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Something Rotten!

June 1 – 25, 2023

GK Hardt Theater

book by John O’Farrell and Karey Kirkpatrick
music and lyrics by Karey and Wayne Kirkpatrick

“Anything you’ve ever liked in a musical comedy (and a few things you haven’t) just waiting to sing-and-dance you into submission.” —Vulture.com

“…For sheer escapism and unbridled joy, this musical is more fun and festive than a trip to the Renaissance Faire. It’s filled with lusty wenches and randy men in tights. It boasts vivid color, kinetic choreography, broad comedy laced with adult double entendres and loads of homages to other musicals. And it’s original—no juke box musical or rehash of a popular movie here.” —Chicago Theatre Review – Highly Recommended

“…a deliriously funny show.” —Variety

“Yep, this is a blockbuster.” —New York Post

“…loaded with crowd-pleasing showstoppers.” —The Hollywood Reporter

Opening Weekend Received Glowing Reviews

“It was a fabulous production, one of the best community theater shows I have ever seen! The talent, directing, choreography and music were outstanding.” —Judy Wiesen, San Rafael

“We loved it! It was hilarious! I haven’t laughed that much in a very long time. The singing and dancing were outstanding!” —Joyce from Santa Rosa

“A very professional production… very well acted and produced. Laughed so hard I had tears streaming down my face for most of the show. Absolutely wonderful.” —Irene, Santa Rosa

Bohemian Review: Shakespearean Silliness at 6th Street
“…The key to the success of this particular production is the affection the cast has for the material and the joy they exhibit in delivering it. It’s infectious.” Read more at Bohemian

Photography by Eric Chazankin

A Goofy Spoof on a Shakespearian…Musical?

Here’s how Broadway bills this show: “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 requires being true to thine own self…and all that jazz. 

With its heart on its ruffled sleeve and sequins in its soul, the show 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 everything’s better with an exclamation point!” 

“No need to go to Broadway!” plenty of Playhouse patrons proclaim.  See the best for a ‘song and a dance’ (or a credit card swipe) right in your own neighborhood!

P.S.  Unlike the 1590’s when everyone stood, today your ticket buys you a seat. 

Featured Cast

Nelson Brown

Nelson Brown

Nelson Brown (Nick Bottom) is honored to make his 6th Street debut! Previous roles include Roger in RENT, Riff Raff in The Rocky Horror Show, Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls all with MMTC, Raphael/Bretodeau in Amélie with Masquers, and Vince Fontaine in Grease with The Mountain Play. He does not actually hate Shakespeare and has performed Proteus in Two Gentlemen of Verona, Poins in Henry IV, and Orsino in Twelfth Night all with The Curtain Theatre.

Lorenzo Alviso

Lorenzo Alviso

Lorenzo Alviso (Nigel Bottom) is a Sonoma County-grown Bay Area actor and vocalist who has been seen on the 6th Street stages as Duarte in The River Bride, Sebastian in Illyria, and Jean-Michel in La Cage Aux Folles. Other favorite roles include Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera, David in Company, Prince Herbert in Spamalot, Brad Majors in The Rocky Horror Show, and John Ernest Worthing in The Importance of Being Earnest.

Jenni Kim-Etimos

Garet Waterhouse

Garet Waterhouse (William Shakespeare) was last seen onstage as Dexter Armstrong in Ham for the Holidays (Main Stage West) and as Mr. Wormwood in Matilda, The Musical (Spreckels). Other recent roles include Mr. Banks in Mary Poppins and Frank Abagnale, Sr. in Catch Me If You Can (Spreckels), Juan Peron in Evita, Javert in Les Miserables, and Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd (Raven Players). He performed extensively on the Mendocino Coast for two decades, and from 2001 to 2014, portrayed the Parson in the Bracebridge Dinner at Yosemite. He works as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in private practice.

Marcus Peterson-Spain

Megan Bartlett

Megan Bartlett (Bea) is ready to be your “Right Hand Man!” Favorite past roles include Princess Winnifred in Once Upon a Mattress, Jo in Little Women, Mary in Mary Poppins, Margot Frank in Diary of Anne Frank. She most recently performed with Tri-Valley as Gloria in Damn Yankees. And just remember, when life gives you eggs, make an omelet! @megan.s.bartlett

Julianne Bretan

Julianne Bretan

Julianne Bretan (Portia) has performed in the North Bay for more than 10 years, and this is her first role at 6th Street Playhouse. You may have seen her as Marian Paroo in The Music Man, Hope Cladwell in Urinetown, Kate McGowan in Titanic, the Musical or Ariel in Disney’s The Little Mermaid at Spreckels. She played Babe Williams in The Pajama Game at MMTC, Olive Ostrovsky in Spelling Bee at STM, Sally Brown in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown! and Cathy Hiatt in The Last Five Years at NTC. She also played Johanna in Sweeney Todd at NTC/Theater-at-Large and Natalie Goodman in Next to Normal, for which she received a SFBATCC award.

The Story

Act I:

In Renaissance England, brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom find themselves struggling to keep their theater troupe afloat amidst fierce competition from the legendary William Shakespeare, known as “The Bard.” As Shakespeare prepares to unveil his newest masterpiece, “Romeo and Juliet,” Lord Clapham, a patron of the Bottom brothers, threatens to withdraw their funding unless they produce a new play by morning.

Nick despises Shakespeare’s success and fame, while Nigel, a romantic poet, is in awe of the bard’s genius. The brothers encounter a dilemma when Shylock, a Jewish moneylender, expresses a desire to help their troupe. Employing a Jew is illegal, posing a moral and legal quandary.

Meanwhile, Nick’s wife, Bea, has diligently saved money from her hard work. In desperation, Nick steals the money box and uses the funds to consult a soothsayer, Thomas Nostradamus, nephew of the famous Nostradamus. Nick seeks his guidance on the future of theater. Nostradamus reveals an astonishing prediction—actors will sing, dance, and act simultaneously in a revolutionary form called “a musical.”

In a twist of fate, Nigel meets and falls in love with Portia, the beautiful daughter of Brother Jeremiah. Nick warns Nigel against getting involved with Portia and then neglects to mention his encounter with Nostradamus and his incredible revelation about musicals. Nigel likes the idea and is inspired to write a play about brothers from Cornwall, but Nick insists that a play about the Black Death would fare better.

As tensions rise and the deadline looms, Lord Clapham deserts the Bottom brothers, leaving them in dire straits. Nigel, left alone to compose a new play, encounters Portia, who discovers his poetic talent and shares his admiration for Shakespeare. They decide to sneak away and see “The Bard” perform.

Amidst the chaos of the after party, Portia indulges in excessive drinking, adding to the comedic mayhem. Shakespeare, intrigued by Nigel’s talent, wants to read his poems. However, Shylock intervenes, chastising Shakespeare for attempting to steal Nigel’s ideas and scolding Nigel for his naivety.

As the Bottom brothers face mounting pressure and desperation, Nick returns to Nostradamus, armed with what remains of the money he stole from the box. He implores Nostradamus to reveal Shakespeare’s next big hit. However, Nostradamus, prone to misinterpretations, confuses various details, including “Hamlet,” leading Nick to write a preposterous musical based on these erroneous predictions.

Act II:

Shylock has become the troupe’s new investor, offering financial support to keep their dreams alive. Shakespeare, stooping to new lows, disguises himself and auditions for the brothers’ play to steal it. Meanwhile, the troupe rehearses their new show, “Omelette: The Musical.”

Nostradamus, another unwelcome visitor to the theatre, also claims to be an actor and inserts himself into the troupe’s affairs.

Nigel sneaks away to see Portia again and reads her yet another heartfelt poem about his love for her. Anxieties about her fathers’ disapproval linger, but Portia assures Nigel that her father and Nick will come around once they witness the beauty of Nigel’s poetry.

Nigel, disheartened by “Omelette,” becomes inspired to write a play that turns out to be none other than “Hamlet.” Nigel visits the theater and excitedly shares his improvements to the play with Nick. However, an argument erupts between the brothers, allowing Shakespeare to seize the opportunity and steal Nigel’s efforts.

Amidst the chaos, Nick’s loyal wife, Bea, assures Nigel that they can still rely on him.

To a full house, the troupe performs “Something Rotten!” with a bombastic dance number featuring references to modern-day musicals. Towards the end of the number, Shakespeare reveals himself to the shock of the troupe and Nigel. They also discover Nostradamus’s true identity as a soothsayer, leaving them horrified.

Shakespeare sues the Bottom brothers. In court, Nick is sentenced to beheading. However, disguised as a lawyer, Bea intervenes and makes Nick confess to stealing money from the box. She cleverly argues that beheading him would be redundant since he has already lost his head. Striking a deal with Shakespeare, she negotiates their exile to America, where they will have a country house, and fulfil their dream.

Portia, having escaped the tower, arrives and renounces her father’s ideals. She joins the Bottoms, along with Shylock and Nostradamus, in their exile. The group arrives in America and addresses the audience, sharing the boundless opportunities found in the New World.

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