SHOWBITUARY: Something Rotten!

Alexa Juno

  • OnStage New York Columnist

Parting is such sweet sorrow.  This week it was announced that well-liked Broadway hit, Something Rotten!, would be packing up its Broadway tent and heading out on tour. 

What to say about our dear Bottom Brothers and their fictional invention of the musical? The only word that comes to mind is “fun”.  Not every theatrical experience is meant to be a core-shaking one and Rotten! you certainly fall into this category of musical.  A rollicking, often hilarious evening of pure entertainment. Not life-changing, but far from frivolous. As much as I enjoy a satisfying heady night of theatre, sometimes you just want to laugh.  And on the random Friday evening I chose to spend in the company of your company, I did in spades.

Some cynics might say that your audiences took less satisfaction in the show itself and more in the fact that they were able to identify so many of the references within it, but what would be the harm in that? It was a harmonious blend of the familiar and brand new that endeared audiences to this Shakespearean romp for so long.

Perhaps for some, some of the more obvious humor and the gimmick of playing off other musicals wore a little thin by the second act. And while it’s true that the score was less than memorable and the choreography could have been more diversified, despite your flaws, I must applaud any wholly original musical that can not only make its way to Broadway these days but remain there for some time.

With 10 Tony Award nominations and a perfectly respectable run, with a well-received tour sure to follow, any critiques one might have about the show are moot at this point.  Rotten, you and your tireless cast have done your job. You have kept audiences thoroughly entertained and provided total light-hearted escapism to thousands over the past year. In a time where the world can seem so dark and uncertain on such a regular basis, we all need to find time to laugh. And if we are to judge a show’s success on the happiness it brought into the world, well then, I’d say in their time on Broadway, these Bottom’s surely came out on top.