Credit: Bob Knuth

Circle Theatre’s Urinetown: really gotta go

Circle Theatre has been way the hell out west—first in Forest Park, then Oak Park—since its founding 26 years ago, and in all that time I never thought to myself, God, I wish they’d move further in so I could see them more often. Well, now I’ve had that thought. This isn’t just the best show I’ve seen Circle do—it may be one of the best Urinetowns anybody’s done.

Written by former Chicagoans Greg Kotis and Mark Hollmann (with more than a touch of the arch, antic sensibility Kotis probably picked up during his days as a Neo-Futurist), Urinetown plays genre roulette, parodying everybody from Marc Blitzstein to Boublil & Shönberg as it tells the black-comic tale of a metropolis where water is so scarce that people have to pay to use toilets run by an evil monopoly. Director-choreographer Kevin Bellie has assembled a charming, droll, perfectly cast ensemble and somehow goaded them into performances that are at once wildly energetic and precise. From Jesus Perez’s hodgepodge costume design to the things Laura Savage’s ingenue does with a rag doll while tied to a chair, the whole show has a bursting-at-the-creative-seams quality.