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.
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 musical's next stop is a world-premiere run at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre April 29-May 24, 2015. The 5th Avenue has served as the pre-Broadway stop for such musicals as Hairspray, Aladdin, Memphis, Catch Me If You Can and A Christmas Story, among others.
Tony winner Borle (Peter and the Starcatcher, "Smash") plays 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 includes Tony winner Leavel (The Drowsy Chaperone), Oscar (The Producers), Allen Fitzpatrick (Memphis), Kate Reinders (Gypsy), Jeff Steitzer (Mary Poppins) and Gerry Vichi (The Drowsy Chaperone). The ensemble includes Taryn Darr, Eric Giancola, Linda Griffin, David Hibbard, Jenny Hill, Stacey Todd Holt, Aaron Kaburick, Beth Johnson Nicely, Aleks Pevec, Angie Schworer, Michael James Scott, Brian Sears, Brian Shepard, Brendan Stimson, Chelsea Morgan Stock, Ryan VanDenBoom, Marisha Wallace and Bud Weber.
Casting for the NYC workshop does not reflect future casting for the Seattle premiere.
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."