PASCACK VALLEY, N.J. -- The husband and wife team of Tom and Merielle Lupfer wanted to go in a different direction for the 10th show they'll co-direct for Pascack Valley High School's theater program -- so they chose the Tony Award-winning "Urinetown: The Musical."
"Since the spring of 2007, we've never done a modern comedy," Merielle Lupfer told Daily Voice. "We've tried to pick shows that cover a variety of eras and genres."
The show, which opens March 8, is set in a drought-ravaged city where a huge corporation has regulated the people’s water use by requiring citizens to pay a fee every time they use a toilet.
“It has a terrible title, but they talk about that in the show," Tom Lupfer said. "It's a satire."
The ensemble piece gives 80 students "a chance to do something meaningful onstage," Merielle said. “There are so many strong, interesting female characters or characters that can be played by females."
Although the musical seems dark, "you're not connecting emotionally because it's so funny and so absurd," she added.
Behind the humor is a "really powerful message about environmentalism and conversation" and "how we use and abuse resources," Merielle said. "It has something important to say about the state of the world."
Four performances are scheduled at Pascack Valley High School March 17 through 19. There will be a 7 p.m. performance nightly, and a matinee at 1 p.m. on March 19.
Tickets are $17 for adults and $5 for students, and are available at pvhstheatre.org, by calling the box office at 201-312-4122, or at the door one hour prior to each performance.
The school is located at 200 Piermont Ave, Hillsdale.
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