Musical ‘Something Rotten!’ heading to Broadway
NEW YORK (AP) — William Shakespeare is heading back to Broadway — but this time he’ll be mocked in a musical.
Tony-winning producer Kevin McCollum said Tuesday that the sweet and goofy new show “Something Rotten!” will play the St. James Theatre in March. Tony winner Casey Nicholaw will direct and choreograph the musical.
The comedy is set during the Renaissance and portrays Shakespeare as an arrogant, rock star playwright. Two brothers desperate to write a hit show in his shadow stumble on the notion of writing the world’s first musical. There’s plenty of tap dancing, clever rhyming and fortune-telling.
“It takes place in 1595 but it’s also about today and theater-going and entertainment and celebrity and status and economics and success and joy and the crucible of creativity,” said McCollum.
The musical has music and lyrics by the brothers Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick. Wayne Kirkpatrick is a Grammy Award-winning songwriter of such tunes as “Change the World” for Eric Clapton and “Wrapped Up In You” by Garth Brooks. His brother helped write such films as “Chicken Run” and “The Smurfs 2.”
The show’s book is by Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell, an author known for the books “The Man Who Forgot His Wife” and “The Best a Man Can Get.” The new musical will mark the trio’s first Broadway show.
“It’s got good-old-fashioned entertainment in a fresh package,” said Nicholaw, whose credits include “Aladdin” and “The Book of Mormon.” ″It feels kind of contemporary and the music sounds contemporary. I love it. I’m so excited I get to share it with people.”
A previously planned stop in Seattle to get the show ready for Broadway has been dropped. “We developed it much faster together than we even thought possible,” said McCollum. The theater became available when “Side Show” announced it would close early at the St. James.
No casting was announced for “Something Rotten!” but an industry presentation this fall starred Brian d’Arcy James and John Cariani as the brothers, Christian Borle as Shakespeare, Brad Oscar as Nostradamus and Beth Leavel as the wife of one of the brothers.
Previews begin March 23 with an opening set for April 22. To celebrate the year the show is set, the show is charging only $15.95 for every seat for the first three shows. Tickets go on sale Friday.
Another Shakespeare is waiting in the wings — a stage adaptation of “Shakespeare in Love” has been a hit in London and plans are underway for a transfer to New York.