The delight at being back home continued today, as I got to go with Kevin and Kirsten Lageman to see Urinetown, and I have to say, I liked this show almost as much as I liked The Producers, and that's saying something. In many ways, it's a much better, more clever and original show than Producers, and it's also that most rare of gems: A musical that actually makes me wish I could sing better, so that I could do it.
This has to be one of the most unusual and original shows I've ever seen. I've never seen a show that so deftly balanced what is a clear love and devotion to the form of musical comedy and a really sharp send up of it's most cliched aspects.
As it was a matinee, I didn't get to see Jeff McCarthy in the role of Officer Lockstock, but if his understudy (in this case the delightful Don Richard) is even a tenth as good as he is, he must be unbelievably good. For the most part, the rest of the principals were in their parts, so we got lucky. It was, after all, a Sunday matinee.
There just aren't words to describe how funny and sharp the show is, and how it manages to maintain that balance of satire and homage.
You know what's really weird, too? I didn't realize it until I got home and really had a chance to read through the program, but one of the cast members was a woman named Jen Cody - who was Gavan's partner on the tour of Cats for a while. Her husband, Hunter Foster who plays the role of Bobby Strong also apparently worked on Cats too - I wonder if Gavan knows him as well.
Seeing people like that often makes me a little melancholy on Gavan's behalf - he should be doing shows on Broadway; he's that talented. The thing that I've always had a hard time remembering is that Gavan doesn't want to be on Broadway; he's happy where he is.
I guess sometimes you need others to help you learn the truth behind the old saying, "happiness lies not in having what you want, but in wanting what you have."