Urinetown
A sidesplitting sendup of greed, love, revolution (and musicals!), in a time when water is worth its weight in gold.
Show Essentials
14
Roles
+ Ensemble
PG13
Rated
2
Acts

Full Synopsis

Act One

We begin at the poorest, filthiest urinal in town. Officer Lockstock, a policeman, enters and surveys the scene. He greets the audience. Penelope Pennywise and Bobby Strong enter, discussing the Old So-and-so who was recently carted off to Urinetown. Lockstock tells the audience that Urinetown, itself, is a mythical place that they won't see until Act II, but Urinetown, the musical, is starting now. Little Sally enters and she and Lockstock discuss the dangers of too much exposition in a show. They then proceed to explain that there is a water shortage and public bathrooms have been replaced by private toilets. The fee to use these public bathrooms is controlled by a private company, the Urine Good Company, that keeps prices high. Since using the bushes is illegal, Little Sally counts her pennies in hopes of using the urinal ("Urinetown").

An ingénue type named Hope enters, looking for the Urine Good Company. Bobby directs her towards the gleaming tower on a distant hill. They have a moment. Bobby's pa, Old Man Strong, doesn't have enough money for the fee. He begs Bobby to let him go for free. Penny, however, will have none of it. After 20 years of drought, everyone has to make sacrifices ("It's a Privilege to Pee"). Old Man Strong can't take it anymore and intends to use a wall to relieve himself. Lockstock and his partner, Barrel, remind him that breaking the Public Health Act is an exiling offense, and Old Man Strong is dragged off to Urinetown ("It's a Privilege to Pee – Lockstock's Reprise").

The scene moves to the executive offices of the Urine Good Company. Caldwell B. Cladwell, the president of the UGC and resident villain, is in a meeting. Cladwell is convinced that new fee hikes will breeze through the legislature, while Senator Fipp thinks that there will be unrest if it does. Hope enters. It turns out that she is Cladwell's daughter, back from university. She is also her father's new fax/copy girl. Cladwell insists that she say a few words, so she makes a speech that praises the company. Cladwell interjects and his fellow execs praise him ("Mr. Cladwell").

Later that evening, Officers Lockstock and Barrel run into Little Sally counting her pennies. Lockstock gives her a coin and ushers her home. When she leaves, the officers discuss being exiled to Urinetown and reminisce about other Urinetown victims ("Cop Song"). Hope enters after a long day of faxing and copying and runs into Bobby, who is still smarting from the removal of his father. Bobby is feeling cold and empty because he didn't help his father, and Hope suggests that he listen to his heart. He doesn't realize that he has a heart, nor does he know how to listen to it. She teaches him ("Follow Your Heart"). They say goodnight and kiss.

Lockstock and Little Sally appear, seemingly out of nowhere; she asks Lockstock if Hope loves Bobby, and Lockstock confirms that she does – he's the hero... she has to love him. Little Sally then asks about Urinetown. Lockstock still can't tell her but does slip and reveals there is actually no "Urinetown." They just kill people. The two depart as the next scene begins.

The next morning, new fee hikes are announced, much to the anguish of the poor citizens. Bobby arrives at work after a long night of thinking about what happened to his father. He wonders if the law is wrong. Penny tells Bobby to get his head out of the clouds. Bobby, however, dreams of a beautiful world where everyone is free. Despite Penny's protests, Bobby let's everyone, including his mother, into the urinal for free ("Look to the Sky").

In the offices of UGC, Cladwell congratulates Fipp on the passage of the new legislation. Penny enters and tells Cladwell that there is rioting at her amenity, and that Bobby Strong is letting people pee for free. Cladwell wants to crush the rebellion, but Hope suggests that her father listen to Bobby's heart. She thinks that life should be beautiful, but Cladwell explains that life is a beating – you either beat or get beaten ("Don't Be the Bunny")

Back at the poorest, filthiest urinal in town, Little Sally asks Lockstock what is happening while Bobby lets the masses into the urinal. Lockstock informs her and the audience that it is the Act One finale, where Cladwell arrives to snuff out the uprising! During the hubbub, Bobby and Hope have a moment where they confront the lies and misconceptions. Cladwell then warns that Bobby's rush for freedom will have dangerous consequences, but Bobby doesn't care. In order to ensure their escape, the rebels kidnap Hope and run off ("Act 1 Finale").

Act Two

The second act begins with the rebels holed up in a secret hideout – identified by an indiscreet sign – where they have Hope tied up. As they anxiously await Bobby's return, they theorize about where Urinetown actually is. Simultaneously, Cladwell and his henchman, Bobby, and Little Sally each theorize what Urinetown is with the audience. The verdict: Urinetown is your town if you're hopeless, down and out ("What Is Urinetown?")

Inside the hideout, the rebels wonder what to do with their hostage, Hope. They want to take out all of their anger and frustration on her and kill her ("Snuff That Girl"). Bobby appears and reminds them that the purpose of their revolution was to ensure that no man or woman could be denied their essential humanity due to the condition of their pocketbook ("Run, Freedom, Run"). Penny then arrives. She tells Bobby that Cladwell wants his amenities up and working and is willing to discuss a solution. He agrees, much to the gang's skepticism. Hope is left with the rebels as collateral, and Bobby and Penny leave for the meeting. Before he goes, he tells Hope to look for the answer to their problems in her heart. She tries ("Follow Your Heart – Reprise").

Later, at the offices of Urine Good Company, Cladwell meets with Bobby. He proposes an offer to Bobby: a load of cash and full amnesty to all of those involved, in exchange for an end to his rebellion and agreement of returning to the improved fee schedule. Bobby refuses the cash and tells Cladwell that all he wants is free access to the amenities for all. Bobby's wish will not be granted, and Cladwell has him sent to Urinetown, even if it has dire consequences for Hope. Realizing how ruthless Cladwell actually is, Penny and Fipp wonder if he is worthy of the trust that they put in him ("Why Did I Listen to That Man?"). Lockstock and Barell take Bobby to the top of the UGC building roof – it turns out that "Urinetown" really is just death. Without hesitation, they hurl Bobby off the building... to his untimely death.

Back at the secret hideout, Little Sally informs the rebels that she saw Bobby being thrown off a building, and that his last words were that he loved Hope. With help from Bobby's ghost, Little Sally tells Hope and the rebels that they must fight for what they know is right ("Tell Her I Love Her"). In a fit of rage, the rebels decide that they must kill Hope as revenge for Bobby's death, but Penny – who turns out to be Hope's mother – offers her life instead. Hope, in seeing Penny's reform, realizes that, if she can change, maybe Urinetown can change. She tells the rebels that, if they kill her, they kill the rebellion. However, if they let Hope lead, they will win. The rebels agree to follow her and march towards Cladwell's headquarters. Hope confronts her father, and he tells her that love is not as important as food, water and shelter... as well as piles and piles of cash. He is promptly taken away to Urinetown ("We're Not Sorry").

Hope proceeds to declare that day a brand new day, a day of hope. Lockstock reappears, acting as a narrator, to inform the audience that Hope opened up the toilets for all. They even renamed the UGC to the Bobby Strong Memorial Toilet Authority and operated for the benefit of the public. But, as originally predicted, it wasn't long before the water disappeared all together; many died. It turns out that, despite being a tyrant, Cladwell's methods did effectively regulate water consumption. Hope's desire for the people's love caused her to abandon regulation and, in the end, the people recognized their town for what it was: Urinetown ("I See a River").

Casting

Casting

Cast Size: Flexible
Cast Type: Ensemble Cast
Dance Requirements: Standard

Character Breakdown

Officer Lockstock
The tongue-in-cheek narrator of our story, he is a corrupt policeman who secretly kills off the guilty offenders. Bold, brash, and larger than life in many ways.
Gender: male
Age: 35 to 55
Vocal range top: A4
Vocal range bottom: A2
Penelope Pennywise
The tough, jaded warden of the poorest, filthiest town urinal. She is Cladwell's one-time lover and mother to Hope who eventually softens her temper.
Gender: female
Age: 30 to 45
Vocal range top: C6
Vocal range bottom: A3
Bobby Strong
The dashing, rebellious everyman who works for Miss Pennywise at the poorest, filthiest town urinal. He becomes an unsuspecting protagonist and romantic hero when he starts a revolution and falls in love with Hope Cladwell.
Gender: male
Age: 20 to 30
Vocal range top: C5
Vocal range bottom: A2
Little Sally
A precocious and irreverent street urchin. She serves as a quasi-narrator who often questions Lockstock and the play's logic.
Gender: female
Age: 20 to 40
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: A3
Dr. Billeaux
Head of Research and Development at UGC. Optional Doubling as TINY TOM.
Gender: male
Age: 30 to 50
Vocal range top: A3
Vocal range bottom: E3
Mr. Mcqueen
Cladwell's sycophantic lackey. A servile assistant.
Gender: male
Age: 30 to 45
Vocal range top: -1
Vocal range bottom: B2
Senator Fipp
A greedy politician in Cladwell's pocket. A bumbling coward.
Gender: male
Age: 40 to 55
Vocal range top: F4
Vocal range bottom: C#3
Officer Barrel
Lockstock's patrol partner. A thuggish and aggressive policeman.
Gender: male
Age: 30 to 50
Vocal range top: F4
Vocal range bottom: G2
Hope Cladwell
Cladwell's ravishingly beautiful daughter, torn between her father and her new love for Bobby. She begins as an innocent, naive angel but becomes vengeful and determined after being exposed to her father's evil.
Gender: female
Age: 20 to 30
Vocal range top: A5
Vocal range bottom: A3
Joseph "old Man" Strong
Bobby's rebellious father. His refusal to pay the fee sends him to Urinetown, ultimately launching the revolution. Optional Doubling as HOT BLADES HARRY.
Gender: male
Age: 50 to 65
Tiny Tom
One of the Poor, he is an idiotic man-child. Optional Doubling as DR. BILLEAUX.
Gender: male
Age: 30 to 50
Vocal range top: A3
Vocal range bottom: D3
Soupy Sue
One of the Poor, she is excitable and easily panicked. Optional Doubling as CALDWELL'S SECRETARY.
Gender: female
Age: 25 to 40
Vocal range top: B4
Vocal range bottom: Bb3
Little Becky Two-shoes
One of the Poor. She is foul-mouthed, impulsive, and accusatory. Optional Doubling as MRS. MILLENIUM.
Gender: female
Age: 20 to 40
Vocal range top: F5
Vocal range bottom: Bb3
Caldwell B. Cladwell
The evil president and owner of the Urine Good Company. He is a miserly money-grubber who gleefully exploits the poor.
Gender: male
Age: 50 to 65
Vocal range top: G4
Vocal range bottom: A2
Josephine "ma" Strong
Bobby's mother and Joseph's wife. A strong-willed woman with a bite, able to withstand the hard hand life has dealt her. Optional Doubling as OLD WOMAN.
Gender: female
Age: 55 to 65
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: Bb3
Hot Blades Harry
One of the Poor, he is a psychopathic and can become a violent loose cannon. Optional Doubling as JOSEPH "OLD MAN" STRONG.
Gender: male
Age: 45 to 60
Vocal range top: F4
Vocal range bottom: A2
Ensemble
Full Song List
Too Much Exposition
Overture
Urinetown
It's a Privilege to Pee
Mr. Cladwell
Cop Song
Follow Your Heart
Look at the Sky
Don't Be the Bunny
Act One Finale
What is Urinetown?
Snuff That Girl
Run, Freedom, Run
Follow Your Heart (Reprise)
Why Did I Listen to That Man?
Tell Her I Love Her
We re Not Sorry
We're Not Sorry-Reprise

Show History

Inspiration

Urinetown is one of the few truly original musicals not based on existing source material. Greg Kotis got the idea for Urinetown while traveling in Europe. A traveling student on a budget, he encountered a pay-per-use toilet and began writing shortly thereafter, joining with composer/lyricist, Mark Hollmann, for the journey to Broadway.

Productions

The success of Urinetown seems as unlikely as the show's title. The musical debuted at the New York International Fringe Festival, where it was an instant hit with audiences. Word of mouth spread quickly and the show was picked up for an Off-Broadway run, which took place at the American Theatre for Actors from May 6, 2001, to June 25, 2001. The reviews were wildly enthusiastic and the show then transferred to Broadway at The Henry Miller Theatre, running 25 previews and 965 performances from September 20, 2001, through January 18, 2004.

Featuring music and lyrics by Mark Hollman and book and lyrics by Greg Kotis, the production was directed by John Rando with choreography by John Carrafa. The original cast included Hunter Foster, Jeff McCarthy, Nancy Opel and Jennifer Laura Thompson. Principal cast changes included James Barbour as Officer Lockstock, Carolee Carmello and Victoria Clark as Penelope Pennywise and Charles Shaughnessy as Caldwell B. Cladwell, as well as Amy Spanger as Hope Cladwell.

A national tour of the show played major U.S. cities in 2003 and 2004 and starred Tom Hewitt, Christiane Noll and Ron Holgate. The show then premiered in Canada in May of 2006 and has had countless regional successes at such theatres as Drury Lane, Signature, Gateway Playhouse and Austin's Zach Theater.

The musical also enjoyed its UK debut in a limited-run production at the St. James Theatre in London.

Cultural Influence

  • A Urinetown cast recording from the original Off-Broadway cast was released by RCA Victor on August 7, 2001.

Trivia

  • Beyond its three Tony Award wins, Urinetown was nominated for an additional seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical , as well as ten Drama Desk Awards and an Outer Critics Circle Award.
  • Writers, Mark Hollman and Greg Kotis, are reportedly developing both a prequel and a sequel to the show.
  • Urinetown show was still selling well – and had just recouped its $3.7 million dollar investment – when, in early 2004, the producers were suddenly notified that The Henry Miller Theater would be torn down to make room for a new skyscraper, and the show was ordered to vacate the theatre by February of that year. Plans for finding a new home for Urinetown on Broadway never materialized.
  • For several years, the characters of Officer Lockstock and Little Sally were featured in what became a yearly tradition at the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS annual Gypsy of the Year benefit concert, in which the characters, portrayed by actors Jennifer Cody and Don Richard (both of whom understudied the roles in the original cast), performed a short comedy sketch, making fun of current Broadway shows.
  • When it closed, Urinetown was the longest running show to ever inhabit The Henry Miller Theatre.

Critical Reaction

"Rousing and infectious."
– Variety

"A sharp satire of the musical form.... Every line in the book and lyrics screams 'comedy.'"
– Boston Globe

"You must immediately see Urinetown The Musical...."
– Talkin' Broadway

"Urinetown packs tremendous fun."
– Time Out

"A goofy good time [that] ...keeps the audience chortling."
– LA Times

Outer Critics Circle Award

2001 - Outstanding Broadway Musical, Winner (Urinetown)
2001 - Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical, Winner (Spencer Kayden)

Outer Critics Circle Award

2001 - Outstanding Director Of A Musical, Winner (John Rando)

Drama Desk Award

2001 - Outstanding Musical, Nominee (Urinetown)
2001 - Outstanding Book of a Musical, Nominee (Greg Kotis)
2001 - Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical, Nominee (Jeff McCarthy)
2001 - Best Featured Actress in a Musical, Nominee (Spencer Kayden)
2001 - Best Direction Of A Musical, Nominee (John Rando)
2001 - Outstanding Orchestrations, Nominee (Bruce Coughlin)
2001 - Outstanding Music, Nominee (Mark Hollmann)
2001 - Outstanding Lyrics, Nominee (Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis)

Tony® Award

2002 - Best Choreography, Nominee (John Carrafa)
2002 - Best Orchestrations, Nominee (Bruce Coughlin)
2002 - Featured Actress In A Musical, Nominee (Spencer Kayden)
2002 - Best Director, Winner (John Rando)
2002 - Best Original Score, Winner (Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis)
2002 - Best Book Of A Musical, Winner (Greg Kotis)
2002 - Best Musical, Nominee ()
2002 - Leading Actress In A Musical, Nominee (Nancy Opel)
2002 - Leading Actress In A Musical, Nominee (Jennifer Laura Thompson)
2002 - Leading Actor in Musical, Nominee (John Cullum)

Connect

Billing

Requirements

You must give the authors/creators billing credits, as specified in the Production Contract, in a conspicuous manner on the first page of credits in all programs and on houseboards, displays and in all other advertising announcements of any kind.
Percentages listed indicate required type size in relation to title size.

URINETOWN, THE MUSICAL (100%)

Music and Lyrics by
Book and Lyrics by
Mark Hollmann (50%)
Greg Kotis (50%)
 
URINETOWN was produced on Broadway in September, 2001 by the Araca (33%)
Group and Dodger Theatricals in association with TheaterDreams, Inc., (33%)
and Lauren Mitchell
The videotaping or other video or audio recording of this production is strictly prohibited

Included Materials

ItemQuantity Included
LIBRETTO/VOCAL BOOK25
PIANO CONDUCTOR'S SCORE ACT 12
PIANO CONDUCTOR'S SCORE ACT 22

Production Resources

Resource
LOGO PACK
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT LARGE
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT MEDIUM
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT SMALL
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT X-LARGE
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT XX-LARGE
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK CHILD LARGE
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK CHILD MEDIUM
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK CHILD SMALL
REFERENCE RECORDING
REHEARSCORE+
SCENE PARTNER
TRANSPOSITIONS-ON-DEMAND
VIRTUAL STAGE MANAGER

STANDARD ORCHESTRATION

InstrumentationDoubling
BASS
PERCUSSION
REED 1ALTO SAXOPHONE , BASS CLARINET , CLARINET , SOPRANO SAX
TROMBONEBASS TROMBONE , EUPHONIUM , TROMBONE