Walmartopia The Musical! — direct from Madison , Wisconsin — opens its New York premiere today, as part of the 2006 New York International Fringe Festival. The irreverent new musical send-up of big business and eternal smiley faces is written by
Catherine Capellaro (libretto and direction) and Andrew Rohn (music and lyrics). Walmartopia continues through August 22 at the Henry Street Harry DuJur Playhouse ( 466 Grand Street ), in NYC’s lower east side. Walmartopia tells the hilarious and timely tale of Vicki Latrell, a single mom who speaks out against her company’s working conditions and finds herself jettisoned to 2036, into a future where Wal-Mart dominates the entire world. Yes, the musical features the singing head of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton. Walmartopia The Musical! premiered in Madison in a sold-out record-breaking run in 2005. Madison ‘s Mayor Dave Cieslewicz declared “Walmartopia Days” with an official proclamation. In an ironic twist, the real folks at Wal-Mart hired a New York firm to create a musical for their shareholders meeting in Bentonville , Arkansas in June. This bears an uncanny resemblance to
Walmartopia, which features its heroine being drafted into Wal-Mart-sponsored musicals in the present and 30 years from now. As a response to Wal-Mart’s musical, the playwrights of Walmartopia have updated the show with a new number, “A Woman’s Place is at Wal-Mart”. This means that Walmartopia could be the first musical in history to respond to a musical responding to a musical.
The New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC) is the largest multi-arts festival in North America , with more than 200 companies from all over the world performing for 16 days in more than 20 venues. Tickets for FringeNYC shows are $15 general admission and are available at www.fringenyc.org.