There’s absolutely nothing rotten about Cape Rep’s production of “Something Rotten!”
Madcap high jinks, double entendres, crazy asides and outright silliness abound in this Broadway hit. Director Stephen Sposito and an incredible cast are up to the task in the final production of the Cape Rep’s 2019 season.
Conceived by Karey Kirkpatrick, a screen and songwriter for Disney Animation, and Wayne Kirkpatrick, Grammy-winning songwriter (they wrote the music and lyrics too), with the book by Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell (well-known British comic author), “Something Rotten” is just what we need in these tumultuous times. It’s over two hours of nonstop laughter.
It’s 1595 and Will Shakespeare is the most popular man in their world. He’s like a rock star; women swoon, men are in awe and the playwright revels in the notoriety. For brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom, something is rotten in their state; they knew Shakespeare way back when and now are desperate to write a play better than any of his. How desperate? Where to begin? “Ah! There’s the rub!”
When Nick Bottom (a very charismatic Lukas Poost) learns that the future of theater is something called a musical from Nostradamus (Jared Hagan), he decides that this is how he and Nigel will best the Bard. Following these two as they rhyme, stumble and dance through their play ideas is a crazy and hilarious ride.
There are references to contemporary musicals, classic musicals, many of Shakespeare’s famous plays and historical observations too. Blink and you may miss some of the funniest moments. This is a play to see more than once.
As Nigel’s wife Bea, the dynamic Trish LaRose revels in the quick and quirky dialog. Richard Sullivan is astounding as both the puritan Jeremiah and Shylock, the money lender. Sullivan is having a blast and it shows in his performance. Hagen never disappoints and he’s great as the bumbling soothsayer Nostradamus. As the star-crossed lovers Nigel and Portia (Jeremiah’s daughter), John Dudley and Ashlyn Inman’s duets are a sweet diversion from all the wild antics. The two can sing!
Owain Rhys Davies delivers an audacious and hilarious portrayal of Shakespeare, nearly stealing every scene he’s in. I say nearly stealing because there’s a great ensemble (Lindsey Erin Agnes, LeVane Harrington, Alex John Johnson, Elizabeth McGuire, Samantha Ross, Anthony Teixeira and Donté Wilder) that shine bright singing and dancing magnificently in the many production numbers with him and the others. There’s even a tap dance! Credit choreographer Mara Newbery Greer and associate choreographer/dance captain McGuire for the catchy steps.
The devil is in the details, and details are a Cape Rep specialty. Kudos to Ellen Rousseau’s set design and Robin McLaughlin’s costumes that conjured up an English village and its inhabitants perfectly. The band (Susan Goldberg, bass; Ian Ellis, drums; Justin Torrellas, reeds and keyboard) under the musical direction of Scott Storr, (piano) never overpower the singers and sounds rich. Stage manager Kate Gulden and lighting designer Susan Nicholson round out the behind-the-scene crew.
By the time you finish reading this review, the run may have sold out. Don’t miss out, call today.
At Cape Rep Theatre, Route 6A, Brewster
Through Dec. 8, Tuesday to Thursday at 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m.
Information and reservations: 508-896-1888 or www.caperep.org