After appearing together on NBC’s contemporary backstage Broadway soap Smash, Brian d’Arcy James and Christian Borle are about to be entangled in the theatrical intrigue of another era when they co-star this spring in Something Rotten!
Set in 1595 England, the new musical comedy revolves around brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom, who can’t seem to catch a break in a stage business monopolized by William Shakespeare. But when a fortune-teller foresees a theatrical future involving singing, dancing and acting at the same time, they set about creating the world’s first musical.
Read more ‘Something Rotten!’ Bound for Broadway
James will play Nick Bottom, with Borle as the Bard. Both actors appeared in an industry workshop presentation of the show, the enthusiastic response for which prompted producers to skip a planned Seattle tryout and open directly on Broadway. The change of plans also was motivated by the plum vacancy created when the musical Side Show announced an early closing date at the St. James Theatre.
Something Rotten! begins previews at the St. James on March 23, with the official opening set for April 22.
The show has music and lyrics by Grammy-winning songwriter Wayne Kirkpatrick and screenwriter-director Karey Kirkpatrick, with a book by the latter and British humorist John O’Farrell. Direction and choreography is by Casey Nicholaw, a Tony winner for The Book of Mormon who also staged last season’s Disney hit Aladdin.
Lead producer on Something Rotten! is Kevin McCollum, whose strong track record with new musicals includes the Tony winners Rent, Avenue Q and In the Heights. He previously collaborated with Nicholaw on another musical about musicals, The Drowsy Chaperone.
D’Arcy James received Tony nominations for his work in Shrek the Musical and Sweet Smell of Success. He recently wrapped shooting on Tom McCarthy‘s feature Spotlight, with Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams, and he also appears in the forthcoming Tina Fey–Amy Poehler comedy Sisters.
Borle won a Tony Award in 2012 for Peter and the Starcatcher, after previously being nominated for Legally Blonde. He was featured in both of NBC’s holiday musical events of the past two years, The Sound of Music Live! and Peter Pan Live!
Additional names in the 30-member cast of Something Rotten!, including the role of Nigel Bottom, are to be announced.