Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2015-07-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


  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.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Chapin Hall launches 'Voices of Youth Count' 2015-07-01
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT Broadway 'losers' 2015-07-01
THEATER REVIEW Men on the Verge of a His-Panic Breakdown 2015-07-01
THEATER REVIEW A Work of Art 2015-07-01
THEATER REVIEW Moby Dick 2015-07-01
Spotlight, Critics' Picks 2015-07-01
THEATER REVIEW The Who & the What 2015-07-01
Upcoming 2015-07-01
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT Chekhovian Durang 2015-06-24
THEATER REVIEW Porcelain 2015-06-24
THEATER REVIEW Body + Blood 2015-06-24
THEATER REVIEW Goldfish 2015-06-24
NUNN ON ONE: THEATER Jerry Mitchell talks about achieving 'Feet' 2015-06-24
Dan Savage parody in Andersonville; talkback July 9 2015-06-24
THEATER REVIEWS On Your Feet! 2015-06-24
Chicago Shakespeare Theater gala raises $1.2M 2015-06-24
Upcoming: East of Eden, Harris season, Bent 2015-06-24
'Too Much Light' to benefit Night Ministry 2015-06-24
Spotlight and Critics' Picks 2015-06-24
Loving Repeating, musical tribute Gertrude Stein 2015-06-19
Hell in a Handbag to present Bette, Live at the Continental Baths 2015-06-17
SCOTTISH PLAY SCOTT Questioning faith 2015-06-17
THEATER REVIEW Love and Human Remains 2015-06-17
THEATER REVIEW Abraham Lincoln Was a F*gg*t 2015-06-17
THEATER REVIEW Liberty City 2015-06-17
THEATER REVIEWS Soon I Will Be Invincible; Queen Amarantha 2015-06-17
NUNN ON ONE: THEATER Writer Todd Almond gets 'Melancholy' 2015-06-17
Theater Spotlight, Critics' Picks 2015-06-17
THEATER REVIEW Stick Fly 2015-06-10
THEATER REVIEW The Secret Garden 2015-06-10
THEATER REVIEW Lunacy 2015-06-10
Theater Spotlight and Critics' Picks 2015-06-10
THEATER REVIEW stop. reset 2015-06-10
Theater news: New ATC artistic director; High school theater award 2015-06-10
Actor/comedian among Miss A'ville contestants 2015-06-09
Upcoming: Music, dance, theater 2015-06-09
Bailiwick, Griffin Theatres take Jeff Awards Ceremony 2015-06-09
It's home, sweet 'Home' at the Tonys 2015-06-07
GayCo presents Daughter of Pridezilla during Pride Month 2015-06-05
Chigaygo announces "The All-Star Sparkly Unicorn Pride Show" 2015-06-05
 



Copyright © 2015 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our 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.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



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     
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.