Stage Door: <i>Something Rotten!, Dr. Zhivago</i>
Huffington Post - almost 2 years
It's the 1590s, two brothers, Nigel and Nick Bottom, are desperate to top their arch literary rival William Shakespeare. So they seize on a radical idea: They'll put on the world's first musical! While it sounds crazy to the denizens of Renaissance London, the concept, better known as Something Rotten!, offers big entertainment value on Broadway.
Now at the St. James, the rollicking, high-energy production is a clever sendup of musical theater and the Bard. And it adds considerably to the enjoyment if you know both. Loads of famous musicals are referenced, including Pippin, Fiddler on the Roof, Chicago, Les Mis, Guys & Dolls and Cabaret. Half the fun is catching the lightning-quick shout-outs.
The other half is noting the Shakespearean nods, be it to Falstaff, Hamlet and Shylock or getting a kick out of the proposed creation of classic lines, such as "to be or not to be," "now is the winter of our discontent," never mind the brazen theft of love sonnets.
Huffington Post article