REVIEW: SOMETHING ROTTEN! 

at The Denver Center

by Michael Mulhern

My Religion is Theatre!

The Denver Center hosts the national tour, SOMETHING ROTTEN! playing now through October 29th at the Buell Theatre. Set in the ’90s — the 1590s — this hilarious smash tells the story of Nick and Nigel Bottom, two brothers who are desperate to write their own hit play while the “rock star” Shakespeare keeps getting all the hits. When a local soothsayer foretells that the future of theatre involves singing, dancing and acting at the same time, Nick and Nigel set out to write the world’s very first MUSICAL!

Aside from their highlighted songs at the Macy’s Day Parade and the Tony Awards (which I Never Miss) a few years back, I pretty much went into this musical blind. I am happy to say that this musical is an absolute delight and I can’t remember the last time I have laughed so hard in a production! SOMETHING ROTTEN!?!…more like Everything Delightful!!! If the Monty Python Troupe created a musical mocking Shakespeare then this would be their lovechild!

I was concerned during the first song, “Welcome to the Renaissance” which was muffled and hard to understand but the show quickly found its rhythm and articulation after that. “God I Hate Shakespeare” drew the audience in and raised the energy of the show. The showstopping musical numbers were definitely “A Musical” and “Make an Omelette”, both of which brought down the house. “The Black Death” and “We See the Light” were oh so cute; and “To Thine Own Self” gave me chills and was probably my favorite song. This show is laugh out loud funny and I loved all of the double entendres that made the musical such naughty fun. This entire production is super cute and just brings a smile to your face; and I can’t wait to see it again! If you are a musical theatre lover; want to have a laugh… or Ten; or just really enjoy a fabulous show, then To Thine Own Self Be True and  Do Not Miss SOMETHING ROTTEN!

Rob McClure was superb as Nick Bottom and his charisma enticed the audience from beginning to end. His brother, Nigel (wonderfully played by Josh Grisetti) showed a softer side and was a nice contrast and compliment to the duo. Adam Pascal had too much fun stealing the spotlight as the charming egomaniac, Shakespeare. It was a pleasure seeing him onstage again (the last time was the original production of Rent in New York in 1994) and he has not lost his likable touch. Autumn Hurlbert could be a shoo-in for a Kristin Chenoweth look alike competition and she was absolutely enchanting as Portia. Her voice was crystal clear and beautifully delightful. Maggie Lakis was sassy and fun as Nick’s wife, Bea and her performance was heart-warming. The true scene stealers of the show were Scott Cote as Brother Jeremiah and Blake Hammond as the Nostradamus who had us busting a gut every time they come on stage.

I cannot stress this enough – you do not was to miss this adorable show; but hurry, the run is limited! Just remember – Where there’s a Will, There’s a Way….to see this fantastic musical! SOMETHING ROTTEN! entertaining audiences at the Buell Theatre now until October 29th. For tickets or more information, contact the Denver Center Box Office by calling 303-893-4100 or online at www.denvercenter.org.

PHOTO CREDIT:  Jeremy Daniel

 

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