"An exhilarating, don't-miss experience. . . the funniest, most tuneful show in town."
-- Calvin Wilson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
To close its sixteenth season with a big yellow splash, New Line Theatre
proudly yanked this subversive, smartass musical satire away from respectable stages and slammed it back right where it began, in a funky blackbox space -- this time, St. Louis' own ArtLoft Theatre.
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.
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.
The cast of
included Matthew Korinko (Officer Lockstock), Amy Leone (Little Sally), Khnemu
Menu-Ra (Bobby Strong), Isabel Pastrana (Hope Cladwell), Jeffrey Pruett
(Caldwell B. Cladwell), Deborah Sharn (Penelope Pennywise) Scott Tripp (Joseph
Strong/Hot Blades Harry), Aaron Allen (Mr. McQueen), Zachary Allen Farmer (Tiny
Tom), Joseph Garner (Officer Barrel), Leah Myers Giessing (Josephine Strong),
Cale Haupert (Robbie the Stockfish), Nicholas Kelly (Senator Fipp), Aaron Lawson
(Billy Boy Bill), Katie Nestor (Becky Two-Shoes), and Michelle Sauer (Soupy
to explore more? We recommend:
Background and analysis of the show by director Scott Miller, author of the new book Strike Up the Band: A New History of Musical Theatre
"Urinetown Confidential," from the Feb. 2003 issue of American Theatre magazine
The Urinetown Dramaturgy webpage, with some good research materials, from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Also, several interesting articles about the show on the Northern State University website
An Essay on the Principle of Population by Thomas Malthus, the 1798 philosophical and politico-economic treatise that is the basis for Urinetown (no kidding!) -- or here's the ENTIRE TEXT of his essay online!
An article, "Population, Resources, and Human Idealism," from EnergyBulletin.net
The brilliant, beautiful 1983 film Koyaanisqatsi ("life out of balance") about humans' relationship to the earth
Leaping Lizards Performing Arts Studio
(owned and operated by New Line choreographer Robin Berger)
|“The music in [contemporary musicals] amplifies this element of separation, licensing us to stand apart from what we are seeing and enter a third dimension where each of us can individually decide whether to take the plot literally or sardonically, whether to take offense or simply collapse in giggles. This degree of Ironic Detachment is the very making of the postmodern hit musical. Ironic Detachment would be unattainable in a Tom Stoppard play because I.D. requires musical inflexion; it is impossible in opera and ballet, which are stiffened by tradition against self-mockery. Its application is unique to the musical comedy, an ephemeral entertainment which has found new relevance through its philosophical engagement with 21st century concepts of irony and alienation.” – Norman Lebrecht, arts columnist|
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