Saturday, August 16, 2014

Review of Urinetown: The Musical at Awkward Pause Theatre

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Urinetown. The book was by Greg Kotis and the music was by Mark Hollmann and both of them wrote the lyrics. It was directed by Elana Boulos. It was about a guy named Bobby Strong (Brandon Ruiter) who was in love with a girl name Hope Cladwell (Kelly Krauter). But Hope's dad (Joshua R. Bartlett) was a really rich man and Bobby was a poor man who worked with toilets. But they were still trying to find ways they could see each other. It is also about toilets: how the toilet system works and the philosophy of them. And it is also about how poor people can do big things, like start a revolution. And how always the rich people are better off and how the poor people have to struggle on no matter what. They must get their toilet rights even if one of their most loved people in the world dies. This is like some musicals because there are a lot of musicals about people and how they have to claim their rights, like Les Miz, but it doesn't usually involve toilets. It is different because it does't have a happy ending, not even the slightest bit of gleaming hope. But this is still a funny musical, even without a happy ending. I really loved this show and it closes in a day so you better go and see it now!

I thought that Little Sally (Hillary Horvath) and Officer Lockstock (Michael Hamilton) and Officer Barrel (Tanner Munson) were super funny. I thought that it was funny when Officer Barrel said to Officer Lockstock, "I love you" and they just kind of stared at each other for a minute and then Officer Lockstock nodded and walked away and officer Barrel said, "I think that went pretty well" with a happy smile on his face. I thought it was cool how Officer Lockstock was also the narrator. And Little Sally who lived in the town kind of helped narrate in a cute way. Like they kind of controlled the story. One of my favorite lines was along the lines of: "When a little girl has been given as many lines as I have, anything can happen" and she charges back into the rebellion scene. It is funny because she is like 7 years old and in a rebellion. I thought this woman did a good job of acting like a kid. This part is making fun of musical theater kids, but she doesn't overdo it, so that made me like her performance a lot.

Miss Pennywise (Neala Barron) was a great character because she was tough, smart, strong, sometimes evil and sometimes good. My favorite character elements are these things. I liked the scene where all the people are in line to use the bathroom but they have to pay money, but Bobby Strong's dad doesn't have enough money, but then Miss Pennywise sings this awesome scatological ballad about how you have to pay to pee. I thought that the scene where Miss Pennywise and Mr. Cladwell look each other in the eye and have this little minute dance sequence where they have this kind of romantic ball dance and then they snap back into the scene and they are still looking into each other's eyes and then the secretary Mr. McQueen (Luke Michael Grimes) interrupts and they are like, "Huh?" I thought Mr. McQueen was super funny in his role; I loved how he was standing in fifth position with his arms like he was about to recite a poem. He worked for the bad guy but he was actually one of the funniest characters.

The message about love was very hilariously dumb. I thought that they actually loved each other, but it was kind of unbelievable because of how it started. They listened…to…each others…hearts. (I was singing that.) I find this love totally unnatural. It is kind of like Cinderella. They meet each other, the boy thinks the girl is pretty, they sing, they kiss, and they want to get married. The writer is making fun of how all the musicals work, how the songs are made, and "that's romance for you!" but it's not. It is not at all like that. Well I don't know anything about romance. But I know what romance should be more like. You have to get to know each other first.

It was fun that a lot of musicals I've seen or heard of, like Les Miserables, Fiddler on the Roof, and Anything Goes were referenced in it. I find that kind of pleasing because you are watching a new play and you think, "I recognize that dance move" or "That song sounds familiar." The Fiddler on the Roof was kind of like in "Tradition" when they put their hands up next to their ears and made their arms stiff. And then "Run, Freedom, Run" was kind of like "Blow, Gabriel, Blow" from Anything Goes. I'm not saying I don't like those musicals or those songs. (I just listened to "Blow, Gabriel, Blow" and it is still in my head.) But I liked having them in there because you think, "I recognize what song that is based on. That's awesome."

People who would like this show are people who like referencing musicals, scatological humor, and peeing for free. I think that people should definitely go see this show but there is only one performance left. So go go go and see this show now!

Photos: Brian Jarreau

1 comment:

Serendipity Pam said...

Well said! Your words really brought the performance alive for me. I missed seeing my nephew, Josh Bartlett, in the role as Hope's dad. Your expression is very visual! Congratulations to cast and crew.