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REVIEWS

Urinetown, by
Opening Night: A Privilege To "See"
Friday, February 17, 2006
4.0
This is a night of firsts for me:

- First TheaterReview Review
- First OnStage Atlanta Production

Where to begin?

From the moment I walked through the door, things got "interesting". While there to see Eric McNaughton, "Officer Lockstock", upon review of the Headshot Board, I was surprised to see two former cast-mates! Michael Austin and Sims Banes were in "Kiss Me, Kate" with me; Atlanta's SUCH a small place, no? Anywho . . . .

Having seen "Urinetown" performed by the touring company, and listened to the OOBC recording countless times, this cast was up against some rather high expectations. Much to my delight, and that of the audience, they rose to the challenge. At the curtain call we, in turn, rose to our collective feet.

While both leads found themselves in less than ideal vocal situations a few times, learning they are battling laryngitis found me applauding their "the show must go on" performances all the more. I wish them a speedy recovery. Don't get me wrong - they did a fine job: this is LIVE theatre, after all. (I wish I could say the same for some other shows I've seen; New York included!)

Allison Simpson's "Penelope Pennywise": what a voice! Brava!!

Jenna Edmonds's "Little Sally": I wondered how OA was going to fill this pivotal role effectively. Your performance stood as tall as the UGC building.

Erik McNaughton’s "Officer Lockstock": Well, Well, Well! What a treat it was to finally see you on the stage; a place you obviously belong. TRUST.

As for the ensemble: Bloody he!! I had more than one “tingle” moment – that’s with a “g”, not a “k”, btw – and your united vocal power was the cause. Great job!

At intermission, I found myself yet again surprised to learn a "voice" which sounded so familiar belonged to none other than Laine Binder, whose stellar performance in Neighborhood Playhouse's "Cabaret" is something I shall not soon forget. What a treat to see/hear this talent again play not one role, but two. (Great costume, Mrs. Millennium!)

I could wax poetic on every cast member, make mention of the set - which I won't - along with the musicians, who played a noteworthy show. However, that will be left to those of you who are 1. Far more qualified than I 2. Have the time to do so.

At the meet and greet, I couldn't help but bemoan the illness which prevented me from auditioning. “Urinetown” looks and sounds great, and I only hope the significant number of "first timers" there tonight will help spread the word for this great assemblage of talent. I certainly will.




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