Too Much Exposition
Well, hello there. And welcome - to Urinetown! Not the place, of course.
The musical. Urinetown "the place" is ... well, it's a place you'll hear
people referring to a lot through the show.
You hear the news? They carted Old "So and So" off to Urinetown the
Is that so? What he do?
Oh, such and such, I hear.
Well, what do you know. Old "So and So".
It's kind of a mythical place, you understand. A bad place. A place you
won't see until Act Two. And then...? Well, let's just say it's filled
with symbolism and things like that. But Urinetown "the musical", well,
here we are. Welcome. It takes place in a town like any town...that you
might find in a musical. This here's the first setting for the show. As
the sign says, it's a "public amenity", meaning public toilet. These
people have been waiting for hours to get in. It's the only amenity they
can afford to get into.
Say, Officer Lockstock, is this where you tell the audience about the
What's that, Little Sally?
You know, the water shortage. The hard times. The drought. A shortage so
awful that private toilets eventually become unthinkable. A premise so
absurd that -
Whoa, there, Little Sally. Not all at once. They'll hear more about the
water shortage in the next scene.
Oh, I guess you don't want to overload them with too much exposition, huh.
Everything in its time, Little Sally. You're too young to understand it
now, but nothing can kill a show like too much exposition.
How about bad subject matter?
Or a bad title, even? That could kill a show pretty good.
Well, Little Sally, suffice it to say that in Urinetown (the musical)
everyone has to use public bathrooms in order to take care of their
private business. That's the central conceit of the show!
Better hope your pennies
Add up to the fee -
We can't have you peeing
If you do, we'll catch you
We, we never fail!
And we never bother with jail
You'll get Urinetown!
Off you'll go to Urinetown!
Away with you to Urinetown!
You won't need bail
Later on you'll learn that these "public bathrooms" are controlled by a
private company. They keep admission hight, generally, so if you're down
on your luck you have to come to a place like this - one of the poorest,
filthiest urinals in town.
And you can't just go in the bushes either, there's laws against it.
That's right, Little Sally. Harsh laws, too. That's why Little Sally
here's counting her pennies. Isn't that so, Little Sally?
I'm very close, Officer. Only a few pennies away.
Aren't we all, Little Sally. Aren't we all.
Well, we've talked on long enough, I imagine. Enjoy the show. And
welcome - to Urinetown (the musical)!