Something Rotten! to bring satirical Shakespeare to Ames


Courtesy of Stephens Auditorium

Broadway musical Something Rotten will be showing at Stephens Auditorium on Oct. 30 at 7:30 p.m.

Emily Urban

The Broadway show “Something Rotten!” is coming to Stephens Auditorium on Tuesday, and this satirical musical finds inspiration in a very different William Shakespeare. The show, which opened its doors in 2015, was nominated for 10 Tony Awards.

The musical, set in the 1590s, features brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom, two playwrights stuck in the shadow of William Shakespeare. They seek guidance from a soothsayer who gives them the future of entertainment: musicals, and the two brothers set out to write the first ever musical and be true to themselves all the while.

According to an interview, on the 5th Avenue Theatre blog, Karey Kirkpatrick, who wrote the book and lyrics for the show, explained the origin of the show, which stemmed from his and his brother Wayne’s love of history.

“At one point, it was, what would it be like to be writing in the shadow of William Shakespeare, after ‘Romeo and Juliet’ just opened,” Kirkpatrick told 5th Avenue Theatre.

In earlier drafts of the musical, Kirkpatrick centered the show around writers who were not brothers, backed by music mashed-up with Shakespeare’s plays. The final version of the show stars two brothers competing with a rock star-esque William Shakespeare. It took around 14-15 years for the show to eventually be pitched in 2010, and the rest is history.

The show will begin at 7:30 p.m. with one intermission. Stephens Auditorium will open doors for this performance at 6:45 (North Doors) and 7:00 (SE and SW Doors). Times may vary depending on the sound check for the performance. Prior to the performance, ISU Dining and the University Compost Facility will present about Iowa State’s sustainability initiatives in the Celebrity Cafe at 7:00 p.m.

Tickets start at $35 for the general public. Student tickets are available for $25 with a student ID at the ticket office located inside the north doors of Stephens Auditorium.