Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
Review: Nostradamus Predicts a Hit With SOMETHING ROTTEN! at Broadway At Music Circus

Review: Nostradamus Predicts a Hit With SOMETHING ROTTEN! at Broadway At Music Circus

Plays through July 31

Broadway at Music Circus welcomes you to the Renaissance with its newest resounding success, Something Rotten! This is the first time the Tony Award-nominated musical is being performed at Music Circus and the round lends a special intimacy to the production that, I'll admit, made it better than the national tour. With a book by Karey Kirkpatrick and John O'Farrell and music and lyrics by Karey and Wayne Kirkpatrick, Something Rotten! will hilariously satisfy Oxfordians, who question how an uneducated man such as Shakespeare could have written such sophisticated content as is attributed to him. Even loyal Stratfordians will enjoy the story of Shakespeare-as-plagiarist, for there is no resisting the irreverent humor and jaw-dropping talent that make up the show.

Something Rotten! tells the story of two brothers, Nick and Nigel Bottom, who are struggling to write a play that will rival Shakespeare's works. Desperate, hungry, and on the verge of being penniless, Nick decides to pay a visit to Soothsayer Alley, where he comes across Thomas Nostradamus. Thomas' talent isn't quite as developed as his famous ancestor's, so he tells Nick that he should write the world's first musical...about dancing omelets. Although this leads to the show-stopping number, "A Musical," Nigel finds the idea ridiculous and goes about penning a work that his cohorts deem to be the next big hit. Shakespeare, also recognizing its brilliance, wastes no time in exploiting Nigel's naivete and appropriates the manuscript under the guise of improving it.

While Nick's musical takes the stage to ridiculously funny numbers such as "Make an Omelette," the appeal of tap-dancing breakfast food is, unfortunately, not enough to make the show a success. Nick and his crew are exiled to America where, presumably, they spark the beginning of the world's love affair with musicals.

In addition to a strong ensemble, Something Rotten! boasts a cast of Broadway veterans. Matt Loehr's Nick Bottom oozes resentment in "God, I Hate Shakespeare" and carries the show with a desperate fervor and determination. A slimy Shakespeare is played by Hugh Jackman lookalike Colin Hanlon, who preens and pontificates in "Hard to be the Bard." Ben Fankhauser portrays a sensitive and poetic Nigel, who eventually finds love with the ex-Puritan, poetry-loving Portia (Halli Toland). Nick's wife, Bea, is played by Broadway's longest-running Elphaba, Jackie Burns, who shows up to show us what it means to be your man's "Right Hand Man." Comedic powerhouse Josh Lamon rounds out the talent as Thomas Nostradamus, providing a plethora of side-splitting moments and earning a well-deserved standing ovation.

You needn't be a Shakespeare buff to enjoy this show, but aficionados will enjoy the clever references to his works. The risqué innuendos, energetic tap numbers, and dazzling costumes will appeal to everyone. The nod to several Broadway musicals is the ultimate treat for musical lovers, who should go to take the challenge to see how many they can identify. Like Nostradamus predicted, "nothing's as amazing as a musical!"

Something Rotten! is playing at Broadway at Music Circus through July 31. Tickets may be purchased by calling (916) 557-1999, in person at the Box Office at 1419 H Street, or by visiting the website at

Photo credit: Kevin Graft

TodayTix Extension

From This Author - Courtney Symes

Courtney Symes is a long-time theatre aficionado who has been writing for BroadwayWorld since 2017. She has been active in theatre and youth organizations in her community. After trying law sc... (read more about this author)

Review: COME FROM AWAY Comes To Broadway On Tour at the SAFE Credit Union Performing Arts CenterReview: COME FROM AWAY Comes To Broadway On Tour at the SAFE Credit Union Performing Arts Center
September 21, 2022

Once in a while, an event occurs that is so viscerally powerful that you will always remember exactly what you were doing when it happened.  Most people over 70 will remember what they were doing when John F. Kennedy was assassinated.  People my age remember the Challenger disaster vividly (I was in my 6th-grade classroom watching the launch on t.v.).  Arguably even more tragic are the events that transpired on September 11, 2001.  From the dust of the wreckage, though, came hope and a unified country.  Come From Away is a story of that hope and unification.  It makes its Sacramento premiere this week in a special engagement that had been postponed since 2020. 

Review: Come Join the CHARADE at The B Street TheatreReview: Come Join the CHARADE at The B Street Theatre
September 11, 2022

A beautiful woman, international espionage, a mysterious stranger, and so many twists that you’ll be dizzy-that’s what’s happening at the B Street Theatre this week.  Based on the 1963 film starring Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn, Charade has been adapted for the stage by Dave Pierini, who is also a Core Acting Company member of the B Street Theatre. 

Review: Say 'Hell Yes!' to THE COLOR PURPLE at Broadway At Music CircusReview: Say 'Hell Yes!' to THE COLOR PURPLE at Broadway At Music Circus
August 24, 2022

For me, the end of summer in Sacramento is signaled by the same event every year-the last show of the Broadway at Music Circus season.  This summer’s end is particularly bittersweet, as it marks the finale of a return to the round after two years of being in the dark.  Fittingly, this show is the most powerful production of the summer.  The Color Purple is the last in what has been a remarkable season of unparalleled talent and delicate themes.  Based on Alice Walker’s 1982 novel and 1985 movie adaptation of the same name, The Color Purple opened on Broadway in 2005 and earned eleven Tony Award nominations. 

Review: IN THE HEIGHTS Dazzles at Woodland Opera HouseReview: IN THE HEIGHTS Dazzles at Woodland Opera House
August 21, 2022

My first foray to the historical Woodland Opera House occurred this weekend to take a trip back to Washington Heights, the neighborhood that Lin-Manuel Miranda memorialized in In the Heights, his successful precursor to Hamilton.  It was written as an homage to the community that shaped him and the struggles of the immigrants that live there.  After premiering on Broadway in 2008, it took home four Tony Awards out of thirteen nominations, securing Miranda’s career as a lyricist and composer. 

Review: Come and Enter THE SECRET GARDEN at Broadway At Music CircusReview: Come and Enter THE SECRET GARDEN at Broadway At Music Circus
August 10, 2022

Broadway at Music Circus is taking us back to England again, not to a shoe factory or the Globe Theatre, but to a gloomy moor in Yorkshire.  Based upon the 1911 Frances Hodgson Burnett novel of the same name, The Secret Garden premiered on Broadway in 1991 and earned three Tony Awards, including Best Book of a Musical.