Best Musical Miami 2008 - Urinetown
Huge sets, great singing, fun and intricate dancing — Urinetown had all of that, and we salute it. Generally, though, we also like our shows full of ideas, novelty, craziness, and weirdness — again, all of which Urinetown had in excess. Urinetown is not a happy musical — Mark Holman and Glen Hotis's piece begins with a sad premise and ends with what might be the extinction of the human race — but it ekes more fun, surprise, and joy out of its gloom than most musicals without any gloom to plumb. This has something to do with the play's obsession with urine, maybe, but it's also the way it gives you the odd feeling you're seeing something you've never, ever seen before (unless you've seen it before). It is, after all, a musical political allegory about needing to take a piss, and there's not a lot of that in the world. What most folks want from their musicals is a night of pure, sugar-coated entertainment, which Urinetown was pleased to deliver while making everybody think a little too. Nobody else came close to doing both of those things this year; hardly anybody else even tried.