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 — received a New York City workshop earlier this fall with a cast of Broadway heavy-hitters.
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").
Following the successful workshop, the musical is fast-tracking its Broadway arrival, with an official opening set for April 22. The St. James Theatre is currently home to the Broadway revival of Side Show, which will close prematurely Jan. 4.
Producers are scuttling the previously announced Seattle world premiere of Something Rotten!, which was scheduled for April 29-May 24, 2015, at the 5th Avenue Theatre.
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!" Casting for the Broadway production has not been announced.
The recent New York City workshop featured Tony winner Christian Borle (Peter and the Starcatcher, "Smash") as Shakespeare with Tony nominees Brian 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 Beth Leavel (The Drowsy Chaperone), Brad Oscar (The Producers), Allen Fitzpatrick (Memphis), Kate Reinders (Gypsy), Jeff Steitzer (Mary Poppins) and Gerry Vichi (The Drowsy Chaperone).
McCollum is the Tony Award-winning producer of In the Heights, Avenue Q and Rent.
Producers also announced that all tickets for the musical's first three performances on Broadway (March 23-25) will be sold for $15.95. These seats will be available beginning Dec. 19 at the St. James Theatre box office and online at Telecharge.com.
Additional on-sale ticket dates for the remainder of the run will be announced at a later date.