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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 BroadwaySacramento.com.

Photo credit: Kevin Graft

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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)


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