Something Rotten! is a broad campy comedy about the making of a musical, similar in feel to The Producers and Spamalot. The musical-within-a-musical concept allows the creators to satirize the form while still remaining true to it. Our story takes place in the late 16th Century ("Welcome to the Renaissance"), the blossoming of art and culture, as well as toilets that flush (into the street). Playwright Nick Bottom needs a hit, but Shakespeare is hogging all the glory. So Nick pays a soothsayer to tell him what the next big thing is theater is going to be, and this Nostradamus sees Shakespeare's greatest work Hamlet, as well as the birth of musical theater. Except that he gets things a bit jumbled (fortelling the future isn't an exact science), so what Nick ends up writing, with the help of his sweet lovesick poet brother Nigel, is a mash-up of Hamlet and popular musicals from Annie to Phantom. Which is great fun for the Something Rotten! audience, but not so much for the Omelette: The Musical audience and investors. Or Shakespeare, who dons a disguise (like many of his characters) to sabotage the play. But as the Bard says, all's well that ends well, and in this case that means the Bottoms head to America, where musical theater is truly born.*
|Carl Swanson as rock star Will (photo by Molly Weibel)|
|the cast of Something Rotten! (photo by Molly Weibel)|
There truly is "nothing as amazing as a musical, with song and dance and sweet romance and happy ending happening by happenstance." It's pretty bold for musical theater creators to include the lyric "must see magical new original musical" in their show, but in the case of the Kirkpatrick brothers and their creation Something Rotten!, it's true. The talented team at Lyric Arts in the suburbs of #TCTheater are the first ones to tackle it, with a production that's full of so much heart and humor. See it now through August 14.