Joshua Roman has acted in musicals before, but never at Edgemont High School.
That changes this week, when the 17-year-old senior leads the cast of the quirky and irreverent “Urinetown” as rebel leader Bobby Strong.
What took him so long?
“Edgemont is a competitive place,” he says with a laugh. “But I finally found time for it senior year and I’m glad that I did it.”
He did winter track for a while — short distance — to get into shape, and played baritone sax in jazz band, concert band and wind ensemble, but never acted in school shows.
“This is the last time I’m going to be able to do a musical for a long time, possibly forever,” he said. “And I want to take advantage of that.”
He’s not a complete theater newbie. Roman did theater at summer camp, Indian Acres in Maine, and gives a shout-out to Ang Kornblatt, “who taught me anything I know about theater, which is basically to take the audience on a trip with you.”
“Urinetown” — directed by Danny K. Bernstein at Edgemont — samples and lovingly jabs all sorts of musicals, which Roman said makes for a lot of fun.
The Edgemont company includes: Mallory Kostroff as Little Sally; Reed Rosenberg as Officer Lockstock; Jackie Brown as Hope Cladwell; Amy Baumgarten as Penelope Pennywise; and Michael Kirschner as the piece’s villain, Caldwell B. Cladwell.
The songs range from gospel to klezmer and put a premium on ensemble work. Bernstein’s company is small but appears fiercely committed to the task.
Roman said part of him wishes he had done more theater at Edgemont.
“It’s definitely a huge commitment and you have to be conscious of that when you’re going into it. But I’ve really had a good experience and I don’t regret it at all, so if every year could be like this, go for it.”
Theater isn’t the only first-time endeavor Roman took on his senior year: He also signed on as a tenor in Edgemont’s Chamber Choir, which won the prestigious Berklee competition.
“It has been a wild year,” he said.
“Urinetown,” at 7 p.m., March 5 and 6; 1 and 7 p.m., March 7. $15.
UPDATE: Snow forced the cancellation of the March 5 opener. Ticketholders may receive a refund or redeem their ticket for a seat at any of the other performances. They will receive priority seating over walk-ins at other performances. The March 5 show was to be a benefit for the scholarship fund, and $10 from each ticket for the canceled performance will still go to the fund.
Here’s the Running Lines video I shot at Edgemont. Enjoy!