BWW Review: SOMETHING ROTTEN is 'Stinking Funny'

The cockeyed creative style of Karey Kirpatrick and John O'Farrell (book) and Wayne Kirpatrick and Karey Kirpatrick (music and lyrics) works brilliantly in this outrageously funny production which takes pride in mocking almost every popular Broadway musical we've ever seen.

BWW Review: SOMETHING ROTTEN is 'Stinking Funny'The plot is based on the Renaissance Era and the desperate theatrical creators, the Bottom Brothers (Nick and Nigel) are about lose their financial patron Lord Clapham (Joel Newsome) unless they come up with a hit show. Sound like The Producers yet? The brothers give it their best shot, but for some reason, their musical about the Black Death, "that pesky little pestilence killing half of Europe", doesn't please their patron and the pressure is on.

To avoid going in hock Nick played by Philly favorite Rob McClure raids the nest egg BWW Review: SOMETHING ROTTEN is 'Stinking Funny'accumulated by his wife, Bea played by Maggie Lakis. This real life husband and wife team of McClure and Lakis (welcome home you two!) are comedic magic together! Nick gives the money to the soothsayer Nostradamus played by the enormously funny Blake Hammon, whose bumbling talent for foreseeing the future is like taking a chance on the weather.

BWW Review: SOMETHING ROTTEN is 'Stinking Funny' Did I mention that the theatrical competition at that time is none other than William Shakespeare? Broadway legend Adam Pascal plays the strutting peacock "I am the Will with the skill/ To thrill you with the quill". Pascal is obnoxiously talented in his role. But Nostradamus assures Nick that one day he will dazzle the whole world with his immortal work - a musical called "Omelet". Well, that's almost all the plot you need, because there's entirely too much insanely crazy gobbledygook in Act Two.

BWW Review: SOMETHING ROTTEN is 'Stinking Funny'Wait! There's the ever present troupe of Puritans hell-bent on destroying theater on the whole, featuring their hypocritical leader Brother Jermiah (Scott Cote) and his lovely lily-pure daughter Portia (Autumn Hurlbert) who falls in love with Nigel Bottom's prose...and more! Standout performances are offered by Cote, Hurlbert and Josh Grisetti as Nigel Bottom as well as the tour de force, multi-talented, much incognito Maggie Lakis!

Unchecked enthusiasm is not always an asset in musical comedy but in this case it works. If that sounds exhausting, the large cast onstage betrays no signs of fading. Clad in what are undeniably heavy Elizabethan costumes, and performing what is essentially the same determined showstopper numbers again and again, the ensemble members in this Broadway-does-the-Renaissance frolic.

Much credit is due to the amazing almost cartoonish scenic designs by Scott Pask and the witty costume designs by Gregg Barnes for his takeoffs on period-appropriate costuming for every number in the show, especially his bizarre creations for "Omelet".

Did the audience like it? No, they moaned they howled and they loved it! Hold the tomatoes! The cast would likely throw them back at you.

Photos: www.kimmelcenter.org press

SOMETHING ROTTEN plays at the Academy of Music through March 4th before it moves onto tour. For more information and tickets to upcoming shows visit www.kimmelcenter.org

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From This Author Pati Buehler

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