Is Something Rotten! the Next Tenant of Broadway's St. James Theatre?

News   Is Something Rotten! the Next Tenant of Broadway's St. James Theatre?
 
The new musical comedy Something Rotten!, which received a recent New York workshop starring Tony Award winner Christian Borle, Brian D'Arcy James and Tony winner Beth Leavel, is likely the next tenant of Broadway's St. James Theatre, currently home to the revival of Side Show.

Christian Borle
Christian Borle Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Producers announced Dec. 12 that Side Show, the cult musical based on the lives of conjoined twins Daisy and Violet Hilton, would end its second Broadway run on Jan. 4, 2015. Its run will be nearly identical to that of the original production, which also began in October and shuttered Jan. 3, 1998.

Sources close to the new musical Something Rotten stated that the production will take up residence at the St. James this spring. The New York Times reported Dec. 12 that the production was circling the theatre, a choice home for musicals, and that an announcement was imminent. 

Tony-winning producer Kevin McCollum is shepherding the Broadway-aimed comedy 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.

A recent Equity casting notice, which does not indicate dates of production, stated that producers are offering a Broadway contract with auditions to take place Dec. 15-16.

Something Rotten's impending Broadway arrival likely means that the show's Seattle world premiere, which is scheduled for April 29-May 24, 2015, at the 5th Avenue Theatre (during the sweet spot of Tony Awards eligibility), will be jettisoned. Tickets for the 5th Avenue Theatre run remain on sale. The casting notice does not make mention of a pre-Broadway Seattle try-out.

A representative for Something Rotten declined to comment on the show's Broadway plans.

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").

Helmed by Tony Award-winning Aladdin and Book of Mormon director-choreographer Casey Nicholaw, Something Rotten received a starry workshop in October.

In the workshop, Tony winner Borle (Peter and the Starcatcher, "Smash") played Shakespeare with Tony nominees d'Arcy James (Next to Normal, Shrek) and John Cariani (Fiddler on the Roof, Almost Maine) as the Bottom brothers, in a cast that also included Tony winner Leavel (The Drowsy Chaperone), Brad Oscar (The Producers), Allen Fitzpatrick (Memphis), Kate Reinders (Gypsy), Jeff Steitzer (Mary Poppins) and Gerry Vichi (The Drowsy Chaperone).

Here's how the 5th Avenue bills the musical: "It's Renaissance England and Nick and Nigel Bottom are desperate to write a hit play. But how can they when the competition is William Shakespeare? Seeking out the soothsayer Nostradamus, our heroes come up with a futuristic idea–write a play with songs! And thus, the first musical is born. There is indeed Something Rotten! – and it will have you rolling in the aisles."

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