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Something Rotten!

Members say: Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Hilarious, Delightful
42 reviews
6147 reviews

After a laugh-filled run on Broadway and ten 2015 Tony Award nominations, this musical comedy about the very first musical kicks off its national tour at the Boston Opera House.

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This mash-up of 16th-century Shakespeare and 21st-century Broadway tells the story of brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom, two playwrights stuck in the shadow of that Renaissance rock star Will Shakespeare. When a soothsayer foretells the next big thing in theater, the Bottom brothers set out to write the world’s first musical. 


Reviews (6189)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score

The New York Times

for a previous production "Unchecked enthusiasm is not always an asset in musical comedy, despite the genre’s reputation for wholesale peppiness. “Something Rotten!,” the rambunctious new show that opened on Wednesday night, dances dangerously on the line between tireless and tedious, and winds up collapsing into the second camp." Full Review


for a previous production "'Something Rotten!' doesn't quite reach the game-changing heights of that blockbuster musical, but it will give you two and a half hours of hearty laughs...that the show is able to maintain its high level of lunacy without falling into a disappointing rut in the second act is a testament to Nicholaw, his cast, and his creative team." Full Review


for a previous production "Shamelessly silly parody of Broadway musicals — an outrageous spoof of all things Shakespeare...Although comic desperation descends on the second act, it’s still a deliriously funny show." Full Review

New York Post

for a previous production "Everything from story to song clicks into place, the actors are firing on all cylinders — and the audience knows it’s watching something special. Now, that something special is 'Something Rotten!,' a deliriously entertaining new musical comedy that is devilishly clever under its goofy exterior. Yep, this is a blockbuster." Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

for a previous production "Mildly amusing and oddly anodyne...It’s hard not to wish that the show’s creators had the set the bar and the flame just a little higher. Something Rotten! wants to be uncouth and impertinent a la The Book of Mormon, but it’s much too nice for that...It’s never offensive, but it’s never very exciting either." Full Review

The Huffington Post

for a previous production "Something's rotten on the stage of the St. James, and it smells like a hit...'Something Rotten!' is larded with overripe performances, layer upon layer of schmaltz, and everything in the kitchen sink except a battle of flying cream pies...It hits the target again and again, but as the evening progresses they serve up fewer and fewer bull's eyes." Full Review

DC Theatre Scene

for a previous production "By the end of the show, despite the cleverness of its concept, 'Something Rotten' as executed simply hasn't added up to a completely satisfying musical. Its choreography seems too repetitive, its rock score sounds too generic, its tone is confused – as often peppy or sappy as subversive or satiric – and its plot is all over the place: Too much of what unfolds during its 150-minute running time feels like filler." Full Review

New York Theatre Guide

for a previous production "Something Rotten is a big splashy puffball of a musical that has been way over-thought, over written and over-worked. There is not room for one more note, one more reference to a Broadway musical, one more historical factoid, one more nod to Shakespeare, one more word or gesture or even breath. We waddle out of the theatre stuffed, but not satiated." Full Review

The Wall Street Journal

for a previous production "The cast is resolutely lively, and “Something Rotten!” has enough punch to partially conceal the thinness of the material. Nevertheless, this one’s for backward sophomores only." Full Review

AM New York

for a previous production "With all its showmanship and silliness, 'Something Rotten!' begins on an extremely promising note, sustains it throughout act one, and then falters in act two, where attempts are made to resolve the haywire plot. Even so, “Something Rotten!” is a great deal of cartoonish fun." Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

for a previous production "Smells like a hit, a very palpable hit...This is a big, brash meta-musical studiously fashioned in the mold of Monty Python's Spamalot, The Producers and The Book of Mormon, loaded with crowd-pleasing showstoppers, deliciously puerile gags and an infectious love of the form it so playfully skewers...Even if the show doesn't finish as strongly as it starts, its giddy high spirits prevail." Full Review

New York Magazine / Vulture

for a previous production "Nicholaw’s genius for reducing an audience to helpless giggles is on blazing display in Something Rotten! — a new show so steeped in the tradition that it often seems like a concordance. Anything you’ve ever liked in a musical comedy (and a few things you haven’t) are here, just waiting to sing-and-dance you into submission...It’s total silliness, of course; Nicholaw keeps the lights bright, the sound loud, and the plot moving at a furious boil. (That’s part of why it evaporates so quickly.)" Full Review

New York Daily News

for a previous production "Supremely silly...the musical love child of “The Carol Burnett Show” and “Forbidden Broadway.” In other words, this showbiz offspring has some darn fine DNA. And a terrific core idea...And the formula works — mostly. Some tunes and dance pieces recur. So laughs dry up as “Something Rotten!” becomes a deju vu-sical. There’s compensation, though, including a mouthwatering production that looks like more than a million bucks." Full Review


for a previous production "Musical theater aficionados will eat up the constant tongue-in-cheek references, not just to Shakespeare's works and characters, but to musicals generally. That said, not every joke is a home run. Those who don't attend the theater as often won't "get" all the insider references. What they will get is a terrific cast performing at the top of their game, peppy direction and choreography, and lots of colorful and varied design work." Full Review


for a previous production ""Something Rotten!" arrives on Broadway with Hit! plastered all over it -- and I am not here to doubt it. The advance enthusiasms for the musical-comedy Renaissance spoof have been impossible to duck. Suffice it to say that, despite my sincere desire to be at the party, the show's good-natured silly charms just feel hammered by an unrelenting tsunami of manic, frenetic, zanier-than-zaniest onslaught of collegiate show-biz humor." Full Review

Chicago Tribune

for a previous production "The wacky new Broadway musical has the best opening comedic number of the season — heck, several seasons...To say the show opens with a bang does not do it justice...That level of anarchic comedy is not, alas, fully sustained. That is, perhaps, one of the dangers of starting out with such intensity, rather than pacing yourself." Full Review


for a previous production ""Something Rotten!" may not be the tidiest new musical of the Broadway season, but it's by far the funniest...A high-spirited, gleefully acted, past-meets-present cultural mash-up, mixing high wit with low jokes. It exists for its individual comic and musical scenes, with plot coherence discarded as excess baggage." Full Review

The Wrap

for a previous production "The new musical 'Something Rotten!' offers something rare, as well as something recycled. The something rare is the opportunity for no fewer than three leading men to astonish us in entirely different ways...“Something Rotten!” turns into something recycled. “Omelette” tells the story of “Hamlet” by riffing on “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Les Miserables,” “Pippin,” “Annie,” and any other number of tuners." Full Review


for a previous production "“Rotten!” paints musical theater culture in the same broad strokes that the “The Book of Mormon” used to satirize religion—everyone gets to be in on the joke. This new musical makes us do just enough work that we feel satisfied for picking up on them. Go for the production numbers and the big-hearted turns from the leads, whose enthusiasm ultimately proves even more infectious than the plague." Full Review


for a previous production "Casey Nicholaw pulls out every trick in the theatrical book to keep you from laughing so hard and smiling so much you’re likely to overlook the show’s flaws until you’ve left the theater...yet, for all of its high points, something is missing from the show – a real heart." Full Review

The Associated Press

for a previous production ""Something Rotten!," written by three guys making their Broadway debuts, is fresh and hysterical and irreverent. It's easily the funniest thing to arrive on Broadway since "The Book of Mormon...led by director Casey Nicholaw at his exuberant, daffy best. There are tap dancing eggs, for God's sake...And this time, thanks to some of Broadway's best pros, these outsiders have created something far from rotten. Or a turd. It's awesome." Full Review


for a previous production "There is absolutely nothing rotten about the new musical 'Something Rotten!' In fact, I smell a hit. Right out of the Mel Brooks school of comedy, nothing is sacred and everything is funny! "Something Rotten” is red meat for theatre lovers – it’s clever, bodaciously funny, ridiculously tuneful; and even if Act II feels a bit overdone, audiences are sure to eat it up." Full Review

Stage Buddy

for a previous production "Its greatest achievement is combining all these elements and transcending parody because of how openly it wears its heart on its sleeve, it’s a show by musical lovers made to please other musical lovers...A blissfully entertaining show that doesn't pretend to contain anything particularly original." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

for a previous production "The trouble with 'Something Rotten!' is that the humor never really advances past references to other musicals and Shakespeare plays. And these references are often just the title of a show or a famous quote. While the audience laughs in recognition, it's just too easy. Also, after such a strong beginning, act two feels muddled and overstuffed. That said, 'Something Rotten!' is entertaining from start to finish. A lot of this is in the performances." Full Review

USA Today

for a previous production "It's pretty safe to assume that 'Rotten!' will not join the ranks of the iconic shows it references any time soon...with enough comic fodder to sustain a briskly entertaining, though ultimately forgettable, ride." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score

Funny, Delightful, Hilarious, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you are looking for a great laugh at the expense of the theatre world! Hilarious performances and material. Pure fun!

Don't see it if immature humor turns you off.

Clever, Quirky, Great writing, Hilarious, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy Christian Borle, slap-stick comedy, and cleverness in theatre...with just a touch of Shakespeare.

Don't see it if you just don't do "silly".

Funny, Entertaining, Silly

See it if you enjoy a fun, silly, lively musical that will entertain you and make you laugh.

Don't see it if you don't like silly humor or you're looking for something deep and profound.

Funny, Epic, Quirky, Hilarious, Entertaining

See it if You like cheeky musicals.

Don't see it if You don't like cheeky musicals.

Delightful, Intelligent, Must see, Great writing, Hilarious

See it if love great music, lyrics, book, acting.........Loved it!!

Don't see it if If you dont like to be entertained

Funny, Enchanting, Overrated, Hilarious, Entertaining

See it if You like Shakespeare, you want something funny

Don't see it if You'd rather enjoy serious stuff.

Quirky, Cliched, Overrated, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy inside jokes about musical theater.

Don't see it if you want a show with any depth.

Funny, Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Spectacular

See it if Over-the-top parody of Shakespeare plays and many musicals. Lively upbeat music and staging, with plenty of clever wordplay.

Don't see it if You are looking for something serious.

Ambitious, Clever, Delightful, Refreshing, Entertaining

See it if You love musical theater & want to see something enjoyable / light. You're going to a Broadway show to celebrate an occasion like a b-day.

Don't see it if You take Shakespeare very seriously and don't want to even imagine him in another light. You don't like musicals. You prefer small shows.

Funny, Clever, Intelligent, Hilarious, Entertaining

See it if You like to laugh...knowledge of musicals and Shakespeare a plus

Don't see it if You require a great score in a musical

Intelligent, Masterful, Great writing, Hilarious, Entertaining

See it if You love musicals.

Don't see it if you hate musicals.

Funny, Clever, Raunchy, Hilarious

See it if you want to be entertained and walk out humming show tunes

Don't see it if you dislike broad somewhat raunchy humor

Raunchy, Indulgent, Entertaining, Fluffy

See it if You like to catch references, to Shakespeare, to musicals, like silly stuff, and are not too demanding about wit or cleverness.

Don't see it if You want something mildly entertaining to be more- sharper wit, more exploitation of musical tropes, nearer rhymes.

Also Tired commuters can congratulate themselves on recognizing lines from ... Read more Read less

Funny, Clever, Delightful, Entertaining

See it if Love comic musicals.

Don't see it if If you only like dramas

Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Fun, Fluffy

See it if You want a carefree romp through faux musical history!

Don't see it if You take yourself too seriously.

Funny, Clever, Delightful

See it if You want to have a fun night in the theater. The songs may not be memorable but the enjoyment was. I ploved all the references to past shows

Don't see it if You are a curmudgeon .

Funny, Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Fun

See it if you're a theater buff who'll get the Bway musical references.

Don't see it if you don't like a spoof.

Indulgent, Disappointing, Cliched, Overrated, Slow

See it if you really love the Renaissance and would watch any production dealing with that time period.

Don't see it if you're expecting it to be especially creative, unique or interesting - it's just not. The advertising campaign is better than the show.

Indulgent, Banal, Disappointing, Dated, Fluffy

See it if I wouldn't recommend ANYONE to see this TRASH

Don't see it if You like theatre because it helps ruin musical theatre

Delightful, Quirky, Hilarious, Entertaining, Fluffy

See it if If you like Shakespeare and a lot of theatre jokes.

Don't see it if If you don't like a rock score or if you want a perfectly written book

Funny, Delightful, Entertaining

See it if Fun musical show

Don't see it if No reason not to see it

Funny, Clever, Delightful, Great acting, Great writing

See it if You like Shakespeare

Don't see it if You hate Shakespeare

Funny, Satirical, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy high-energy musicals which are legitimately very funny, you want to see a spectacle of singing/dancing that seems fresh, not dated

Don't see it if you're looking for something dark, serious or of the classic golden age musical variety

Clever, Banal, Insipid, Fluffy

See it if Tapping Tudors, Prancing Pilgrims and Battling Bards get you laughing like an Elizabethan Fool. It's not rotten; more stale than stinking.

Don't see it if Crude innuendos and tired musical references will force you to "get thee hence with rapidity and dispatch." Comic ideas are beaten to death.

Must see, Great writing, Hilarious, Great singing, Great staging

See it if want to see a show that spoofs tons of broadway shows, this is the one. the song "its a musical" is one of the best big production, period.

Don't see it if don't like fast, quick dialogue and large old time bway shows, this is not your thing.