The Bonstelle Theatre satirizes “The 1%” and popular musicals with the wickedly clever Urinetown: The Musical

DETROIT – The Bonstelle Theatre closes its 2014-15 Season at Wayne State’s Midtown theatre with the Tony Award-winning Urinetown: The Musical, playing April 17 – 26.  A hit on Broadway and in London’s West End, the wickedly smart book and lyrics satirize crony capitalism, while the score parodies popular musicals.  Written by Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis, it was originally produced on Broadway in September, 2001 by the Araca Group and Dodger Theatricals in association with TheaterDreams, Inc., and Lauren Mitchell.

Photo:  Luke Rose (Bobby Strong), Anna Busse (Hope Caldwell. Photo by Felix Li.

Photo: Luke Rose (Bobby Strong), Anna Busse (Hope Caldwell). Photo by Felix Li.

Set in a dystopian near future, a long-term water shortage opens the door for private control of the scarce water that remains.  All amenities fall under the control of The Urine Good Company and private toilets become a thing of the past.  Residents must be flush with cash in order to flush and it is a “privilege to pee.”  In the tradition of 20th century American cinema, a “little guy against the world” appears and revolution is the order of the day.  Will good prevail?

Smart and sharp-witted, Urinetown mocks not only its subject matter – cronyism, political hackery, hollow heroism, and a bit of Malthusian angst—but also how it goes about delivering its message.  Parodies of musical styles and specific musical titles—from Les Miserables to West Side Story—are the means by which the librettist and composer pursue their targeted victims, even wondering aloud in the script,  “What about a bad title? That could kill a show pretty good.”

Tickets are $20 – $25, with student rush tickets available for $15 on the day of the performance. Tickets are available for purchase by calling 313-577-2960, visiting, or visiting the Wayne State University Theatre Box Office located at 4743 Cass Ave. on the corner of Hancock St.

The Cast (In Alphabetical Order)

Luke Rose of Harrison Twp. (Bobby Strong); Anna Busse of Trenton (Hope Cladwell); Garrett Michael Harris of Royal Oak (Officer Lockstock); Taylor Morrow of Warren (Little Sally); Anna Seibert of Detroit (Penelope Pennywise); Kyle Johnson, a Hilberry Acting Company member (Caldwell B. Cladwell). Also featuring: Alexis Barrerra of Hartland; Jacob Boida of Warren; Jordan Allen Fritz of Detroit; Shannon Grant of Livonia; Logan James Hart of Grosse Pointe Woods; Shannon Hurst of Warren; Dante Jones of Detroit; Annie Keris, a Hilberry Acting Company member; Shane Nelson of Windsor, ON; Patrick Roache of Detroit; Kayla Rodriguez of Dearborn Heights; Keira Schmitt of Livonia; Rachel Smith of Detroit; Kendall Rose Talbot of Sterling Heights; Michael Vultaggio of Center Line; and Samantha Lee York of Dearborn.

The Production Team

Michael J. Barnes (Director), Fred Love (Music Director), Cheryl Turski (Choreographer), Max Amitin (Scenic Designer), Sammi Geppert (Costume Designer), Heather DeFauw (Light Designer), Michael Sabourin (Properties Master), Mike Hallberg (Sound Designer), Courtney Rasor (Stage Manager), Brian Dambacher (Technical Director),and Stephanie Slusser (Publicist).

The Bonstelle Theatre

The Bonstelle Theatre is a Broadway-style house with a 1,034-seat auditorium featuring a balcony and much of the original Beaux-Arts architecture. The Theatre was built as Temple Beth-El in 1902 and converted to the Bonstelle Playhouse in 1922.

The Bonstelle Theatre Company includes BA and BFA actors, designers, and stage managers in the Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance at Wayne State University. Here, future stars of theatre, film, and television follow in the footsteps of successful alumni like Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning S. Epatha Merkerson (NBC’s Law and Order, Lackawanna Blues), Lily Tomlin (9 to 5, ABC’s Desperate Housewives), and Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters, NBC’s Heroes).  For box office hours and information on performances, tickets, group discounts, and corporate packages, please call the box office at 313-577-2960 or visit the theatre’s website at

The Bonstelle Theatre, Where Wayne Plays.

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering more than 370 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to over 26,000 students.

Calendar Information

April 17 – 26, 2015
Fri. 8:00 PM                        Apr. 17, Apr. 24
Sat. 8:00 PM                       Apr. 18, Apr. 25
Sun. 2:00 PM                      Apr. 19, Apr. 26


The Hilberry Theatre Announces its 2014-15 Season

BTL Full PageDETROIT – On Friday, February 21, following the opening of Ken Ludwig’s show-biz comedy, Moon Over Buffalo, the Hilberry Theatre Company announced its 2014-15 Season, the 52nd for the cornerstone institution in Midtown Detroit.

From Shakespeare’s perfect love story Romeo and Juliet to Congreve’s drole wit in The Way of the World to An Enemy of the People, Ibsen’s masterpiece reimagined by Arthur Miller, the Hilberry continues its trademark commitment to exhibiting the classics.

The Hilberry Company also offers three of the best comic romps written in the last half century: the 2008 Tony-winning revision of the classic French farce Boeing-Boeing, the dazzlingly wordplay of David Ives in All in the Timing, and The 39 Steps, a celebrated spoof of Hitchcock’s film classic of the same title. Together, these have a combined 19 Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations and 5 wins.

Season tickets are on sale now! To subscribe, call (313) 577-2972 or visit the Wayne State University Theatre and Dance Box Office at 4743 Cass Avenue on the corner of Hancock.

Subscribers are an integral part of the Hilberry community and they enjoy up to 35% off single ticket prices, priority seating, exchange privileges, lost ticket insurance, free coffee, a complimentary subscription to our newsletter, and an invitation to the annual Subscriber Party and Open House, which will take place on March 30, 2014.


Boeing Boeing
By Marc Camoletti
September 19 – October 4, 2014
Translated by Beverly Cross and Francis Evans
French bachelor Bernard lives a happy, structured life according to strict airline timetables – the American stewardess for breakfast, the Italian one for lunch, and the German for dinner!  The 2008 revised translation won 2 Tony Awards.

Romeo and Juliet
By William Shakespeare
October 24 – December 13, 2014
Shakespeare’s riveting romantic tragedy tells the tale of star-crossed lovers and the life of hatred and violence between their feuding families.  One of the best loved and most performed of Shakespeare’s work, the Hilberry has scheduled 10 morning matinees intended for area school groups.

All in the Timing
By David Ives
November 21, 2014 – January 31, 2015
Six hilarious one-acts from renowned playwright David Ives. From chimpanzees composing the complete works of William Shakespeare to the complexities facing minimalist composer Philip Glass while buying a loaf of bread, it’s non-stop madness! Winner of the 1993-1994 Outer Critics Award for “Best Playwriting”.

The Way of the World
By William Congreve
January 16 – March 7, 2015
Marriages of convenience and inconvenient marriages are propelled along on a wave of spectacular wit in Congreve’s mockery of upper-class foibles. This Restoration comedy is a Hilberry premiere.

An Enemy of the People
By Arthur Miller, adapted from Henrik Ibsen’s play
February 20 – March 28, 2015
Two brothers’ dispute over safety and civic duty divide their town. Who will gain the support of the public and who will become an Enemy of the People?

The 39 Steps
Adapted by Patrick Barlow from the novel by John Buchan from the movie of Alfred Hitchcock
April 10 – 25, 2015
This hilarious spoof of the 1935 Hitchcock thriller will have you laughing from start to finish. The Drama Desk and Olivier Award-winner blends frenzied performances and wildly inventive stagecraft with spies, murder, and some good old-fashioned romance!


The Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance at the Bonstelle Theatre

Also announced on Friday are the titles offered by the Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance at the historic Bonstelle Theatre. The Bonstelle Theatre 2014-15 Season has a wide variety of entertaining performances, including classic comedy and drama, fantastic dance performances, and a hilarious musical.

++Currently available to Hilberry subscribers only, Bonstelle Theatre packages will go on sale March 20.

All’s Well That Ends Well
By William Shakespeare
When Helena sets her sights on Bertram – an uninterested nobleman, out of her league – she does whatever it takes to forge the perfect match.

Peter Pan
By J.M. Barrie, adapted by Janet Allard
Peter Pan, the boy who doesn’t grow up, enchants the Darling children, who fly away with him to Neverland and explore a land of lost boys, imagination, and dreams! A perfect family outing!

December Dance Concert
A showcase of dance works created by guest artists, recent works by Wayne State University dance faculty, and student dances.

By August Wilson
This Tony Award-winning classic follows an African American father and son as they struggle through unfulfilled hopes and shattered dreams during the American civil-rights era.

Spring Dance Concert
A dynamic evening, highlighting WSU’s talented dancers in innovative performances choreographed by widely-recognized guest artists, faculty members, and students.

Urinetown: The Musical
Music by Mark Hollmann. Lyrics by Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis. Book by Greg Kotis
In this Tony Award-winning satirical musical, a long drought has caused an epic water shortage, making free toilets a thing of the past, and wreaking havoc on the bladders of the poor.