The BHS Performing Arts Company Will Be Staging ‘Something Rotten’ This Week

Photo: The poster of this year’s musical “Something Rotten”

The tale of how the world’s very first musical was staged, the Belmont High School Performing Arts Company presents its Spring Musical “Something Rotten” this week in the Belmont Middle and High School Main Theater.

Showtimes are:

  • Thursday, March 14 at 7 p.m.
  • Friday, March 15 at 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 16 at 2 p.m. (matinee) and 7 p.m. 

Ticketing for the shows is online, and advance purchase of tickets is strongly encouraged, as the Main Theater has limited seating capacity. Tickets can be purchased at

It’s 1595, and brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom are desperate to write a hit play but find themselves stuck in the shadow of William Shakespeare, the Renaissance rock star known as “The Bard.” When a soothsayer foretells that the future of theater involves singing, dancing, and acting – all at the same time – Nick and Nigel set out to write the world’s very first musical. Amidst the scandalous excitement of opening night, the Bottom brothers realize that reaching the top means being true to their own self.

The book is by Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell. Music and lyrics by Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick, who also conceived the work.

ADULTS: $15 in advance / $18 at the door
BHS STUDENTS: $5 Thursday and Saturday Matinee, $10 Friday and Saturday, 7 p.m.

Feed Me, Seymour! Belmont High Presents ‘Little Shop Of Horrors’ March 21-23

Photo: Poster for this year’s musicial, Little Shop of Horrors

Don’t feed the plant!

For its spring musical, Belmont High School Performing Arts Company presents “Little Shop of Horrors” produced and directed by Ezra Flam.

Performances will take place on:

  • Thursday, March 21 and Friday, March 22 at 7 p.m. and
  • Saturday, March 23 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.


  • ADULTS: $15 in advance, $18 at the door
  • CHILDREN/STUDENTS: $10 ($5 tickets for high school students for the Thurusday Mar. 21 show)

Tickets on sale at and at Champions in Belmont Center

All performances will be in the Belmont High School auditorium.

An off-Broadway hit 35 years ago which was turned into a cult-favorite rock/horror/comedy film, “Little Shop” has become a contemporary musical theater classic. The show featured a catchy score inspired by 60’s rock, doo-wop and Motown, written by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, the duo responsible for “Beauty & the Beast,” “The Little Mermaid” and “Aladdin.”

The show features a giant, talking plant puppet – operated by three students – a chorus of singing and dancing street Urchins and a crowd-pleasing score, including “Suddenly Seymour,” “Somewhere That’s Green,” the Dentist’s over-the-top rock song (made famous in the movie by Steve Martin) and more.

The big test that faced producer and director Ezra Flam was taking a show that orginiated on a cramped stage Off-Off-Broadway and ramp it up to include a cast of thousands (well, nearly 100.)

“One of the fun challenges of this show has been expanding a show that traditionally has a small cast of nine performers, to work for our cast of almost 90,” he said.

“We have widened to world of the show, expanding the trio of street urchins to ten, adding a group of dancers who serve as a bridge between the gritty world of Skid Row and the fantasy of a glamorous life Seymour finds himself in, and filling out the world of Skid Row. Every character in the show has some part in pushing Seymour down his dark path, culminating in a huge finale song ‘Don’t Feed the Plants’ that is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.” said Flam.

“This production showcases what the Performing Arts Company does best: give our actors and stage crew the chance to learn about theater by creating a fully realized production,” Flam noted.

“The set will bring the world of Skid Row to life, and then open up to reveal the inside of the flower show; the costumes capture a colorful 1960s aesthetic; as always, the singing and dancing are sure to be a highlight of the show, especially with incredibly fun songs serving as a creative springboard, and a Pit Orchestra made up of mostly of students, under the direction of Arto Asadoorian.”

Not Holding It In: ‘Urinetown’ Belmont High’s Number One Musical

Photo: Rehearsal for “Urinetown.”

For three days in April, the Belmont High School Performing Arts Company is turning the “Town of Homes” into “Urinetown.”

But don’t worry folks. Unlike the residents of the mythical city, it’ll still be free to pee for the steady stream attending this year’s spring musical. Rumors to the contrary are just yellow journalism.

With a big banner over Belmont Center and placards dotting yards announcing the show, the response from many curious residents upon seeing BHS PAC’s choice for the spring musical is:

  1. “Urinetown? What the … !”
  2.  Yew!

But before you pass judgment, even the characters know that the show’s title and subject matter “could a kill a show pretty good!” as Little Sally tells the audience. Urinetown is, if anything, full of wit and humor about a subject that isn’t normal musical material.

Anyone who might be squeamish to buy a ticket due to the title, cast member Belmont High senior Jocelyn Cubstead said the show has universal appeal, for obvious reasons. 

“If you know what it’s like to go to the bathroom really bad, this show is for you,” said Cubstead who portrays Penelope Pennywise, the strict matron of the filthiest urinal in the city.

While many might initially believe a musical about urinating is limited to a more mature audience, “‘Urinetown’ is anything but an ‘adults only’ event,” said Ezra Flam, the producer and director of this edition of the award-winning musical.

“People who aren’t familiar with ‘Urinetown’ and just hear the title or a brief description might not realize that this show is a musical comedy at heart, and the bizarre premise and dark plot are part of the humor and comedy,” said Flam, who has been rehearsing the students since December. 

The musical is just as much about civil revolution and star-crossed lovers as it is the need to pay for “the privilege to pee.”

“Anyone from 4th grade and will get the show and appreciate the humor. Parents of kids younger than 4th grade might want to do a little more research before coming, but the title is definitely the most “un-PG” thing in the show,” said Flam, who noted the musical has “been a high school, college and community theater staple for the past decade.

And the plot is as contemporary as a billionaire trying to take control of the people only to have a courageous progressive standing in his way.

In a Depression-era metropolis, a 20-year drought has caused such a water shortage that the city government has banned private toilets. The citizens must use “public amenities,” regulated by a monopoly that profits by charging admission for one of humanity’s most basic needs.

Amid the people, a young, idealistic hero, Bobby Strong, decides he’s had enough and plans a revolution to lead them running to freedom! Along the way, the audience is kept informed of the plot with Officer Lockstock assisted by a street urchin named Little Sally.  But, by the end, good intentions don’t always lead to the best outcome. But you’ll have to see the musical to find out what happens.

The plot moves along with a raw, jazzy Kurt Weill-inspired score (think of Urinetown as the “Spend a Penny Opera”) and lyrics that could have come from 1930’s progressive musicals such as “The Cradle Will Rock” only that the characters are not just freeing the masses but also their bladders.

The show was a hit on Broadway with Hunter Foster in the lead with Broadway legend John Cullum in the role of the ‘evil’ Caldwell B. Cladwell. The musical won Tony Awards for the script, score and direction in 2001.

“It opened on Broadway just after 9/11, (it was originally scheduled to open on Sept. 13 but was pushed back a week) which was a tough time for theater in New York, so that’s a big reason people haven’t heard of it,” said Flam.

But once the word filters out, Belmont will be ready to stand in line for the privilege to see “Urinetown.”

Performances are:

  • Thursday and Friday, April 7 and 8, at 7 p.m. 
  • Saturday, April 9 at 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Tickets will be online and at Champions Sporting Goods in Belmont Center. Tickets are $10 for students (BHS students get half price tickets Thursday) and $15 for adults ($18 if they wait to buy them at the show).

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