BWW Review: SOMETHING ROTTEN at The Smith Center
Jess here. I've always been a fan of satire and cheesy comedy, but the Broadway smash "Something Rotten" with book by John O'Farrell and Karey Kirkpatrick, and music and lyrics by Karey and Wayne Kirkpatrick took this art form to a whole new level. This show is currently on tour, and made a stop in Las Vegas at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts. I was lucky enough to get tickets and experience this musical masterpiece firsthand.
The story takes place in 1595, and follows two unappreciated playwrights, Nick and Nigel Bottom, as they struggle to make a name for themselves in a world struck with Shakespeare fever. Nick Bottom, the eldest brother, decides to seek the advice of a fortune teller, Thomas Nostradamus, in an effort to see what type of show he should create. Nostradamus tells him that the next entertainment craze will be what is known as a musical; an entity that up to that point in time had never been done. Nick then attempts to write the world's first musical, Omelette, due to the fact that Nostradamus looked into Shakespeare's future and saw his greatest work, "Hamlet" which he confused with Omelette. The musical Omelette is interesting, to put it lightly. The show is filled with musical references, strong female characters, amazing tap, and everything you would hope to see in a musical extravaganza.
The Bottom brothers, played by Rob McClure (Nick Bottom) and John Grisetti (Nigel Bottom) made the perfect pair, as their personalities balanced each other out nicely. McClure's brash and spontaneous behavior greatly differed from Grisetti's pensive and timid manner. McClure also worked very well with his on and offstage wife, Maggie Lakis (Bea). Both actors demonstrated wonderful vocals as well as comedic skill. Adam Pascal was perfect as the narcissistic egomaniac William Shakespeare. Pascal translated his former rock star persona of Roger Davis over to this role, and it worked in his favor.
The ensemble was heavily involved in the presentation of this show, and I'd like to praise each and every member of the group. They were in nearly every scene and had plenty of choreography and music to keep them on their toes. Each ensemble member possessed incredible tap skills which was refreshing as this style is not commonly seen.
The set designed by Scott Pask and lights by Jeff Croiter worked very well together to deliver the pizazz of "the world's first musical." The costume designer, Gregg Barnes, also did a fantastic job delivering the production's flamboyant charm.
I thoroughly enjoyed this show and would recommend anyone who has a love for the absurd and imaginative side of Broadway to definitely see it.
"When the wind is blowing, That's the time to smile. When the rent is owing, Never lose your style." -Stephen Sondheim