If you love musicals, but not too much so as not to be amused by their being abused, in good fun, of course.
And if you love Shakespeare, but also not too much so as not to be offended to have him paraded as a rockstar of the of the waning 16th century, then you’ll love “Something Rotten”.
As I comment on public radio 99.1 KBU and websites everywhere , a hit several years ago on Broadway , the musical is now in full blown production at the Ahmanson in the Music Center downtown through the end of the year,.
And indeed as in New York, it is a extravaganza, a BIG musical, delivered by a high kicking dance, and high note singing chorus, ever ready it seems to allow the ensemble’s leads to skip and shuffle off stage to catch their breaths.
And that also gives the audience a moment to intermittingly stand and cheer, as they did opening night. Obviously, there was a lot of fans and family present.
Their enthusiasm echoed the cast’s enthusiasm, staring Rob McClure as Nick Bottom, a struggling writer in the shadow of a supercilious Shakespeare, played to perfection by Adam Pascal. Blake Hammond as the soothsayer Nostradamus deserves a shout out, as does Josh Grisetti.
Actually, the whole cast of dozens is deserving, deftly directed and choreographed by Casey Nicolaw, the stage design and lighting , and the costumes ,just fine. All meld magnificently.
But if there is problem, at least from this critic’s perspective, it is the story line. Shakespeare envy is just too broad, not very subtle, and the dialogue , sophomoric,: cute but not clever.
However, the show numbers mostly were clever, jazzed up parodies of hits of the past. There were winks at “Wicked.” a nod to “Chicago,” a sharp elbow to “Pippin,” a mention of “Cats.” all jogging the memory and prompting smiles.
It was in sum a rollicking evening, especially for show musical lovers, so allow me to end with a purloined a line from Shakespeare’s play, Measure for Measure, “All’s well, that ends well.
And to be sure, “Something Rotten,” does end well and you’ll leave the Ahmanson smiling.