Theater Preview: Something Rotten!

Something is rotten in Utah and we’re not talking about the bad air (although we just did in our current issue). No. We’re talking here about the Broadway hit Something Rotten! opening at the Eccles Theater this week.

I’ve always loved the many creative endeavors that take the myth and legend of William Shakespeare and, well, play with it. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, for example has always been a favorite of mine—an absurdist play that retells Hamlet through he eyes of two bit players. Something Rotten! lands firmly in this tradition and also manages skewer musical theater tropes along the way.

Basically, musical theater and English lit nerds are going to love this play, which during its respectable run was a reliable alternatives to the jukebox musicals and Disney franchises littering the Broadway scene. Set in the 1590s, brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom are desperate to write a hit play but are stuck in the shadow of that Renaissance rockstar known as “The Bard.” When a local soothsayer foretells that the future of theater involves singing, dancing and acting at the same time, Nick and Nigel set out to write the world’s very first musical.

Of course the title refers to both the quote from Hamlet (“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark”) and the critical practice of Elizabethan theater audiences throwing rotten produce at the stage. But you knew that right?

The short run promises good smarty pants fun. It opens on Jan. 9 and runs through Jan. 14, 2018.

Tickets I’m told are in short supply so get thee hence! Once more into the breach!

You won’t want to miss this one. Click here for tickets and info.

Jeremy Pugh
Jeremy Pugh
Jeremy Pugh is Salt Lake magazine's Editor. He covers culture, history, the outdoors and whatever needs a look. Jeremy is also the author of the book "100 Things to Do in Salt Lake City Before You Die" and the co-author of the history, culture and urban legend guidebook "Secret Salt Lake."

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