Another packed house greeted Tony winning “Urinetown, The Musical” at The Secret Theatre in Long Island City. The mood on Saturday night was especially electric. Greg Kotis, the show’s author and co-lyricist, was in the house with his daughter, Asia.
Let’s take a seat at the show and see what all the excitement is about. The very quirky premise involves a non-negotiable surcharge on one specific bodily function. From there, nothing is safe from incredibly irreverent satire. Director Taryn Turney offers a cast of bizarre characters who interpret their roles to the extreme. The result is a very funny mixture of broad comic book mannerisms and very clever caricatures.
Executive producer Richard Mazda (with co-producer Alyssa Van Gorder) has matched the actors to their roles with finesse. The beautiful daughter (Brittney Santoro) of the sinister corporate dictator is, well, beautiful. She also provides a sensational spoof of a rock star in her solo. The rebellion’s anti-hero and leader (Will Sevedge) is convincingly idealistic in his stand against lavatory terrorism. Will he rescue the dirty denizens of Public Amenity #9 or be lured to a more dismal fate?
Voluptuous Penelope Pennywise (Lindsay Naas) is both alluring and chilling as she lays down the law at her assigned water closet. Crazy as a fox Caldwell B. Cladwell is well dressed and well played by Jan-Peter Pedross. Officer Lockstock (Brandon Schraml) possesses a mellifluous voice which belies his cruelty and cynicism. Officer Barrel (Charlie Stoop) is equally driven but with far less sadistic motives. My personal favorite is Macaela Sears as visually challenged Little Sally. With the feigned innocence of a child, she provides the truth behind the myth of Urinetown.
Musical director Andy King, choreographer Caitlin Labadini and John Michael Creenan (props/costumes) provide the vital creativity for this musical. The strength of the ensemble is reinforced by the supporting players and the chorus. At times they are frantic yet caring. Other times they are terrifying automatons who look straight into the audience. Kudos then, to Marc Cornes, Jodi Bluestein, Jill Twiss, Terrance Olear, Matt Savoca, Lauren Turner, Spencer Case, Trevor Sideris and Jake Levitt.
The Secret Theatre is located at 44-02 23rd Street in Long Island City. Call the box office at (718) 392-0722 or surf to www.secrettheatre.com for this and other projects. As always, save me a seat on the aisle.