If There Is a Next Time

The Urinators have left the building. New Line's return to Urinetown has ended. We had to shut down the second week, but we came back and finished the run -- and our 30th season! I will be forever grateful to all the New Line artists and audiences who gathered together again in a darkened room to share a crazy mobius strip of a musical.

Here's my thank-you, with apologies to Mssrs. Hollmann and Kotis...

It's a privilege to pee;
That is, if you're doing Urinetown,
That little show of some obscure renown;
For it's all about the Poor,
And the Pompous, and their spoor.

Fifteen years since we last peed;
That is, since we last did Urinetown.
Even now, its truth can sure astound;
It's a prescient piece of art --
Trump is Cladwell, just not smart.

The Evil Geniuses who wrote this show
Know how low leaders go.
So props to Hollmann and to Kotis,
Who gave us notice
Of Trump as POTUS,
And you can quote us!

But now it's darker, to be sure,
For the real world seems like Urinetown,
With no Hope and with no cure around;
We're as doomed as Bobby Strong,
And our world is upside-wrong.
But for now, it's free to pee!

I feel just like The Little Drummer Boy, only sarcastic.

We don't repeat shows often, but when we do we're always amazed at how relevant the show still is, or is again. And I'm finally understanding it's because really great works of art tell important, timeless, universal truths, and so those works will always be relevant. The truths may be uncomfortable, even disturbing, but they're still truths.
Little Sally: Can't we do a happy musical next time?
Lockstock: If there is a next time, I'm sure we can.

If there is a next time. That line suddenly takes on extra weight in this time of the Black Plague.

And even though I directed our critically acclaimed production of Urinetown in 2007 and wrote a chapter analyzing the show, I still found new treasure hidden in this endlessly rich script asnd score this time. Again, that's what happens with a truly great piece of art.

Kotis and Hollmann are particularly adept at showing us serious, sobering, human truths, in the form of outrageous, silly, wacky musicals, like Urinetown and Yeast Nation. It's the Spoonful of Sugar philosophy of storytelling. Well, maybe it's more a spoonful of sugar with a dash of tabasco and a habanero pepper.

A million thanks, to our artists, our audiences, our donors and funders, and to Greg Kotis and Mark Hollmann who shared their wacky dystopia with us, so we could share it with you.

Long Live the Musical!