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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

I Forgot These Rotten Things

That's Tony-winner Christian Borle as William Shakespeare in "Something Rotten," in a performance at the White House that reminds me of Tim Curry.

I'm returning to "Something Rotten" because in writing about it yesterday, I mentioned how the show pokes fun at other musicals, but I neglected to mention that its creators had never created a Broadway show themselves. However, they have quite a collective resume. According to Playbill:
  • Wayne Kirkpatrick (music and lyrics) won a Song Of The Year Grammy for "Change The World" by Eric Clapton. He's also written top-ten singles for Garth Brooks and Amy Grant, plus other songs for Bonnie Raitt, Joe Cocker, Faith Hill, Trisha Yearwood, and Peter Frampton.
  • His brother Karey Kirkpatrick (book, music, and lyrics) used to work at Disney Animation, where he wrote the screenplays for "James and the Giant Peach" and "The Rescuers Down Under." His other credits include "Chicken Run," "Charlotte's Web," and "The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy."
  • John O'Farrell (book) has written several novels and non-fiction books that have been translated into 25 languages, in addition to several TV and film scripts.
  • The show does have one huge Broadway connection in Tony Award-winning director/choreographer Casey Nicholaw, who also oversaw "Aladdin," "The Book Of Mormon," "The Drowsy Chaperone," and the dancing in "Spamalot" (directed by Mike Nichols).
That's an impressive roster of credits all around.

One more thing about "Something Rotten." The fun it has at the expense of both The Bard and Broadway musicals is very much in the spirit of the shows The Reduced Shakespeare Company performs all over the country. In fact, on his RSC podcast, my friend Austin Tichenor interviewed Brad Oscar, Heidi Blickenstaff, and John Cariani about how they were cast in "Something Rotten," how the show changed during rehearsals, and how difficult it is to make it through a performance without cracking up themselves.