Facing competition from that red hot up-and-comer down the street, one Will Shakespeare, the Bottom brothers have to come up with a new hit or see their troupe out on the streets. The amusing result is Something Rotten!, a creampuff-light play within a musical comedy opening on Broadway that, as I say in my video review above, I think many theater-goers will happily sink their teeth into.
The play just opened at the St. James Theater and stars Brian d’Arcy James and John Cariani as the Bottom brothers, the writers who need to figure out a hit. Local rock star/dramaturge Will Shakespeare (played by Christian Borle) is tearing up the town, which in this case is South London in 1595. A soothsayer (Brad Oscar) suggests a play, but one where the actors are wont to stop acting sometimes and start singing. Despite the Bottoms’ doubts, a play’s the thing indeed.
We’ll not delve into the rest of the plot, but kudos to the heretofore-unknown team of Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell (book) and Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick (songs). Their work benefits from the inspired, hell-for-leather staging by Casey Nicholaw, best known for The Book of Mormon and Aladdin.
The result is studded with in-jokes and puns for fans of Broadway and the Bard, so insiders may be best positioned to appreciate its charms. But charms it definitely has for those seeking some fun in the time of Shakespeare.
Watch my video review. Are you hoping to see Something Rotten! Let us know what you think.