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 Magic Begins — Pippin opens April 16!

The show opens this Friday, and the cast and crew are putting the final touches on Pippin.

Jeff Cotnoir, the publicist (and  assistant choreographer!) snuck into the dress rehearsal yesterday and caught us these sneak peaks:

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Looking for tickets? I know I would be! Buy them online and save time!

Online ticketing for our theatres at

Don't Miss it on Monday (Oct 12), THE LARAMIE PROJECT: 10 YEARS LATER.

Image, Samantha Rosentrater

THE LARAMIE PROJECT: TEN YEARS LATER, at the Hilberry Theatre, will be directed and produced by Wayne State faculty member Dr. Mary Anderson and will include cast members James Kuhl (Hilberry alumni), Brian Ogden (Hilberry alumni), Caroline Price (Hilberry alumni), Jordan Whalen (Hilberry actor), Justin Vanden Heuvel (Hilberry actor), Peter Prouty (Hilberry actor), Lorelei Sturm (Hilberry actor), Sara Hymes (Hilberry actor), Kyle Holton (WSU Theatre), Rachel Porter (WSU Theatre), Erin Hildebrandt (WSU Theatre), Jesse Merz (WSU Theatre faculty), Michael Barnes (WSU Theatre faculty), Peggy Thorp (local Equity actor), Steve Peters (Associate Dean of CFPCA), Laurel Merz (WSU Theatre), Jeremy Kucharek (WSU alumni).

Image, Samantha Rosentrater

WHEN: The performance will begin at 8 p.m. on Monday October 12, 2009.

Where: The Hilberry Theatre

Tickets: Are on a first-come, first-serve basis. No reservations will be taken in advance.

More Info: A pre-glow event beginning at 7 p.m. in the Hilberry Theatre lobby, will feature organizations such as Between the Lines; the Tipping Point Theatre; Michigan AIDS Coalition; Art for Artillery; Magenta Giraffe; Wayne State University student organizations Student Union, Gender and Sexuality Resource Center (GLBTA); President’s Commission on the Status of Women (COSW) and Sexual Aggression Student Educators and Advocates (SASEA); and many others. These organizations will offer networking and volunteer opportunities for patrons. A networking after-glow sponsored by Wayne State University’s College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts (CFPCA) will follow the performance.

Image, Samantha Rosentrater

Want to read some more? Click Here for the NYTimes.

Click here for the Online Community for Laramie Project.

Check out the press release here.

Follow the Tectonic Theater Project on Twitter:  Here.

Need more information? Contact: (313) 577-5126.