didn't seem to get it. Footlite attracts a different theater-goer - a theater-goer who may not appreciate the strange humor found within this musical.

For those of you who do appreciate such humor, you should take advantage of this opportunity to see the show (again), because tickets are a bargain.

Kyle Durbin as Bobby Strong catches the naïve heroism inherent in the character, while giving Bobby subtle individuality. The same goes for Kelly Gerard as Hope Cladwell. Instead of being overly ditzy, as Hope is often portrayed, Gerard is more down to earth and less shrill. Both Durbin and Gerard exhibit exceptional singing voices, and Durbin has an especially nice turn in "Run, Freedom, Run."

Bill Hale as Caldwell B. Cladwell is a satisfying villain, and Denise Stockdale is a slightly creepy Little Sally. Cindy Collins-Mollencupp does a wonderful Penelope Pennywise.

But the real star of this Urinetown is Eric Karwisch as Officer Lockstock. Karwisch has his character locked in, and his "Cop Song" was the highlight of the show.

Quibbles include not being able to hear the cast if they were at the rear of the stage, and some rather dark lighting at times. Overall, though, this production of Urinetown should make Footlite, a non-Equity theater, and director Ed Trout proud.

Urinetown continues through March 19. Tickets are $15; seniors and students (ages 13 through college) $13; children $10. Call Footlite, 1847 N. Alabama St., at 317-926-6630 for reservations.