It wasn’t exactly the reopening of the Vienna State Opera in 1955, but all things considered, the “Urinetown” preem Thursday at the Henry Miller Theater possessed its own historical significance: The show goes on and Broadway was definitely back in party mode at Laura Belle.
Greg Kotis, co-lyricist/book writer on the edgy tuner, said there had been some “nipping and tucking and softening” since its earlier Off Broadway incarnation.
The evening marked John Cullum’s 40th anniversary on Broadway, and the star thought back to that first gig, in “Camelot” in 1961. “So many things can go horrendously wrong in a musical,” he said. “Moss Hart had a heart attack out of town with ‘Camelot.’ Jay Lerner developed ulcers. There are so many turns where you could have gone off the cliff, and we didn’t with ‘Urinetown.’ ”
That said, Cullum recalled his initial reaction to the script about a town in which people must pay to pee: “This is sick and dark and stupid, and I was dumbfounded why I found myself laughing and hooting and hollering. It’s the kind of show I would have done when I was younger.”