February 8, 2023 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

“Something Rotten!” A Musical Comedy Ripe With Laughter at the Ahmanson

By Beverly Cohn

As you might imagine from the title – “Something Rotten!” – this is a rollicking, no-holds barred, irreverent two-act musical written by the brothers Kirkpatrick, Wayne and Karey, with the book by Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell, which is filled with irreverent wise cracks, double entendres, with no sacred subject escaping their sharp wit. This delicious confection, nominated for 10 Tony Awards, is brilliantly directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw. Thanks to the award-winning design team, you will be treated to a fairy tale set by Scott Pask, candy-colored costumes design by Gregg Barnes, with Jeff Croiter’s lighting drenching the stage in 21 flavors of sparkling colors. This production features three principal cast members from the Broadway production: Rob McClure as Nick Bottom, Josh Grisetti as Nigel Bottom, and Adam Pascal as Shakespeare.

The show kicks off with a rousing opening number, “Welcome to the Renaissance” belted out by Minstrel (Nick Rashad Burroughs) and an outstanding ensemble. The storyline revolves around the Bottom brothers – Nick, the more aggressive of the two, fabulously played by a multi-talented Rob McClure, and Nigel, more the poet and playwright, sweetly brought to life by Josh Grisetti. Their nemesis is Shakespeare, played by Adam Pascal, whose characterization is that of a rock star. Nigel can’t seem to come up with a play, while Shakespeare is spitting them out. In reading some of the Bard’s lines, Nick exclaims, “Who talks like this?” The brothers are under pressure and everything that Nigel writes seems to have a distinct Shakespearean bent. (Who’s stealing from whom?) Hence, another showstopper –“God, I Hate Shakespeare,” sung and danced by Nick, Nigel, and the cast. Not only is Nick under work pressure, he’s also under pressure from his wife Bea (Maggie Lakis) who wants to work outside the home, but Nick is fearful that everyone will think he’s a failure. Bea, a budding feminist, reminds him, “This is the ‘90s (1890s) and we’ve got a woman on the throne.” (Queen Victoria.)

Desperate, Nick goes to soothsayer, Thomas Nostradamus, played by a zany Blake Hammond, who tells him, “I’ve been closed for business due to unforeseen circumstances.” However, wanting to help this struggling theatre person, he goes through a comic trance ritual, hits his forehead a few times and sputters out words like “Cats,” “I see cats,” making hilarious references to other musicals such as “Westside Story and “Les Misérables.” He finally spits out the word “musical,” and encourages Nick to do a play that encompasses singing, dancing, and acting. This is unheard of in 1890s England but Nostradamus assures him that is the direction in which theatre is headed. In one final sputter, he utters the word “eggs” and hence the world’s first musical, “Omelette,” is born where upon their benefactor immediately backs out creating a financial challenge. So while Nigel is penning the text, Nick goes to see Shylock, (well, of course) played by Jeff Brooks. Financing is secured and rehearsals begin with “It’s Eggs!” – a hilarious production number performed by Nick and the ensemble. In the meantime, Shakespeare gets wind of something amiss and disguising himself as one of the actors, scoops up pages of scenes, offering to help by taking them home to critique. What would cross-referencing be without a character named Portia (Autumn Hurlbert.) She is the daughter of Brother Jeremiah, the slightly effete Puritan, ably played by Scott Cote. Portia is smitten with Nigel, which her father forbids. The Bard does a “Shakespeare in the park” number singing the rocking “Will Power,” reminiscent of The Who’s “Tommy.” You will also witness the transition of “Omelette” to “Hamlet” and will be entertained with 19 toe-tapping, spirited production numbers.

Other members of the technical production team are, Peter Hylenski (sound design),

Phil Reno (music direction/conductor), Glen Kelly (arrangements), Larry Hochman (orchestrations), and John Miller, music coordinator.

I’m not giving too much away by saying, “All’s Well That Ends Well,” in this delightful romp through the Renaissance period, which will have you leaving the theatre with a big smile.

L-R: Josh Grisetti and Rob McClure with the cast of “Something Rotten!”
Photos by Jeremy Daniel.
L-R: Blake Hammond and Rob McClure in “Something Rotten!”
Adam Pascal with the cast of “Something Rotten!”
L-R: Rob McClure, Maggie Lakis and Josh Grisetti.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Something Rotten!”; Ahmanson Theatre: 135 N. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Run: Tuesday – Friday: 8 p.m. Saturday: 2 p.m. & 8 p.m. Sunday:   1 p.m. & 6:30 p.m. Added Performances: Wednesday & Thursday 2 p.m., December 27 & 28; Tickets: $30-$140; 213.972.4400 or www.CenterTheatreGroup.org; Closing: December 31, 2017

Related Posts

Lawsuit Alleges Culver City Police Fatally Shot Man Experiencing Mental Health Crisis

February 7, 2023

February 7, 2023

Woman files lawsuit against Culver City police claiming negligence and excessive force led to husband’s death By Sam Catanzaro Adriana...

CCUSD Board Reviews Plans to Strengthen Structures for Students in Need

February 7, 2023

February 7, 2023

Board of Education has reviewed plans to strengthen structures for students who need extra support The Culver City Unified School...

Metro LA Looks to Create Homeless Support Hubs at Train Termini

February 6, 2023

February 6, 2023

Metro estimates that 800 people use Metro train and rapid transit bus stations as shelter each night By Dolores Quintana...

Property Transfer Tax Measure ULA Heads to Court as Landlords and Taxpayers Association File Lawsuit Against LA City

February 3, 2023

February 3, 2023

Measure is intended to fund affordable housing and tenant assistance programs through a property transfer tax By Dolores Quintana Measure...

A Luxurious Mar Vista Home Has Hit the Market for $3,395,000

February 3, 2023

February 3, 2023

Ashwood Avenue home offers 3080 square feet of living space  A stunning four-bedroom, five-bathroom home has hit the market in...

Ratkovich Company and JPMorgan Secure $41 Million Loan for Culver City Office Development

February 3, 2023

February 3, 2023

Project is located near the intersection of Jefferson and Obama Boulevards. By Dolores Quintana JP Morgan and the Ratkovich Company...

Culver City Approves Construction of 165,000-Square-Foot Office Building on Watseka Avenue

February 3, 2023

February 3, 2023

Four-story development set to be complete in 2025 or 2026 The City of Culver has given the green light to...

Chef Jason Neroni Introduces Best Bet Pizza to Washington Boulevard

February 2, 2023

February 2, 2023

Best Bet to open in former A-Frame space on Washington Boulevard By Dolores Quintana It’s official, chef Jason Neroni will...

Free Bahn Mi Sandwiches for Mar Vista Restaurant’s 4 Year Anniversary

February 1, 2023

February 1, 2023

My Lai party to feature free Banh Mi Sandwiches, gift card prizes, and other goodies!   By Dolores Quintana On February...

California’s Ambitious Fast-Food Law Heads to Statewide Referendum for Final Verdict

February 1, 2023

February 1, 2023

AB 257 would create a board of 11 appointees to negotiate on behalf of fast food workers in California Last...

Mayor Bass Launch New Initiative to House Homeless at Culver Boulevard Encampment

February 1, 2023

February 1, 2023

Two Inside Safe initiatives launched in South LA and Westside By Sam Catanzaro City officials have announced a new effort...

Girl Scouts Return to Los Angeles With Delicious New Cookie!

January 31, 2023

January 31, 2023

Cookie lovers throughout Greater Los Angeles can now support local Girl Scout entrepreneurs by ordering from the iconic lineup Girl...

Boris Allakhverdyan, Ben Hong and Talon Smith Unite in Santa Monica for Special Performance of Brahms’ Trio Op. 114

January 31, 2023

January 31, 2023

Concert will take place on Sunday, February 5 The world-renowned Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Principal Clarinet Boris Allakhverdyan and Associate Principal...

70 Culver High AVPA Students Descend on CETA for High School Theater Arts Festival

January 31, 2023

January 31, 2023

CCHS Senior Ginger Anderson-Willis took home first place in the “Trailer” category 70 Culver City High School students from the...

Metro’s Choice for Purple Line Muralist Sparks Veteran Concern

January 31, 2023

January 31, 2023

Veterans concerned over disturbing painting by commissioned metro muralist at the purple line stop on the West L.A VA Soldiers...