ALEXANDRIA, VA – Rarely does a non-union, Off-Off-Broadway, local community theater have the guts, the heart and the talent to pull off such a delightfully delicious, farcical musical as Something Rotten!. Welcome to the Renaissance at The Little Theatre of Alexandria. This show is on fire!
Set in 1595 in London down-on-their-luck brothers Nick (Matt Liptak) and Nigel (Jack Dalrymple) Bottom are eager to one-up Shakespeare with a showstopper of their own creation. Noah Mutterperi plays The Bard in leather chaps as a mashup of Elvis and Adam Lambert. Nigel is a playwright and poet falling for poetry-loving Portia (Katie Conn) whose father Brother Jeremiah (Paul Caffrey) is a bible-toting Puritan. Heaven forfend! Nick and his feminist wife Bea (Anna Phillips-Brown) support Nigel’s aspirations.
Pilfering from his wife’s savings, Nick pays Nostradamus (Chuck Dluhy) to divine a fresh idea for a play. The seer predicts it will be musicals. “Song and dance and sweet romance. No talking. All of the dialogue is sung,” he assures.
Convinced the idea will trump anything the Sultan of Sonnet could pen, Nick imagines a troupe of sexy Rockettes in giant ostrich feathers and gentlemen in codpieces. And, oh what swollen codpieces they sport! The show’s patron Shylock (Peter Fannon) has his doubts that “Ham Omelette: The Musical” will sell to the masses. Notwithstanding Shylock’s cautionary advice, critics agreed when this hilarious musical opened on Broadway nominating it no less than 34 times to garner two Tony Award wins. Here the fine cast is supported by an equally top-notch 12-piece orchestra and crew who handle over 200 light and sound cues. You know because I asked.
Groan-worthy wordplay, over-the-top pastiches and silly costumes abound along with plague doctors carrying scythes who afford a stunning entrance as do eggs who appear as both freshly hatched and prepared as Western omelettes. Egg-cellent, of course. It’s a mash-up of some of Shakespeare’s greatest lines cobbled together with the best of Broadway musical numbers and a tapping chorus line in a wild and crazy plot that fills the stage with ye olde rock and roll and vaudeville razzmatazz.
Broadway babies will recognize snippets from thirty-one of the top musicals of their day like Cats, The Sound of Music, Music Man, West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, even Mary Poppins makes the cut. Twenty-three numbers sung and danced by a stellar cast under the brilliant direction of Frank D. Shutts II. You couldn’t do better if you were seeing it on Broadway.
If I handed out stars, which I don’t, I’d give it five stars. This will be sold out in a hurry. (N.B. Shakespeare invented the word “hurry” and I guess he meant get your tickets now!
With Book by Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell, Music and Lyrics by Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick, and Produced by Rachel Alberts, Bobbie Herbst and Russell M. Wyland with Musical Direction by Christopher A. Tomasino, and Choreography by Stefan Sittig.
Additional Cast – Paul Caffrey as Brother Jeremiah, Brian Ash as Lord Clapham/Master of Justice, Luke Martin as Tom Snout, Evan Zimmerman as Robin, Daniel Boos as Quince, Andrew Sanchez as Snug, J. P. McElyea, Josh Mutterperl as Horatio/Bard Boy.
Bard Boys – Marcus Barbret, Luke Martin, Josh Mutterperl, Eddie Perez, Andrew Sanchez.
Additional ensemble – Amanda Mason, Mary Rodrigues, Lourdes Tumblom, Julia Hornok (Dance Captain), Brittany Bollick, and Odette Gutierrez del Arroyo.
Set Design by Robert S. Barr Jr., Lighting Design by Ken and Patti Crowley, Costume Design by Jean Schlichting and Kit Sibley.
Through August 13th at The Little Theatre of Alexandria, 600 Wolfe Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. For tickets and information visit www.TheLittleTheatre.com or call the box office at 703 683-0496.