The hilarious Broadway show "Something Rotten!" brings Shakespeare and his counterparts to life by poking self-deprecating fun at musicals and the much-celebrated bard himself.
In the world of "Something Rotten!", William Shakespeare is a god -- a rockstar -- with frosted tips, a silver collar, and a David Bowie-like presence that leaves his adoring female fans twitterpated. That's all well and good, except that his competition -- the lowly, bumbling Bottom brothers -- can't seem to pen an equally successful play to save their lives. Consequently stuck living in poverty while they wait for inspiration to strike, Nick Bottom takes matters into his own hands, seeking the all-seeing powers of Nostradamus for some input on the future of the theater and what kind of productions will make it big
. And thus, the "musical" is born.
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The national tour of Broadway's "Something Rotten!" is only at the Denver Center for Performing Arts for a total of two weeks, with their last performance on Sunday, October 29. But fans of Shakespeare's works or Broadway musicals (bonus points for fans of both!) should try to snag tickets if at all possible! You're almost certain to fall in love with a colorful, wildly entertaining show that's both irreverent and silly, starring a charismatic cast and incredibly clever writing.
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As an "ode to musicals" of sorts, "Rotten!" finds a way to work in references to at least 15 different famous productions amid energetic choreography and impressive tap dancing. The Bottom brothers are attempting to produce the first-ever musical -- centering on the (questionable?) subject of eggs
, because Nostradamus has incorrectly interpreted that Shakespeare's future big hit will be called "Omelette" (instead of "Hamlet"). But Nostradamus' view into the future is muddled in more ways than one, and Nick finds himself with the task of tying together all the random, discordant bits of the seer's visions -- blurbs from "Chicago," "Fiddler on the Roof," etc. -- under a neat omelette-themed song and dance. And yes, there are
dancing eggs and omelettes prancing across the stage.
One thing that always impresses me about Broadway productions is the impeccably talented casting, and "Rotten!" certainly doesn't disappoint. Every cast member is required to be a master tap dancer, and Nick Bottom's dance-off with Will Shakespeare (played by the amazing Adam Pascal) is especially memorable and hilarious. Rob McClure, who stars as Nick, is reminiscent of Entourage
's Jeremy Piven -- only more charismatic, while Nigel Bottom (portrayed perfectly by John Grisetti) is the unsung hero of the story.
The entire performance was side-splittingly funny, never once taking itself too seriously. But word of warning: some of the jokes border on risqué, so my personal recommendation is that "Rotten!" be for audiences ages 14 and up.
All in all, "Something Rotten!" kept its Denver audience roaring with laughter and applause. With colorful costuming, a smart and playful script, and vibrant characters, this parody of Shakespeare's London was a lot of fun -- and there was absolutely nothing rotten about it.
to learn more about the Broadway musical "Something Rotten!" For ticket information, visit the DCPA website
Have you seen this production? What's your favorite Broadway musical? Tell us in the comments below!