Feb. 1-5 & 8-12, 2006
Directed by Paul J. Hustoles
Scenic Design by Tom Bliese
Lighting Design by Steven Smith
Costume Design by Hilary Winkworth
Musical Direction by Nicholas Wayne
Sponsored by Jadd Seppmann & Sons
Penelope Pennywise (Akia Fleming, center) tells everyone why they have to pay to use the public amenity: Because it's a privilege to pee. The poor are (left to right): Little Sally (Ashley FitzSimmons), Robbie the Stockfish (Bryan Gerber), Soupy Sue (Mallory Martin), Old Man Strong (Chris Kuisle), Billy Boy Bill (Matthew Benedict), Jerry the Ox (Jared Oxborough), Hopeless Hank (Micah J. L. Kronlokken), Josephine Strong (Carrie Soler), Bobby Strong (Joey Ford), Tiny Tom (Joel Partyka) and Little Becky Two Shoes (Krystyn Y. Spratt).
Hope Cladwell (Jacleen Olson) is surprised to hear on her first day at Urine Good Company, that her father, Caldwell B. Cladwell (Patrick Menning) thinks of people as bunnies. Proving his point are (left to right): Dr. Billeaux (Matthew C. Atwood), Mr. McQueen (Frank A. Davis IV) and Senator Fipp (Reid Strand).
Hope's newfound beliefs are dashed when she finds that she and Bobby Strong (Joey Ford) have hearts that beat together. It can only mean one thing ... love!
In leading the revolution against the UGC, Bobby must use extreme means—such as kidnapping Hope—and telling the poor to "Run Freedom Run."
All that Hot Blades Harry (Chris Kuisle) and Little Becky Two Shoes (Krystyn Y. Spratt) want to do, however, is "Snuff that Girl."
Sadly, Bobby is unable to finish what he started, and Little Sally (Ashley FitzSimmons) must "Tell Her I Love Her."
Ultimately, could it be as Little Sally tells Officer Lockstock (Tharen E. Callanan), that they've been in Urinetown the whole time?
All photos by Mike Lagerquist
What is Urinetown?
It's simply the story of two kids who fall in love in a city in the middle of a water shortage. Urinetown triumphed as Broadway's unexpected phenomenon: the winner of the 2002 Tony® Awards Triple Crown for Best Direction, Best Book and Best Music & Lyrics!
This musical-comedy tale of greed, corruption, love and revolution in a city where water is worth its weight in gold has been hailed by Entertainment Weekly as "fresh, exuberant and even moving-somewhere beyond the sublime and beyond the ridiculous!" A show that both celebrates and spoofs the best of Broadway traditions, The New York Times calls it "a great musical -extraordinary, hilarious and entirely original! It is simply the most galvanizing theatre experience in town!" The Boston Globe says, "Be happy! Urinetown is here to save the day! It keeps the laughs coming without any letup!"
Don't let the title scare you off – Urinetown is the wackiest musical satire to hit Broadway in decades. If you love musical theater and have an off-beat sense of humor, this show will make you laugh until you ... er, laugh your head off. You know you are in for something different when the conductor arrives for the overture with a police escort.
The premise is as original as it is unpleasant—in a city suffering from unending drought, private bathrooms are outlawed. Everyone must pay crippling fees to use public latrines run by a monopolistic corporation. Those who cannot pay get dragged off to "Urinetown," a mysterious place from which they never return. Finally, one latrine manager leads the people in rebellion. The catch is that the ingénue he loves is (gasp!) the daughter of the corporation's greedy president.
If you hate musicals, Greg Kotis feels your pain. The New York playwright is probably the last guy you'd expect to land on Broadway with a hit musical. After years of absurdist plays and temp jobs, Kotis now finds himself with a surprising Broadway smash, Urinetown, which is rivaled only by The Producers for pure buzz. In the past, he wrote plays like LBJFKKK, a sardonic play criticizing neighborhood watch programs. He wrote plays with names like the Raggedy Ann and Greg Show. He wrote a full-length play about a fisherman who comes back from the dead and from the bottom of the sea. Not exactly going for the bigger audiences, here.
A few years back, a cash-strapped Kotis wandered the cold, rainy streets of Paris deciding whether to use one of the pay-per-use toilets or to pee free. An idea struck him for a play about a city where all toilets are controlled by a malevolent corporation. "Corruption, oppression, class warfare, environmental degradation, all in a show where having to go to the bathroom was a principal motivating factor." Relieved and back in New York, Kotis created Urinetown with old friend, Mark Hollman (who wrote the music), strictly for laughs in a church basement on the weekends. After completing it, though, the show ended up in the New York Fringe Festival in 1998, and became the hit of the Fest. Through surprising backing, the show made it to Broadway in May 2001.
And TheatreReviews.com says
"What kind of a musical is this?" Little Sally asks somewhere near the end of "Urinetown, The Musical," the Greg Kotis and Mark Hollman work that has arrived at the Henry Miller after earlier stints off- and off-off-Broadway. It’s a good question, given the many musical theatre traditions that "Urinetown" overturns and/or lampoons. And the answer, or at least an answer, is that it’s a musical comedy, underscore comedy, and a very funny one at that.
But of course the answer is not so simple. Like another musical comedy currently enjoying more than a modicum of success, "Urinetown" takes a notion that appears offensive on its surface, turns it upside down, and extracts every possible laugh from it by fearlessly going wherever a joke may be lurking. Which is not to suggest in any way, shape, or form that "Urinetown" is imitative of "The Producers" (which its original production predates). "Urinetown" has its own comic genius which, while it may have ties to Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill, is very much its own.