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Following two years of skewering Shakespeare and time-traveling back to the imaginary birth of the musical comedy, Something Rotten! will conclude its Broadway run Jan. 1 at the St. James Theatre, before heading out on a national tour.
Directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw (Aladdin, The Book of Mormon), the show features a score by Wayne and Karey Kirkpatrick and a book by Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell, all of them Broadway newcomers.
After scrapping initial plans for a Seattle tryout in favor of opening directly on Broadway, Something Rotten! began performances at the St. James on March 23, 2015, and officially opened April 22 of that year to generally favorable reviews. It received 10 Tony nominations, including best musical, winning for Christian Borle’s scene-stealing featured role, portraying Shakespeare as a preening glam-rock idol, adored by the masses.
Set in 1590s England, the show depicts the struggles of brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom to conquer a theatrical market dominated by the Bard. Their luck changes when a soothsayer foretells a theatrical future in which players will sing, dance and act at the same time, giving rise to a delirious number called “A Musical,” which spoofs too many landmark shows to count.
Lead producer Kevin McCollum confirmed that the show has not yet recouped its $14 million investment, though profitability is likely to come when it hits the road.
“Something Rotten! is on its way to recoupment and we will know more when we close the initial run,” said McCollum. “Income will continue to flow from licensing and touring for many more years to come.”
The production was a solid seller through its first year, frequently grossing more than $1 million a week. However, sales have begun slipping in recent months. Its cumulative box office stands at $62.5 million, with 738,359 admissions. The U.S. national tour officially kicks off at the Boston Opera House, opening Jan. 17.
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