Sunday, January 22, 2012

Slow Burn Theatre: Urinetown (3 reviews)

Slow Burn Theatre Company opened its production of Urinetown on January 20, 2012.
Urinetown? What kind of musical is that? Well, it's just one of the most uproariously funny musicals in recent years, that's all! And don't let the title fool you - it's rated PG!! In a time when evil corporations control the world's toilets, a revolutionary hero emerges to save mankind from their wicked grip. An inspired, exuberant, wickedly funny romp with a Tony-winning musical score. This one is sure to be the talk of the town! My town! YOUR town! Urinetown!
Patrick Fitzgerald directed a cast that included Matthew Korinko, Jaimie Kautzmann, Larry Buzzeo, Cindy Pearce, Daniel Schwab,  and Lindsey Forgey.

Bill Hirschman reviewed for Florida Theater On Stage:
Slow Burn Theatre’s production of Urinetown the Musical marks another milestone in the young troupe’s evolution as a reliable purveyor of edgy, offbeat musical theater that few other mainstream companies have the courage to produce.
Urinetown qualifies as perhaps their strongest overall production with a corps of strong voices delivering production numbers with verve, witty performers who know how to put across deadpan comic lines, solid musical direction by Manny Schvartzman, and above all, inventive staging and choreography by Slow Burn co-founder Patrick Fitzwater.
Slow Burn also has a talent for finding talent we’ve never heard of but will make a point of watching for in the future. The find in this show is Cindy Pearce as the pee palace proprietor Penelope Pennywise , a short and stout dynamo with a clarion Merman-like singing voice and a Mae West swagger. The way she snaps out the name, Bobby (Bahb-bay), at every opportunity with an exaggerated topspin is hilarious in and of itself.
We feel we have to point out that Cindy Pearce has appeared in a large number of children's shows around South Florida in the last few years.  It's not the first time Bill has pronounced an old hand to be a new discovery (Amy Anderson springs to mind); the reality is that there's a lot of great talent working on shows that reviewers never manage to see.  Just sayin'.
...the cast is filled with solid performers: Daniel Schwab as the hero who does a mean gospel roof-raiser, Run Freedom Run; Slow Burn co-founder Matthew Korinko as the droll narrator Officer Lockstock; Larry Buzzeo who graduates from Slow Burn’s flamboyant Dr. Frank N. Furter to the stylishly smooth Cladwell.. Nova Southeastern University student Jaimie Kautzmann in the linchpin role of an obviously grown up “Little” Sally; and Slow Burn vet Lindsey Forgey as the slightly na├»ve but ever earnest heroine Hope.
Slow Burn was given a Silver Palm Award last month as Outstanding New Emerging Theater Company. Urinetown just underscores the wisdom of that call.
John Lariviere reviewed for Talkin' Broadway:
A five-piece orchestra accompanies a well sung show, and Patrick Fitzwater again provides very clean direction. He gets the comic style of the musical across with panache. The production also benefits from strong lighting and sound design by Lance Blank and Traci Almeida.

Matthew Korinko has a wonderful comedic touch as Officer Lockstock. His aside moments with Jamie Kautzmann as Little Sally are some of the funniest in the show, and also important in establishing the feel of musical. Jason Edelstein as Lockstock's sidekick, Officer Barrel, admirably finds a way to make an odd role interesting with his jittery, home-boy portrayal. Daniel Schwab does a nice job as the scruffy, under-dog Bobby Strong. Lindsey Forgey as Hope Caldwell is one of the strongest actors in the show, as she really gets all of her comic moments. Cindy Pearce is hysterical as Penelope Pennywise. She milks every possible double-take, double-entendre, entrance and exit in a nearly scene-stealing performance that makes it hard to watch anyone else when she is on stage.

This production of Urinetown is sheer fun from start to finish.
Christine Dolen reviewed for The Miami Herald:
Urinetown had its South Florida premiere in 2007 at Actors’ Playhouse in Coral Gables, earning three Carbonell Awards. Now Slow Burn Theatre in west Boca Raton is delivering its version of a funny, thought-provoking musical that isn’t all that shocking, the cringe-worthy title notwithstanding.
Slow Burn director-choreographer Patrick Fitzwater has assembled a large, young-skewing cast that collectively delivers the powerhouse vocal goods under the fine musical direction of Emmanuel Schvartzman  ...the story gets told (and well sung) on Ian T. Almeida’s facility-filled set.
Matthew Korinko, Slow Burn’s co-artistic director and the company’s frequent star, is impressive as the comically villainous Officer Lockstock... Buzzeo is a gleefully over the top Cladwell, Cindy Pearce his female match (with Mae West overtones) as potty operator Penelope Pennywise. Lindsey Forgey is high-kicking and sweet-voiced as Hope Cladwell, the UGC “heiress” who falls for not-so-bad-boy Bobby.
Slow Burn is a musical theater company with moxie.... Sometimes, the choices tax Slow Burn’s resources, but somehow Fitzwater and Korinko manage to deliver musicals that entertain, provoke or do both. With Urinetown, Slow Burn demonstrates again it’s a company that is definitely heating up.
The Slow Burn Theatre Company production of Urinetown plays at the West Boca Performing Arts Theater through January 29, 2012.

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