Urinetown (West End Production)

original_broadway_poster_art_for_urinetown

The musical Urinetown made its long-awaited London premiere a decade after it took its Tonys in New York, running for ten months between March 2014 and January 2015. I saw it in London with that production’s final cast. When compared the runs of juggernaut shows like Les Mis and Mamma Mia ten months may sound like a bomb, but it’s actually a fairly good showing for a musical of this type—long enough, for example, to make Urinetown Olivier-eligible.

Outside of Fringe offerings, there’s not a glut of science-fiction theatre (Wikipedia only acknowledges twenty science fiction musicals—though that said, how good’s a list I had to add Urinetown to myself?). What little there is is often treated as theatre, rather than as both theatre and SFF, which I feel is an oversight. In its SFFnal capacity, Urinetown has a lot to offer. It’s thoroughgoing catastrophe-and-social-effects, political-commentary-on-our-own-world sci-fi. The musical’s environmentalism and its critique of corporate power and governmental collusion with same are largely sharp and necessary contributions.

Full review here.

 

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