Something Rotten danced and sang it’s way across the stage of the Orpheum Theatre during last night’s opening of the Broadway production. This musical comedy was written for a broad range of audiences.
The production transports the audience back into the Renaissance period during the time of Shakespeare with elaborate costumes and whimsical set design.
For those who are a little intimidated by Shakespeare, don’t be. The Shakespeare (Adam Pascal) character is a cool Rock Star type who’s more in love with his stardom than coming up with new plays to write.
Something Rotten is about two brothers, Nick Bottom (Rob McClure) and Nigel Bottom (Josh Grisetti), trying to come up a play to rival one of their ex-prodigy (Shakespeare). The production was conceived by brothers Wayne and Karey Kirkpatrick. “Welcome to the Renaissance” opens both acts lead by the Minstrel (Nick Rashad Burroughs) and sets up the scene through song.
The showstopper musical number is entitled “A Musical” which references Broadway hit musicals like Oliver, Rent, A Chorus Line, South Pacific, Annie, Jesus Christ Superstar and Lady Be Good that goes back as far as the 1920’s.
“We reference not only the musicals that inspired us, but also musicals people would know even if they hadn’t seen them, or maybe they’d only seen the movie.”, says Wayne Kirkpatrick.
This showstopper number started out as a ditty for the minstrel in the show, but director-choreographer Casey Nicholas was adamant about doing something different. Nicholas ended up revising the number into a piece that would reference famous characters and choreographers along with the mention of famous musicals.
Each character in Something Rotten is well written. The most memorable one is Nostradamus (Blake Hammond), the soothsayer. Nostradamus references Broadway musical throughout the production as he gives Nick Bottom (RobMcClure) insight on Shakespeare future smash hit production.
The production portrays a strong female character with Nick Bottom’s wife Bea (Maggie Lakis) who is a stand by your man type woman even if it means having to cross-dress as a man to find work in her rendition of “Right Hand Man.”
The Kirkpatrick brothers came up with the idea for the musical about 20 years from when the production first hit the Broadway stage. Both brothers have accomplished careers with Karey Kirkpatrick being an animated-film screenwriter, songwriter, and director. Wayne Kirkpatrick is an acclaim Grammy Award-winning songwriter.
Planning for the musical consisted of a lot of phone conversations back and forth to develop the storyline. Since neither one of the brothers had written a musical, they had to get through a 4 1/2 year learning curve. Their effort paid off with a musical comedy that tickles our funny bone.
Don’t miss this musical filled with memorable songs, great choreography, and excellent set design. It’s a musical that will appeal to a broad range of audiences. Don’t miss Something Rotten.