Sure, it’s a strange title. But it’s also one of the funniest musical satire’s to cross Southwestern’s stage in years. If you have an appreciation for musical theater and off-beat humor, then Urinetown will make you laugh till you have to… well, you’ll laugh a lot. It’s an original and unexpected play from the corrupt cops enforcement on the ban of public urination to the underground sewer hideout of the rebellion.
The premise of the play is rather silly and absurd; the town has been plagued by a never ending drought and private bathrooms have been outlawed. All citizens must pay outrageous fees for public toilets run by a “large monopolizing company” that is utterly ruthless. If you cannot pay, you are taken to Urinetown, and you never come back. Bobby Strong takes over one of these Public Amenities and leads the town in rebellion, but the catch is that he is in love with the daughter of the president of the company!
The play is a satire of musical theater and was written by Mark Holliman and Greg Kotis. The songs are very enthusiastically choreographed and sang, leading to a very upbeat feeling for the audience. Directed by Rick Roemer, Urinetown pokes fun at Brechtian theater and the ridiculous nature of exposition in musicals. But despite the light-heartedness of the show, a very serious message is conveyed about over-consumption of the earth’s natural resources and the unsustainability of our way of life. Some of the absurdity is almost too much, but it is always counterbalanced with a touch of realism from the love shared by Bobby Strong and Hope Cladwell.
The incredible ensemble is not to be overlooked.
There are no weak links in the cast. Every person holds their own and contributes to the show making it irresistibly funny and incredible. If you haven’t seen Urinetown yet then you should make time for it right now. Tickets are still available for Friday, Saturday and Sunday’s performance, so make haste! No one should miss this dazzling rendition of Broadway’s Urinetown.