The Austin Chronicle

Theatre of the First Water

By Robert Faires, April 22, 2005, Arts

The latest evidence that the Zachary Scott Theatre Center is making a big splash on the national theatre scene? It's the first resident theatre in the country to be granted the rights to produce Urinetown: The Musical. Zach Artistic Director Dave Steakley snagged the prize last month while he was in Chicago at the National Alliance for Musical Theatre conference. A second national tour was being floated for the 2002 Tony Award-winner (best Book of a Musical, Best Score for a Musical, and Best Direction of a Musical for former Austinite John Rando), which would have continued to tie up production rights to the Brechtian spoof, but when that didn't fly, dramatic licensing giant Music Theatre International got the go-ahead to make the show available, and Steakley was at his MTI rep's elbow at the right time. The show's satiric saga of a society that charges its citizens to pee is a natural for our eco-minded, politically charged city, and Steakley, who made the Bad Seed send-up Ruthless! such a sharp delight, a natural to stage it. To quote the director when he pissed, er, passed along the news: Yi-pee!

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