Urinetown: The Musical [Original Cast Recording]

Urinetown: The Musical [Original Cast Recording]

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Urinetown, the new musical with the notorious title, is this season's dark-horse hit. A bleak but highly theatrical fable about a city that rations water so severely that people are barred from using their own toilets and must pay to relieve themselves, was a succès de scandale off-Broadway and inexorably moved to the Great White Way. With echoes of

Overview

Urinetown, the new musical with the notorious title, is this season's dark-horse hit. A bleak but highly theatrical fable about a city that rations water so severely that people are barred from using their own toilets and must pay to relieve themselves, was a succès de scandale off-Broadway and inexorably moved to the Great White Way. With echoes of The Threepenny Opera and West Side Story, Urinetown is campy good fun, and this excellent recording crisply wrings every drop of caustic humor from newcomer Mark Hollman's colorful music and trenchant lyrics. A terrific cast headed by John Cullum, Jeff McCarthy, and Spencer Kayden makes the most of the tuneful score, which includes the showstoppers "Run, Freedom, Run!," "Follow Your Heart," and "I See a River." Urinetown, the little musical that could, is flush with talent and joie de vivre.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
If your first reaction on hearing about a musical called Urinetown is that that's an awful title, don't worry, the authors are way ahead of you. Its awfulness is the point, and Urinetown is as much a musical about a musical as it is, well, a musical. The opening song, for example, is called "Too Much Exposition," and in it, Officer Lockstock (Jeff McCarthy), who acts as the narrator, explains "the central conceit of the show," which is that, in a mythical town suffering a drought, "everyone has to use public bathrooms" and pay high fees, a story line Little Sally (Spencer Kayden) describes as "bad subject matter." Urinetown might as well be called "Allegory-ville," you see, even though that wouldn't be as repulsive -- and therefore as provocative -- a title. Lyricist/librettist Greg Kotis clearly has spent a lot of time studying Bertolt Brecht, and composer/co-lyricist Mark Hollmann is a big fan of Kurt Weill, so that Urinetown's clear antecedents are shows like The Threepenny Opera and Weill/Brecht disciple Mark Blitzstein's The Cradle Will Rock. The story is about the evil rich and the hapless poor, and the authors draw equally from the Depression era of the 1930s and the naïve idealism of the early '60s, casting several of their songs in the folk/gospel style of the freedom songs of the civil rights movement. But they also have absorbed a heavy dollop of the political cynicism of the late '60s; another obvious influence is Frank Zappa, especially in his own unproduceable anti-musical, Thing-Fish. But it's one thing to have all those influences, and it's another to write up to their level, which, amazingly, Kotis and Hollmann have done. Title, subject matter, and attitude aside, Urinetown is full of inventive melodies and clever lyrics, and they easily put over its smirking nihilism.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/07/2001
Label:
Rca Victor Broadway
UPC:
0090266382125
catalogNumber:
63821
Rank:
33983

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jeff McCarthy   Vocals
Eduard Strauss   Musical Direction
John Cullum   Vocals
David Beach   Vocals
Benjamin Herrington   Euphonium,Tenor Trombone
Spencer Lemon Kayden   Vocals
Kay Walbye   Vocals
Nancy Opel   Vocals
Paul Garment   Clarinet,Bass Clarinet,Alto Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone
Jenni Thompson   Track Performer
Hunter Foster   Vocals
Ken Jennings   Vocals
Rick Crom   Vocals
Rachel Coloff   Vocals
Megan Lawrence   Vocals
Lawrence Street   Vocals
Danny Marcus   Vocals
Victor W. Hawks   Vocals
Spencer Kayden   Vocals
Kenneth Jennings   Vocals

Technical Credits

Bruce Coughlin   Orchestration
Tom Lazarus   Engineer
Jay David Saks   Producer,Recording Producer
Edward Strauss   Director
Janene Higgins   Art Direction
Greg Kotis   Lyricist,Liner Notes

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Urinetown: The Musical [Original Cast Recording] 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this cd is totally awesome...i love it all, my fav song would have to be RUN FREEDOM RUN and LOOK AT THE SKY. its a sad musical, but totally fun to listen too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you haven't seen Urinetown on or off Broadway, you can still experience it through the fabulously addictive cast recording available from RCA records. The entire score from overture to grand finale is included, as well as supporting dialogue to help the story along. The score is an eclectic series of truly innovative numbers ranging from the classic Broadway showstopper, an old time swing number, a lively gospel song worthy of a televangelist program (in the best way), and many others. The story is of a poor, impoverished city that has suffered a horrendous twenty-year drought. The accompanying water shortage has forced local politicians to outlaw private toilets and now all people must pay to use public toilets. Any diversion from the law will land you a trip to Urinetown, or the ''toilet judgment seat'', where no one is ever heard from again. The laws are made and kept by a large, corrupt corporation, UGC (Urine Good Company). UGC is led by the notorious Caldwell Cladwell, whose daughter falls in love with one of the workers from a public toilet facility. Together, they lead the poor of the city in an uprising against UGC in an attempt to gain their freedom and their right to ''pee free''. Although the plot is absurdist and based quite literally on toilet humor, it still stands alone as a brilliantly written and fun show that is as unique as it is entertaining. Urinetown is a bold, inventive, ridiculous yet charming musical that breaks all boundaries of conventional musical theater and explores grand new territories of the genre. The cast recording flawlessly captures the essence of the show, and is a must for any collector of Broadway music or lover of musical theater.
TwistieTie More than 1 year ago
We bought this cd because my daughter's school is going to have this show as their spring musical. I really struggled with the name, but after listening to the music many times now, and becoming familiar with the story, my daughter and I have really come to appreciate it. Some of the songs are really beautiful, many are quite funny. The characters are terrific, and the story is much more 'intellectual' and thought provoking than I imagined it could be. Get past the title, and you will appreciate it for what it is-a quality performance of strong music and story, with wonderful performers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A celebration of the high and low traditions of the Broadway musical (with a reference to Utilitarian philosophy, no less), ''Urinetown'' is unique, a real hoot. The score is wonderfully melodic and the lyrics are about the best this side of Sondheim. Don't be put off by the title, for God's sake! If you liked ''Lion King'' or ''Mamma Mia!'' this may not be your cup of tea, but for those of us looking for a great suprise every Broadway season, this CD is it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago