Enjoy Celebrity Radio’s Urinetown The Musical Review Apollo Theatre West End 2014….
So the question everyone is asking is ‘What is Urinetown’? Well it’s not a village in the North, it’s a brand new West End Musical by Greg Kotis.
The original idea for URINETOWN was born after Greg encountered a pay-per-use toilet whilst travelling in Europe. He began writing the award-winning Book shortly after, joining with Mark Hollmann, composer and lyricist.
URINETOWN was nominated for 10 Tony awards, winning for best book, score and direction on Broadway.
Here’s Celebrity Radio’s Exclusive Audio / Visual review via YouTube from opening night:
The prophet Oprah Winfrey once said that you should always leave your audience with a ‘take away’. In other words you must have a point, leave a message, emotion or some form of learning.
At the end of Urinetown I was left wondering if it is officially the most pointless waste of time and money in the West End.
I’m fully aware I’m swimming against the tide but the West End transfer did not work for me for several reasons:
1) It wasn’t funny enough
2) I didn’t care enough
3) It’s 70 flaming pounds a ticket!
4) There was absolutely no ‘take away’ other than disappointment.
5) My Mother, Sister, Aunty Fanny & Grandma would hate it.
Ok, that’s a little harsh but at a time when it’s almost impossible to get the budget for a West End production, why make one that literally takes the piss?
I first saw this production Off-Broadway and loved it. It had ‘off-broadway’ prices in a shitty theatre that was officially condemned after closing and it felt ‘right’.
In the newly collapsed and re-built Apollo it felt like a stinky movement in the Ritz reception restroom.
Frustratingly for me the cast were superb, their performance was excellent and the lighting and set was clearly West End ready. However, none of it made sense – huge numbers about nothing.
Here’s the Apollo and Urinetown dramatic opening scene….
I’ve never a fan of toilet humour and this show is full of it, obviously, maybe I should have gone to Mamma Mia instead for Spandex and a sing-a-long.
It would be fine if it was £20 per ticket to drag in the punters, however, this is competing with Les Mis next door, Book of Mormon across the street and Wicked two tube stops away – all the same price offering premier league entertainment compared to Sunday kick about.
So what is Urinertown all about? Broadway’s Charles Shaughnessy explains…
Again, the cast cannot be criticised – the set was lovely and the lighting was superb, but as the saying goes – “you can’t polish a turd!”
I couldn’t help thinking “why are the audience laughing”, “what are they laughing at”, “is it me?” & “I’m missing bake-off for this!”
I get the ‘bigger message’ but for the love of God this is a long way to go about making it.
I never write reviews this damming but this show pissed me off on many levels.
My first and only 1* review in 20 years.
Tickets: 0844 412 4658; urinetown.co.uk
Review by Alex Belfield for Celebrity Radio recorded 8th October 2014