Having fun at 'Urinetown'

Kates and I spent a night on the town tonight -- er, a night on the campus, really. We booked a student's services to babysit the girls and walked to campus to see the university's production of "Urinetown: The Musical."

And it was fantastic.

Not only is the musical itself -- a satire of government systems and a parody of musical productions wrapped into one show -- hilarious and cleverly written, Kates and I left the performing arts center -- again -- in awe of our super talented students.

The acting was top-notch, and the cast played the comedy -- both spoken and physical -- to perfection. The choreography was so dazzling and fun. The vocals were terrific, with some heart-melting harmonies particularly by the actors playing Bobby Strong and Hope Cladwell. The actress playing Little Sally also stole her fair share of the scenes. ... All of those elements combined made Act II especially funny and entertaining. We were wiping tears of laughter from our eyes after "Run, Freedom, Run!"

Kates and I knew little about the musical going in, other than that it picked up some Tony Awards several years ago. Now, having seen it, we're charmed.

Of course, after we got home and got settled, I started searching YouTube for comparable performances. I found a fair number of high school and college performances, in addition to some clips of the Broadway cast and the Tony Awards. None, though, seemed to have the wit, high-energy and rich quality we saw tonight.

Here's a performance of "Run, Freedom, Run!" at the 2002 Tony Awards. ...

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