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“Something Rotten!” Is Certifiably Fresh

Thirty-five cast members impress their audiences.(Angela H.)

With a cast of 35 students, the Upper School staged its production of Something Rotten! on April 27-29 in the Schoedinger Theater, led by Ms. Eads, Ms. Jennings, and Mr. Jenkins. Mr. Dillon and the CA portfolio tech class designed the set.

A comedy musical set in 1595, its plot follows brothers Nick (Sean J.) and Nigel Bottom (Ethan K.), failing playwrights who struggle to find success as they compete with the renowned poet of the 16th century, William Shakespeare (Christina L.). In a desperate attempt to save their careers, Nick seeks help from a soothsayer, Nostradamus (Matthew F.), who tells him what Shakespeare’s next big hit will be. 

The soothsayer tells Nick that musicals will be the biggest trend in the coming centuries, guiding the brothers to create Omelet, a show featuring clever references to beloved classics like Annie, Anything Goes, Cabaret, Cats, Chicago, Dream Girls, Guys and Dolls, Hello Dolly!, Les Miserables, Lion King, Little Shop of Horrors, Rent, Seussical, Sound of Music, West Side Story, and more. For any theater fanatic, Something Rotten! is a blast to watch, and the references were perfectly executed. 

Allusions to Shakespeare’s work and 16th-century history are referenced throughout the show, making this time period come to life on stage. In Nostradamus’s vision, he mistakes Shakespeare’s biggest hit to be Omelet, a musical about eggs, which is a clever play on Shakespeare’s masterpiece Hamlet. As well, Romeo and Juliet, Richard II, A Midsummer’s Night Dream, and Taming of the Shrew are a few of his works mentioned in the musical itself.

What was most impressive about this show, however, were the performances and depictions of these characters by Academy’s upper schoolers. Sean J. delivered crude, yet hilarious jokes that made the audience roar with laughter. Ethan K. depicted Nigel’s anxious nature with ease. Christina L.’s take on Shakespeare showed a cruel side of the famous playwright. Matthew F.’s comedic take on the loony fortune teller added to the hilarity of the show. Vaanika J. and Alaina W. played the love interests of the Bottom brothers who make a name for themselves in a male-dominated society as they both break free from cultural stereotypes in their own respective ways. The show was well-rehearsed, thanks to the direction of Ms. Eads, and all members of the production contributed to the success of the production. Bravo for putting on such a comical and sensational musical! 

Matthew F. (Nostradamus) said, “I’m so proud of the entire cast and crew of Something Rotten. We persevered and overcame many obstacles, learned many new skills, and bonded together as a family. I’ve made friends this year that I’ll never forget. Thank you to all who came and supported us, we hope you enjoyed it!”

At the end of the show, the cast and Ms. Eads celebrated Mr. Dillon’s last show as this musical set concluded his past 19 years working at Columbus Academy. Many students received a letter and or a pin in recognition for their participation in the performing arts and the cast celebrated five seniors as well: Alicia D., Colin H., Ethan K., Vaanika J., and Alli S.. Ms. Eads awarded the acting award to senior Vaanika J. and Mr. Dillon awarded senior Alli S. the theater and tech award. 

This show wouldn’t be possible without the behind the scene effort of Mr. Dillon. After 19 years at Academy as the theater’s technical director and scenic designer, Mr. Dillon (more affectionately known as “Dill”) is retiring, but his legacy and dedication to Academy Theater will forever be cherished by the community. Good luck in retirement and thank you for everything, Dill. 


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