Hello everyone! Today I’m reviewing the musical Something Rotten for the second time!
I have reviewed Something Rotten before in 2017 when I first saw the musical. I enjoyed it so much that I knew that if given the chance, I’d totally see it again! Now, I haven’t gone back to review my first post because I didn’t want something to influence what I write today so forgive me if it’s too repetitive or even contradicts what I said before in case I felt differently about something.
So I saw Something Rotten this time at the Marriott Lincolnshire Theatre. It’s a smaller, regional theatre and the fun thing about this one is that it’s a “theatre in the round”, so the stage is in the middle of the room and the audience is all around the rest of the room. I love this theatre because it is so intimate and each performance is amazing so seeing the musicals so close up is incredible. There is the downside that at times you can’t really see what you want to if there are props or other actors in the way, but they do a really good job of keeping sight lines mostly clear and making it fair for everyone by changing up scenes and where each one is “centrally” located each time. They also try to make sure there is something/someone to look at in the corners that might be blocked off in that scene. For example, I was seated front row all the way at the end of the row so I was by one of the ramps to go up on the stage. Because most of the staging involves the furniture pieces or just a lot of action at the corners, sometimes there were actors or props in my sight lines but there would be someone in the corner performing to us, who was blocked by the performers behind them to the rest of the audience. It’s pretty cool and I do enjoy it a lot!
I mention this about the venue because the last time I saw it I was in a traditional theatre where everyone faces the stage. It was also a national tour so the performances are vastly different, even if the lines and music are the same.
This musical was just as fun as I remember! The cast was beyond incredible and I really, really enjoyed it. This musical is a comedy so there was so much laughing and everyone seemed to be having a great time! If you’re not familiar with this one, the musical follows Nick and Nigel Bottom, two brothers who are working hard to make it big in theatre. They are competing for audiences with William Shakespeare though, so they have a difficult time coming up with ideas, finding producers, and making ends meet. Nick eventually decides to consult a soothsayer, Nostradamus, to discover what the next big thing in theatre will be… musicals!
Starting with the music, the songs are super fun and hilarious! There’s a few that are mash-up parody songs of other musicals so there’s a ton of references that musical theatre fans will love. However, the original songs are great too and just as entertaining. The song “A Musical” is always a big hit with the audiences which is my favorite along with “Hard to be the Bard”. You really don’t need to know a ton of musicals to be fans of this one, although if you are you’ll love all the little nods to your favorites.
The book and characters of the musical is great as well. I absolutely love how Shakespeare was portrayed as a “rock star” sort of character and how independent Portia and Bea are. The Bottom brothers are obviously the stars of the show and it’s clear that Nick and Nigel’s potential is great, which makes the fact that they went ahead with so many strange ideas even funnier. Personally I think that their Black Plague musical would have been great though. This is a great musical for everyone with their jokes although I think there are a few that are for adults specifically. For example, Portia and Nigel’s courtship. It’s not graphic but the way it’s presented is more like Elder Cunningham and Nabulungi during the baptism scene in The Book of Mormon where they allude to adult themes but it’ll go over the heads of younger kids. In fact, there were two young girls in the front row across the theatre from me and after those jokes were made I saw them turn to each other confused why all the adults were laughing.
I really enjoyed each member of the cast as well. There was a few people that I recognized from other musicals at this theatre such as Alex Goodrich, who was Nigel Bottom, Adam Jacobs, who was Shakespeare, and many members of the ensemble. But there were many new-to-me actors who were equally as phenomenal such as Rebecca Hurd, who was Portia, KJ Hippensteel, who was Nick Bottom, and Cassie Slater, who was Bea (Slater has performed at the theatre before but I hadn’t seen her performances). Everyone was amazing and the orchestra was great as well!
Overall the musical is a guaranteed good time and I highly recommend!
Le me know if you have seen this musical or intend to see it someday. I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Thanks for reading!
Follow me on social media!