Review: SOMETHING ROTTEN! at Meridian Theatres @ Centrepointe

It may be the silliest show you’ll ever see (in the best possible way)

By: Jun. 03, 2023
Review: SOMETHING ROTTEN! at Meridian Theatres @ Centrepointe

Orpheus Musical Theatre’s production of Something Rotten!, directed by Debbie Guilbeault, is a hilarious comedy centered around Nick (D.J. Eyamie) and Nigel (Graeme Park) Bottom, a playwright and poet trying to come up with the next big idea in the hopes of ousting their rival, William Shakespeare (Itzy Kamil), from his preening pedestal. Review: SOMETHING ROTTEN! at Meridian Theatres @ Centrepointe They must come up with something by tomorrow or risk losing the financial backing of their only patron, Lord Clapham (Barry Daley). Shylock (Brian Cano), a wealthy theatre lover, offers to become the Bottom brothers’ investor but is reminded that it is illegal to have a Jewish patron. So that Nick can focus on his writing, his wife, Bea (Andréa Black), disguises herself as a man so she can get a job to support the family. Nigel, meanwhile, finds a soulmate in Portia/">Portia (Julie Séguin) but must contend with her Puritan father, Brother Jeremiah (Dennis Van Staalduinen). Desperate, Nick seeks help from a mediocre soothsayer, Nostradamus (Réjean Dinelle-Mayer), who conveys his jumbled vision of the future to Nick, who becomes utterly convinced that this revolutionary idea will be their salvation.

The show’s plot is completely ridiculous in the best possible way. The book (Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell) and choreography (Orpheus choreography by Debbie Guilbeault) include a multitude of references to Shakespeare’s works and Broadway shows. You don’t need to know anything about either to thoroughly enjoy the show, but if you are able to catch the references, it is even more fun and will have you, quite literally, laughing out loud with the rest of the audience.

The cast Orpheus assembled for this production is both talented and experienced, with many theatre veterans among the actors. A quick glance at the program shows what an ambitious undertaking this musical is for Orpheus, counting over 35 members of the cast and ensemble. Of particular note is Eyamie’s performance; Eyamie is clearly in their element here, handling all aspects of the role with charm and ease, from acting to vocals to the dancing and tapping elements.Review: SOMETHING ROTTEN! at Meridian Theatres @ Centrepointe Kamil’s vocals were, at times, a little uneven but his charisma as the self-adulating Shakespeare more than made up for it. Parke played the shy, unassuming Nigel with heart, perfectly contrasting with the boisterous Nick. Supporting cast members, Dinelle-Mayer, Cano, Van Staalduinen, and Daley, were convincing as Nostradamus, Shylock, Brother Jeremiah, and Lord Clapham, respectively. The female roles were given significantly less material; however, Black and Séguin each gave impressive performances and left no doubt as to their talent.

The ensemble was wonderful, making a huge contribution to the overall polish of the production through solid chorus and choreography, most notably in “Welcome to the Renaissance / Welcome to America”, “A Musical”, “Will Power”, and “Make an Omelette”.

Review: SOMETHING ROTTEN! at Meridian Theatres @ Centrepointe The set design (Laura Duncan) was deliberately understated, allowing more space for such a large cast of performers to move around, but without feeling empty. Costumes (Cynthia Sanoy) were elaborate and true to the period. This season, Orpheus’ productions have gotten better with each show, and I would hazard to say that Something Rotten! is the best production that I have seen from Orpheus so far. This is made even more impressive by the sheer magnitude of this production.

Orpheus’ Something Rotten! may be the silliest production you ever see, but you won’t regret going! Something Rotten! is on stage at Meridian Theatres @ Centrepointe through June 11th. Click here for more information or to buy tickets.

Orpheus’ 2023-2024 season is also now on sale; click here for more information or to buy a discounted subscription package.


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From This Author - Courtney Castelino

Originally from Montreal, Courtney loves the theatre, in general, and Broadway, in particular. She saw her first show when she was thirteen years old: a touring production of The Phantom of the Opera ... (read more about this author)


#repshow# in[i]# Glorious!
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