As the opening night audience excitedly welcomes TUTS back to the stage for the first time in years, it was obvious from the first moment of Something Rotten that this is not a play that takes itself too seriously. However, the method in its utterly hilarious madness is its devotion to ‘The Musical’. Book writers John O’Farrell and Karey Kirkpatrick with music and lyrics by Karey and Wayne Kirkpatrick have created a love letter to musical theatre that’s taken 400 years to develop.
Set in Elizabethan England, Something Rotten! follows two playwright brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom, who dream of writing a hit show to step out of the vast shadow of the rock star Bard, William Shakespeare. Desperate for a hit, Nick visits a mysterious soothsayer who foresees a ‘new idea’ from the future – The Musical!
While each number in Something Rotten skewers at least one musical format, they’re each rooted in a love of the format, while eliciting maximum laughter and joy from the audience. While it may be filled with musical easter eggs, it isn’t necessary to know the references as the songs are all brilliant work on their own.
Lead by the engaging duo of Kamyar Pazandeh as Nick, and Vicente Sandoval as Nigel, the brothers Bottom have a love/hate relationship when it comes to the great William Shakespeare; Nick hates him, Nigel idolizes him. Played like a Rock of Ages’ Stacee Jaxx rock god mixed with a bit of Austin Powers, Daniel Curalli’s Shakespeare oozes dastardly charisma and confidence. Jyla Robinson is outstanding as Nostradamus the soothsayer delivering the ‘visions’ of musicals which lead to the creation of a work that will change the lives of the Bottom Brothers and their loves; Katie-Rose Connors as Bea Bottom, Nicks wife, and Nigel’s new forbidden love the Puritan Portia, played by Cassandra Consiglio. The company of TUTS brilliantly fills the Malkin Bowl stage to create a spectacle, after all no tribute to musicals wouldn’t be complete without two dozen dancers in a precision kick line.
If you enjoy musical theatre, Something Rotten really has something good for everyone. Laughter a plenty, brilliantly witty music and lyrics, an amazing cast and company, outstanding orchestra and the beautiful outdoor setting of Malkin Bowl in Stanley Park. You’ll be spoiled rotten with enjoyment participating in Something Rotten, the audience’s laughter and reaction adds to the experience too.
Something Rotten runs in repertoire with the Queen jukebox musical We Will Rock You at Theatre Under The Stars until August 26, 2022. Tickets are onsale at tuts.ca. A relaxed performance of Something Rotten takes place July 25th.