Chad Reviews "Something Rotten!"
I have a love for musical theatre that goes back several decades, stemming back to multiple childhood viewings of “The Wizard of Oz”, “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”, “The King and I”, and “The Music Man” on television. I got my first taste of it from the performer’s side of the curtain in 6th grade after being cast in the title role of “Tales of a 6th Grade Scrooge”, a role that followed me around for MANY years. Despite the teasing I got from my classmates, I was in love with the genre and continued chasing roles all throughout high school. Sadly, the musical theatre high school scene wasn’t then what it is now, and that’s pretty much where it ended for me as a performer. However, that freed up more time for me to enjoy it even more from the audience’s standpoint. Nothing satisfies me more than to watch a group of truly gifted artists and storytellers capture my imagination for 2 hours, leaving me inspired and anxious for the next performance, but I’ve often wondered how it all began. Who came up with this idea of merging live theatre with song and dance? Apparently the Kirkpatrick brothers, Karey and Wayne, along with John O’Farrell thought the same thing and came up with “Something Rotten!”
This story finds the two Bottom brothers, Nick (Rob McClure) and Nigel (Josh Grisetti), running a theatre troupe that is struggling to succeed thanks largely to the enormous shadow being cast by the overwhelmingly popular and ousted member of their own troupe and Nick’s nemesis, William Shakespeare (Adam Pascal). After another stalled project that leaves the brothers without a backer and with Nigel nowhere to look for inspiration, Nick turns to a soothsayer, Thomas Nostradamus (Blake Hammond) to show him what the future holds for the medium of theatre. Thomas reveals that it will be called... a MUSICAL, thus beginning a madcap journey involving rampaging Puritans, true love, family trust issues, and…an omelette? Don’t ask; it will all make sense in the end.
I honestly cannot recall the last time I left the theatre as elated and as breathless as I did after experiencing “Something Rotten!”. This is the most fun I’ve had watching a musical in my entire life, with no lulls or low points, nobody taking it too far over the top, and no long-winded scenes added for the sheer sake of exposition. This is an astounding cast of incredibly talented performers provides just the perfect amount of give and take with each other, resulting in a sublime combination of brilliant sight gags, flawless comic timing, and remarkably witty writing. The chemistry onstage is superb and I’ve never laughed harder at a live stage show EVER! This is an absolute must see for any fan of musical theatre as it spends an entire evening not only making fun of itself, but reminding us all why we love it so much in the first place.