BWW Review: SOMETHING ROTTEN! at Chungmu Art Center Grand Theater, 'It's EGGS!'
The main story of a theatrical performance could be about everything. Whether it is cats signing on stage about a Jellicle Ball or about a phantom lurking around an opera house. But did you ever imagine that somebody would write a musical about eggs? Well, that was the brilliant topic material Nick Bottom had in mind after having a second meeting with a soothsayer. The hilarious story of the Bottom brothers and their attempt to write a masterpiece, the tour team of SOMETHING ROTTEN! had their first show in Korea on June 9th at Chungmu Art Center.
Set in 1595 South London, SOMETHING ROTTEN! Is an original musical comedy that deals with the hardships of the Bottom Brothers as they struggle to write a masterpiece to succeed in the theatrical world, competing with their opponent, William Shakespeare. As an attempt to steal Shakespeare's next greatest hit, Nick Bottom visits a soothsayer. With the fragments of information he receives from the soothsayer, Nick Bottom attempts to create a musical about eggs, while his younger brother Nigel Bottom struggles with his relationship with Portia, a daughter of a Puritan. A
There are several charming points of SOMETHING ROTTEN!, starting with the clever musical references and English literature references throughout the entire show. Especially in the song, "A Musical," there are several familiar musicals that are referenced, such as ANNIE, RENT, and SEUSSICAL. Not only that, the scene has a whole tap dance session which truly shows the splendor of musicals. Other than the numerous musical references, SOMETHING ROTTEN!, has several literature references too. Not only is one of the character's names, William Shakespeare but there is another character named Shylock who mentions that he dreams to be portrayed as a protagonist in a show. But as we all know, Shylock is the antagonist of William Shakespeare's famous play, The Merchant of Venice. Like this, there are various connections not with William Shakespeare but English literature. Finding the references and connections while watching the show was truly a joy.
Another charming point of SOMETHING ROTTEN! is the portrayal of the female characters, Bea and Portia. Bea, the wife of Nick Bottom is not the common housewife of 1595 London. Though, it was impossible for females to get employed and being married and being a housewife was considered as the ideal thing for women, Bea is not only the true breadwinner of the family but she is the glue that keeps the family from falling into pieces. To get a job, Bea dresses up as a man and does strenuous jobs that even men have difficulty with. Bea not only earns money but when Nick and Nigel get into a big fight, she is the one that gives advice to Nigel, guiding him to think about his brother from a different perspective. The other female character is Portia, who is the daughter of a Puritan minister. She loves to read literature and though her father loathes theatre, she follows her heart and decides to leave England with Nigel. These two female characters are ironic in a sense that, they are not exactly what the "ideal" female was in 1595. However, they played the most important role in making harmony between the male characters.
SOMETHING ROTTEN! is truly a brilliant show. The songs, the lyrics, the book, even the way they put it on stage is brilliant and clever. As an English Literature major and theatre lover, I had so much fun finding the references and laughing at all the puns. But, that does not mean that people who don't know much about theatre or literature cannot enjoy SOMETHING ROTTEN! This show is bound to make you laugh with joy and dazzle you with jazzy hands and grand tap dancing. Don't miss the opportunity to see the show in Korea!
SOMETHING ROTTEN! ends its show on June 30th at Chungmu Art Center Grand Theater. Tickets start at 42,000 KRW and can be purchased either at the www.globalinterpark.com or at the box office.
For more information, please visit www.globalinterpark.com.