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Urinetown is Suzi Recommended!
“Urinetown – The Musical”
October 2nd – 20th
One of the most uproariously funny musicals in recent years, URINETOWN is a hilarious tale of greed, corruption, love, and revolution in a time when water is worth its weight in gold. In a Gotham-like city, a terrible water shortage, caused by a 20-year drought, has led to a government-enforced ban on private toilets. The citizens must use public amenities, regulated by a single malevolent company that profits by charging admission for one of humanity’s most basic needs. Amid the people, a hero decides he’s had enough, and plans a revolution to lead them all to freedom!
Directed by Heidi Cline McKerley, Music Directed by Renee Clark, and Choreographed by Jeff McKerley, URINETOWN is sure to be a hit!
The show runs October 2nd through October 20th.
CLICK HERE to view Fabrefaction’s “Urinetown: The Musical” Press Release.
Theater review: ‘Urinetown’ delivers well-timed political satire
By Wendell Brock – For the AJC
When “Urinetown: The Musical” appeared on Broadway in 2001, Manhattan was still veiled in the smoke and ash of Sept. 11.
At that moment, Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis’ smart, subversive show about a place teetering on the edge of apocalypse seemed strangely prescient. In the zany world that is “Urinetown,” a city is overrun by corruption, paranoia, terrorism and, thanks to a water shortage, a squirming population with no place to pee.
Related PhotoBart Hansard, Nick Arapoglou and Ray Hilton appear in Fabrefaction Theatre’s production of “Urinetown: The Musical.” CONTRIBUTED BY KEVIN FRAZIER
When “Urinetown” opened at Atlanta’s Fabrefaction Theatre the other night, in the midst of a federal government shutdown, the fictional tale of a citizenry held hostage by a small, sinister power structure and a fiscally unresponsive legislature once again felt eerily familiar. It’s a testament to “Urinetown” that what began as a fringe-festival parody of Brechtian ideas and musical-theater cliches has the uncanny ability to hold a mirror to the ever-changing mood of the times.
As directed by Heidi Cline McKerley, the unintentionally timely political satire also provides a much-needed opportunity to go to the theater and laugh. But perhaps the best reason to cheer: “Urinetown” is the finest work I’ve seen at Fabrefaction to date.
If you don’t know the story, it begins with a conversation between Officer Lockstock (Bart Hansard) and town waif Little Sally (Christina Hoff). Together they describe the 20-year drought that has led to the misery of public pay toilets. Along the way, Lockstock provides a running commentary on the conventions of musical theater. “Nothing can ruin a show like too much exposition,” he says of the musical comedy, which gleefully mocks “Les Miserables” and “The Cradle Will Rock.”
While the populace waits in line, the tension builds, and a star-crossed romance unfolds. After his father falls prey to the Gestapo-like police, young Bobby Strong (the fine Nick Arapoglou) stages a revolt and falls for Hope Cladwell (the lovely Caroline Freedlund). As fate would have it, the fetching blonde is the heir apparent of greedy corporate villain Caldwell B. Cladwell (Jeff McKerley), whose Urine Good Company is draining the town dry.
While Arapoglou has established himself as one of the city’s most promising young stars, who knew that Freedlund was such a gifted singer? Her lilting soprano is an instrument of great beauty; it recalls Broadway’s Barbara Cook in her prime. (If you don’t believe me, just listen to Bobby and Hope’s duet, “Follow Your Heart.”)
While Jeff McKerley (who also choreographs the giddy song-and-dance numbers) and Hansard are up to their usual comedic shenanigans, they seem to have turned down the nonsense a notch or two, so as not to upstage the main characters. This is a good thing. In an ensemble that is universally strong, Kayce Grogan-Wallace (as Penelope Pennywise) has especially good, ahem, pipes, while Hoff is just right as the Cosette-meets-Little Orphan Annie hybrid, Little Sally.
The show looks amazing, too.
Set and costume designers Isabel and Moriah Curley-Clay deliver a splendid approximation of a squalid town and its inhabitants, who wear everything from tattered rags to spiffy suits.
My only quibble is that the second act seems slightly under-rehearsed — not nearly as technically polished as the killer first half. I imagine this will correct itself in due time. For now, “Urinetown,” for all its foolishness, packs a powerful message on the failure of leaders to care for their people — a situation that is funny onstage but dangerous in real life.
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