Get over the title.
“Urinetown,” the Soundstage Productions show for 2020, is not gross or vulgar, says Lindsay Gallagher-Smith, one of the stars of the ensemble musical.
“I’ve heard that some people won’t come this year because they don’t like the title or might be offended by the subject matter,” Gallagher-Smith said in an interview in anticipation of next week’s opening night.
“There’s no toilet humour in it at all. It’s a lot of intellectual jokes, lots of physical comedy and something for everyone. It’s a show that deals with a serious topic, but it comes through in a really light way. It’s a musical that recognizes it’s a musical. It’s not afraid to make fun of itself and it celebrates famous musicals such as Les Miserables and West Side Story.”
Although it deals with some mature topics, a disclaimer on the poster isn’t required.
Gallagher-Smith grew up as a member of Soundstage, appearing in “Grease” and “West Side Story.” After graduating from Penticton Secondary School, she moved away to attend theatre college and performed professionally for 10 years before returning to Penticton to raise a family.
Her two kids, ages nine and six, love seeing their mother on stage. They will be there next week in the audience, along with her husband.
“My husband isn’t someone who would ordinarily go to a musical, but he sat in on one of our rehearsals and snickered all the way through it,” she said.
Her professional career included lots of children’s theatre and some obscure titles. Community theatre, she declares, is the purest form of entertainment.
“I love community theatre. We have a very large cast and it always blows me away when you have a large group of performers on stage, a bunch of people backstage, and they all have the same goal, they share the same passion. The talent in this production is amazing, along with a live band and handmade costumes. I’ve worked all across Canada and can honestly say this production is top notch.”
Gallagher-Smith plays the role of Little Sally.
“She’s the youngest street urchin, the narrator of the show. I’m the kid with no filter, who can cut through all the lies and drama and who can see things for the way that they are. Little Sally moves the plot along and adds comic relief,” she said.
“Urinetown” was nominated for nine Tony Awards in 2001 and won for best book of a musical, best original score and best choreography. It was nominated for best musical (along with “Mamma Mia!”), but lost to a revival of “Thoroughly Modern Millie.”
Additional information on the Penticton production can be found on Soundstage’s Facebook page.
“Urinetown,” presented by Soundstage Productions and directed by Lynne Leydier, plays at the Penticton Lakeside Resort, Jan. 22-25. Shows are at 7 p.m. with an additional Saturday matinee at 1 p.m. A live band is featured.
Tickets are $45 and applicable fees and taxes and are available online at: pentictonlakesideresort.com/events/urinetown/ or in person from the resort.