‘Something Rotten!’ Gets Standing O During Act One in Nashville

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Something Rotten Nashville
Cast of the Something Rotten! National Tour. © Jeremy Daniel

Something Rotten! opened in Nashville on Tuesday night to a big crowd. The exuberant musical comedy was such a hit with the Music City audience that it got a standing ovation — mid-way through act one!

The hilarious musical debuted on Broadway back in 2015 but started its national tour this year. The show was nominated for nine Tony Awards back in 2015, taking home one. Christian Borle won Featured Actor in a Musical for his portrayal as William Shakespeare.

Borle isn’t in the touring version of the musical and instead Adam Pascal (Rent) takes on the role of the arrogant Jagger-esque playwright. He nails the performance in leather pants and a “silly frilly collar.” In the play, which is set in 1595 London, two struggling playwright brothers are trying desperately to pen their masterpiece.

Nigel Bottom is arguably the more talented brother, while Nick is the one thirsty for success and fame. Nick gets fed up with Shakespeare’s continued success, and his inability to write a hit, so he consults a soothsayer. Nostradamus explains that musicals will be the next big thing but Nick doesn’t understand the concept where “an actor is saying his lines and out of nowhere he just starts singing.” Nostradamus continues and the number that results is appropriately titled “A Musical.”

“A Musical” was a huge hit on opening night at TPAC. It’s the play’s biggest musical number and it summarizes Something Rotten! into a few short, but magical, minutes. The Nashville crowd loved the lights, the showgirls and the allusions to famous musicals in Broadway history. The audience loved it so much that they gave it a standing ovation smack dab in the middle of act one.

Despite the enthusiastic number, Nick still isn’t inspired. He sees the soothsayer again who tells him that Shakespeare’s biggest play is coming and it will be Omelette: The Musical. The Bottom brother enlists his poet brother and acting troupe to create the “masterpiece” first. What results is a hilarious take on plagiarism gone awry. It’s certainly not Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Something Rotten! is at TPAC through July 2 and, if you like to laugh, you will love this. It’s based on the book by Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell with Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick creating the music and lyrics. Get your tickets to the show here — and don’t forget your sense of humor.