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|2. Too Much Exposition|
|4. It's A Privilege To Pee|
|5. Mr. Cladwell|
|6. Cop Song|
|7. Follow Your Heart|
|8. Look At The Sky|
|9. Don't Be The Bunny|
|10. Act One Finale|
|11. What Is Urinetown?|
|12. Snuff That Girl|
|13. Run, Freedom, Run!|
|14. Why Did I Listen To That Man?|
|15. Tell Her I Love Her|
|16. We're Not Sorry|
|17. We're Not Sorry-Reprise|
|18. I See A River|
"How about a bad title?" wonders Spencer Kayden's Little Sally in "Too Much Exposition." "That could kill a show pretty good." It's a tribute to the skill deployed by the Urinetown creative team (Mark Hollman, music and lyrics; Greg Kotis, book and lyrics) that its title doesn't kill the show. Set in a near-future in which water depletion has led to a ban on private toilets, this may be the only musical in history in which one of the leads makes a fortune on pee. But the show (which originated Off-Broadway before graduating to the big league) limits its subversive intent to subject matter and is refreshingly classic in approach and structure--think Weill-meets-Lewis Carroll. Backed by a small ensemble, the cast (with John Cullum in a turn nothing short of brilliant as the evil urinal magnate) has a field day with Kotis and Hollman's frequently hilarious score. --Elisabeth Vincentelli
Top Customer Reviews
The story recounts the troubled province of Urinetown. Due to a crippling water shortage, the town is forced to ban toilets, instead having to pay the frazzled Miss Penelope Pennywise (Nancy Opel - TRIUMPH OF LOVE) to use the cramped urinal which has to accommodate the entire population of the town. Toilet mogul Cladwell (John Cullum - ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER) keeps the town under his forceful thumb, until his headstrong young daughter Hope (Jennifer Laura Thompson) and local boy Bobby Strong (Hunter Foster - LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS) decide to rally the township to revolt.
Acting as our 'tour guides' are Officer Lockstock (Jeff McCarthy) and Little Sally (Spencer Kayden). Standout numbers include "Follow Your Heart", "Snuff That Girl", "Too Much Exposition", "We're Not Sorry", "Tell Her I Love Her" and the showstopping "Run Freedom Run".
URINETOWN first began life off-Broadway, but later moved up to the Henry Miller's Theatre on the main stem. If you have yet to discover this show (or if you are just put off by the name), forget your qualms and buy it - you won't be disappointed!
First, these guys clearly understand why some people hate musicals so intensely. Every groan-inducing convention of the musical theater is ruthlessly satirized with intelligence and wit. Yet none of this lampooning is mean-spirited, despite its deadly accuracy. The tone is almost affectionate, much as one would describe an old friend who passes gas frequently.
The second reason for the show's success is an obvious one: the music is really good. It is far more taut than the nauseating melodic smears and scooping that have come to characterize the dreaded "Broadway show tune." The highlight is "Run, Freedom, Run," a parody of that awful inspirational song that invariably shows up in Act II of the canonical musical. In addition to being hilarious, it's a toe-tapping and memorable piece of music.
"Urinetown" needs to be seen in person, as much of the humor is visual: the mock-enthusiastic choreography for "Run, Freedom, Run" brings down the house. Nonetheless, the CD stands well on its own, and is an enjoyable document of an astonishing accomplishment.
Let's start with the weaknesses as I perceive 'em. The lyrics occasionally lack the wit, bite, and intricacy that I've grown spoiled by with Sondheim (e.g., "Into the Woods"). I found the "young" voices to be cute, initially, but generally somewhat annoying upon relistening.
The positives of this fine disc far outweigh the negatives, however, in my humble opinion.
First, my criticism above notwithstanding, the vocal blend is generally among the most outstanding I've EVER heard from a Broadway musical. There are no obnoxious divas vibrato'ing above the others, no slightly-flat tenors pounding their chests harming the harmonies. ALL the singers articulate well and are wonderfully warm.
Second, the music and lyrics are humorous and vivid even without me seeing a single picture or video from this production. I get a fine idea of the story, the characters, the general feel of this musical without having to be there (though I'd love to be there, of course!).
Third, I believe that ALL the songs on this album are pretty much "re-listenable" AND singable. There are no duds that "you just had to be there in person to appreciate." And unlike many of the more pretentious yet flat musicals out there, there were no songs that[were]overly treachly sentiment or pathetically predictable love airings.
Lastly, as a musician myself, I was strongly impressed by the balance and full-sound of the small musical ensemble on this CD. Combined with some tight cast harmonies, the band really made this musical come alive.
In a nutshell, then, this CD features music that is toe-tapping, engaging, fun, moderately clever, and just plain enjoyable!Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Urinetown is a great, funny musical. I enjoyed this CD just as much as watching it on stage multiple times. Read morePublished on June 23 2009 by cherry251
I can't believe this moved up to Broadway while [the far superior] Bat Boy never made it! Urinetown is, like it's obnoxious title, pretty awful. Read morePublished on July 19 2004
"Urinetown" is so many things. Hysterical, touching, exhuberant, joyful, and above all, it is sheer brilliance. Read morePublished on June 13 2004 by Adam J. Wishman
The Australian premiere of URINETOWN is tonight (17/04/04) at the Playhouse, Victorian Arts Centre in Melbourne - presented by the prestigious Melbourne Theatre Company (MTC). Read morePublished on April 17 2004
It's original, it's bold, it's hilarious, it's lovingly wrong. It's "Urinetown". For anyone who insists the American Musical Theatre is dead, let them hear this CD. Read morePublished on Aug. 6 2003 by Timothy King
Let me start by noting an aspect that's too often overlooked on cast recordings: clarity. First of all, the sound is beautifully crisp, clean, but also authentic (you really feel... Read morePublished on Aug. 2 2003 by Adam Lasnik
I think I listened to this cd at least 10 times since I receieved it yesterday. The music is brilliant. I especially like Act 1 Finale, why did I listen to my heart. Read morePublished on July 11 2003
I saw Urinetown in New York City and had my doubts about seeing it at first. (The title drew me away). But now, I am so glad that I saw it and bought the CD. Read morePublished on July 9 2003 by Lizzie
I heard this music for the first time when I saw the show on Broadway over spring break this year. It hit me right then and there-this music is great! Read morePublished on April 27 2003 by Jason