What Makes Urinetown Such a Timeless Success?

What Makes Urinetown Such a Timeless Success?

"What Is Urinetown? Urinetown is here!" And we are delighted to have licensed it for 18 years and more to come. Within those 18 years, Urinetown has reached over 3.4 million audience members during over 20,000 performances in 3,670 licensed productions in 34 countries. We invite you to see what the buzz is about with a Free Read and to listen along to the Broadway cast album.

On September 20, 2001, this satirical comedy opened on Broadway at what is now the Stephen Sondheim Theatre. The musical recieved acclaim upon its debut, receiving 10 Tony Award nominations and taking home three: Best Original Score, Best Book of a Musical, and Best Direction of a Musical. A winner of three Outer Critics Circle Awards, two Lucille Lortel Awards, and two Obie Awards, Urinetown is a hilarious and shockingly touching take about capitalism, environmental collapse, privatization of natural resources, and musical theatre itself!

In a dystopian city recovering from a 20-year drought, a terrible water shortage has made a basic human need pratically impossible. A megacorporation has put a ban on private toilets, and citizens are required to use public toilets - and pay. If anyone breaks the rules, they are sent to "Urinetown" and never return. One day, one of these citizens decides enough is enough and plans a revolution to free the city from the harsh regime.

With its unique storytelling style and biting wit, Urinetown has touched a new generation of theatre-makers. Read what MTI customers have to say below. We look forward to seeing its continuing impact in the decades to come!

"It was hands down one of my favorite productions and an audience favorite! I love that there's such a variety of music styles (Belt vs. legit sound, classical vs. pop sound) so we were able to feature several types of singers. The set, choreography, and costumes can be simplistic or intricate which lends the show to new and veteran directors and small and larger theatre. There's so much room for creativity." - Brandi Shepard (Theatre Teacher), Sylvania Southview High School (Sylvania, OH)

“The 2020/2021 school year was filled with extremely difficult circumstances. We were learning and teaching from home, our favorite events cancelled, our world filled with uncertainty. When we were granted permission to come together to do a show, I felt incredibly fortunate. Urinetown was exactly the show we needed in exactly the right time. The onstage world provides difficult situations for complex characters but there is so much joy in it!! We needed to laugh and experience joy again. Urinetown did that for us!... It was the vehicle for truly joyous moments in indescribably difficult times.” - Ashley Bowen (Theatre Teacher, Director), Portage Central Theatre Arts (Portage, MI)

"Directing and designing for Urinetown with my high school students was such a phenomenal experience. The casting, pit band needs, and design and dance requirements are flexible enough to accommodate just about any school group or theatre company. More importantly, the book and music are brilliant, self-referential, biting and sharp. Choosing this as our show allowed for my students to be involved in meaningful study of theatre, particularly the work of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill. They were fascinated with the incorporation of verfremdungseffekt and gestus as acting style, and the characterizations were bold and exciting. Though this satire comes laden with theatre in-jokes and nods to various other musicals, Urinetown is theatre with a strong socio-political message- done in the most fun way. Bertolt Brecht once said that “art is not a mirror held up to reality but a hammer with which to shape it”. When Hallmann and Kotis wrote Urinetown, they managed to tackle issues like political corruption, environmental catastrophe, Malthusian economics, police brutality, the greed of capitalism, and the growing gap of wealth inequality and the oppression of the poor, all the while wrapping it up in musical theatre jokes and a premise about pee. This show will have your audience roaring with laughter and will leave them with a lot to think about. It is, without a doubt, the most fun and joyous show we have worked on as a theatre group." - Tara Koett (Theatre Teacher, Director) Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School (Red Deer, AB, Canada)

Listen along

License Urinetown today!