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Brush Up on your Shakespeare at 'Something Rotten!'

The Renaissance comes to life in the Marriott Theatre's production of the hysterical and historical SOMETHING ROTTEN, running now through October 20.

Nominated for ten Tony Awards including Best Musical, this hilarious smash hit tells the tale of two playwright brothers who are desperate to outshine Shakespeare and end up producing the first ever musical. This high-energy show is a love song to the American musical and well as the beauty of the written word.

The setting is 1595 in London where the biggest rock star is the Bard himself. Two down-on-their-luck brothers, Nick and Nigel Bottom, are desperate for a hit to compete with Shakespeare. When Nick consults with a local soothsayer, he learns the future of theatre is in singing and dancing. But the soothsayer doesn't get it quite right when he tells them Shakespeare's most famous play will be "Omelet" instead of well, you know, Hamlet.

The Tony-nominated score includes "Welcome to the Renaissance," "God, I Hate Shakespeare," "Bottom's Gonna Be on Top," and "Right Hand Man" and the ver the top, "It's a Musical." At the media night, the applause was so thunderous, it almost stopped the show.

KJ Hippensteel is fantastic as "Nick Bottom" with a beautiful strong vocals and perfect comedic timing. The always-delightful Alex Goodrich runs the full gamut of emotions with flair as brother "Nigel Bottom, while his true love "Portia" is played by the lovely Rebecca Hurd. Ross Lehman steals the show as Nostradamus and gets the majority of the laughs. Steven Strafford is hysterical as Shylock. A big out shout out goes to Cassie Slater as Nick's wife Bea, who has to play a variety of roles with a powerful singing voice.

Jeff Award winner Scott Weinstein (Murder for Two and Shrek at Marriott Theatre directs the show with musical direction by Jeff Award winner Ryan T. Nelson, choreography by Jeff Award nominee Alex Sanchez and musical supervision by Patti Garwood. Like all Marriott productions, the colorful costumes take center stage and this production is no exception. Costume designer Theresa Ham takes it to the max with glorious bustled dresses for the ladies and black leather pants for the male ensemble.

Have no fear, the show blends the centuries together with timely Shakespearean comedy and contemporary dance moves. Fans of both the Bard and musical theater will appreciate the clever homages to both. To thine self, be true. This is one of the Marriott Theatre's best ever shows.