Something Rotten is anything but! This hilarious on-demand video musical comedy that ran on Broadway for two years was nominated for ten Tony Awards. My spouse Burt and I loved the show so much when we saw it on Broadway, that we went to see the touring show when it came to the The Smith Center in Las Vegas. We were really pleased when we found out that a virtual performance was available on line, a product of The White Theater at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City.
This hilarious show, set in1595 England, evolves around the attempt of the two Bottom brothers to find success in the theatrical world. The have one huge problem – they are competing with the popular bard William Shakespeare. Evidence the song, “I Hate Shakespeare”
The first production number, “Welcome To The Renaissance” sets the tone for this clever farcical romp through a time when Puritans often ran the show – or lack of show.
The plot has the requisite twists and turns as the brothers work on their production that takes on the name of Omelet. Don’t even ask how that came about!
Besides Shakespeare, who is portrayed like a modern day rock star, characters include a Jewish investor named Shylock and a soothsayer named Nostradamus who predicts a future with shows that include singing and dancing.
Nigel Bottom’s flirtatious romance with the flirtatious daughter of a Puritan who is trying to shut down the theater adds to the humor
Songs in the show reference soooo many other musicals such Cats, Annie, South Pacific, Les Misérables, West Side Story, The Music Man and on and on and on. The production number “A Musical” is a six minutes homage encapsulating numerous Broadway hits.
We had heard that The White Theater, a 500 seat performing arts community theater located in the Greater Kansas City Jewish Community Center, produces high quality shows. Their production of Something Rotten is no exception. And they manage to make the performers’ masks seem like they are microphones.
During the pandemic we have watched several virtual shows . In most cases only one camera is used and overall quality was marginal. This production used multiple cameras and microphones. We were impressed as the cameras offered close up as well as full stage viewing
The actors and artisans are superb. The choreography involved in “A Musical” is a show stopper. The virtual production is available for purchase until March 9th. See Something Rotten Tickets for details . It will provide two enjoyable hours of Broadway caliber entertainment.
Photos courtesy The White Theater