By Mel Pratt ’20 / Emertainment Monthly Assistant Stage Editor
When anyone thinks Shakespeare, they immediately think of theatre. Shakespeare has written hilariously silly plays that feature a man turned into a donkey who happens to be named Bottom. So what better way to honor this man than creating a ludicrous show featuring a rock star portrayal of him?
Something Rotten is a Tony-winning show that just launched its first national tour. The show follows the Bottom brothers, Nick (Rob McLure) and Nigel (Josh Grisetti) who are playwrights in renaissance England. Unfortunately, their careers aren’t going too well as their biggest competition is William Shakespeare (Adam Pascal). In order to gain success in show business, Nick looks for a soothsayer, Nostradamus (Blake Hammond), to tell him what will be the next be thing in show business will be.
Nostradamus tells Nick that musicals will be the new hit on stage and erupts into the hilarious number “Musicals” that pays homage to iconic Broadway shows. Nick then sets out to write the first musical ever in order to be more loved than Shakespeare and madness ensues.
Both fans of Shakespeare and modern musicals will love this show and all the jokes that are inspired by iconic moments in theatre. The references are blatant and garnered laughs again and again when I saw the show open at the Boston Opera House. The show has a cartoon quality to it that works well with the silliness of the show. The sets, costumes, lights, and actors are all vibrant and over-the-top, but not too much so. I could tell the actors and crew loved putting on the show as much as the audience loved watching it.
Each character is as vibrant as the last, with particularly wonderful performances from Autumn Hurlbert as Portia, a puritan who secretly loves Shakespeare; Josh Grisetti as the sweet and talented Nigel Bottom; and Rent veteran Adam Pascal as the heartthrob of the Renaissance, Shakespeare.
Directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw, with music and lyrics by Karey and Wayne Kirkpatrick, and a book by Kasey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell. Something Rotten runs at the Boston Opera House until January 29th, so get your tickets now and don’t miss out on a night that won’t be rotten at all!