Something Rotten – Shakespeare Re-imagined

Shakespeare in action center stage - David Burnham - photo by Rich Soublet
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By Kathy Carpenter

Ensemble – Photo by Rich Soublet

Moonlight Stage Productions Present, “Something Rotten.” Broadway’s Musical Comedy Smash. Conceived by Karey and Wayne Kirkpatrick. Book by “Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’ Farrell. Music and Lyrics by Karey and Wayne Kirkpatrick. directed by Jamie Torcellini. Choreographed by Bill Burns. With Music Director and Conductor Michael Patternostro. A delightful, palette of fun, served with a Musical mash up. Shakespeare in manageable bites. Delectable Entertainment.

Brothers and Bea Nick’s wife played by Chelle Denton – photo by Rich Soublet
Nick and Nigel Bottom have a dream L to R Bryan Banville – Cameron Bond-Szempka – photo by Rich Soublet

Something Rotten is the tale of the Bottom Brothers, taking place in 1595, south London. Two brothers are working together to come up with a hit play. The elder brother Nick  despises Shakespeare because of his success. Shakespeare used to be in his acting troupe but Nick convinced him to pursue writing because he couldn’t act. Through a series of events the brothers need a new idea for a play by the next day. When Nick becomes desperate he seeks a fortune teller.

Nostradamus ( Randall Hickman ) and Nick Bottom (Cameron Bond-Sczempka – photo by Rich Soublet
The actors play – Nick Bottom (Cameron Bond Sczempka – photo byu Rich Soublet

He finds Nostradamus. No not that one. His nephew, who convinces him to listen. Nick asked him what the next big thing in plays will be. Nostradamus tells him musicals. When he asks him what Shakespeare’s biggest hit will be? Nostradamus, can’t quite see everything and comes up with the title of “Omelette.” He continues to feed Nick mixed up information.Which leads the Bottoms to deliver an unique play.

Shakespeare, plays a major role as the villain you love to hate. His role actually reminded me of Elvis. Which I had seen earlier in the day. Two captivating, powerful men.

Ensemble – photo by Rich Soublet

Cameron Bond-Szempka, plays Nick Bottom. A strong, powerful singer, with the passion of a leading man. Bryan Banville, plays Nigel Bottom, using his talents to bring us the niave younger brother. With talents of his own. Shakespeare, who steals the story, is played by David Burnham. A captivator of hearts on and off stage. We have two female lead roles. Chelle Denton, as Bea, Nick’s progressive thinking wife. A beautiful voice, with a strong performance to compliment Bond-Szempka. And, LiLiana Rodrigues, as Portia, Nigel’s love interest. Another fabulous singer, and the perfit fit for Banville. The chemistry between them was spot on. Nostradamus, was played by the veteran Randall Hickman, a San Diego favorite.

I loved the music from “Something Rotten.” Fun and engaging. Full of life, the perfect music for a Musical. Micheal Patternostro conducted a flawless experience. Fifteen original songs,starting with “Welcome To the Renaissance”, and ending with “To Thine Own Self..”  and I loved them all.

Costumes form the era, plus some with a modern edge, with plenty of color, giving us the ambience for this time transcending epic.

A fun musical to for a summer evening under the stars. Not to be missed.

Nick Bottom (Cameron Bond Sczempka) living a musical. Photo by Rich Soublet

Something Rotten

July 20 – Aug 6 2022

Moonlight Amphitheater

Vista CA


Coming Next


August 17 – Sept. 3, 2022


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