Is Something Rotten! the FUNNIEST comedy musical?


– What’s up, my name is Chad Barnier and welcome to my musical
theater introduction series. In today’s video I wanted
to introduce to you a hilarious tongue-in-cheek
musical called Something Rotten! (funky brass music) This series is all about
introducing you to new musicals. Whether that’s a classic
show you haven’t seen before, or a new show you don’t
know that much about. Or perhaps if you’re
like me, you listen to the same cast albums on
repeat forever and ever, and your neighbors have politely requested that you mix it up a little bit. One of the best things
about musical theater is that there’s always a new show for you to sink your teeth into. However sometimes you have
to research a new show like it’s a school
project, just to understand the context of the songs
you’re listening to. And sometimes you just want
someone to recommend you a new show with enough
background to enjoy it. This series is me doing
that research for you and making that recommendation. You can watch the other videos
in my introduction series by checking out the playlist. I’ll be adding new videos every week so you can always be discovering and falling in love with new musicals. Before we get started on
today’s video, if you love musical theater and you enjoy this video, please consider subscribing to my channel. Not only does it help me
understand what content you like, but it also helps other people get introduced to new
shows and I always think the more people that love
musical theater, the better. (funky brass music) Something Rotten! is a comedy
musical set in renaissance England and tells the tale
of two playwright brothers who are struggling to
catch their big break because they live in the shadow of none other than William Shakespeare. After a few bad ideas
and creative differences the two brothers finally kind
of happen upon the idea of creating the world’s first ever musical. They come across this idea by visiting a soothsayer or a fortune teller, to ask what the next big
idea is in the theater, and the soothsayer says musicals. William Shakespeare is played
as a Russell Brand-esque kind of rock star, who
really enjoys being famous. More-so than enjoying the thing that makes or made him famous, which is his writing. Those two contrasting points
of William Shakespeare on one hand loving being
famous, but not really wanting to do the work to stay famous, and Nick Bottom’s desperation
to do anything to get there, makes for a real fertile ground for comedy and a whole bunch of antics
that I won’t spoil now. Lots of funny things
happen from that point, I’m not going to spoil any of the musicals in this introduction
series, I’ll leave it to you to listen to the show to kind of get the full impact of that. So let’s talk about the incredible team that put this show together. The book for this musical
is written by John O’Farrell and Karey Kirkpatrick,
with music and lyrics being written by Karey and
his brother Wayne Kirkpatrick. Wayne has written music for
a whole bunch of incredible artists like Garth Brooks, Faith Hill, and even won a Grammy award for his work with Eric Clapton on the
song Change the World. You might not instantly recognize the name Karey Kirkpatrick but but
you definitely recognize some of his incredible work including Hitchhiker’s Guide to the
Galaxy, Rescuers Down Under, James and the Giant
Peach, and Chicken Run. I mean, Chicken Run! Now, theater nerds will
absolutely recognize the name Casey Nicholaw, who choreographed and directed the show. Casey’s other work includes
Spamalot, and Aladdin, The Drowsy Chaperone, Book
of Mormon, and that’s just a couple of the shows he’s worked on. And that’s a pretty impressive resume. Something Rotten! was
nominated for ten Tony awards and took home the Best Featured Actor Tony for Christian Borle’s portrayal
of William Shakespeare. Which is a fantastic
segue into taking about the cast of the show. Now I’m not going to go through everyone who’s played every role in
every production of the show, because this video would
be twenty minutes long. But some of the standouts include one of my favorite actors
Brian D’arcy James. Brian makes his way onto
my dream cast wishlist for every show ever, and
is known for shows like Hamilton, Shrek, and Wild Party. As I mentioned before, William Shakespeare is portrayed by Christian Borle, who won the Tony award
for Best Featured Actor, and you might recognize
the name Adam Pascal who played Roger in the
original Broadway cast of Rent the musical, my personal favorite. Adam plays William Shakespeare on the US national tour
of Something Rotten! Other standout roles include John Cariani from The Band’s Visit as Nigel Bottom. Brad Oscar from Spamalot as Nostradamus and Heidi Blickenstaff from
Freaky Friday as Bea Bottom. I would recommend this show to anyone who loves comedic theater
like Monty Python’s Spamalot, or The Producers, or
Little Shop of Horrors, you should definitely check out this show, the cast album is absolutely magical and I find myself singing it all the time. Some of my favorite
songs include the track God I Hate Shakespeare,
which is hilarious. A Musical, which they
performed at the Tonys, and is choc-a-bloc full of
musical theater references and winks to the audience,
so if you’re a theater fan you’ll absolutely love that one. And the song Hard to be the Bard, which is Will Shakespeare’s lament about the things that come along with being famous. So a quick fun fact, in August 2018 it was announced that the team that
brought Something Rotten! to life, will be working
to do an adaptation, a musical adaptation of one of my favorite movies, Mrs Doubtfire. And usually when people
do an adaptation of one of your favorite properties,
you can get a bit nervous but I love this musical
so much and the comedy is so in-line with that of Mrs Doubtfire that I’m so excited, so that’s really fun to look forward to as well. So question of the day, which musical would you like me to an
introduction video for next? This is a brand new series
and eventually I’d love to get around to introducing
and doing a video for every musical I can think of. But I wanna make sure
I’m doing videos that you guys wanna watch. So what musical have you wanted to see, and you don’t know much
about, that I could help kind of introduce you to? Thank you so much for watching the video, it really means the world to me. If you did enjoy this video
and you love musical theater, please consider subscribing
so I can continue making videos for you guys. I’ll probably keep making
them for myself anyway but it would be helpful
to have other people listen to my ranting. I hope you enjoy Something Rotten! and I’ll see you next time. (funky brass music)

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