[Review] MSD Drama produces comedic spring musical, ‘Something Rotten!’


Photo courtesy of browardschools.com/stonemandouglas

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Drama Department presented “Something Rotten!” on March 3rd and 4th at 7:00 p.m.

Briana Martin, Writer

On Mar. 3 and 4, the curtains rose for a live performance of “Something Rotten!” produced by Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Drama department. The Tony-Award-winning musical was adapted to be produced at MSD and was a beautiful and comedic showcase of the Renaissance era featuring Shakespeare’s works.

Set in the 1590s, “Something Rotten” centers around two brothers, Nick and Nigel Bottom, played by senior David Prengler and junior Logan LaPierre. The Bottom brothers are struggling playwrights of a theater troupe that has found themselves in the shadows of the most popular playwright of the time period, William Shakespeare. Shakespeare’s overwhelming presence as the best writer of the era encourages the Bottom brothers to devise a play that is guaranteed to win the hearts of their audience.

Both Nick and Nigel are unable to come to a decision on what their play should be about so Nick makes the decision to find a seer to tell him his future, only to discover the next big thing in playwriting will be, of course, musicals. Throughout the following scenes, the cast spontaneously breaks into song and even breaks the fourth wall a few times. As a viewer, these scenes made me more engrossed in the plot as it was filled with puns referencing popular Shakespeare plays and contemporary musicals.

Nick’s ever-growing rivalry with William Shakespeare brings him to ask a seer for the details on the best play Shakespeare will ever produce. The seer’s vision mistakenly portrays the play causing Nick and Nigel to begin production of Shakespeare’s most well-known play, “Omelette,” a reference to Hamlet.

Both LaPierre and Prengler strongly portrayed their characters’ personalities and their development throughout the play. As Nigel, LaPierre illustrated his character as a sensitive poet, eager to meet the right somebody and fall in love, while Prengler depicted Nick as an impassioned playwright longing for the spotlight to be on him for once.

Overall, my favorite solo performance was by Nick’s wife, Bea, who is played by senior Caroline Eaton. For the 1590s, Bea was ahead of her time, wanting to be much more than a housewife and support her husband by getting a job. In her solo, “Right Hand Man”, Eaton passionately displays Bea’s willingness to support her husband because of their love.

While watching the show, you could feel an energetic buzz throughout each musical number. The cast’s tap-dancing skills received loud applause from the audience and it was evident that the cast enjoyed being on stage.

The costume designs in this play matched the musical’s time period well. I was impressed with the number of quick changes I saw for the ensemble as they transitioned to different scenes. The best costumes were the egg and omelet costumes during the songs, “Something Rotten” and “Make an Omelette.”

From the tap-dancing choreography to the cast’s amusing omelet costumes, this musical exceeded all of my expectations. In the span of about two hours, “Something Rotten!” captured the essence of the Renaissance Era and transformed it into a humorous and enjoyable experience.