Thursday, February 2, 2017

Day 191 Something Rotten-Comic Relief-The Birth of the Musical?

When you have weeks of  Pittsburgh gray skies and a barrage of  political discussion, some silly humor giving rise to a belly laugh will put that skip back into your day. That is just what happens when you experience the creative and whimsical plot of this musical comedy, Something Rotten, which is part of the PNC Broadway Pittburgh series.  

This show is about something new- the birth of a musical during the Renaissance. You will marvel how Something Rotten cleverly  references almost every hit musical  throughout the show as two brothers, Nick and Nigel, in 1595, search for a the next new thing in the theater world to compete with the “rock star” popularity of William Shakespeare.

The show opens with the energetic contemporary   song, "Welcome to the Renaissance" where everything is new. Nick  sings, “God, I Hate Shakespeare" in part due to  his jealously of the insanely popular Shakespeare who emulates a rock star in the play. Nick then seeks out a Soothsayer, Nostradamus, who advises him that  the next big thing in theater  will be a play with singing and dancing -a Musical. He sings, It's A Musical, explaining that this new theater  has sporadic  song and dance aiming to just entertain the audience giving them a reprieve from deep thought. (It's A Musical- words)

The play uses amusing adult  innuendos (just like the donkey in Shrek). The costumes that accent the male anatomy, are stand alone hilarious. Then when you  add Nostradamus’ advice that Shakespeare’s next big hit will be “Omelet” and when the brothers write a musical with the big number called, “Make an Omelet,”  and it has  tap dancing eggs, you get a mixture of hysterical entertainment.   

Like any musical there is a little boy meets a girl and falls in love action when Nigel falls for the Puritan leaders daughter's, Portia. Also, Nick's wife sings "Let Me Be Your Right Hand Man" as she offers to get a job to support the family during their financial  slump. She dresses as man and asks, "why are all the good jobs for men?" 

 This is one play you can’t really explain. The songs are catchy. The music is contemporary. The energy high with a lot of sharp tap dancing and the costumes are fun. It’s an ingenious idea about the birth of a musical during the Renaissance which means “rebirth”.  

I loved the wit of this play. Something Rotten will give you the joyful comic relief needed to put a skip back into your day. Isn’t  that what musicals should do?  

Something Rotten runs from January 31 through February 5th at Benadum Center.( See Pittsburgh Cultural Trust  for PNC Broadway Pittsburgh shows and more shows to come) (see US Tour schedule)

Spiritual Source 
And Nehemiah continued,"Go and celebrate with a feast of choice food and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don't be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!" (Nehemiah 8:10)

Other Sources:
Welcome to the Renaissance