The touring cast boasts two well-known Broadway performers: Adam Pascal, RENT's original Roger, and Rob McClure, who was Tony-nominated for his Broadway debut as Chaplin. On Tuesday night, however, both actors were out of the show, allowing the audience to see the work of the unheralded understudies.
|Adam Pascal (not Daniel Beeman, who I saw as Shakespeare)
and the ensemble of Something Rotten! © Jeremy Daniel.
Back to the show itself.
This outrageously original musical is set in 1590s London, where the struggling Bottom brothers desperately need a theatrical success, but are always one step behind Shakespeare, who used to be an actor in their company. Nick, who really hates Shakespeare (but is maybe a little jealous) visits a soothsayer to get ahead of the competition. Blake Hammond is a stitch as Nostradamus (not that one, his nephew Thomas), who gets his predictions right...sort of.
|Autumn Hurlbert (Portia) and Josh Grisetti (Nigel)
© Jeremy Daniel
When the soothsayer predicts that the biggest thing in theater will be something called a "musical," a song breaks out (of course) to sell Nick on the vision. Music, lights, chorus girls, tap dancing, and a rapid-fire stream of references ensue. If you're quick, you'll catch nods to A Chorus Line, Cats, Annie, South Pacific, RENT, Les Miserables, and many more.
|"Welcome to the Renaissance!"
The ensemble of Something Rotten! © Jeremy Daniel
Here's a little bonus: The original Broadway Nick Bottom and William Shakespeare, Brian D'Arcy James and Christian Borle, performing a song and dance from the show.