BWW Interview: Scott Cote as Brother Jeremiah in SOMETHING ROTTEN on Tour
When Nick and Nigel Bottom decided they wanted to write a new hit play, they knew they had a lot of work ahead of them. With William Shakespeare as their competition, they knew they had to be new and innovative. The hilarious show SOMETHING ROTTEN is an original musical comedy with a book by John O'Farrell and Karey Kirkpatrick and music and lyrics by Karey and Wayne Kirkpatrick. It follows their adventures in writing the first musical and the cast of characters that add to the humor of the show. Scott Cote plays Brother Jeremiah and can be called the "villain" of the show. BWW caught up with Scott as he prepares to come to Austin, Texas with the cast to share this fun show.
Why don't you share with our audience how you got interested in performing?
I grew up in Maine. I started taking acting lessons when I was in middle school. I remember watching of all things, "Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves" with Kevin Costner and I don't know what (it was) about that movie but I sat there going, "Oh, man I wanna do this." That sparked my interest and then I started taking acting lessons in Portland, Maine. Then when I got into high school, I joined the drama club and did that for the entire four years and really got the bug there and the big community theater in my hometown. Then I went to college in New York. I moved to New York and I went to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. That's where I trained and became a professional.
You've played some great characters over the years. What are some of your favorite ones?
I have done a lot of great stuff and my favorites are (that) I loved playing Senex in "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum." I really loved playing Robert in "Boeing Boeing" That's one of my all-time favorites. This role that I'm doing right now in SOMETHING ROTTEN is also up there as well. He's a lot of fun to play.
Tell us a little more about SOMETHING ROTTEN without giving too much away. What can the audience expect from this show?
The audience can expect a completely original musical. This is not based on anything previously published or produced. It's completely original with original songs and very catchy and just all-out good song writing. The basic plot is about two brothers, Nick and Nigel Bottom, who are writers in the renaissance era. They're looking for the next big hit but they're also in the shadow of the biggest playwright of their day which is William Shakespeare. They need to find out what the next big thing is so they can get on top. Nick Bottom goes to see a soothsayer and asks him to look into the future and tell him what the next big thing in the theater will be. It just so happens to be musical theater. They set out the write the world's first musical. And then high jinx happen from then on. But, that's the basic plot. My role is Brother Jeremiah. If this piece has a villain, I would be that person because he's a Puritan who thinks theater is the work of Satan and does things at all costs to try to stop them from making this piece of theater. It also doesn't help that his daughter is falling in love with one of the writers. He doesn't approve of that at all.
Do you have any similarities with this character or are you completely opposite?
I'm completely opposite. He's a very stingy person and doesn't like art. He's also a closeted man which I am not so I'm completely opposite. But, it's fun to play this person.
I guess it gives you a chance to test your acting abilities and be a little bit different.
Exactly. That's why I got into this business to get into other characters and try to figure these people out.
So, what are some things you've learned about yourself in playing Brother Jeremiah?
That's a great question. I think I've learned to just try to be more open and understanding of other people in accepting who they are because everyone is different. I think that would be the biggest thing that I get out of playing (him) because he's the total opposite of that. I try to be the opposite and actually accept art and other people's backgrounds.
You've been touring for a little while now. What are some places you've enjoyed visiting while you've been on tour?
We just played a few weeks ago, Greenville, South Carolina. Their downtown section is just so beautiful. I really enjoyed playing there. And being from Maine, obviously I'm a New England boy at heart so I really enjoyed Boston. I love that city. Being in Florida in the month of March was great because we missed all of the cold weather.
Have you ever been to Austin, Texas?
I've not been to Austin, but I've been to Houston and Dallas and San Antonio. I'm looking forward to going to Austin. I loved San Antonio and the Riverwalk. I loved the whole vibe of the city.
If you had not gotten into show business, what do you think you would have done?
I think I probably would have been a teacher because when I was young and my sister and I would actually play school. My grandparents had a den and we had a chalkboard and pretended to play school. So, I would probably be a teacher.
SOMETHING ROTTEN plays in Austin at the Bass Concert Hall from May 30 - June 4, 2017. Tickets for SOMETHING ROTTEN can be purchased at Texas Performing Arts website.
PHOTO CREDIT: Jeremy Daniel