Tuesday, July 05, 2016

"Something Rotten" Still Going Strong After 500 Performances - Welcome To The Renaissance!

I had the opportunity to see "Something Rotten" during one of its preview performances.  Now that it has played on Broadway more than 500 times, I thought it was time to return and see how the Bottom Brothers were faring.  The good news is that the show is as delightful as ever.  There is no bad news!

With a book by Karey Kirkpatrick and John O'Farrell and music and lyrics by Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick, "Something Rotten" is brilliantly conceived and written. In the space of two rollicking acts, they provide the ingredients that allow a cast of consummate professionals to whip up an omelet of dozens of allusions to musicals that have graced Broadway stages for the past fifty years. The Direction and Choreography of Casey Nicholaw keeps things moving so the audience barely has time to take a breath between laughs and cheers.

I very much enjoyed this musical the first time I saw it, but returning to it was an even greater delight, for I was able to pick up even more of the rapid-fire inside jokes from the world of musical theater. I challenge you to catch as many as you can.

Brad Oscar as Nostradamus
Rob McClure as Nick Bottom
"Something Rotten"
St. James Theatre
Rob McClure as Nick Bottom and John Cariani as Nigel Bottom anchor this superb cast.  As playwrights in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, they can't catch a break. Their former acting troupe colleague, Will Shakespeare, is getting all of the publicity, patronage, and audiences.  Christian Borle is memorable, playing The Bard as Elvis - Renaissance Rock Star. His over-the-top number, "Hard To Be The Bard" is a highlight among many stellar moments in this show. Desperate to find an edge, Nick Bottom surreptitiously employs a relative of the famous soothsayer, Nostradamus, to predict the future of theater and of Shakespeare's greatest hit. Brad Oscar almost steals the show as the daft Nostradamus, almost getting his prognostications right, but just missing some key elements. His wild-eyed envisioning the future of theatre triggers the show-stopping ensemble piece "A Musical."

Rob McClure as Nick Bottom and Cast
"A Musical"
"Something Rotten"
St. James Theatre
Other standouts in the cast include David Beach as the preening Puritan, Brother Jeremiah, and Kate Reinders as his comely daughter, Portia, who falls for Nigel and his poetry.  Heidi Blickenstaff is strong as Nick's long suffering wife.  Edward Hibbert is properly arch as Lord Clapham and Master of the Justice.  Andre Ward opens things up as the singing Minstrel, and Gerry Vichi is a mensch as Shylock.

Christian Borle as Shakespeare
"Something Rotten"
St. James Theatre
Even if you are not a theater insider looking to catch all of the jokes, this is a show that will send you back out into the street with a smile on your face and a spring in your step.  It is a total delight. We have waited over 400 years for a show like this.  Don't miss it!

Boston based fans, see it in New York now, then enjoy it again when the touring cast comes to the Boston Opera House this coming January.

Something Rotten Website



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