SOMETHING ROTTEN! presented by Broadway in Cincinnati through March 5. Click here for more information on the production. I attended the opening night performance.
As you are probably aware, I receive numerous press releases every month and, when it comes to comedies, the word “hilarious” is used quite frequently. So much so that I sometimes think to myself, “I don’t think that word means what you think it means.” But in the case of SOMETHING ROTTEN! though, “hilarious” is easily a well-earned description.
Not even half-way through the first act, the audience’s response to “A Musical” stopped the show cold. And that was only the first of three show-stopping numbers. The jokes, musical theater references, and nods to Shakespeare’s works come fast and furious and run the gambit from brilliant to bawdy.
The cast, from Bottoms to top, is also brilliant. Rob McClure as Nick, the more aggressive Bottom brother, easily establishes a great rapport with the audience and is a tap-dancing triple threat. Adam Pascal brings rock-star glam to the role of Shakespeare. Maggie Lakis charms as Nick’s way-too-understanding and supportive wife, Bea. As Nigel, Josh Grisetti is the passive, put-upon Bottom who is easy to root for, especially in his budding romance with Portia (Autumn Hurlbert), the Puritan with a love for poetry who looks and sounds like she could break into “Popular” at any moment (that is not a complaint 🙂 ). Scott Cote is a riot on stage as Portia’s father, Brother Jeremiah, who is comically word-choice inappropriate. And you can’t help but love Blake Hammond as Nostradamus whose semi-accurate predictions of the future drive the plot. Finally hats off to the remainder of the hard-working ensemble for sharing their talents.
I very much enjoyed the contemporary dance moves, peppered with nods to iconic musical theatre choreography, by Casey Nicholaw who also directs the production. And did I mention there are also multiple tap numbers? The costumes designed by Gregg Barnes were beautiful, clever, and full of surprises which I won’t spoil.
Overall, a NOT TO BE MISSED production for any musical theater fan. Hilariously funny and a great time at the theater. I’d gladly see it again before it leaves if I could. Thank you all for a completely enjoyable, laugh-filled Tuesday night.
My rating: 5 out of 5
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