One thing Rotten!
- Contemporary Station
- In Season
- Brian d’Arcy James, Christian Borle, John Cariani, Heidi Blickenstaff
- Casey Nicholaw
- Karey Kirkpatrick, Wayne Kirkpatrick, John O’Farrell
- musical, Comedy
One thing Rotten is the definition of a post-up-to-the-minute musical — a dizzying pastiche of musical theatre and Shakespeare references that cross at this kind of breakneck tempo it’s complicated to judge them at some level of the tears of laughter streaming down your face. Now on tour and making a stop at Los Angeles’ Ahmanson Theatre courtesy of Center Theatre Community, it offers a elegant holiday alternative to more dilapidated fare.
When brothers Wayne and Karey Kirkpatrick debuted their myth of two brothers struggling to manufacture their impression as writers living in Shakespeare’s shadow in Elizabethan London, they crafted a Broadway wreck that earned 10 Tony nominations attend in 2015. The Bottom brothers, Slash (Resolve McClure) and Nigel (Josh Grisetti), of their quest to outwit Will Shakespeare (Adam Pascal), seek the advice of a soothsayer Nostradamus (no longer that Nostradamus, nevertheless his nephew) who advises them that the following favorable element within the theater shall be “a musical.”
With two demonstrate-stopping numbers jam-filled with nods to the total lot from Hamlet to Annie to The Sound of Song to The Service provider of Venice, the demonstrate proves itself a winking love letter to its two sources of inspiration – musical theater and William Shakespeare. For fogeys that are even a delicate-weight fan of both, you’ll be laborious-pressed no longer to feel your self touched by the mile-a-minute references and the valid affection for the subject subject cloth (even when there is a tune known as “God, I Dislike Shakespeare”) bursting from every sequence within the demonstrate. Centerpiece Act I quantity “A Musical” and the play-inner-play Act II one-two punch of “One thing Rotten” and “Accumulate an Omelette” are price the price of admission on my own – certainly, “A Musical” earned a mid-demonstrate standing ovation on opening night in Los Angeles.
The demonstrate comes on tour with the an identical pizazz and zany humor that made it a success on Broadway intact. Resolve McClure is a licensed successor to Brian d’Arcy James, if no longer a hair better within the diagram than the Broadway passe. While James lent Slash Bottom a cynical world-weariness that suggested the character used to be in his heart age greedy for a closing probability at success, McClure imbues Slash Bottom with a more exuberant vitality – his investment within the belief that of inserting on “a musical” feels more frenzied than determined and it’s that injection of vibrancy that makes him so noteworthy fun to root for. His worldview is more pragmatic than that of his starry-eyed poet brother Nigel (Josh Grisetti in an enthralling efficiency as McClure’s wonky foil), nevertheless you proceed to feel his deep love for his occupation – his nearly maniacal joy as he works to write the world’s first musical lends the diagram a heretofore-unplumbed vim and verve. An added bonus – McClure’s wife of 12 years, Maggie Lakis, stars as his onstage wife, Bea, who borrows heavily from (or sorry, inspires) Shakespeare’s girls folk disguised as men spot lines. She and McClure agree with a fair correct, easy chemistry that feels lived in and altogether valid.
On Broadway, Christian Borle obtained a Tony for his purchase on Shakespeare as a egotistical rock famous person with the fellow-liner of Freddie Mercury and spin of Mick Jagger. Pascal, per chance top doubtless identified for originating the diagram of Roger in Lease, steps into Will’s doublet for this touring manufacturing. If Borle used to be Shakespeare as Jagger, Pascal is the Bard as Bowie – more androgynous enigma than raw, overtly sexual rock god. How neatly you imagine this works likely depends on the vogue you take your rock stars, nevertheless Pascal doesn’t rather ascend to the an identical heights Borle did within the segment. While he’s identified for his rock direct and more edgy efficiency vogue, those qualities fabricate Shakespeare rather too valid in this context. Borle played him with a madcap narcissism that Pascal top doubtless manages to wink at from afar. “Will Vitality” and “It’s Laborious to be the Bard” are peaceable hilarious takes on England’s biggest author and his better-than-life legacy, nevertheless they lack the unhinged quality they possessed in Borle’s fingers. Pascal is entertaining within the diagram (and it’s certain he’s having a hell of a exact time up there), nevertheless it’s telling that he’s top doubtless within the moments when Shakespeare is disguised as Toby Belch infiltrating the Bottom brothers’ firm of actors.
Overall, the manufacturing remains a hysterical romp with heavy doses of absurdity that fabricate it one of essentially the most fun nights on the theater in fresh history. Your total firm is illustrious – it doesn’t procure acknowledged ample in frequent, nevertheless in a demonstrate adore this, the ensemble is a musical’s lifeblood — predominant kudos are due right here to a firm who dance their hearts out in excessive-paced faucet numbers and kicklines that build any workout class to disgrace.
From Blake Hammond’s tainted turn as Nostradamus to Blake Cote’s purchase on Brother Jeremiah as a self-satisfied, barely closeted Puritanical preacher to Autumn Helbert’s squeaky, eager Portia, the solid nails the comedic antics and swelling demonstrate-tunes at some level of the board. Methinks there’s nothing cross about this manufacturing that’s guaranteed to forged its buoyant mood over your total theater and ship you out with a Shakespearean skip on your step. B+