|The cast of "Something Rotten" at the Ahmanson Theatre|
All photos by Jeremy Daniel
The Kirkpatrick brothers, although you may have not heard much about them until now, are journeyman show biz behind-the-scene professionals in the world of musical theatre, recording industry, and TV and film.
Wayne, the oldest by three years, has been a successful composer/songwriter for many of the top recording stars and entertainers like Bonnie Raitt, Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Joe Cocker and Trisha Yearwood.
Karey is a neophyte to the world of the theatre. He has no credits, but, he’s been a successful TV screenwriter and filmmaker-director for years. Both were born in Baton Rouge, LA, and worked in separate fields of show business. One night, the creative spark of 'why don’t we write something together,' set Wayne and Karey on a mission to write a musical play revolving around Shakespeare the man and make him a character in their musical. Four years later “Something Rotten” finally opened on Broadway hitting the jackpot, becoming a smash Broadway hit that earned eight Tony nominations.
Unfortunately, their terrific musical comedy opened in the same season as “Hamilton” (2015) that almost ran the table of Tony Awards that year – nabbing eleven. Mel Brooks’ production “The Producers” still holds the record for Tony wins with twelve.
|Rob McClure, Maggie Lakis and Josh Grisetti|
When the local soothsayer Nostradamus (Blake Hammond) meets Nick, he predicts that the future of theatre involves singing, dancing, and acting all at the same time in a single production, sending our intrepid playwrights into a writing frenzy in their effort to become the world’s first musical producers.
|Blake Hammond and Rob McClure|
I would suggest one listen carefully to the lyrics, as well as to the many dialogue references to other Broadway productions and movies, that are slyly slipped into the narrative by some of the characters. Methinks the show has the flavor and whimsy of a Mel Brooks production (which, after all, isn’t that bad).
Composer/lyricist Wayne and co-songwriter/lyricist Karey have written 14 original songs and musical numbers that are just flat-out dazzling and they’re choreographed and directed by Tony Award-winner Casey Nicholaw.
|Autumn Hurlbert and Josh Grisetti|
In the technical department, led by Nicholaw, the creative team boasts three time Toni Award-winning Set designer Scott Pask, Tony Award winner Gregg Barnes who floods the stage with his colorful costumes of the period, Tony Award winner Jeff Croiter, skillfully designs his lights to maximize the total technical effects of this impressive, deliriously, entertainingly production. The sound designed by Peter Hylenski completes the technical team. Brian P. Kennedy is the Music Director and Conducts the Orchestrations by Larry Hochman.
It wasn’t easy in 1590s England to become top dog in show business, such as it was, and it’s definitely no walk in the park either to become top dog in the 21st century. But what the real-life Kirkpatrick brothers bring to the Ahmanson Theatre in “Something Rotten”, is a deliriously crowd-pleasing, gut-busting, hilarious, singing, dancing (tap too), musical comedy production. It also has the good fortune to be directed by two-time Tony-winning director/choreographer Casey Nicholaw, that is sure to entertain even the fussiest of theatre-goers.
“Something Rotten” performs in Los Angeles at the Ahmanson Theatre and runs through December 31, 2017.
-- Jack Lyons