Something Rotten! is a stage musical that premiered at the St. James Theatre on Broadway in April of 2015. The show is about two brothers, Nick and Nigel Bottom, trying to run a successful theatre troupe in the age of William Shakespeare.
Something Rotten! is definitely something hilarious. It’s probably the funniest musical this side of The Book of Mormon.
Reviews & Nominations
AP calls it “hysterical.” The Hollywood Reporter deemed it “riotous.” And Variety wants you to know its “outrageous.”
Something Rotten! is so good that it opened directly on Broadway. It was going to run in Seattle but feedback from its workshop was so positive that producers decided to take it straight to the Great White Way.
It was a good decision since the musical went on to earn ten Tony Award nominations, nine Drama Desk Award nominations, and a dozen Outer Critics Circle Award nominations.
Anachronisms & Hilarity
The musical may feature Shakespeare as a character, and is set in 1595, but don’t expect a bunch of “thous,” “arts,” and “shalls.” The musical contains a lot of anachronisms.
It also contains tons of hilarious bits including…
… an idea to make a musical about the Black Death…
… a soothsayer believing Shakespeare’s next big play will be called “Omelet…”
… and the cheeky pun “Toby?" "Or NOT Toby!" after actor “Toby Belch” reveals he’s actually Shakespeare.
The high point of the hilarity is “A Musical.” In this rousing number, a soothsayer tells Nick Bottom that the next big thing for the theatre is the musical.
Creative Team & Original Cast
Brothers Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick wrote the show’s music and lyrics. They came up with the idea for Something Rotten! back in the 1990s.
Karey Kirkpatrick also co-wrote the book with John O’Farrell.
The musical is directed and choreographed by the great Casey Nicholaw. Nicholaw wore the same two hats for The Book Mormon. He also choreographed Monty Python’s Spamalot and The Drowsy Chaperone.
Brian d’Arcy James originated the role of “Nick Bottom” while famous character actor John Cariani originated the role of his brother, “Nigel Bottom.”
Christian Borle, who starred in the NBC musical Smash alongside Brian d’Arcy James, plays “William Shakespeare.” He won a 2015 Tony Award for his uproarious portrayal of The Bard as a rock and roll star without equal.