Music and Lyrics by Mark Hollmann
Book and Lyrics by Greg Kotis
June 2-25, 2022


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“An exhilarating, don’t-miss experience. . . Urinetown plays like a tale of class warfare as performed by the Marx Brothers. . . the funniest, most tuneful show in town”
– Calvin Wilson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“If you ever take a reviewer’s advice, let this be it: GO SEE THIS PLAY. Seriously.”
– Kirsten Wylder, KDHX-FM

“New Line Theater’s production of this biting satire of politics, capitalism, corporate greed, environmental crises and, most importantly, of musical theater itself, is first-rate, particularly the extremely talented cast.”
– Amy Burger, PlaybackSTL

Once in a while, a show comes along that warms your heart and restores your faith in humanity.

This is not that show.

Set in 2027, Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis' URINETOWN is an hilariously subversive fable of greed, corruption, love, revolution, and urination, in a time when water is worth its weight in gold and there's no such thing as a free pee. Set in a near-future dystopian Gotham, a severe 20-year drought has led to a government-enforced ban on private toilets. The citizens are forced to use public "amenities" now, regulated by a single malevolent company that profits by charging admission for one of humanity's most basic needs. In this nightmare world, the punishment for an unauthorized pee is a trip to the dreaded URINETOWN. But from the ruins of Democracy and courtesy flushes, there rises an unlikely hero who decides he's held it long enough, and he launches a People's Revolution to lead them all to urinary freedom!

Inspired by the outrageous political theatre of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill, and (very) loosely based on the writings of late eighteenth-century political and economic theorist Thomas Malthus, URINETOWN is a gloriously silly, irreverently truthful satire from which no target is safe, a perverse, comic love letter to The Threepenny Opera, mixed with a funhouse mirror image of Fritz Lang's famous film Metropolis. This is a show that catapults musical comedy into the new millennium with its rule-shattering tear through the traditions and conventions of musical theatre, leaving nothing but uncontrollable laughter and a great big puddle in its wake.

And that's just Act I.

Bruce Weber in The New York Times said, “There simply is no show I’ve seen that gives such a sense that the creators and performers are always on the same page of an elaborate, high-spirited joke, that they are the proud members of a cabal that knows what it takes to make the world a better place and that they are thrilled to share what they know.” He also called the show “a sensational piece of performance art, one that acknowledges theater tradition and pushes it forward as well.” The show was nominated for 9 Tony Awards (winning Best Book and Best Score), 9 Drama Desk Awards, 7 Obie Awards (winning Best Musical), 5 Outer Critics Circle Awards (winning Best Musical), and a Drama League Award for Best Musical. When it opened in New York, the official slogan on the Urinetown T-shirts was “An appalling idea, fully realized.” Actor Daniel Marcus, who played Officer Barrel, said in an interview, “I call it a love letter to the American musical in the form of a grenade.”

New Line first produced Urinetown in 2007. Hollmann and Kotis also wrote the rock musical Yeast Nation, which New Line produced in 2018. New Line is the only professional company that has produced both shows, which Kotis promises are only two-thirds of an ecological disaster trilogy.

The New Line cast includes Kent Coffel (Officer Lockstock), Jennelle Gilreath (Little Sally), Kevin Corpuz (Bobby Strong), Melissa Felps (Hope Cladwell), Sarah Gene Dowling (Pennywise), Todd Schaefer (Mr. Cladwell), Marshall Jennings (Officer Barrel), Colin Dowd, Zachary Allen Farmer, Clayton Humburg, Grace Langford, Ian McCreary, Chris Moore, Carrie Wenos, Christopher Strawhun, and Jessica Winingham.

The New Line production will be directed by Scott Miller and Chris Kernan, with choreography by Kernan, costume design by Sarah Porter, scenic design by Todd Schaefer, lighting design by Kenneth Zinkl, and sound design by Ryan Day.

Produced by arrangement with Music Theatre International, New York.

Want to explore more?
We recommend:

The 2001 Original Off-Broadway cast recording, the published script, and the piano-vocal selections

Background and analysis of the show by artistic director Scott Miller, from his book Idiots, Heathers, and Squips (2020).

The article Urinetown: Disaster capitalism as a musical

Articles on Epic Theatre and German Expressionism, two primary influences on Urinetown

An Essay on the Principle of Population by Thomas Malthus, the 1798 philosophical and politico-economic treatise that is the philosophical basis for Urinetown (no kidding!) -- or here's the entire text of his essay online


At this time, the Kranzberg Arts Foundation still requires proof of vaccination or recent negative Covid test to enter the Marcelle Theater.

URINETOWN runs June 2-25, 2022, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, all at 8:00 p.m., at the Marcelle Theater, 3310 Samuel Shepard Drive, three blocks east of Grand, in the Grand Center Arts District. June 2 is a preview.

Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for students/seniors on Thursdays; and $30 for adults and $25 for students/seniors on Fridays and Saturdays. To charge tickets by phone, call MetroTix at 314-534-1111 or visit the Fox Theatre box office or the MetroTix website.

DISCOUNTS: HIGH SCHOOL DISCOUNT: Any high school student with a valid school ID can get a $10 ticket for any performance, with the code word, posted only on New Line's Facebook page. COLLEGE FREE SEATS: Ten free seats for every performance, open to any college student with a valid student ID. EDUCATORS DISCOUNT: New Line offers all currently employed educators half price tickets on any Thursday night, with work ID or other proof of employment. MILITARY DISCOUNT: New Line offers all active duty military personnel half price tickets on any Thursday night, with ID or other proof of active duty status.

All offers not valid in connection with other discounts or offers, available only at the door, and subject to availability. All programs subject to change. New Line Theatre receives funding from the Regional Arts Commission and the Missouri Arts Council.

New Line Theatre's 2007 Production