This particular Tuesday evening I was honored to turn up at the Ahmanson for opening night of Something Rotten with some of the best of my girl crew: Zoë, Kaitlin and good old Brenda, bless her heart. This time I went for more of a country-chic look: pretty minimal makeup, with hair once again by the incredibly talented Michelle Burchelle. I received so many compliments on my hair that evening, and after three beyond successful opening night hairdos, I’m definitely obsessed. I want her to do my hair every day. I’m so spoiled by her art, and she is a true hair artist!
It was a to treat to watch this show after seeing Spamilton just a week earlier. Spamilton is a fantastic musical parody, while Something Rotten does a clever job of weaving America’s obsession with contemporary musicals into its own upbeat tunes. Personally it’s not my favorite style of humor, but I could understand why 1) a musical theatre person 2) a Shakespeare person or 3) a family could really get a kick out of this show. Although I do wonder if kids may be out of the loop on the jokes referencing Shakespeare or even the renaissance genre for that matter. There is definitely a market for this type of musical. I mean, obviously, CTG is running it for their holiday show at their largest venue. The show is ridiculous, but it’s very aware of that, beckoning you to join in its merriment. Brenda and I (we sat together in the mezzanine and I don’t know where Zoë and Kaitlin ended up) would have to say our favorite part was the tap/verse battle between Shakespeare and Nick Bottom. Their comedic timing balanced with the choreography was absolutely hilarious. Also, it would appear that everyone in the show was a pretty outstanding dancer, principals and chorus alike.
Despite that the stye of the show was not exactly my cup of tea, there is something to be said for the themes and ideas presented in this cooky story. As a playwright, I empathize with Nick Bottom's frustration with Shakespeare's popularity. He asks what it takes to be noticed, and to be seen. He asks if Shakespeare's work is really that good. I've definitely been there and asked myself what it takes to get a play noticed by someone with enough money to send it to another level. Nick ponders just how Shakespeare got so freaking popular, in a time where word traveled slow: no social media, no TV, no telephones. Life is so not fair. On an even weirder note, as I continue to fine tune the second draft of my full length play, I was inspired by the two comic love interests to strengthen the romance between my two romantic characters! The intensity of the necessary bond between Nigel and Portia was certainly unusual, but truthful, and caused me to realized how I needed more magnetism and undeniable chemistry between the two characters I am currently writing about.
It may not have the intensity and timeless reputation of a Shakespeare play, but it's certainly going to keep you giggling. Something Rotten runs at the Ahmanson through December 31st. If you’re looking for a fun, current show to escape from seasonal disorder for two hours, bring a friend and enjoy a generous helping of solid belly laughs.