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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Anything but Rotten!

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Provided

The Tony-nominated musical “Something Rotten!” arrived in College Station on Saturday for two shows.

“Something Rotten!” arrived in College Station for its two-night run at Rudder Auditorium on Saturday.
Adapted from the book by Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell, “Something Rotten!” tells the tale of the Bottom brothers, Nick and Nigel, played by leads Matthew Michael Janisse and Richard Spitaletta. The brothers are both playwrights looking for the next big thing in theatre in order to knock Shakespeare off the top of the playwright hierarchy. The solution? Writing the world’s first musical.
Since the show’s creation in 2015, it has amassed many nominations from the Tony Awards and even a Grammy nomination. This production was directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw, who has worked on esteemed Broadway productions such as “The Drowsy Chaperone,” “The Book of Mormon,” and “Mean Girls.”
Education senior and operations manager Delaney Couri said she holds “Something Rotten!” in high regard as a unique theatre experience.
“I have had the privilege of seeing “Something Rotten!” once before, and I have to say I am very excited to see it again, especially because of the extravagant nature of the show,” Couri said. “The show is somewhat of a satire of the entire musical theatre genre, and I think it is both original and wildly entertaining.”
Couri also believes aficionados of musical theatre won’t have a hard time loving “Something Rotten!”
“Anyone familiar with other musicals or stage shows will love this play as it makes reference to numerous other hits including ‘Les Miserables,’ ‘RENT’ and ‘Music Man’, to name a few,” Couri said. “Even if audiences are not quite as familiar with other shows, the energy and wit of this show is something everyone can appreciate.”
Couri said “Something Rotten!” has been one of the most anticipated shows of the season for OPAS members.
Public health freshman Aketch Osamba said the play’s writing was a particularly smart and enjoyable aspect of “Something Rotten!”
“[It] played with people’s fascination with musicals,” Osamba said. “It was interesting that they made Shakespeare seem like a rockstar while the Bottom brothers were seen as indie artists that no one would be interested in, because nowadays it would be the other way around.”
The play started with a catchy opener and strong vocal performances that drew a thunderous first round of applause from the audience. However, the fan reaction to the track “A Musical” nearly erupted into a mid-play standing ovation for the extravagant, over-the-top ode to musical theatre.
“This song lovingly makes fun of the entire idea of theatre and picks it apart, referencing many famous musicals in the process,” Couri said. “‘A Musical’ is what theatre is all about and is musical theatre at its best.”
Sarah Pool, the associate music director, could be seen at the base of the stage not only playing the keyboard but also conducting the show’s band. Even with her back to the crowd, she still loves the crowd feedback.
“My favorite aspect of the show is hearing the audience laugh and have a good time,” Pool said. “Some theatre is intellectual. Some theatre is heart-felt. This show has a heart-felt story and a whole lot of laughs for everyone.”
Nailing the music to feel and sound just right is the band’s goal. Pool said having that respect and appreciation for the art reciprocated by the audience is the biggest reward show after show.
“It’s very satisfying to know that the audience appreciates the work we’ve done,” Pool said.

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