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Something Rotten! ~ National Theatre

Jordan Wright
February 8, 2018

Photo Credit ~ © Jeremy Daniel

Loaded with top Broadway stars, Something Rotten! has got it all including actors who can sing, tap, rap and rock out up to the rafters.  Welcome to the Renaissance from the team of composers/lyricists Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick, directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw with book by Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell.  It’s utterly delicious.

From L: Blake Hammond and Rob McClure. ~ © Jeremy Daniel

Down-on-their-luck brothers Nick (Rob McClure) and Nigel (Josh Grisetti) Bottom are eager to one-up Shakespeare (rock star actor Adam Pascal) with a show-stopper of their own creation.  Nigel’s the writer and sensitive one falling for poetry-loving Portia (Autumn Hurlbert).  Nick and his feminist wife Bea (Maggie Lakis) support Nigel’s aspirations.  Pilfering from his wife’s savings, Nick seeks out Nostradamus (the marvelous Blake Hammond) to divine a fresh idea for a play.  The seer predicts it will be musicals.  “Song and dance and sweet romance.  No talking.  All of the dialogue is sung,” he assures.  Convinced the idea will trump anything the Sultan of Sonnet could pen, Nick imagines a troupe of Rockettes-in-codpieces-with-giant-ostrich feathers song and dance.  The show’s backer, Shylock, wonders if “Ham Omelette: The Musical” will sell to the masses.  Notwithstanding Shylock’s doubts, critics agreed when this hilarious musical comedy opened on Broadway nominating it no less than 34 times to garner two wins.

Autumn Hurlbert and Josh Grisetti. ~ © Jeremy Daniel

Groan-worthy wordplay, over-the-top pastiches, and silly costumes abound.  Eggs make an appearance.  Naturally.  It’s a mash-up of Shakespeare’s greatest quips meet the best of Broadway musical numbers in a crazy ass plot that fills the stage with ye olde rock and roll and vaudeville razzmatazz.  Broadway babies will recognize snippets from Cats, The Sound of Music, Music Man, West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof and more (even Mary Poppins makes the cut) all sung and danced by a terrific cast.

Adam Pascal and the cast of the Something Rotten! ~ Photo credit © Jeremy Daniel

We need this. You need this.  Go!

Highly recommended.

Through February 18th, 2018 at The National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC.  For tickets call 202.628.6161 or visit online.

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