Urinetown Prequel in the Works
Written by Maya Cantu
Fans of Urinetown, the quirky musical satire on corrupt capitalism, will be able to make a return visit. Mark Hollman, who wrote Urinetown's music and lyrics, and Greg Kotis, who wrote additional lyrics and the book of the show, announced to Variety that they are working on a prequel to the Tony-winning show. It will most likely workshop at the Eugene O'Neill Music Theatre Conference this summer.
Hollman had yet more news as to the future of Urinetown. "This story is totally original, and we consider this one to be another part of a trilogy, of which Urinetown is the center piece.
Kotis elaborated upon the new work, calling it "unproduceable in the way we thought Urinetown was unproduceable...But we do hope to see it produced."
The show started off at the 1999 New York International Fringe Festival, a stronghold for new works of questionable commercial appeal. Yet its success at the Fringe Festival caused it to open off-Broadway in 2001, and it transferred to Broadway's now-demolished Henry Miller's Theatre on September 20th of that year, lasting for 965 performances.
The show, which chronicled a state of toilet totalitarianism, starred Hunter Foster, John Cullum, Spencer Kayden, Nancy Opel and Jennifer Laura Thompson, and won the so-called Triple Crown of 2002 Tonys--Best Book of a Musical for Kotis, Best Original Musical Score for Hollman and Kotis, and Best Direction of a Musical for John Rando. The show lost Best Musical to the more marketable flapper-fest Thoroughly Modern Millie.
The Eugene O'Neill Music Theatre Conference was established in 1978, and has fostered hundreds of new musical theatre works. Past conferences have included works by Maury Yeston, Jeanine Tesori, Kirsten Childs, Andrew Lippa and Jeff Marx and Robert Lopez.