|Officer Lockstock (Bradley Greenwald)|
Little Sally (Elisa Pluhar)
(photo by Michal Daniel)
A few of my favorite things:
- Officer Lockstock beating the crowd with his club in slow motion. Perhaps the most beautiful and hilarious slo-mo fight choreography I've ever seen. I'm not even sure what else was going on in that scene, I couldn't take my eyes off the beating!
- All of the references to musicals in the choreography and score, including Les Miserables, Fiddler on the Roof, and West Side Story, with uncontrolled finger-snapping (my second-favorite West Side Story parody).
- Bradley's ridiculously long extended run on the phrase "down and out."
- Remembering that my favorite song in the score, "Run Freedom Run," is ever so much better live. This is the moment when Patrick completely won me over in his portrayal of Bobby. I wanted to stand up and join the chorus the he so enthusiastically directs!
- Every word that Little Sally says. So funny to hear such smart things come out of a "little girl."
- This: "Don't you think people want to be told their way of life is unsustainable?"
- The hugely talented ensemble that sounds amazing in the Jungle's intimate space - a full, gorgeous sound.
- Kertsen's delivery of my favorite lines - "it's blinding me!" and "you get it out of the clouds!" She's hilarious with a seriously powerful voice.
- The choreography by John Command (who also directs), which features many different styles and references. The Jungle's is a small stage, but this large cast moves with controlled chaos around it.
- The five-piece orchestra directed by Raymond Berg that sounds bigger than it is on this score with several different musical styles.
- The costumes (by Kathy Kohl), which range from charming but realistically shabby rags for the have-nots to slick suits for the haves. One of my favorite details was the signature pattern for the UGC, present in some small way on every employee.
- The clever character names, some of which are never heard onstage (that I remember). Lockstock and Barrel, Caldwell B. Cladwell, Hot Blades Harry, Penelope Pennwise, Little Becky Two-Shoes, and of course, the aptly named Hope.
- Last but not least, the set by Bain Boehlke. I can never not mention the set of a Jungle show because they're always so perfect. In this case, the stage is made as large as possible with scaffolding, ladders, boxes, and other junk around all sides. The public amenity door spins around to reveal Mr. Cladwell's office.
If you like classic, traditional musicals, Urinetown might not be the show for you. But if you like smart, funny, edgy, relevant musicals, go see what is sure to become the hit musical of the summer. Playing now through August 11, so you have no excuse not to get there.
|Bobby Strong (Patrick Morgan) leads the people|
(photo by Michal Daniel)