The new musical set during Shakespeare's time — in which two brothers, desperate to write a hit play of their own in Shakespeare's shadow, end up creating the next big thing, a musical — was workshopped earlier this fall with Borle and d'Arcy James.
Borle (Peter and the Starcatcher, Legally Blonde, Little Me, "Smash") and d'Arcy James (Shrek, Next to Normal, Titanic, "Smash") will repeat their performances on Broadway as Shakespeare and Nigel Bottom, respectively.
Newly announced to join them are Tony Award nominee John Cariani (Fiddler on the Roof), Heidi Blickenstaff ([title of show]), Tony nominee Brad Oscar (The Producers), Kate Reinders (Wicked), Tony nominee Brooks Ashmanskas (Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me), Peter Bartlett (Cinderella), Gerry Vichi (The Drowsy Chaperone) and Michael James Scott (The Book of Mormon).
The ensemble includes Eric Giancola (The Book of Mormon), Linda Griffin (The Drowsy Chaperone), David Hibbard (Elf), Jenny Hill (Spamalot), Stacey Todd Holt (Rocky), Courtney Iventosch (Wicked), Aaron Kaburick (Motown), Austin Lesch (Violet), Beth Johnson Nicely (Bullets Over Broadway), Aleks Pevec (Aladdin), Angie Schworer (Big Fish), Eric Sciotto (The Mystery of Edwin Drood), Brian Shepard (Young Frankenstein), Chelsea Morgan Stock (Sister Act), Ryan VanDenBoom (Annie), Matt Wall (Annie), Marisha Wallace (Aladdin) and Bud Weber (Aladdin).
Helmed by Tony Award-winning Aladdin and The Book of Mormon director-choreographer Casey Nicholaw, Something Rotten will officially open on Broadway April 22. Something Rotten! has music and lyrics by Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick. Wayne is the Nashville-based songwriter whose music has been recorded by such artists as Amy Grant, Garth Brooks, Eric Clapton, Trisha Yearwood and others; while brother Karey is an L.A.-based screenwriter-director whose projects include "James and the Giant Peach," "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" and "Chicken Run." Karey Kirkpatrick is collaborating on the musical's book with John O'Farrell ("An Utterly Impartial History of Britain, or 2000 Years of Upper Class Idiots in Charge," "Spitting Image").
The creative team includes Scott Pask (scenic design), Gregg Barnes (costume design), Natasha Katz (lighting design), Peter Hylenski (sound design), Josh Marquette (hair design), Phil Reno (music direction / conductor), Glen Kelly (arrangements), Larry Hochman (orchestrations) and casting by Telsey + Company/Bethany Knox, CSA.
Here's how the musical is billed: "Welcome to the '90s — the 1590s — long before the dawn of premium tickets, star casting and reminders to turn off your cell phones. 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 theatre involves singing, dancing and acting at the same time, Nick and Nigel set out to write the world’s very first MUSICAL! But amidst the scandalous excitement of Opening Night, the Bottom Brothers realize that reaching the top means being true to thine own self… and all that jazz. With its heart on its ruffled sleeve and sequins in its soul, Something Rotten! is an uproarious dose of pure Broadway fun and an irresistible ode to musicals — those dazzling creations that entertain us, inspire us, and remind us that everything’s better with an exclamation point!"
Tickets are currently on exclusive sale to Audience Rewards Members through Jan. 17 at AudienceRewards.com. Members of the general public may purchase tickets beginning Jan. 18 online at telecharge.com or by calling (212) 239-6200 and in person beginning Feb. 23 at The St. James Theatre box office (246 West 44th Street).