Mom Theatre Blogger: Something Rotten: Show Review by Robin Gorman Newman

photo credit: Joan Marcus

photo credit: Joan Marcus

Something Rotten is something comedically brilliant!

It’s a laugh a minute, light-hearted randy romp that will bring a chesire grin to your face from the moment the curtain opens.

What a treat to see a total feel good show that is high energy and high jinks with consummate performers who play for laughs successfully.  Splashy numbers, opulent period costumes, little emotion and depth…..but it doesn’t much matter.  This show is theatrical cotton candy, and it works. Lots of delicious fluff, codpieces and corsets, that satisfies and leaves you craving more. 

Something Rotten!, the original new Broadway musical comedy directed and choreographed by Tony Award® winner Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon, Aladdin), with music and lyrics by Grammy Award® winner Wayne Kirkpatrick and Golden Globe Award® nominee Karey Kirkpatrick and a book by Karey Kirkpatrick and best-selling author John O’Farrell is playing at the St. James Theatre (246 West 44th Street).

Brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom are hell bent on writing a hit play in 1950s England….competing against the likes of Shakespeare….the literary heartthrob of the Renaissance.  A local soothsayer is enlisted by Nick, in an act of desperation, to offer up a winning concept that is destined for theatrical gold.  The soothsayer, though, is a bit off the mark, and the resulting musical causes scandal, but leads the creators to recognize that love and truth win out over the almighty quill.

The cast of Something Rotten! includes Tony Award nominee Brian d’Arcy James (Shrek), Tony Award winner Christian Borle (Peter and the Starcatcher), Tony Award® nominee John Cariani (Fiddler on the Roof), Heidi Blickenstaff ([title of show]), Tony Award® nominee Brad Oscar (The Producers), Kate Reinders (Wicked), Tony Award® nominee Brooks Ashmanskas (Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me), Peter Bartlett (Cinderella), Gerry Vichi (The Drowsy Chaperone) and Michael James Scott (The Book of Mormon).

Christian Borle (pictured), as a studly Will Shakespeare, rocks a showstopper in an Elvis-like number Will Power.   He brings down the Renaissance rafters.  James as Nick Bottom is the glue for the show, and he’s a triple threat.  Cariana is gentle and likeable as Nigel, Nick’s unassuming brother, Blickenstaff is fun as Nick’s devoted wife.  Oscar is an over the top hoot as the soothsayer.  Reinders is both sweet and sassy as pretty Portia.  Ashmanskas is snarky as Portia’s Puritan father, and Vichi is a musical mensch as Shylock.  The cast is uniformly excellent.

Something Rotten!’s wonderful ensemble features Eric Giancola (The Book of Mormon), Linda Griffin (The Drowsy Chaperone), David Hibbard (Elf), Jenny Hill (Spamalot), Stacey Todd Holt (Rocky), Courtney Iventosch (Wicked tour), Aaron Kaburick (Motown The Musical), Austin Lesch (Violet), Beth Johnson Nicely (Bullets Over Broadway), Aleks Pevec (Aladdin), Angie Schworer (Big Fish), Eric Sciotto (The Mystery of Edwin Drood), Brian Shepard (Young Frankenstein), Chelsea Morgan Stock (Sister Act), Ryan VanDenBoom (Annie), Matt Wall (Annie), Marisha Wallace (Aladdin), and Bud Weber (Aladdin).

The splashy, infectious, numbers, including some impressive tap dancing, and the whimsical costumes, including hoofing eggs, are the stuff good egg white omelets are made of….only here, the yolks are the joke….especially when one cracked egg briefly belts like Jennifer Hudson in Dreamgirls….And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going.  Act I has a fantastic send-up, A Musical, paying tribute to such musicals as Wicked and Pippin.  And, Act II has Make an Omelette, featuring truly inspired costumes and frying pans. And, there are many more songs that make you want to get up and scramble an egg of your own.

The award-winning design team of Broadway veterans includes Scott Pask (scenic design), Gregg Barnes (costume design), Jeff Croiter (lighting design), Peter Hylenski (sound design), Josh Marquette (hair design), Phil Reno (music direction/conductor), Glen Kelly (arrangements), Larry Hochman (orchestrations) and casting by Telsey + Company/Bethany Knox, CSA.

This show is no Egg Beaters.  It’s the real deal!  Visit

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