Something Rotten took the roof off the fox theatre and didn’t let up until bows.’
Something Rotten is THE show for theatre kids and goers everywhere. This show’s book is underrated, period. There’s no other way to describe it, but it remains one of the most loved shows that’s not technically a cult show. But ‘Something Rotten’ is absolutely brilliant, in every way.
Some of these jokes are so layered that only geniuses could write them. At one point there was an entire line dedicated to songs from musicals with the word “wheels” in the title. What?!? I heard wheels of a dream (A song from ‘Ragtime’) and I audibly gasped. This show was written for people like me, I got it completely.
From the Shakespeare references to eggs singing ‘And I am telling you’. I’m in love with this show, another thing I love about it is, this cast makes the show. It’s a cast of incredibly funny people that are SINGING for their lives. I must take a moment to talk about some of these choices though. I think ‘Something Rotten’ allows its self to the actor’s skill set, it gives them space to create inside of this piece.
This isn’t the same show from broadway or even night to night. Depending who’s on, it’s different. Daniel Beeman’s Shakespeare is completely different compared to Adam Pascal’s. That’s also what gives this show life, the energy is everchanging. It’s what is necessary for this comedy to work, comedy is almost impossible to master in theatre but this show kills.
This show is the prime example for a show that was lost amidst Tony season. They went up against the juggernaut ‘Fun Home’ which is an exact opposite of ‘Something Rotten’. This show most definitely could’ve won best book, best musical, even best choreography. It is the only modern classic musical, it’s an oxymoron but true. From the music to the kick lines, tap dancing, and everything. It is honestly an all around great piece of art.
Shoutout to this ensemble, ‘Something Rotten’ is nonstop. The stamina you must build for this show is unbelievable. They are tapping for their entire lives! Shoutout to the dressers, backstage running quick changes. Backstage this machine is nonstop the entire show, from everyone in wigs, costumes, stage management, in the pit, light crews, sound crews, thank you.
Now my friends, it is time. *Grand fanfare plays ‘Circle of Life’. For the… CHARACTER BREAKDOWN!
Nick Rashad Burroughs as the Minstrel: I said this to him at the stagedoor and it’s necessary here as well. He is DIS-RE-SPECT-FUL! How dare you be so talented!? He’s full out every time, during tap numbers, he’s grounded, and you see every step. Nick is a performer that you can’t take your eyes off. Nick is purely electric on this stage, plain and simple… and I’m unashamedly going back to ‘Something Rotten’ to see him as Shakespeare.
Joel Newsome as Brother Jeremiah: I don’t think I’ve ever had more fun in a theatre before and that’s largely because of Joel’s choices. There wasn’t a single moment that he was onstage and there wasn’t a smile on my face. The nuances of the performance made it genius. Every pause, hair flip, eye roll, I was here for all of it.
Autumn Hurlbert as Portia: At this point, she must be tired of hearing this, and has 100% gone in for the role for years but whenever her day comes, she’s going to be a great Glinda in ‘Wicked’. Now that that’s out of the way, I admire people that can create pure joy out of thin air. It is something I wish I could do, after hundred of shows, she still makes those moments happen. Then she came out of nowhere with this belt that I was not at all prepared for at all, but I can’t get over these acting choices! AHH! She’s just an incredible performance.
Adam Pascal as Shakespeare: This performance is simply a dream come true. Like everyone else, I grew up on ‘RENT’ so, hearing this voice onstage was ridiculous. I was that one guy in the audience that screamed when he came out, I turned into the kid listening to the ‘RENT’ cast album immediately. After that wears off, you sit back and enjoy his performance. From tap dancing to his perfect comedic timing, and that voice ever theatre kid knows, Adam doesn’t let down.
Josh Grisetti as Nigel Bottom: The voice! Josh’s voice is remarkable. His vocal control is extraordinary, they seem to come out just right and it’s perfect. Josh matches Autumn choice for choice, when she’s excited he’s just as excited. The comedic timing is phenomenal though, he knew just how long to let the moment linger before he picked it up, that’s true mastery.
Maggie Lakis as Bea: *Insert applause here. Belt Maggie, BELT! I was in my seat at one point like can I be Your ‘Right Hand Man’. Maggie was just singing down, her physical comedy skills are top notch! If she would’ve announced a master class after the show, I would’ve been there, cash in hand in a heartbeat.
Scott Cote as Nick Bottom: UNDERSTUDY ALERT! Yes sir! Do It then Scott! This man stepped into the role like It was his since day one of rehearsal like you’re supposed to. He’s just funny, there’s nothing that beats straight up funny. The acting, the vocals, everything about ‘God I Hate Shakespeare’ was golden. The laughs were genuine for this performance. Understudies should never be under appreciated because they make the show happen without skipping a beat, especially when sometimes they don’t get to run a track for weeks at a time.
I also want to talk about the THUNDEROUS roars of applause after ‘A Musical’ and ‘Make an omelette’. Atlanta loves ‘Something Rotten’ but they won’t be here for long. It runs until April 22nd. You can find their schedule here. Then buy tickets here.