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High School Gives 'Urinetown' the Big Flush

Urinetown? No way. Urine Stevens Point.

"Urinetown" a comedy about a town plagued by such a serious drought that residents must pay to use public restrooms, was a surprise hit on the Great White Way. But while it suited Broadway to a pee, it just won't play in Peoria. Or the Wisconsin town of Stevens Point.

That was the ruling of the school administrators who brought the curtain down on a production of the show by students at Stevens Point Area High School, the Associated Press reports.

The show's bathroom humor and adult themes figured in the decision to cancel it, according to Principal Mike Devine.

"This is a K-12 public education system," said School Superintendent Bette Lang, contending the show's satirical and ironic humor was not appropriate for younger audiences.

"I think it's important to remember them and when we showcase our students, we should showcase them to as broad a range as possible," she said, according to the Associated Press.

Auditions that would have been held last week were called off, leaving some students a bit, uh, PO'd.

"I've lost respect that they're not willing to support the arts by doing a new, groundbreaking musical," senior Ian Allen said. "I think the superintendent is [underestimating] the intelligence of the Stevens Point community."

Past musicals at the school have included "Carousel," "Damn Yankees" and "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," but school director Greg Chelcun said students should not be limited to those types of productions. He said putting on plays that challenge the actors and the audience is an important aspect of theater.

Administrators plan to have a committee select another musical to be produced this school year.

Chelcun said if it isn't "Urinetown," he doesn't plan to direct.

There's a Fine Line Between Love and Hate … and Cats and Dogs May Have Finally Crossed It

Cats and dogs may have officially entered new territory in their relationship. A Brazilian woman claims her kitty entered into an intimate affair with a local dog. The cat later gave birth to a litter of three animals: three who looked like cats, three who looked like dogs, Reuters reports.

The baby kittens died soon after, but the three dog-like babies survived, and are currently nursing at the breast of their kitty cat "mom."

Some fear the whole episode is a hoax, so a geneticist has been called in to test the animals.

“It’s rather simple really. If the puppies prove to have 78 chromosomes, they are dogs. If they have 38, they are cats,” said Pacheco, director of the Institute of Biological Sciences of the University of Passo Fundo.

Pacheco said he was asked by a local newspaper to conduct the chromosome test, which should yield results on Tuesday.

“It’s not uncommon for mammals to nurse young from another species. The cat gave birth in a field and she likely inherited the puppies from a nearby female dog who had recently given birth,” he said.

The Founding Fathers Would Be So Proud

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A Dickinson State University scholar was declared the nation's best Thomas Jefferson impersonator on a national comedy show, although the final verdict was rendered by flipping a nickel.

Clay Jenkinson, who plays Jefferson on a weekly radio show called "The Thomas Jefferson Hour," appeared Wednesday on "The Colbert Report," a satirical news and interview show on the Comedy Central cable channel.

Its objective was to pick "America's top Jefferson," according to the show's host, comedy actor Stephen Colbert. Jenkinson appeared with two other Jefferson impersonators, Bill Barker and Steven Edenbo.

Colbert asked the trio about slavery, and asked if Jefferson was under the influence of drugs when he designed the rotunda at the University of Virginia. One of his statements implied Jefferson had sex with his slaves, to which Jenkinson replied: "If it were true, (it) would be none of your business."

At the end Colbert, after two coin flips, determined Jenkinson was "King of the Jeffersons." Jenkinson, who was playing a man who was a fervent anti-royalist, had a crown placed on his head, a robe on his shoulders and a scepter in his hand.

Jenkinson said Thursday the interview, which was taped in late September, lasted three hours and was "filled with wit and hilarity." However, the finished product, which lasted less than 10 minutes, wasn't funny, Jenkinson said. He has asked Colbert if he would be willing to do a solo interview with him as Jefferson.

"He's very funny, and he's very quick, and very irreverent," Jenkinson said of Colbert. "It was cool and fun, and I enjoyed it ... and I had high hopes for it. I was pretty disappointed when I saw what was actually produced."

Colbert often brings politicians on his show to conduct mocking interviews. His show is popular with political junkies; Colbert was invited to host the annual White House correspondents' dinner last April.

Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., appeared in October to discuss his book on trade, entitled "Take This Job and Ship It: How Corporate Greed and Brain-Dead Politics are Selling Out America."

Jenkinson, who has written books on Jefferson, is a resident scholar at Dickinson State University. He also impersonates other historical characters, including President Theodore Roosevelt; Meriwether Lewis, who with William Clark explored the upper Missouri River in the early 1800s; and J. Robert Oppenheimer, the chief developer of the atomic bomb.

Shirking Your Civic Duty Can Have Some Nasty Consequences

NEW CUMBERLAND, W.Va. (AP) — A man facing robbery charges will receive a new trial after a juror was overheard saying the defendant should be convicted quickly so the jury could go home.

The statement was allegedly made when the 12 jurors were taking a lunch break in Glenn A. Stewart's trial in Hancock County Circuit Court.

Circuit Judge Martin J. Gaughan declared a mistrial Tuesday after questioning two jurors. One denied making the remark and the other couldn't verify that the remark was made.

"Someone came in off the street, someone known to the court system, and said he heard one of the jurors say, 'We have to find this guy guilty in a hurry so that we can get home,"' Gaughan told the Weirton Daily Times. "The obligation to give the guy a fair trial is so strong that this is the best way to handle it."

Stewart, 21, was being held in jail pending his new trial, which is scheduled for Nov., 30, said a spokeswoman for the county prosecutor's office.

Compiled by Hannah Sentenac.

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