Shaking Up Shakespeare

Forsooth, It Doth Shine

A musical about The Black Death? Zounds, it stinks. But, forsooth, what can you do when Shakespeare gets all the praise and bright candlelight? Hey! What about a play with songs? You know. Lots of ditties and ballads. Methinks it might do.

With the right quill and foolscap, a fellow of infinite jest and most excellent fancy could set tongues a-wagging, hands a-clapping and feet a-stamping with something new. Behold! Something Rotten!   a musical. It had the groundlings laughing for 20 months on Broadway. Now coming to you.

With a music and lyrics by Karey and Wayne Kirkpatrick and book by Karey and John O’Farrell, this taketh playth in 1595, following the Bottoms, Nick and Nigel, struggling to rise in the theatrical world. Their theatre ensemble will lose a rich patron if they can’t devise something which has not yet taken flight from The Bird of Avon.

The show romps with what The New York Times  describes as “puns, giggly double-entendres, lip-smacking bad taste and goofy pastiche numbers often found in college revues” comparing it to Mel Brooks’ musical take on The Producers  and to The Book of Mormon.

And sends up musicals “from the ‘jazzy hands’ of Bob Fosse to the synchronized line dancing of the Rockettes,…fueled by the bold-as-brass music, the ingenious lyrics and the sheer lunacy of the whole enterprise” saith Variety.

BTW: Two Nebraskans have roles. They are Bellevue’s Daniel Beeman, a grad of Bellevue West High School and Con O’Shea-Creal, a grad of Pius X High School in Lincoln.  Plus the three leads in this show had the same roles on Broadway.

John O’Farrell is a British author and comedy scriptwriter and had been a major script contributor for  such shows as Spitting Image,  and Have I Got News for You. He also co-wrote Aardman films’ Chicken Run .

Karey Kirkpatrick is an American screenwriter and director for such movies as James and the Giant Oeach, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Charlotte;s Web and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy adaptation adaptation, along with contributions to Smurfs films.

His brother Wayne, a Grammy Award winner, has come up with songs in Contemporary Christian, Country, and Pop styles and has had them recorded by Garth Brooks, Joe Cocker, Wyonna Judd, Bonnie Raitt, and Eric Clapton. Plus. trick.

Ripe. Not rotten.  

Something Rotten! runs May 16-21, Slosburg Hall, Orpheum Theater, 409 S 16th St. Tues. Weds. Thurs: 7:3o p.m. Fri.: 8 p.m. Sat.: 2 & 8 p.m. Sun.: 1:30 & 7 p.m. Tickets $35-$120.

Category: Stage

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