Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 28+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2014-10-29
Download Issue
  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

Sidetrack becomes jungle with 'Animal Queendom' Sidetrack becomes jungle
with 'Animal Queendom'
Miller Lite presented the 22nd Annual Night of 100 Drag Queens, this ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  Windy City Times

Theater: Urinetown, the Musical
2006-04-12

facebook twitter del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


Playwrights: Mark Hollman and Greg Kotis

At: The Mercury Theater

Phone: ( 773 ) 325-1700; $45-$48.50

Open Run

BY JONATHAN ABARBANEL

By the time regular theatergoers read this, they may have seen glowing reviews in other papers for Urinetown, the Musical. They're all true—this Urinetown is a smart, sassy and intimate version of the surprise Broadway hit that was written here in Chicago. This Urinetown is what the New York producers were too foolish to do when they brought the national tour of the show to town for two off-target and undersold weeks in downtown Chicago. If they'd had the imagination to stage the show Off-Loop—say, at The Vic or Royal George or Metro or Lakeshore—they'd still have a hit running here.

Urinetown is the musical comedy that simultaneously makes fun of and celebrates musical comedy formulae, in an unexpected story about a city with a water drought so severe people must pay to pee or otherwise flush a toilet. The approach is half satire and half homage, especially in the bright and eminently appealing musical score that draws from diverse musical styles and in staging that spoofs Les Miz, Evita, West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof and Titanic. Foremost, however, Urinetown borrows from composer Kurt Weill and poet Bertolt Brecht to create a self-narrated proletariat musical that comments on a real social issue. In this case, the comedy about peeing covers a tale of corporate rapacity and despoliation of the natural environment which is too true to be good.

Director and producer Tom Mullen, a former New York theater guy, co-founded the Mason Street Warehouse in Saugatuck several years ago, and tried out his version of Urinetown there last summer. Mullen and choreographer Brian Loeffler have adapted many of the design and dance ideas of the Broadway production and scaled them down, but not by much. Their cast of 16, backed by a cooking four-piece band ( Michael Sobie, musical director ) uses every inch of the Mercury stage. Without a conventional orchestra pit between stage and audience, the show really provides an exciting in-your-face experience that even dazzles at moments with its energy and panache.

Mullen has assembled an altogether fine ensemble of Chicagoans and New Yorkers, headed by Michael Buchanan and Tamara Spiewak as Bobby Strong and Hope Cladwell, the lead couple. Bright, eager and faux-naive, they both have voices that don't quit ( especially Buchanan, in the largest singing role ) and have style to spare. Jon Frazie, as cynical Officer Lockstock and Roni Geva as waif-like Little Sally are just about perfect as the self-aware narrators. Additional strong support comes from Michael Accardo as the villainous urine mogul Cladwell Caldwell, and Christine Sherrill as the soaring belt mezzo torn between forces of repression and liberation.

Urine for a good time with this Urinetown, the Musical.


facebook twitter del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.

'Out' lesbian Moms Mabley was comedic pioneer 2014-10-29
Theater events: Nutcracker; Lynch at Lyric; Laramie 2014-10-29
THEATER REVIEW Amazing Grace 2014-10-29
Theater spotlight and Critics' Picks 2014-10-29
THEATER REVIEW Parade 2014-10-29
THEATER REVIEW All Girl Edgar Allan Poe 2014-10-29
THEATER REVIEW Devil's Day Off 2014-10-29
Events coming up in film, arts, music, performance 2014-10-29
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT Theatrical puzzle pieces 2014-10-22
THEATER REVIEW Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street 2014-10-22
THEATER REVIEW Watch on the Rhine 2014-10-22
THEATER REVIEW The Submission 2014-10-22
THEATER REVIEW At Last: A Tribute to Etta James 2014-10-22
EXHIBITS 'David Bowie Is' wows patrons at the MCA 2014-10-22
Theater spotlight and Critics' Picks 2014-10-22
Laramie Project; Boy George; Library exhibit on marriage 2014-10-22
'By Women for Women' Oct. 25 at Joffrey Tower 2014-10-21
GayCo Productions turns 18, is Bearly Legal 2014-10-17
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT Gay bar drama 2014-10-15
THEATER REVIEW Danny Casolaro Died for You 2014-10-15
THEATER REVIEW The Wild Party 2014-10-15
THEATER REVIEW Witches Among Us 2014-10-15
THEATER REVIEW Take Me Out 2014-10-15
Theater Spotlight and Critics' Picks 2014-10-15
Cyndi Lauper talks about 'Kinky Boots' 2014-10-15
Upcoming shows: Laramie Project; Brickman; McComas, Kuper, Kennedy 2014-10-15
46th Jeff Awards celebrates excellence in Chicago theatre 2014-10-13
Terrence McNally Eclipse Theatre Company's featured playwright 2014-10-12
Robert Patrick: One of oldest gay playwrights on theater history 2014-10-08
THEATER REVIEW At Home at the Zoo 2014-10-08
THEATER REVIEW The World of Extreme Happiness 2014-10-08
THEATER REVIEW The Night Alive 2014-10-08
THEATER REVIEW Bethany 2014-10-08
Theater Spotlight and Critics' Picks 2014-10-08
NUNN ON ONE Gay actor from 'Nurse Jackie' shows theater chops 2014-10-08
Dustin Lance Black talks marriage rights, traveling and London 2014-10-08
Double date with Walt Whitman: Interview with playwright, actor 2014-10-07
Bennett and Gaga's CD; Melissa on marriage; Laverne in Vegas 2014-10-07
Laramie Project launches Northwestern's MainStage season 2014-10-06
October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard to premiere 2014-10-03





Copyright © 2014 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
the online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 



 

PASSAGES Former Chicagoan Steven Moore dies
 
Strict ID laws could hinder trans voters
 
Neil Patrick news; 'Freeheld' has problem; 'Divas Simply Singing'
 
Music, radio are David Polk's passion, profession
 
Egalite Chicago forum on LGBT activism post marriage equality
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now








  News Index       Archives   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds   AIDS @ 32
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video      News Videos      Nightspots Videos      Entertainment Videos      Queercast Videos      Comedy Videos     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.