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Why see Something Rotten!?

The Tony-Winning smash

The year is 1595, and struggling playwrights Nigel and Nick Bottom are planning on taking Shakespeare down a peg or two. Their idea? To conjure up the one type of show that's outside of The Bard's wheelhouse - the musical! An uproariously irreverent and meta portrait of the Renaissance, Something Rotten! tracks the Brothers' shaky progress while gleefully parodying The Great White Way's greatest hits along the way, riffing on everything from Phantom of the Opera to Les Miserables.

All the World's a Stage

This gloriously silly musical first premiered on Broadway in 2015, where it proved a hit with audiences and critics alike, garnering a stunning ten Tony nominations, and winning one for Christian Borle's portrayal of Shakespeare. With another production transferring over to London's West End, Something Rotten is taking it doublets and ruffs on the road in one of 2016's biggest new tours.

Music and lyrics come courtesy of crack brotherly duo Wayne and Karey Kirkpatrick, the latter of whom also co-wrote the book alongside British humorist John O'Farrell. The Book of Mormon director Casey Nicholaw steered the ship for its original Broadway production.

What is Something Rotten! About?

It's tough being a playwright in Elizabethan England, not least because a certain pompous (but honestly rather dashing) rascal called William Shakespeare is hogging all the limelight. Comedies, tragedies, histories...you name it, and he can write it. So what are struggling thesps The Bottom Brothers to do? Well, in their desperation they seek the advice of an aged soothsayer, who advises them to try their hand at whole new kind of theatrical show - a play that incorporates song and dance numbers!

So the Bottoms begin creating Omelette, the world's first ever musical. Unfortunately things don't quite go to plan, especially when that bounder Shakespeare begins poking his nose in.

Key Information


May be unsuitable for children younger than eight years old.

Run Time

Two hours and 30 minutes including one intermission


Finished Dec 31, 2017


Matthew Janisse as Nick Bottom
Mathew Baker as Shakespeare
Richard Spitaletta as Nigel Bottom
Emily Kirsten Morris as Bea
Greg Kalafatas as Nostradamus
Jennifer Elizabeth Smith as Portia
Mark Saunders as Brother Jeremiah
Jeff Brooks as Shylock


Music and Lyrics by Wayne & Karey Kirkpatrick
Book by John O' Farrell & Karey Kirkpatrick
Choreography by Casey Nicolaw



Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical (Christian Borle)


Best Musical
Best Book of a Musical
Best Original Score
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical (Brian d'Arcy James)
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical (Christian Borle)
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical (Brad Oscar)
Best Direction of a Musical
Best Choreography
Best Orchestrations
Best Costume Design of a Musical


Customer reviews

12 reviews, average rating: (4.8 Stars)

Janet Hair

Absolutely wonderful

Great production, fantastic show, great talent, lots of fun. A must see ... Read more

A Bottom brothers fan...

Something Delightful!

Great show to start out the Broadway season in Milwaukee. If you love musicals and song and dace, you’ll love this show. Quality voices, quality dancing, quality characters and quality fun! A musical about Shakespeare - what’s not to like? Go to this quality production and just have fun! ... Read more

Philippe Cherruault

Something rotten

Fantastic show very funy with a lot of energy. The cast seem me to have a lot of fun. It’s one of the best show I did see this year. I do recommend to see it. I would not mind to see it again. ... Read more


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