Something Rotten! Review


UW-Platteville Pioneer Players photo


The current production of the Pioneer Players is the wonderfully
funny musical, “Something Rotten!” Being the first production held in the Brodbeck Concert Hall since 2019, the cast and crew went all out for their return to the stage. The musical was huge, with intricate dance numbers being lit by a beautiful lighting design. The opening night production was full of energy and the next five productions promise the same. 

The musical opened with the ensemble welcoming the audience to Renaissance London and all that has changed and improved in the last several years. Praises of the new century and how amazing the new big bard, Shakespeare, is at creating masterpiece plays was emphasized. Following that, the audience is introduced to the main characters, Nick and Nigel Bottom. The Bottom brothers are in an acting troupe that they previously kicked Shakespeare out of for being a horrible actor, which launched the bard’s solo writing career. They plan on debuting their new play before being told that Shakespeare has already announced his latest play, which is undeniably the same as the brothers’ play. This leads Nigel to loudly proclaim how much he hates Shakespeare.

Following this proclamation, the brothers go home to Nick’s wife, who tells them of their financial troubles and how she is going to get a job to help. Nick is pressured to take desperate measures and brings their entire savings to a soothsayer, hoping the soothsayer can tell him the next big hit before Shakespeare writes it first. Upon meeting Thomas Nostradamus, nephew of the famous Nostradamus, Nick is told that the next big thing in theater is musicals. Nick is skeptical but decides to go forward and brings about the next big obsession in theater, no matter the cost.

This musical was beautifully written with plenty of humor for everyone. The production was ripe with hidden nods to other famous musicals. Humor was sometimes aimed at an older audience but proved to be an amazing experience for all ages.

With several clever fourth wall breaks, compelling characters and a tap-dance battle, this musical is sure to make the audience bust out laughing. Viewers will not be able to help from being drawn further into the stories of each character as they try to make a life for themselves in a world that cares about nothing other than Shakespeare. Viewers are guaranteed to fall in love with the cast and characters of “Something Rotten!”