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Review | Flamboyant ‘Something Rotten!’ struts its stuff

The national tour of the musical "Something Rotten!" Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

By Cole Tanner

Floyd Central High School, Class of 2019

Much in the same way the flamboyant “Something Rotten!” character named William Shakespeare — played like a rockstar in a silver leather jacket — swaggers across the stage in the opening number, this musical struts through its kickoff of “Welcome to the Renaissance.”

“Something Rotten!” opened Tuesday at The Kentucky Center and closes Sunday.

From the offset, the audience was dazzled by the colorful, intricate costumes and coordination of the ensemble cast members, as they sang their way through a jazz-laden period number, which sets the scene for the show to come. What follows is two hours of puns, double entendres, alliteration and all manner of wordplay worthy of the Bard.

The show follows the story of the Bottom brothers and their quest to write a hit show in order to escape obscurity and bankruptcy. The elder brother, Nick Bottom, struggles against his adversary, William Shakespeare. As this goes on, however, the heart of the show lies with the younger Nigel Bottom in his plot of finding love with a sheltered Puritan woman named Portia.

By the end of the show, much of the musical falls under the weight of all the jokes regarding originality — or lack thereof, as so much of the debate surrounding Shakespeare goes. Then there is the flippancy with which Renaissance Europe is treated, and song and dance numbers about the nature of musicals. Parallels abound to the likes of “The Book of Mormon” and “The Producers;” the show is one that fans of either should enjoy.



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