There is much to enjoy from the very beginning to the end of Something Rotten! as there is never a dull moment.
To crack-up over Something Rotten! is a guarantee and a whisk worthy of betting on every night. The plot isn’t hardboiled, often staying sunny-side-up, with tons of jokes scrambled in. Things really pick up when a pair of brothers hatch a plan to write the first ever musical. The inspiration for their production will leave you shell shocked and explain all of my egg-cellent references. It’s no yolk, Something Rotten! is a show that anyone with the slightest interest in musical theatre must see. (Since you are reading this, that must be you…otherwise, thank you for the support)
During the Renaissance Era, the Bottom Brothers, are looking to rise to the top of their field by writing the next big show. The siblings are the overly desperate, Nick (Rob McClure) and the lyricist, Nigel (Josh Grisetti), whose sonnets sometimes end prematurely. Their work is always lost in the shadow of the highly-esteemed Shakespeare (Adam Pascal). In the world of Something Rotten! Shakespeare is a rock-star, adorned in leather pants and an oversized cod piece. He’s also the villain, who will go to any means necessary to keep from being topped.
Seeking advice for an idea, Nick visits a soothsayer, Nostradamus (nephew of the famous one), and what follows is theatrical magic in its purest form. If this review was a musical, I would break-out into a song about how wonderful the scene was, but instead I’ll just write a really long paragraph….
There are moments in a person’s life that stand-out above all others; such as first kiss, getting married, buying a house and seeing ‘A Musical’ performed in Something Rotten! All are unforgettable. Simply put, it’s the most entertaining, hilarious, well-choreographed, colorful, and perfectly sung musical numbers ever done. It should be required viewing for every musical theatre student across the country and the world. It’s lyrics are both brilliant and farcical, occasionally at the same time. It contains references to a myriad of well-known musicals, such as The Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof, and Mary Poppins. Plus, there’s a great line about the misery of sitting through Les Miserables and a nod to the Rockettes. It’s impossible to catch all the references in just one viewing. ‘A Musical’ occurs just about halfway through the first act, and I would have been fully satisfied if it ended the show….glad there’s much more though. High praise must be given to Blake Hammond, who I have no doubt is great in every role, but was born to play Nostradamus. Also, to McClure who is excellent as Nick and the entire ensemble, who gives their all to the number. ‘A Musical,’ is a true gift to witness, and much like my wedding night, was over way too quickly. Did I mention there is a second number that is arguably equally as entertaining and should come with a warning from the Surgeon General (Has Trump fired him yet?) for containing more laughs per-minute than is recommended for good health? The rendition of ‘Make an Omelette’ is musical-comedy in its finest form, and again features references to musicals and Shakespearean works at a rapid pace.
There is much to enjoy from the very beginning to the end of Something Rotten! as there is never a dull moment. The entire cast is superb, including strong supporting roles by Bea (Maggie Lakis), who pops up dressed as a man in several scenes; Portia (Autumn Hurlbert), a star-crossed lover of Nigel, and Lord Clapham (Jeff Brooks) who spews a litany of sexual innuendos.
Something Rotten! is a show not to be missed especially for those with any knowledge of other musicals and/or Shakespeare. It continues at the Schuster Center through March 25.
Mike Woody is a life long resident of Dayton, and has a passion for writing, which is good because he doesn't excel at much of anything else, except eating.