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Review: SOMETHING ROTTEN! - Georgetown Palace Creates Musical Magic

Georgetown Palace Creates Musical Magic

Review: SOMETHING ROTTEN! - Georgetown Palace Creates Musical Magic Review: SOMETHING ROTTEN! - Georgetown Palace Creates Musical Magic

As a high school student, I was shuffled into the A/V room and forced to watch Franco Zeffirelli's ROMEO AND JULIET by William Shakespeare. Most of my classmates fell asleep in the dark room, but not me. I was entranced. I fell in love with the Bard then and there. Who knew I would adore SOMETHING ROTTEN!, a witty musical that contains the song, 'God, I Hate Shakespeare'? I love it because this show not only skewers saintly Will himself, but lampoons musical theatre in every possible way. Where else are you going to hear a hilariously snappy song about the 'Black Death'?

The story revolves around the Bottom brothers, Nick (Ross Milsap) and Nigel (Nick Xitco) who lead a struggling acting company at the same time that Shakespeare (Leslie Hethcox) is astoundingly popular in Elizabethan London. Grasping at any solution to better his rival, Nick decides to seek out soothsayer Nostradamus (Scott Shipman). The clairvoyant predicts that the next big thing is something called a 'musical', a frankly, insane idea in the 16th century. Add in love interests for our hero brothers (Bea, played by Hannah Ferguson and Portia played by Veronica Ryan), put it all in a comedy blender and the result is a sea of frothy fun.

Director Ron Watson delivers a top notch show on every level. When you take on a theatrical production that makes fun of theatrical productions a deft hand is needed. Watson knocks it out of the park. In my opinion SOMETHING ROTTEN! is a benchmark for The Palace Theatre. It's a massive production for anyone to attempt, but to succeed so spectacularly is awe inspiring. It's all due to Ron Watson and his stellar cast and crew.

Stand out performers include: Ross Milsap as Nick Bottom for his comic timing and pure voice, leading the cast in fantastic style. As Nigel Bottom, the poetic heart of the show, Nick Xitco perfectly embodies innocence and vulnerability. Aiden Keating as Shylock, the moneylender, gets true belly laughs with his spot on performance. As the man himself, William Shakespeare, Leslie Hethcox is the whole rockstar package. Hannah Ferguson as Bea Bottom (yes, you read that correctly) is charming and forthright. Her song 'Right Hand Man' is stunning. Austin acting legend, Scott Shipman, displays every ounce of his incredible talent as Nostradamus. His show-stopping number "A Musical" is flawless as is every moment of his time on stage. I could go on, every cast member deserves recognition for their stellar performances.

Justin Dam's set design is incredible. Beautiful in every way and painted to perspective perfection by Gretchen Johnson, every piece had function and seamlessly appeared on stage with barely a whisper. The set is made more incredible by the knowledge that Dam not only designed the set, but is onstage as Peter Quince, tap dancing and singing with the rest of the cast. Speaking of tap dancing, choreographer Judy Thompson Price gives us chills. It's a wondrous thing to see a stage full of great performers dancing in unison, but to have tap numbers that are perfection in motion is mind blowing. Music Director, Sabrina Mari Uriegas gets the most out of every single note and every single performer. Faith Castaneda's lighting design is absolutely gorgeous; taking us from interior scenes to Broadway style dance numbers she uses color and movement to amazing effect. Costumes were the only fly in the ointment, they were just not up to the level of the rest of the elements, but it's an easily forgivable sin considering how truly outstanding everything else is.

If you haven't made plans to see SOMETHING ROTTEN! at the Georgetown Palace Theatre, make your reservations now. An impressively entertaining performance awaits you. You'll laugh, you'll cheer and you'll enjoy every moment, I promise.


Book by John O'Farrell and Karey Kirkpatrick

Music and Lyrics by Karey and Wayne Kirkpatrick

Directed by Ron Watson

Georgetown Palace Theatre

April 15 - May 15, 2022

Running Time: Approximately 2.5 hours with one 15 minute intermission.

Tickets: $29 - $32,

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Austin native Lynn Beaver has been active in local theatre for the past 20 years. She saw her first play in 1974 and fell completely in love with the performing arts. Lynn has been a director, actor... (read more about this author)