Musical spoof heads to Henry Miller in July
Would a show with any other name smell as sweet?
The musical “Urinetown” will transfer to Broadway in late July. It will move into the Henry Miller Theater, once home to the Roundabout’s Theater Co.’s acclaimed revival of “Cabaret.”
The theater, most recently used for Off Broadway productions, will be converted back into a 500-seat-plus Broadway theater for the show.
Producers are the Araca Group and Dodger Theatricals, in association with TheaterDreams and Lauren Mitchell.
The musical spoof, written by Greg Kotis and Mark Hollmann, will continue to be performed at the Off Off Broadway American Theater of Actors through July 2. It received largely positive reviews when it opened May 6.
The show was first produced in summer 1999 at the Fringe Festival in the East Village.
“Urinetown” stars John Cullum and is directed by John Rando, who could possibly tie director Susan Stroman (“The Producers,” “Contact,” “The Music Man”) for having the most shows running simultaneously on Broadway. Rando directed the current production of Neil Simon’s “The Dinner Party” and also is helming the Tom Selleck starrer “A Thousand Clowns,” skedded to open on Broadway in July.
“Urinetown!” belongs to a growing trend of small edgy musicals that parody big tuners of the past: “Bat Boy” opened earlier this season, with “Reefer Madness” due in the fall.
As for the long-languishing “Reefer Madness,” the Nederlanders’ production of the Kevin Murphy/Dan Studney show looked like a shoo-in for the Variety Arts this summer, what with “Dinner With Friends” closing at the 499-seat venue this month.
But then Andy Fickman, who had helmed the musical in its original L.A. incarnation, came down with another gig, directing his first film, “Who’s Your Daddy?”
As with “Bat Boy” and “Urinetown,” “Reefer Madness” fits into that awkward too hip for Broadway/too big for Off Broadway slot. All three shows have casts of 10-14, making it economically unfeasible to play in a theater with fewer than 399 seats, the capacity of most Off Broadway houses.
Ben Sprecher, manager and co-owner of the Variety Arts, said “Madness” is a “strong contender” for that theater this fall, even though that might mean keeping the 499-seater dark for the summer. “That’s always the problem,” Sprecher said.