Urinetown - The Musical
Hoskins Theatre, TAS - May/June 2010
Stage Direction by George Torbay
Musical Direction by Bruce Menzies
Produced by Neil Horton
Choreography by Melissa Killen
Music and lyrics by Mark Hollmann. Book and lyrics by Greg Kotis. By arrangement with Hal Leonard Australia Pty Ltd exclusive agent for Music Theatre International (NY). Urinetown was produced on Broadway in September 2001 by the Araca Group and Dodger Theatricals in association with TheatreDreams Inc and Lauren Mitchell.
‘Too Much Exposition’ – Lockstock and the poor
‘Urinetown’ – Company
‘It’s a Privilege to Pee’ – Pennywise and the poor
‘It’s a Privilege to Pee’ (reprise) – Lockstock and the poor
‘Mr Cladwell’ – Cladwell, Hope and the staff of UGC
‘Cop Song’ – Lockstock, Barrel and cops
‘Follow your Heart’ – Hope and Bobby
‘Look at the Sky’ – Bobby and the poor
‘Don’t be the Bunny’ – Cladwell and the staff of UGC
‘Finale’ – Bobby, Cladwell, Hope and company
‘What is Urinetown?’ – Bobby, Cladwell, Little Sally, Lockstock, Hot Blades Harry, Little Becky Two Shoes and the poor
‘Snuff that Girl’ – Hot Blades Harry, Little Becky Two Shoes and the poor
‘Run, Freedom, Run!’ – Bobby and the poor
‘Follow your Heart’ (reprise) – Hope
‘Why did I Listen to that Man?’ – Bobby, Hope, Pennywise, Lockstock, Barrel, Fipp
‘Tell her I Love her’ – Little Sally, Bobby and the poor
‘We’re Not Sorry’ – Little Sally, Hot Blades Harry and company
‘We’re Not Sorry’ (reprise) – Cladwell, Pennywise
‘I See a River’ – Hope, Little Becky Two Shoes and company
In early 2002 I was standing in a long queue for half-priced tickets in New York’s Times Square. As the line began to move, I watched the screen to see what shows were still available for sale when I noticed a new show called Urinetown, I turned to the oluptuous ‘southern belle’ behind me and asked if she knew anything about it. She said “No, but with that disgusting title, better you go and see Les Miserables”. This of course only made me want to see Urinetown even more.
Urinetown is a musical by Greg Kotis and Mark Hollman. IT is a winking love letter to the conventions of musical theatre – and untempered satire where no one is safe from scrutiny. In a world wracked by ecological disasters, a single malevolent company profits by charging admission fees for one of humanity’s most basic needs. A tale of greed, corruption, love and revolution in a time when water is worth its weight in gold – complete with a hero named Bobby Strong and a heroine named Hope.
Creater Greg Kotis originally conceived of Urinetown while visiting Europe in 1995. With $300 in his pocket, he and his girlfriend planned to explore Paris on a two-week layover while on their way back from performing in Eastern Europe. Their lack of funding made the couple conserve at every turn by sleeping and eating for as little money as they could. Kotis became engraged that he was spending what little money he had on pay-per-use toilet facilities.
It was this trip that spurred the original concept for Urinetown. While searching for amenities in Paris, he imagined a story about a business (Urine Good Company) that holds a monopoly on all of the toilets in the city by paying off government officials. By exploiting the demand (everyone needs to use a bathroom) and controlling the supply (few poorly maintained public toilets) Urine Good Company raises the fee for use, becoming so extremely powerful and wealthy that the people have no other recourse but protest.
Stylistically Urinetown intentionally draws from various genres in American musical theatre. Drawing much from the genius of Kurt Well and Bertolt Brecht in its overall style, the musical numbers parody successful Broadway shows such as Les Miserables, Evita, Guys and Dolls, West Side Story and Fiddler on the Roof. While Urinetown draws on extreme theatrically, it’s the work’s political underpinnings that have struck a chord with audiences. It uses a traditionally enjoyable form like the American musical theatre but illuminates serious issues like the sustainability of resources. What seems to be a contradiction instead resonates and reinforces the importance of the subject matter.
For me, Urinetown remains one of the most inspired and riotous new musicals of the past decade. I laughed for a good two hours the first time I saw it. I hope you will as well.
Officer Lockstock: Neil Horton, Ms Pennywise: Norma Abey, Bobby Strong: Michael Abbott, Hope Cladwell: Caroline King, Little Sally: Jocelyn Harris, Senator Fipp: Michael Gibson, Old Man Strong: Waine Grafton, Tiny Tom: Nick Kelly, Soupy Sue: Deborah Hunter, Little Becky Two Shoes: Carol Elder, Officer Barrel: Mark Bourne, Robby the Stockfish: Phil Oxley, Josephine Strong: Annie Abbott, Caldwell B Cladwell: Greg Balcombe, Mr McQueen: Sam Payne, Dr Billeaux: Warren Bartik, Hot Blades Harry: Nick Hutton, Billy Boy Bill: Ewan Paterson, Mrs Millennium: Alexandra Chambers, Secretary: Hanneke Raanhuis, USC Executives: Brad Scott, Angus McDowall
Ensemble: Anne Matley, Charlie Wright, Claudia Martin, Jess Scott, Kaylene Washington, Lauren Bale, Lauren Zell, Lindy Hardman, Lisa Quast, Maree Puxty, Melissa Killen, Rachel Bale, Richard O'Neill, Thelma Chibweza
Conductor: Bruce Menzies, Double Bass: Sarah Thorneycroft, Reed: Chris Garden, Trombone: Dave Brown, Angus Trenerry, Piano: Robyn Bradley, Percussion: Daniel Bale
Director/Set Design: George Torbay
Music Director: Bruce Menzies
Asst Music Director: Robyn Bradley
Producer: Neil Horton
Choreography: Mellisa Killen
Stage Managers: Marney Tilley, Colin Barry
Construction Engineer: Pat Bradley
Costume Design: Deborah Hunter
Costumes: Hanneke Raahnuis
Lighting Design: Chris Snape
Lighting Operator: Jen Mitchell
Properties: Pam Menzies with Rachael Horton, Kirsten Harper
Publicity/Promotion: Marney Tilley
Poster/Program Design: Greg Balcombe
Sound: Carolyn Shepherd, Luke Zanesco, Luke Pavel, Harrison Abey, Chris Bohlsen, Cathie Lamont, Andrew Bartik, Kayla Paterson, Anthony Carlon
Dressers/Make-up: Rhiannon Wright, Karyn Sarbach, Margaret Sims, Mike Gibson
Ticketing: Neil Horton, Marg Kennedy, Bryce Little
Foyer Display: Peter Norton
Photography: Terry Cooke, Kevin Abey
Front of House: Robyn Slocombe with Alison Evans, Ania Glover, Anne Cunningham, Benjamin Thorne, Bernie Cunningham, Bruce Southcott, Cecile Michels-Thorn, Daphne Mccurdy, Diana Helmrich, Ellie Paris, Fay Paris, Frances Tafra, Garry Slocombe, Heather Pavel, Heloise Fortin, India Winiger, Jean Freer, Jeanette Berman, Jess, John Brady, Kylie Constantine, Peta Bale, Peter Norton, Rita Winiger, Ros Brady, Sally Prowse
Alan Wilkinson, Alex Elder, Andrea Abey, Andrew McGrath, Armidale Pipe Band, Armidale Playhouse Inc, Bar Finch, Cooper Hague, David Hague, David Hardman, Gold Fish Bowl, Harrison Abey, Image 2 Dye 4, Kamahl Barhoush, Kevin Abey, Killen family, Luke Polson, Margaret Sims, Mark Reynolds, Matt Cooper, Murray Guest, Patsy Asche, Quast family, Ros and John Brady, Sarah Watson, Steve Grigg, Terry Cooke, Tim Wheaton