What is Urinetown?

It’s a blast.

It’s a satirical musical.

It’s about politics, greedy corporations, and needy masses. It’s about the 99% and the 1%. It’s about sustainability and controlling scarce resources.


It’s very dark.


It’s very funny.


It’s got great dances and catchy songs, sideways glances and evil doings.



It’s a lot of work.

It’s 40+ students, from seventh graders to high school seniors.

It’s musicians, technical folk, stage hands, teachers, and community members.

It’s rehearsals every school day for nearly five months , plus some weekends and evenings.

It makes you cry, and laugh.

It’s very worth sitting through three showings in a row.

If it’s your first speaking and singing role in a full-length musical, I’d venture to guess it’s unforgettable.

Urinetown program, shirt, and poster

Note: This video is not from the Thetford Academy production, but is a great performance of one of our favorite songs in the show.

If you have the time and interest, you can see about 1400 photos taken on opening night by Dan Grossman, Thetford resident and photographer, here.

The songs in our hearts

In an effort to bump that self-portrait down the page a bit, I give you three bits of music-related news.

First, on Monday, the cast list for the spring musical at H’s school was sent out, and H was happy to find that she is cast in the role she was hoping to get: “Soupy Sue.”

What? You don’t remember Soupy Sue from Fiddler on the Roof? Or Oklahoma? Or Cats? Me neither.

The musical is Urinetown, a show about which we know little, but we’re learning. I guess when you’re the Oldest Secondary School in Vermont, you’ve put on all the obvious productions already…

In any case, it’s very exciting to get a named character role when you’re just a seventh grader, up against high school students, so we’re all happy. We’re also happy because the name “Soupy Sue” reminds us of the song “Soupy George”, so now we wake up singing “Soupy Sue with the soup on her head” every morning.

How long we’ll remain happy having that song running through our heads is anyone’s guess.

Second, M says my self-portrait reminds him of Leonard Cohen. I thought maybe it was because he had L.C. on his mind because of the new album just out today, but… you know, he might have a point. You be the judge.

Also, my mother’s family name is Cohen. So, there you go.

Finally, you know the terrific BBC radio program, Desert Island Discs, right? You know, the interview program where the guest chooses the eight discs (songs or pieces of music) that she or he would want with them if left stranded on a desert island?

Well, the program has just celebrated its 70th birthday and, in honor of that, we thought we’d challenge ourselves and anyone who wants to join us to compile a list of 70 songs or albums that they’d take to their desert island hideaway.

Are you game?

70 songs. Or 70 albums. Or a combination of both. It’s your choice.

Music you love. Or music that evokes a strong memory. Music that you just couldn’t live without.

If you’re willing, here’s the deal:

  • Submit a comment to this post or send me an email (see the About page) to let us know that you’re joining us.
  • Compile your list by February 14 (Valentine’s Day).
  • We’ll figure out a way to share lists (check back here for news on that).

For bonus points, also name a book and a luxury you’d want to take with you (Desert Island Discs “gives you” the complete works of Shakespeare and the Bible for free, so your book can be something other than those).

Break out the sunscreen and hand me one of those drinks with the little umbrella, would you please?