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Sunday, May 06, 2012

Urinetown: A Steady Stream of Fun

Photo by Nate Pesce
“This is not a happy musical,” stated the show’s narrator rather candidly to the audience.  “But it is a musical.”  Indeed, Urinetown: The Musical, which is presented at the Smith Theatre by Howard Community College’s Arts Collective, confronts a variety of societal ills that lead to despair and tragedies.  But these plot elements are treated so satirically that laughter from the crisp dialogue, the joyful musical numbers, and the spoofing of other Broadway hits like Les Miserables permeate throughout the show.
Urinetown: The Musical was a three-time Tony Award winner in 2002 (including Best Director, John Rando) with music and lyrics by Mark Hollmann and lyrics by Hollmann and Greg Kotis (both won Tony’s).  Kotis also wrote the book where he drew his inspiration by backpacking across Europe on a tight budget and encountering a pay-per-use toilet.  According to Jenny Male who directed the Arts Collective production of Urinetown: The Musical, Kotis “envisioned a world where a corrupt private company controlled all toilets to preserve water and ensure the continual flow of cash into its own pockets.”

Read complete review at MD Theatre Guide.

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