BWW Previews: SOMETHING ROTTEN! at Marjorie Luke

If Shakespeare Penned A Broadway Musical...!

By: Feb. 03, 2022
BWW Previews: SOMETHING ROTTEN! at Marjorie Luke
Photographer: Allison Macphail

Something Rotten! a rambunctious romp of a show, opens tonight, February 3, at the Marjorie Luke Theatre. Local theater company LightsUp! promises a musical celebration of theater, featuring local teens brimming with enthusiasm to sing, dance, and bring the story to life.

Something Rotten!'s story swirls Shakespearean plot conventions with numerous homages to the Broadway musical, including big, sure-to-please tap-dancing numbers.

The plot revolves around two brothers, Nigel and Nick Bottom, for whom fickle Lady Fortune cares not a whit. Audiences will be transported to London's theater scene during the Renaissance where the upstart William Shakespeare always beats the brothers to the hits. The lyrics, "if your name is Shakespeare, you're hotter than hot,/But if you're any other writer, then you're not," express the brothers' frustration--perhaps like being a very good tennis player during the career of the Williams' sisters. However, the Shakespeare depicted in Something Rotten! does not resemble the Great Bard, the man of feeling and poetry who penned Hamlet and King Lear. Something Rotten!'s Shakespeare is a conniving plagiarist, who hoards fame and fortune from his fellow writers.

Lightsup!'s production features costuming that richly evokes the madcap style of the show; each piece is a wonderment of theatricality in stylized fashions of the English Renaissance. They look sumptuous. The show's director, Amy Love, says the highlight of the production, however, is the cast who have poured their hearts and talents into mastering complex choreography and vocal work. The result, she says, is an absolute joy to watch.

The play seems like a good bet for a family outing this weekend. LightsUp! tells us that the production is "suitable for older children and teens due to bawdy and suggestive humor."