The original cast recording of Urinetown, put out by RCA Victor, hit record stores Aug. 7. The recording was engineered by Tom Lazarus, and its debut comes out just three weeks before the satirical musical begins previews at Henry Miller's Theatre on Broadway.
Urinetown began life at the Present Company Theatorium on the Lower East Side as part of the 1999 New York International Fringe Festival. The show sparked the interest of commercial producers, and reopened at the American Theatre of Actors, a 120-seat space at 314 W. 54th Street, on May 3, 2001, after a month of previews. As at the Fringe, it proved an unexpected hit, extending beyond its initially scheduled limited run and winning a Broadway transfer.
The show, directed by John Rando, will keep all of its leading players for the Broadway mounting, including John Cullum, Jeff McCarthy, Spencer Kayden (a Clarence Derwent Award winner) Nancy Opel, Hunter Foster and Jennifer Laura Thompson.
The score includes the following numbers:
"Too Much Exposition"
"It's a Privilege to Pee"
"Follow Your Heart"
"Look to the Sky"
"Don't Be the Bunny"
"Act One Finale"
"What Is Urinetown?"
"Snuff That Girl"
"Run, Freedom, Run!"
"Why Did I Listen to That Man?"
"Tell Her I Love Her"
"We're Not Sorry"
"We're Not Sorry (Reprise)"
"I See a River" All the songs were heard in the original Fringe production, except for "Mr. Caldwell" and "Snuff That Girl," which Kotis and Hollman wrote especially for the 2001 version of the show. Additionally, one song heard at the Fringe, "Rio," was dropped.
The recording also features various bits of dialogue, including snatches of conversation between the two tongue-in-cheek narrators, Officer Lockstock and Little Sally, as they openly mock the conventions of the musical theatre. The ingenue Hope Cladwell and juvenile Bobby Strong are heard courting, and some of the melodramatic histrionics of Nancy Opel's Miss Pennywise ("Get your head out of the clouds, Bobby Strong!") are also captured.
Urinetown recently pushed back its first Broadway preview from Aug. 6 to Aug. 27. The official opening is now Sept. 13, instead of Sept. 10. The reason for the continued delay of the show's Broadway bow is the renovation of the Henry Miller's Theatre of West 43rd Street. Preparing the house for its new tenant, producers are installing new seats, a new air conditioning system and expanding the box office.
"There is no question that it has taken more time to get The Henry Miller ready for Urinetown than if we had chosen a traditional Broadway theatre, but we feel the added effort is worthwhile for the visceral thrill of performing in a space with such a colorful past," said Michael David, of Dodger Theatricals, a producer of the musical. The sentiment was echoed by Matthew Rego of The Araca Group, who said, "We were optimistic that we could complete all of the work we wanted to do in time, which proved not to be the case. However, The Henry Miller is a unique, wonderful space that we feel is the perfect environment for our show."
Even with the new dates, Urinetown will remain the first new Broadway musical of the 2001-02 season.
For tickets and information on Urinetown at the Henry Miller's Theatre, 124 West 43 St., call (212) 239-6200.